When it comes to toys I am a major believer in investing in Quality and Quantity! When I say quantity I do not mean lots of different toys, I mean purchasing enough of one quality item that your children can have a really meaningful play experience with it. Below I am sharing our top dozen kid tested and mother approved toys!
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Magnatiles are awesome for ALL ages! They are magnetic building pieces that inspire creativity! When playing my kids often combine them with other favorite toys, such as stuffed animals, hot wheels, army guys etc. We tried a cheaper version first (Magformers) and I have to say that these are worth the extra investment you guys! They work SO well and are SO durable! In 4 Years of owning them we have only had one piece break! (and they get a lot of heavy use!) We have found that 1 set of 100 pieces per child is a great amount to allow them to all play together at the same time and have enough pieces to play with.
There’s a reason they have been around for ages!
These are a lot of fun! We’ve found that we like the more basic/simple sets. (Some of the sets are very bulky and complicated.) No two tracks that my kids put together are ever the same. Sometimes we run them down the stairs, over the furniture, etc. A great toy to inspire creativity, enginuity and teamwork!
If your kids like play dough they (and you) will most likely LOVE Kinetic Sand! It never dries out, you don’t have to worry about colors getting mixed and if it gets on the carpet it vacuums right up. We play with our sand on a $12 oil drip pan from Walmart (found in the Auto Department). We love to use play dough tools, sand toys, and army guys along with it. (depending on which children are playing.) We have around 10lbs of sand that we store in a plastic tub when we are not using it. It was an investment, but it allows multiple kids to gather around and have plenty to play with all together. The fact that it lasts and lasts makes the price a little easier to swallow.
Another toy that proves to be standing the test of time. I love that legos come in sets with instructions. They are a great way for kids to learn and practice how to follow step by step instructions and feel a sense of accomplishment when they are done. When a lego creation gets broken or starts to fall apart we toss all of the pieces into our communal lego bag, which also serves as a 60″ play mat that a number of kids can gather around. (By far the best lego storage solution we have found up to this point!) Legos are also great because they span a large age range, which means new sets can be given as gifts year after year after year!
We’ve tried a number of different blocks for little ones and these are the most loved by our kids. I think the little characters and objects have a lot to do with it. They increase fine motor skills and encourage imaginative/pretend play at the same time. My older kids will play with them with my youngest and have a great time!
We own a lot of these sets! I have found them highly discounted at Ross, Target and occasionally on Amazon. I stocked up and gave them to my daughter for gifts for a few years when she was a toddler/preschooler. They are great for developing fine motor skills and little girls just love them! These are what always end up getting pulled out by little neighbor friends and cousins when they come over to play and they will play with them for a LONG time!
8. Rescue Bots
These are what all of the little boys pull out right away when they come to our house to play! My boys got these for gifts over a couple years time and now we own 8 or 9 of them. They are another great fine motor toy that also inspires imaginative play. I’m always amazed by how long they keep busy little boys entertained!
9. Play Kitchen
This is a classic pretend play toy that rarely gets used by my kids when they are playing independently, but is a favorite for group play! I love watching my kids play house together or with their friends!
10. Baby Dolls
A classic little girl favorite for playing house! Some things never change!
11. Play Silks
These are a great open ended play item to have on hand! They’re most often used for dress ups and baby blankets in our house. There are countless uses for them though, it’s fun to see what kids come up with!
12. Army Men
Another timeless classic. We keep our army guys in a tin tub and it gets taken all over the place! From the backyard, to the bathtub, to the kinetic Sand, to the magnatiles, to the legos, I love seeing the creative set ups and play that comes from these guys.
There you have it, a dozen toys that have withstood many toy purging sessions at our house over the years and continue to get a lot of use!