Screen-Free Toys Are Making a Comeback

Screen time: how much is too much?  This is a question that Elemental Path knows is a concern for all of us. With most technology involving a screen, how do we teach children about the world around us?  How do we encourage them to stop playing online and start playing in real life? What are the repercussions of too much screen time?

To answer these questions, a study of two separate groups of sixth graders was conducted by the University of California. At the beginning of the study, the sixth graders were shown 50 pictures of people and asked to label the emotion being modeled.  A week later, after one group spent a week at an outdoor camp with no digital devices and the other group went about their normal routines with their devices, the children were shown the same 50 photos.  Asked again to identify the emotions being modeled, the group that spent the week without screen time scored significantly higher than the group that had continued to have their devices and screen time.

Children of today are growing up in a world that is technologically far more advanced than any generation before.  Our children will be expected to understand and operate many different types of technology in school and in the workplace.  While all of this is amazing and exciting, we do need to find a balance. We need a back to basics approach to learning that doesn’t involve a screen, yet keeps children engaged and interested.

A great way to start is by limiting screen time exposure. Try incorporating more activities like visiting the museum, playing in your local park, or taking a trip to the zoo into your kids’ daily routine.  Socializing your children is also paramount to their learning to share, wait their turn, and be kind. To reduce screen time even more, make your children’s play spaces stimulating and interesting.  

The toys you purchase should inspire imagination, creativity, and learning. The CogniToys Dino, for example, is a smart buddy, companion, and friend for kids ages 5-9 years old. The Dino is easy to use, and uniquely addresses the concerns of parents about the ubiquity of screen-time. CogniToys strike the perfect balance between technology and a back-to-basics play experience by engaging kids…all without the need of a screen.

To learn more about the Dino and CogniToys, visit

1 comment

  • Naomi Elrich

    I’m so happy to hear that screen-free toys are making a come back. I feel that these poor kids are just overstimulated all the time. Thanks for sharing this post!


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