Lia looking through a cage phone escape room that allows kids to lock their phones away and play with traditional toys

Traditional Toys For Tweens and Teens [AD]

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In an age of gadgets and electronics, mobile phones and computers, are you searching for traditional toys for tweens and teens? It may sound a little odd. After all, by the time they are teenagers, do they still want to play with toys and games? The answer is they probably do. Whilst most of us don’t do it regularly, playing with board games isn’t an unusual thing to do as an adult. The same goes for playing cards and doing jigsaws. Do you remember your grandparents doing jigsaws? Nobody asked them why they hadn’t grown out of it. Because back in their day, it was normal to fill your time without electronics. So, if your tween or teen spends too much time on their phone and you’re looking for something else to occupy them, read on. For more ideas of traditional toys for all ages, check out Wicked Uncle.

Traditional toys for tweens and teens on the move

If you’re travelling with tweens and teens, a family road trip can be a real flash point for electronic usage. When you have two or more children together, it’s a good time to get out a pack of cards or a travel board game. If they’re willing to play a game with parents, so much the better. A magnetic drafts set is a great option, as is a standard pack of playing cards. Both of these get EXTREMELY competitive in our house though, so it’s sometimes good to have a backup that gives them something to do on their own.

A packet of Optical Illusion Cards is a reasonably priced gift that offers tweens and teens something they can do alone when on the move. I remember being absolutely fascinated by this sort of thing as a child. My girls love them too. Decide whether leaves are moving or still, whether lines are straight or bendy and whether you can make pulsing images stay still with the power of the mind. These are ideal for car journeys or just killing time whilst learning about optical illusions.

Optical illusions cards box and card next to it with an eternity ring optical illusion
Optical illusions

Traditional toys for groups of tweens and teens

This one is my absolute favourite. What better way to get tweens and teens off their phones than to confiscate them and lock them away? Sounds harsh? That’s where you’re wrong! Escape rooms are a popular way to pass the time these days, especially among teenagers and young adults. Some have a game suitable for younger children too. And in my experience, they are brilliant fun! And the best thing about them? No phones allowed!

If you have teens and tweens who love an escape room, now is your chance to pry them off their electronics – with a phone escape room! This is one of the best traditional toys for tweens and teens that I’ve seen. Lock all the phones away in the cage and players have to solve riddles and puzzles to get them back. My girls absolutely loved this. They are aged 8 and 10 and definitely needed some help from us on some of the puzzles. If I’m brutally honest, my husband needed a bit of help as well.

Phone escape room cage with packaging still on - a traditional toy for kids that lets them solve puzzles to get to their electronics
Phone escape room
Text image setting the scene for phone escape room. You and your fellow prisoners have awoken locked in a cell in shackle prison, all communication devices removed from your person. Surrounded by damp and crumbling walls in the pitch black, with the only sound the scratching of vicious... rats? You must work together as a team to free yourselves from the abandoned crumbling prison and collect your stolen artefacts, contact the outside world and make your escape.
Setting the scene

This is an ideal game for groups of 2 to 8 players and the cage is big enough to fit everyone’s phone in. So, no excuses to avoid locking away those electronics! We spent a lovely afternoon playing this game and there were puzzles that played to everyone’s strengths. Some were obvious, with questions like:

“If a plane crashes on the border between England and Scotland, where do you bury the survivors?”

Others were a little more difficult, involving basic maths. There are clue cards as well as problem cards, and solution cards are provided too. Plus, you are given the padlock combination when you receive the game, in case of emergencies!

Phone escape room, a traditional toy with puzzle cards laid out next to it and phones locked inside
The cage and cards
Libby and Lia looking puzzled trying to work out the answer to a question to get their phones back
Looking puzzled

Traditional toys for younger children

Many of us prefer to stick with traditional toys for younger children. When they’re very little, it’s often less about avoiding electronics and more about steering them away from plastic that will end up in landfill. Thankfully, when they’re little that’s easy enough as long as people who buy gifts for them are on board. It’s easy to search through gifts for two year olds and find some fabulous educational and wooden toys.

Wooden counting toy in box with picture of toy on the box lots of coloured blocks with numbers on and a car
Crescendo learn to count

We all like to buy traditional toys for my nephew for birthdays and Christmas, which means he has a fabulous selection to play with. His latest acquisition is this fabulous Learning How to Count Crescendo. You have to build the ramp by putting the blocks in the correct order to allow the car to travel down the ramp. The best thing about it is that the blocks are all numbered, so it’s a great way to subtly practice counting as you play.

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