I wanted to write a post about the best toys we’ve ever had or those of you looking for some good ideas for Christmas presents. These are toys that have have stood the test of time, and are the most played with and the most enjoyed by all my kids. They aren’t the newest, and most high-tech toys, but I think they’re the ones that no kid should grow up without.
- #1 Toy Kitchen– Our kitchen is the best, most played with toy we have. We got our play kitchen back in 2002. It’s a little beat up, and has needed some tightening of the screws from time to time, but considering the amount of use we’ve gotten out of it, it’s still in pretty good condition. My kids play house, store, or restaurant with it, they pretend to cook, and make us delicious meals. They even make food out of play-doh, and pretend to bake it in their kitchen. Add a cash register (another good toy to have), and your kids will be entertained with imaginative play for hours.
We got ours from Target about 10 years ago, I believe it’s a Melissa and Doug toy. If you’re looking for something similar, here’s what I would recommend: Melissa and Doug Cook’s Corner Wooden Kitchen, or Deluxe Pretend Play Kitchen
- #2 Building Blocks- Legos, Mega Blocks, wooden blocks, etc. They’re all fun. We started out with wooden blocks and some Mega Blocks when the kids were little. As they got older, Grandma bought them a big bin of Legos (just watch out for little pieces if you have babies boppin’ around). Since then, we’ve added some Lego building sets over the years, and now have a pretty big assortment. Most of the Lego sets started off being built according to the directions, and were fun to play with. As they fell apart, they’ve been used to build other things. Watch The Lego Movie, then you’ll feel better about that. By the way, I have to mention the Lego movies and video games are fantastic too and enjoyable for the whole family.
Here are the Lego Bucket and Wooden Block Set that I would recommend getting started with:
- #3 Wooden Train Track–
We got our first wooden train set from Grandma when our oldest child was little. Grandma got it for her because all of her kids liked theirs so much. It wasn’t something our little girl had asked for, but when she saw it, her eyes lit up, and she played with it daily for hours at a time. We’ve added some more tracks and trains over the years which has been easy since it seems they’re all universal and fit pretty well with each other. It’s not only fun to set up, but the kids have to use their sense of ingenuity to figure out how to put the pieces together to make it work. Once it’s all set up, they can play and pretend the train is making deliveries and what not. Add their building blocks to the mix, and they can set up a whole town!
Here’s one I found on Amazon that looks pretty good:
- #4 Schleich Animals
Schleich animals are awesome! They’re durable, educational, very realistic looking, and offer some great imaginative adventures to be had. We started our collection when our little horse-loving girls wanted some toy horses to play with. They had a few Breyer horses, which are also nice, but the Schleich line has so many more animal choices. After a few birthdays and Christmasses, we had a decent size collection. These animals are one thing my kids still haven’t out grown. They love to dump out the bin, and organize the animals into groups, then they set them up, and play! They have all different animals from all over the world, even mythical ones like unicorns, fairies, and dragons.
We’ve had different doll houses and even barns over the years. Some things we’ve had to get rid of when we’ve moved due to space. Right now we have this Barbie house. It has it’s pros and cons, but in general, doll houses are lots of fun. I would suggest getting one that’s big enough to fit dolls the size of Barbies, since they’re such a popular toy, if you have girls. My little boy has the Imaginext Bat Cave, which is basically like a dollhouse for Batman and his other guys. They’re fun to set up, and my kids play little scenarios inside and out of their houses/playsets.
If I had it to do over again, I would probably get one like this KidKraft Sparkle Mansion. It looks huge, and it costs less than what I paid for our Barbie one:
- #6 Keyboard
Keyboards are great for little kids because they don’t have to know how to play it to make some beautiful music. As they get older, they can learn the notes and once they learn how to read music, they can play actual songs on it. Most keyboards also have buttons that play prerecorded songs and drum beats. They also have buttons that change the sounds of the music to sound like all different kinds of instruments. My kids like to jam out on it and dance to the music. It’s a great way to introduce music to your children’s lives at a young age, and they are so proud of themselves when they can show off the songs they’ve made. I’ve always wanted a piano in the house, but never had the space or money for one. Keyboards are a great alternative, and relatively inexpensive depending on what you’re looking for.
This 54 Keys Keyboard Electronic Digital Piano looks like it would be good for kids to play on, and not too expensive:
This year, I’d like to get the kids one of those easels with the paper on one side, and chalkboard on the other. I’m thinking about getting this one from Melissa and Doug:
What are some of the great toys your family has enjoyed playing with?