advice

My Top 20

So this post is a little different from some of my “regular” posts … no major insights today … no significant bits of wisdom to carry you through your day … but a helpful post nonetheless … whether you’re looking to purchase toys for your own children or as a gift for friends, nieces, nephews, or grandchildren, I hope this list of tried and true toys … toys that have stood the test of time in our house … serves you in some way today! 

There’s nothing I hate more than purchasing gifts and toys for kids that sit on a shelf and NEVER get played with!

Here are a few of our favourites … 

  1. Marble Run – we bought this one for Christmas in 2019 and it gets pulled out and played with again and again and again … all three of our children seem to enjoy this “toy.”
  2. Magnetic Blocks – we just got these for Christmas in 2020. Though they haven’t been in our house long, they have ALREADY provided HOURS and HOURS and HOURS of entertainment for the kids … I love how creative kids can be with these too! It’s amazing to see what they come up with! We also have a small set similar to these … and they’re super fun too (and perfect to take along when we travel)!
  3. Puzzle Peg Board – these were also a gift for Christmas 2020! Our three-year-old has come back to this toy again and again and again … a great little learning tool for colour-matching! We definitely could have purchased this gift earlier for her 🙂
  4. Magnetic Drawing Board – this toy is always handy in our family and has been used by all the kids again and again over the years. 
  5. Gear Building Set – I actually got one of these at a Rummage Sale one time for super cheap. It’s stored in my office, and anytime I have “visitors,” they love creating with this set! 
  6. Design & Drill Screwdriver Peg Set – we have a set similar to this. It’s been a fun little toy for the kids.
  7. Wooden Train Set – we only have this small train set (so far), but we tend to come back to it again and again!
  8. Science Lab Kit – we got this kit in late 2019. It’s been a fun set for the kids. They love the experiments, of course, but even just having the goggles, test tubes, beakers, and squirters is fun! It HAS even ended up in the bathtub a few times!
  9. Melissa & Doug Food Sets – these are all great … durable and fun!
  10. MegaBlocks – we got a big set of these when my oldest daughter was little, and they still get used all of the time! 
  11. Basic Wooden Block Sets – we’ve used these and these over and over in our house (with all three kids) … they’re great for building, for teaching patterns, and even for helping with addition and subtraction or multiplication and division later on.
  12. LEGO – sets are great, of course (so much skill-building), but a bin of random LEGO also presents a world of opportunity! I am always impressed with what the kids create! We’ve been gifted a ton of LEGO (thankfully, because it’s expensive)! LEGO is definitely a favourite pastime in our house!
  13. LEGO Duplo – we got this small set for Christmas (in 2020)! It’s been a hit with the younger kids! We could definitely add to our Duplo collection! I actually wish I would have started collecting these years ago!
  14. This Cash Register opens up a whole world of creative play! The kids love playing restaurant and “store,” of course, and I love the opportunity to teach a little bit about money with this toy.
  15. Kinetic Sand – we love kinetic sand and moon sand and have got a couple of kits over the years, but it is MESSY! Though I used to let the kids play this in the house, we restrict this activity to outside now for easy cleanup! 
  16. Indoor Swings – we now have three of these hanging in our basement (one for each kid) … they are super fun for the kids and have got a TON of use! 
  17. Pop Beads – these have been a fun toy for the kids over the years too … they create and recreate special jewelry for themselves and others again and again.
  18. Water Beads – these are super fun too, but the mess does make me a little anxious sometimes! It’s been awhile since we’ve had any of these to play with, but it may be time to whip some up again soon! I think I’ll wait for cooler temperatures … 
  19. Play Dough – there are so many fun sets out there, like this popcorn playdoh set and this barbershop playdoh set, but a few basics (or kitchen tools with some fresh play dough) do the trick too! 
  20. Hair Mannequin Head – this has been a hit with my oldest daughter … she’s able to practice her hair styling skills with this mountable doll like braiding, straightening, and curling. We have one similar to this. She’s always proud of her creations!

There you have it …  my current TOP 20! 

You’ve probably noticed a bit of a theme! I love toys that encourage creativity! I also love toys that can be used again and again in many different ways! These are a few of my favourites … right now, my kids are almost 10, 7.5, and almost 3.5. They’re girls, but I’m not sure it matters … many of these toys are NOT gender-specific … I believe girls AND boys would have a lot of fun with these toys!

I truly hope this list serves you in some way today … there’s value in INVESTING in good-quality, “again and again” toys …

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