My husband and I carefully select the toys and gifts we give our children. And it’s especially true during big gift-giving times, like Christmas and their birthday.
We always want to give our children gifts that will last, that will be cherished, that will be played with countless times. We don’t want to waste our money, or limited apartment space, on the wrong gifts and toys. Nor do we want to regret buying a certain toy.
Most often, we give our children classic toys as gifts, things like balls, puzzles, books, dolls, coloring books, crayons, and Play-Doh. This is partly because we want to foster brain-boosting toys and foster creativity. Another part is that they get played with again and again, and they last a long time.
So, I wanted to know what toys other parents out there recommend, based on the criteria that it is has to be a toy that gets played with for months and/or years, withstands abuse, and is very loved.
The following list are toys that were recommended from friends or me as great toys for kids.
Most of them are for younger children, but some are for the older gradeschool crowd as well. And, of course, as a reminder, your child doesn’t need any of these, but toys are great fun and can help them pretend and learn too. I hope this will give you some inspiration!
Be sure that if you are picking up a toy that needs batteries, that you pick up some Duracell batteries. Duracell CopperTop All-Purpose Alkaline batteries will keep these toys up and running for as long as your child wants to play with them, as they are dependable and long-lasting.
In fact, they have a 10-year guarantee in storage with Duralock Power Preserve Technology. They are the ideal choice for toys and other electronics that see a lot of use. A 4-pack would be a simple stocking stuffer to go along with the cool gift under the tree. Pick up a pack or two.
Classic Building and Engineering Toys for Kids
The following list of toys are ones that kept coming up in people’s answers. The following are amazing classic toys that get played with all the time and are so creative, so fun, and great for boys and girls. I have included different brands, that are pretty much the same thing. I did this because they are slightly different, but all are great options!
LEGOs – Possibly the most given answer. It’s the ultimate classic children’s toy, even without special building kits
Duplos are classic toys for toddlers
MegaBlocks (What our kids have)
Marble Run – There are lots of different brands and styles. I do not know which is best.
Snap Circuits – My friend recommended these for older children and said they have excellent customer service too. It requires batteries.
Classic Ride on Toys for Children
Toddler/Infant Rocking Horse from Little Tikes
Spring Rocking Horse (3 AA batteries required – Use Duracell!)
Push and Ride Toys/Cars
Prince Lionheart Wheely Bugs
The Classic Ride-on Toy – Big Wheel
Classic Little Tikes Car
Classic Radio Flyer Tricycle
Check out my other post for a complete list of the best outdoor equipment gifts for kids.
Classic Ball Toys for Kids
Lightweight Balls – Big, Small, and everything in between
Ball Popper is a great new classic ball toy for toddlers!
Balloons – Balloons are so much fun. They may not last “forever” but they will get played with for years. Plus, they are so cheap and last a decent amount of time for the cost. They are always at every birthday party for my kids to play with.
Classic Pretend Play Toys
Melissa and Doug Wooden Food/Cuttable Food
Shopping Carts – This toy from Melissa and Doug and is super sturdy!
Dinosaurs! – A Classsic toy for boys!
My First Disney Princess Baby Doll – My daughters have four of these baby dolls because they love them that much! They’ve played with them for 2.5 years straight now.
Barbie Dolls. Love or hate them, they are a classic that will get played with over and over again!
American Girl Dolls – Girls around the world cherish these toys!
Hot Wheels Cars – You can also get race tracks, but all you really need are the cars!
Wooden Train Set – Thomas, Brio, Orbrium, Lionel or whatever brand. The great thing about the wooden sets is that there seems to be some uniformity among the various brands, so the tracks will work with any of them.
Little People Playsets and Products. We specifically have this Little People Nativity Set that we pack up and pull out each December (but you can check out other kid nativity sets), and it’s a huge favorite. This set is a bit more expensive (we were gifted it by my in-laws) but they have smaller Nativity for less and hundreds of other playsets.
VTech Digital Camera. My friend said this is a huge hit at her house, and based on how often my kids grab our real (older) digital camera and want to take pictures, I can imagine a real camera that is all their own and where they can personalize the images, would be a great hit. This one also requires 4 AA batteries, which are not included. Be sure to have that 4-pack of Duracell batteries!
Best Games Gifts – Board Games, Card Games, and Video Games
Nintendo. It doesn’t matter what edition, the Classic, the Super Nintendo, the N64, the Cube, the Wii, or the WiiU. Nintendo gaming systems are awesome for kids to play on. And they will get played on countless times for hours and hours.
Uno is a classic, educational card game and is so easy to play. But, really, just having a simple deck of cards opens up hours of game plays, as well as the ability to stack them up in unique ways, and more.
Board games, like Sorry, are great to play over and over. There are SO many different board games that are favorites, like Guess Who?, Monopoly, Clue, Candy Land, Othello, Chess, and more.
Puzzles for Kids
I also highly recommend puzzles! Floor puzzles, foam puzzles, wood puzzles, shape ones, whatever. Melissa & Doug is a great place to pick up a variety of awesome puzzles!
Art Supplies Gifts for Kids
I also haven’t included art supplies, because they aren’t quite “toys” but are definitely a great gift! You can even check out arts and crafts subscription boxes for kids if you want some super fun and creative ways to gift creativity to your kids.
Crayons and coloring book last a very, very long time in my house and get used every single day.
But, tell me, what else did I miss? What do your kids love, love, love to play with? What has proven worthy of your money and your space?
Be sure to check out my gift guide ideas and other related posts:
- 33 of the Best Outdoor Gifts for Kids
- 8 Best Educational Subscription Boxes
- 11 Best Subscription Boxes for Babies
- 10 Best Monthly Subscription Boxes for Toddlers
- 8 Traditional Stocking Stuffer Ideas
- 30+ Scientific Board Games for Kids
- 5 Fantastic Elf on the Shelf Alternatives
- 27 Free Christmas Stocking Patterns and Tutorials
- How to Limit Christmas Gifts to Just 3 or 4 (Without Being a Scrooge)
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