Israel is quite possibly the most kid-friendly country on Earth. Whereas elsewhere children are excluded from many weddings, fancy restaurants and public occasions, no Israeli would ever dream of signing off an invitation with “no kids, please.”
It really is no surprise, then, that Israel comes off pretty strong when it comes to children’s toys. Loads of Israeli companies and designers are hard at work conjuring up fun playthings for your little and not-so-little ones, and we’ve chosen the top 10 picks for you to enjoy. Have fun! Or, in Hebrew, tehenu!
Perhaps the most famous Israeli contribution to the world of games, Rummikub is one veteran player: the fun-for-all-the-family board game was invented back in the 1940s and has been delighting fans worldwide ever since.
The game is comprise of 104 numbered tiles distributed between the players’ racks, and the objective is to use all of your tiles first, at which point you shout out “Rummikub!” (Don’t forget to call out; some people get very particular).
It’s a great way to spend an afternoon with the family, and an even better reminder that fun can also be had off-screen. What more could you ask for?
Let your child’s inner designer loose with Offbits’ DIY robot toys. The toys come with all their components – down to the nuts and bolts – completely apart, with the aim of getting players to put them together in whatever fashion they choose.
The company promises that the parts are made of durable metal, rubber and plastic, meaning creations can be taken apart and put together again time after time. The game is suitable for ages six to 14, so years of fun are guaranteed.
This 55-piece zoo could (hopefully) entertain your young kids forever. The different shaped animal heads can be connected to any number of different body parts, creating fantastical new beasts each time anew.
Suitable for children over the age of three, the game familiarizes kids with the animal kingdom, develops their imagination and is oh-so-very-pretty to look at. We bet you won’t be able to stop yourself from joining in.
The concept is quite simple – the backpacks have a “window” where kids’ paintings can be slotted in and then carried around in great style. The paintings can of course be switched around, so your child can have a special backpack for any occasion, be it kindergarten, a flight or car journey.
It’s simple-to-use, easy-to-understand concept makes it a wonderful game for almost any age, and its compact, one-piece board makes it just right for traveling. No more (or fewer) arguments in the car, here you come.
The two-player game is not unlike chess, requiring strategic planning and spatial vision, and is sure to prove to be a hit with the slightly older kids in your life.
On the other end of the age scale, Tiny Love’s play mat – called a “university” in Israel – is a wonderful play area for young babies.
Eighteen developmental activities are crammed into the little rug, which includes music and light elements, hanging toys and different textures.
It’s really great to spread open at home or while visiting friends and family, making it an all-star Israeli favorite.
Aimed at children aged eight and up, it’s a super way to expand the kids’ vocabulary in a fun and informal setting. Just how competitive it gets is up to you.
Aimed at ages six to 99, the 20 cards each describes a cool experiment to try out and explains the science behind them. Easily portable in a tin box, the cards make a perfect activity for a rainy day wherever you go.
This magnetic bingo-on-the-go set can be easily packed into travel bags, making it ideal for car journeys or flights. Only two people can play with it at any given time, so we hope grandma will be able to wait for her turn patiently.