After I posted about how we keep our home looking tidy and clutter free, I had a few questions about what do our kids actually play with on the regular since we run a pretty tight ship on what we keep around the house. So here’s a list of tried and true toys that my kids love and I don’t mind sitting around our house.
We try to keep imagination toys (building/make believe/etc) around, not entertainment toys (light up/blinking/singing plastic). I’ve found the imagination toys have a much longer shelf life and age span than the plastic, blinking variety. That said, each kid has a few beloved toys that don’t fall into the category of charming heirlooms but we just let that roll. We also don’t buy duplicate toys, everyone has to share (including birthday and Christmas gifts). So now that we’ve got that hippie mom disclaimer out of the way…on to the toy shelf!
Play Kitchen + shopping cart (doubles as a doll stroller!)
Magna-Tiles + Light table//I know there are less expensive magnet tile brands out there and we actually had a small set to start with. Now that we have the magna-tiles we wouldn’t go back. They’re sturdy (we’ve had a few cheapies break open) and the magnets always line up.
Wood blocks (for baby/for big kids)
car ramp + Brio tracks//My kids love pushing anything with wheels so the tracks and the car ramp just bring their car/train love up a level. It seems like Brio is less of a must-buy now as everyone from Ikea to Melissa and Doug have comparable tracks. Matt grew up with this brand and we have lots of hand-me-downs (and sentimentality!) with Brio so that’s what we have.
Dollhouse + little people (super heroes/princesses)//I will admit I am thrilled the kids love the dollhouse since I slaved away on it last year. Lucy even loves putting the dolls down the stairwell. Any old dollhouse would have fit the bill here but I don’t mind having a wood, classic style in my living room.
Dress Up Clothes (astronaut helmet/fireman/these tutus-more tutu ideas here) + playsilks//My kids love dressing up so we keep our Halloween costumes out and tutus on hand.
Dollies + moses basket//Lucy loves playing with dolls and stuffed animals. The other two kids can take it or leave it with baby pretend play. She loves the cradle her Grandpa Bruce made her along with the sweetest little moses basket.
Drum set//We have this one but would love this one if I had to do it again, I’d go for this.
Balance bikes (we have the Treehaus brand but will be getting Lucy this one)//I know we’re mostly talking indoor toys here but the kids use these bikes every single day. They ride to school, the park, and just cruise the backyard on the daily.
Bonus Big Kid Ideas
Puzzles (this brand never disappoints)
Art Supplies (these crayons/favorite sticker pads/paint)
Dominoes//We just have a big Mexican train set that the kids use to stack up, they aren’t kid specific.
Board games//Our big kids love playing an actual board game with us and we found this one to be fun but not annoying (I see you CandyLand).
other gift ideas here and here
Affiliate links used above. You buy? We get a slice of the pie with no additional cost to you. More information here. Thanks for keeping our toy boxes full, you’re the best!