Gifts for the kids instead of an iPad

I’m a mother of 2 small people in NYC. We pride ourselves on keeping the kids busy and using as little screen time as possible (sometimes as much as necessary). The beauty of this situation is that my kids love TV, so it’s perfect in case of emergencies and I feel like a good mom (mostly). These are the things that I use regularly in place of screens.

All products featured on Thingtesting are independently recommended by our writers. When you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Jellycat, Personalized bunny blanket

A perfect toy + blankie. My son sleeps with his covering his face 😂

Yoto, Audio player

#1 alternative to the ipad. My kids love to listen to Disney stories and have recently gotten into the history of Pirates and Ancient Egypt.

Little Spoon, Strawberry Banana Shake

Nutritious and delicious kids food. I keep the fruit smoothies in the freezer as a frozen treat, these are good on the go and great to supplement meal time… We like to make meal time prep a big thing to extend the activity beyond the actual eating.


We started using the Loveevery subscription during the pandemic. They are beautifully crafted, developmentally appropriate, and well-made. Both of my kids still play with them.

Artipoppe, Zeitgeist Carrier

The classic denim made getting around with young children a dream. Perfect for bringing an immobile baby to a toddler’s soccer class or school drop-off. You still feel cute with their designs and prints.

Micro Kickboard, Mini Scooter

Folds in half for easy storage, the kids rule the streets on these things.

Omy, Magic Markers

Makes markers like colored pencils and the world of coloring SO much brighter!

Hatch, Rest+ nightlight

I have the Plus which is over engineered with all sorts of bells and whistles. It’s not necessary, but it’s great for rest and red light (aka do not get out of bed at 5am!).

Happiest Baby, SNOO

Good sleep makes easier kids. Usually. The Snoo is the baby nurse of gadgets.

Oso & Me, Reversible Grow pants

Explanation: They grow with your child (adjustable waist buttons and cuffs) for 3 growth spurts. It’s incredible to have clothes that fit longer than a month. And are gender neutral to share between brother and sister. Plus these pants are reversible, so 2 for the price of 1!