We're inundated with visual stimulation all the time — from smartphones, tablets and laptops, not to mention the hi-def TVs in our living rooms. It's probably not healthy for any of us, but it's especially problematic when kids have their eyes affixed to those screens for long periods every day. Here are some mostly low-tech, hands-on gifts that should remind your Cut the Rope-addicted youngsters that it can be fun to unplug for a bit.


If your kids are constantly getting wrapped up in the stories they're seeing on TV, why not try having them make up their own? Each "And Then..." Story Starter box comes with a collection of large cards featuring a scenario with a beginning and a middle; you concoct the ending. What happens after our narrator discovers a hidden panel in a mysterious old library? And what strange creature lurks beneath the surface of the lake? It's up to you to decide. This is the kind of on-the-fly creativity that could spark a future Dickens or Dahl. $24.95 • Atticus Coffee and Gifts • 222 N. Howard


This gift will serve two purposes: It'll get the kids to put their phones down, and it'll get them out of the house. Both the Mobius Science Center and the River Park Square-located Mobius Children's Museum offer hands-on learning and awesome exhibits, and your kids will probably want to keep going back. Memberships cover the entire family and last for a full year. $125-$175 • Mobius Science Center • 331 N. Post


There all kinds of dinosaur toys on the market, but Whiz Kids stocks a number of products that allow you to excavate your own dinosaur eggs and fossils. The Dig a Dinosaur kits from Kidz Labs allow you to find bones within a plaster rock that you then assemble, and GeoCentral's Baby Dino Egg kit lets you play paleontologist on a fossilized "egg." $8-$13 • Whiz Kids • 808 W. Main


Most kids love Star Wars, and these wooden, paintable 3D models should keep them occupied for an afternoon or two. They come in the shape of several beloved Star Wars icons — the Millennium Falcon, R2D2, an AT-AT, a TIE fighter — and while they're recommended for ages 12 and up, there's no doubt younger kids could figure these out with only a little added assistance. $17.95 • Boo Radley's • 232 N. Howard

Re*Imagine Christmas Winter Festival @ Medical Lake

Sat., Dec. 14, 1-5 p.m.
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About The Author

Nathan Weinbender

Nathan Weinbender is the Inlander's Music & Film editor. He is also a film critic for Spokane Public Radio, where he has co-hosted the weekly film review show Movies 101 since 2011.