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Top 10 non-electronic toys and games for this Christmas

Top 10 non-electronic toys and games for this Christmas


With Christmas close at hand and holiday wish lists filling up with electronic gadgets and the latest fly-by-night trends, it's getting harder and harder to find non-electronic toys and games that don't break the bank. What's more, how do we get the kids to interact with the rest of us and not spend hours and hours staring at a screen?

To help you steer clear of all the "turkeys" packing the shelves and point you in the direction of something that will entertain them longer than it takes to say "pass the gravy," here's our list of our top 10 family-friendly non-electronic toys and games for this Christmas season as selected by Pam Petch, owner of PJ Knickerbockers in Markdale.


Canadian Trivia

Canadian Trivia 150th Limited Edition

Ages 14+ What a great way to cap off Canada's 150th year! Canadian Trivia is a fun and informative board game testing your knowledge of our geography, history, arts, and general information.

This all-Canadian trivia game hit the shelves in 1996 and went on to become a best-seller, spawning other versions including a Millenium edition in 2000 and a 10th Anniversary Edition in 2006. This latest release has been a popular game for 2017 celebrating Canada's 150th Anniversary. Two or more players can play. It was made in Canada too! Two-eight players.



Ages 3+ Pam Petch says this game is a lot of fun to play for two to four players. Everyone gets ten dice. Someone says “Go.” Then everyone rolls and rolls as fast as they can until someone gets all their dice on the same number. It's fast. It's fun. It's sure to entertain. There are a few more rules, and more ways to play too. The manufacturer has also released an app available for iphone, ipad and Android but the old-fashioned version seems like more fun to me!

Archie game 

Archie Board Game

Ages 7+ What goes around, comes around. Archie, that freckle-faced kid from Riverdale High is experiencing a bit of a renaissance these days and so are his licensed puzzles and games including this one.

In Running 'Round Riverdale, the gang is scattered all over Riverdale…but when they hear Pop Tate is offering free shakes, the race is on!  Kids can play their favourite character from the Archie Comic series, racing around the board and outwitting their opponents along the way. The one that gets to Pop’s first is the winner! For two to four players.

Slacker Zipline 

Extreme Backyard Adventures

Ages 8+ Turn your backyard into the ultimate adventure zone! All you need is two sturdy trees or posts and you’re ready to fly on this real zipline! Kits come with everything required to install your new adventure game, including cable, rope and trolley. Different lengths are available.

This is one toy that will keep them active and off their devices for a while too! The Slackers brand is designed to get you out of the house and comes in a variety of adventure packages including a Ninjaline, swings and other outdoor activities. For an unlimited number of thrill seekers.

My Fairy Garden 

My Fairy Garden Magical Cottage

Ages 4+ Maybe the cutest thing out there right now, My Fairy Garden is a toy that's also a real, live garden! It's a gift that gives kids a connection to nature and a sense of satisfaction growing and nurturing live plants. They sew the quick-germinating seeds and care for their garden, all while setting up and playing with adorable little fairies, woodland friends, furniture and accessories. For an unlimited number of gardeners.

Family puzzles 

Cobble Hill Family Puzzles

Ages 4+ Cobble Hill puzzles includes three various sized jigsaw pieces including large, medium and small. This allows all ages to participate in a family activity that is as fun as it is relaxing. What Christmas holiday would be complete without a puzzle on the go? Many sizes and pictures to choose from. For an unlimited number of players.

Settlers of Catan

Settlers of Catan

Ages 10+ Settlers of Catan is a very popular board game that seems to be gaining more and more fans all the time. It's a multiplayer game in which players assume the roles of settlers, each attempting to build and develop holdings while trading and acquiring resources. Players are awarded points as their settlements grow. The first player to reach a set number of points is the winner. Much like a game of Monopoly, Settlers is a game of strategy and will keep the family entertained for hours. For three to four players.

All Star Hockey 

Tabletop Hockey

Ages 3+ What Canadian kid wouldn't like a tabletop hockey game under the tree this year? OK, well maybe there are a few. But this is certain: the two-player tabletop game continues to be a hit with many kids from one generation to the next! The newer versions seem to have fixed that age-old problem of getting the puck stuck behind the net too. Much like The Archies toys, file this one under perennial favourite. Two players.



Ages 13+ Here's one to compete with all those shoot-em-up games that have parents and caregivers wondering if little Johnny's moral compass might be wandering a little far from true north. In Pandemic, several virulent diseases have broken out simultaneously all over the world! But wait for it, it gets a little more optimistic... The players are disease-fighting specialists whose mission is to treat disease hotspots while researching cures for each of four plagues and save the world before they get out of hand. For two to four players.

Rubik's Race

Rubik's Race Game

Ages 9+ Rubik's Cube remains a popular puzzle game but has also spun off other less solitary games requiring formidable brain power like this one. Rubik's Race is a fast paced game for two players that gets your brain and fingers flying. Players go head to head, shifting tiles to be the first to make the 3x3 centre match the pattern. Although it sounds easy, this is a real game of skill, speed and dexterity.

All of these toys and games were selected with the help of local resident toy and game expert, Pam Petch and are available at PJ Knickerbockers in Markdale.


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