Gift Ideas for Kids: No Batteries Required. Batteries and toys

Ride on Car Battery Guide

One of the essential components of any ride-on car is its battery. It provides power to the wheels as well as all of its electronic displays and sounds. Therefore its quality and capacity directly impact the performance and longevity of the ride on. Let’s take a deeper look at it right now to help you choose the right one, and also how to maximize its usage.

Types of Battery

Lead-acidThis is by far the most common type used in the vast majority of ride-on cars on the market today. It uses the same technology as the batteries found in most consumer cars. It provides the best value in terms of the amount of power per dollar.Pros: Inexpensive, requires little maintenance, comes in different sizes to accommodate various power requirements.Cons: Longer charge time, a shorter lifespan.

Lithium Ion:Just like for regular cars, lithium battery technology is slowly making inroads in the toy ride-on car industry as well. These new batteries deliver more power, longer playing time, and faster charging at a higher cost (for now).Pros: Quick charging time, longer playing time, more powerful.Cons: High initial cost.

Since most of the ride-on cars today use lead-acid batteries, we’ll FOCUS on them for the rest of this article.

Battery Size

The simple rule to remember here is that bigger is better, as measured in voltage (ie. Volts). A bigger voltage means more power, higher weight capacity, and more playing time. All things being equal, always look for units with a bigger battery to ensure a lasting good time. Of course, more power comes with a bigger price tag. Therefore finding the sweet spot for good value is the Smart choice to make.Here are some common battery sizes you’ll find.

6VThis is the smallest size, with the least amount of power. Suitable for ride-on bikes, small ATVs, and small cars. The weight capacity is usually around 40 lbs or less. Suitable for young children between 18 months and 3 years.

12VThe most common size found in ride-on cars. Gives an excellent balance between power and cost. Can be utilized in both 1 or 2 seater cars, with up to 70 lbs of carrying capacity. Suitable for children 2 to 8 years old.

24V to 36VThe largest size found in the biggest models. These beasty power units can easily move 2-seaters, with additional options of going off-road, and has a weight capacity of 100 lbs or higher. You won’t need to charge them nearly as often either. When you want the biggest and the best, this is the way to go.

Lead-acid batteries have a normal shelf life of 1 to 2 years depending on usage frequency, and operating conditions (extreme cold and hot temperatures shorten its lifespan).

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Here are a few simple tips to help you safely maximize their battery life:

  • Fully charge your battery for at least 12 hours (or overnight) before the initial use.
  • When not using the ride-on car for an extended period of time, or putting it away for the season, fully charge it prior to storage.
  • Disconnect the battery before storage (after a full charge).
  • Do not let the battery compartment get wet (ie. avoid spills).
  • Do not place any metal objects over the battery to prevent shorting.

Battery Disposal Replacement

Eventually, even with the best care, all batteries will need to be replaced. First, make sure you dispose of the used battery correctly.- by recycling it. Do not throw it away in the garbage as it contains many chemicals that would pollute and contaminate the landfill. Contact your local recycling center, toy and electronics stores, or any automotive shop where regular car batteries are recycled. Make a safe and responsible choice!As for getting a new battery, the good news is that despite the vast selection of ride-on cars available, the actual number of battery models are much smaller, as many units share the same power unit.

The easiest way is to re-order your battery from where you purchased the ride-on car. If that’s not available, you can also purchase from a different seller, just make sure the voltage and ampere ratings match your current one as indicated on the front or side of the battery.

With a little knowledge and care, you can make sure your little one will continue to enjoy riding in their ride-on toys for many years to come!

Gift Ideas for Kids: No Batteries Required!

What happened to the good ole’ days when toys were just toys? No batteries required. Well this year, we’re bringing them because I’m tired of buying all those batteries, ya’ll!

This post contains affiliate links. Before buying any toys, please look at the suggested age range. Young children should always be supervised when playing the toys that contain small pieces.

Toys like these are attractive to me for several reasons: 1- no batteries are required, 2- they are are very open-ended, meaning that they can be played with in several different ways, 3- kids love them, 4- they make great gifts for those hard-to-buy-for kind of kids, and 5-most of them work well for multi-ages; making it a hit for more than one kiddo. For all of these reasons (and more), these gift ideas for kids work well for any occasion!

Gift Ideas for Babies and Toddlers

Stack and Roll Cups– the number 1 hands-down coolest toy for babies ever. I hated to pass ours along when my youngest outgrew it.

Puzzles (any puzzle by Melissa Doug has been a favorite at our house!)

Stacking Peg Board – My Kindergartner still likes to play with this one!

Gift Ideas for Kids: The Engineer

Zoobs– SOME of their sets DO require batteries, but the basic sets do not.

Magformers– We have several of their sets. Every one of the sets has been awesome! Even mom gets in on playing with them.

Wooden Marble Run– we also have the Domino Set. My son loves to combine the two. If you’re looking for a plastic marble run, we’ve had this one for 7 years and it has outlasted all four kids. Very sturdy!

SMARTMAX Magnetic Toys pieces- If you’re going to be series about this one, you need the straight and curved sets. We also have a car set. The combinations are endless.

Automoblox– These little sets are so neat; even hubby likes to play with them. You can make SO many different kinds of cars with them…and they’re great for fine motor skills!

Gift Ideas for Kids: The Artist

Folding Lap Desk– It’s one of the best purchases I ever made for schoolwork or car rides! My kids use them all.the.time. We have the blue, green pink.

Easel– The IKEA easel is the cheapest one I’ve seen. We love ours!

Water Color Paint – perfect for the younger artist who likes to paint everywhere.

Play, Draw, Create-Reusable Drawing and Magnet Kits– there are kits for boys, girls, and one that either would enjoy.

Gift Ideas for Kids: The Imagination

Food Sets– We have several sets of food. My kids like the ones that can be cut apart. Learning Resources also has some cute food sets

Car Ramps- The one pictured is the one we have, but there are so many to choose from.

String Games– I LOVED these as a little girl.

Gift Ideas for Kids: Active Kids

Stomp Rockets – My kids have really enjoyed ours. There are sets for older kids as well.

Nerf Ball- This one whistles and I only recommend it for outside use!

Ball Pit/Tent– We’ve had several (and replaced several) until we got this one. AND it folds up for easy storage! Well worth the money.

Crawling tunnel– My kids like to combine ours with the ball pit.

Indoor Trampoline- This one is the exact one we have. We bought it because it can hold up to 250 lbs, but if you have younger kids and want something a little safer for them, there are many options.

So, enjoy skipping the battery aisle and the absence of the, “I need new batteries!” mantra from the kids (I know you won’t miss that). You can also feel better about helping the environment. A win-win for everyone! No Batteries Required gifts ideas for kids are definitely the way to go, no matter the occasion!

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Recycling Batteries from Holiday Toys

The holidays are almost here, which means you’ll be buying toys, electronics, and all sorts of other gadgets for the kids and family members in your life. And modern gifts require a lot of lithium ion batteries to power them. You find them in everything from remote controlled cars and electric scooters, to cell phones, wireless headphones, handheld games, hoverboards, Nerf guns, and a lot of toys and devices in between.

The problem is that after a few months when a toy stops working or is broken, many parents will simply throw it away, along with its lithium ion batteries. Not only is it a waste of the valuable material within them, it is also a serious hazard if they are not disposed of properly.

Why you shouldn’t throw lithium ion batteries into the trash

Did you know that it is illegal in many states to place lithium ion batteries in the trash? The reason is that they can pose a dangerous fire hazard and contain corrosive materials.

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Placing them in the trash or in a municipal recycling bin, the batteries can come in contact with flammable materials like plastic, paper, and cardboard. When they are compressed in the back of a waste collection truck or at a recycling center, they risk being punctured or crushed, which can cause a spark that may ignite the surrounding materials.

The chemicals within the batteries may also be released, leading to potential health hazards for the people handling the trash. If they make it to a non-hazardous waste landfill, the harmful chemicals within the batteries may leak out and contaminate the soil and groundwater.

Recycling these batteries — not throwing them in the trash — is the only way to avoid these harmful situations.

The materials in the batteries have a limited supply

Lithium ion batteries require critical materials — cobalt, nickel, graphite, and lithium. By recycling them, these materials can be repurposed to create new batteries. Recycling lessens our dependence on new resources and puts valuable materials to further productive use, instead of letting them sit idle and possibly causing danger in a landfill that was not designed for them.

How to recycle lithium ion batteries?

Recycling lithium ion batteries involves separating their individual components and recovering the parts that can be used again. The battery is shredded, and you’re left with a sludgy “black mass” composed of lithium, manganese, cobalt, and nickel.

The black mass is refined, so those elements can be utilized again in new batteries. Any other materials present in the batteries, like aluminum, copper, paper, or plastic, are also recovered, recycled, and reused in other production or industrial processes.

The key is to put your old batteries in the hands of people who will recycle them properly, using the process outlined above. Let’s look at some ways you can assure that they are in the right hands.

What you can do this post-holiday season

  • Toys in good working order – Instead of throwing away toys that still work, donate! Let them find a new home so they can continue to be enjoyed by other children.
  • Broken toys and devices – The first thing to do is check with the toy manufacturer to see if they provide a recycling program for their products. If not, you can search Call2Recycle to locate an e-waste drop off point in your area.
  • Old batteries – If you want to keep your toy or device but discard the batteries, there are several chain stores throughout the country that have free collection boxes. Once again, Call2Recycle can be very helpful in locating a collection point for your old batteries.
  • Community household hazardous waste days – Your community should have household hazardous waste days during the year. This is a great way to dispose of many household hazardous materials. Check your local city or town’s public works department for more information.

Ensuring the lithium ion batteries from old, broken, or unwanted toys find their way to the proper recycling centers instead of the trash is a gift we all can give to each other. Recycling these batteries cuts down on harmful waste in landfills, reduces our need for costly new resources, and helps prevent dangerous situations, like fires and exposure to corrosive chemicals.

In the months following the holidays, let’s all do our part to help keep lithium ion batteries out of the garbage!

Why How to Choose the Best No Battery Toys for Kids

No battery toys like wooden shape sorters and puzzles help boost critical thinking and problem-solving skills. They foster a sense of satisfaction when your child can do things “all by myself”.

Remember that thing you played with all the time when you were a kid?

It was with you from sun up till sun down.

You didn’t buy it at any toy store… it was free.

And it’s what could turn an empty box into a dollhouse or a broom handle into a light saber.

Where can you find this long-lost treasure? It’s still with you – if you take the time to encourage it…

Your imagination – would your childhood have been the same without it? And do you ever feel like our children’s generation is really missing out on the simple, creative joys of life?

From the day a child is born, they’re bombarded with singing, blinking, interactive toys with slick marketing campaigns to convince you the advantages of “starting education early.”

I wasn’t immune to the claims. When our son was a few weeks old, we asked our birth doula her opinion of black and white toys for visual stimulation. She kindly told us, “He’s been in a dark, quiet place for nine months… the world itself is enough stimulation for him right now.”

It’s amazing how a little perspective can add wisdom and common sense to your whole parenting mindset, isn’t it? Her response gave us the belief in ourselves as parents, to trust our own instincts rather than the commercials.

It also gives us the strength to stand firm when our boys ask for the latest handheld video game or toys that walk, talk, and require no imagination on their part.

Many parents don’t realize that no battery toys contribute to early childhood education. Wooden shape sorters and kid-sized puzzles are a great way to boost critical thinking as well as problem-solving skills. They also foster a sense of satisfaction in doing things “all by myself,” as the independent toddler likes to announce.

For kids with autism, no battery toys encourage pretend play and can give them an edge with their social skills. Also, babies and children tend to play longer with a no-battery toy as compared to one that does everything for them. Try this experiment with your child and see for yourself.

Why battery-powered toys are not eco-friendly

When you choose toys that allow your child to think for herself, you’re usually doing the planet a favor as well. The environmental downside of battery-powered children’s toys is worth considering:

  • Energy use – If you use rechargeable batteries, you’re plugging them into a charger and using electricity to restore them to their full energy capacity. But as you can imagine, unless you have solar panels, this contributes to air pollution and climate change.
  • Battery waste – Americans go through close to 150,000 tons of battery waste every single year. Most of these batteries contain heavy metals, many of which are toxic to make and toxic when not properly disposed. They can be recycled, which is preferable to sending them to the landfill, but this requires yet more energy.
  • Microchip toxins – If it’s battery-powered, it’s likely fitted with at least one microchip. The process of creating microchips is incredibly toxic, involving hazardous gases, chemicals, and massive amounts of water. It also results in lots of hazardous waste, all of which pollute the environment.
  • Toy waste – Once the batteries run out (some are built right in) or the toy breaks (and unlikely become not repairable), it turns into a pile of plastic, metal, toxic waste.

One of the best times to make an impact on your child’s toy box is when his or her birthday rolls around. No Battery Birthdays can add fun – and a little challenge – to your gift giving routine. How can you make a Battery-Free Birthday that’s a blast?

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How to find fun, no-battery toys for your kids

So, what kinds of non-battery-powered toys will your kids just love? Consider some of these classic options for battery-free toys:


Try to find wood that has been harvested sustainably with either the FSC-certified stamp of approval or from salvaged wood materials. You may be surprised at how long young children can entertain themselves with stacking blocks, animal friends, nesting toys, or cups and balls.

A wooden train set is a great investment. Kids can get hours and hours of fun from them. You can expand and add on more tracks, and of course more trains. Get a sturdy, sustainably made brand so you can hold on to them for your grandkids.

LOVEVERY’s practical system of solid wood blocks for building spatial, language, and problem-solving skills includes 70 heirloom quality pieces that work with each other in more than 20 stage-based activities.

The lacquer-free Raduga Grëz Mountains Small Arch Stacker is the perfect toy for open ended play and connecting kids with nature. Great for encouraging creativity, problem solving, and hand-eye coordination, the natural colors make it look like art in any nursery room.

gift, ideas, kids, batteries


Encourage your child’s analytical thinking and motor skills. From block style to tavern puzzles for bigger kids, we also love this solar system, kids of all ages will enjoy the challenge!


Stimulate your child’s inner creativity with artist supplies such as paper, paints, natural crayons, chalk, glue, and so on. Just be sure to look for recycled content paper, recycled magazines, nontoxic paints, soy or veggie-based crayons, nontoxic glues, and other natural supplies.

Make your own squishy putty or dough that will let your kids sculpt their way out of boredom. There are many recipes for natural play dough you can make at home. If DIY is not your thing, give Eco Dough a try.


One of the most fun activities for children is to make believe you’re someone else. Help your kids dress up by buying secondhand clothing and accessories from your local thrift store. Or try play silks. This is an inexpensive and eco-friendly way to help your kids become princesses, wizards, dragons, and mini-brides. Don’t forget kid-friendly kitchen gadgets (real or toys) or a tea set.


Best friend, sleeping buddy, decoration, or secret agent… A stuffed animal or handmade doll can fill many roles throughout its time with your child. Look for organic cotton if possible. Handmade is also a plus when you can support small businesses or local artisans.


Learning about the planet is one of the best ways to stimulate a green attitude in your children. Give new or used books on earthy themes – like wildlife, oceans, forests, gardening, or science! They’ll be entertained while they learn.

If your child is willing to forego gifts, ask guests to bring dog or cat toys for your local animal shelter, or another cause kids enjoy supporting. If you’re looking for a unique party experience, have the kids gather to donate the supplies so they can see the difference their gifts make.

Best of all, make it fun and don’t worry too much about being perfect. Your child will follow your lead, so why not let your imagination run wild?

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