Choosing the best toys for kids can be a daunting task.
Finding a gift your four-year-old won’t cast aside a mere ninety seconds after ripping off the wrapping paper is like finding a needle in a haystack. So, which are the best toys for kids?
As caregivers, we search to find that perfect balance between a learning toy and a toy so engaging it will keep our child entertained long enough for us to drink our coffee while it’s still steaming hot.
Toys for boys and toys for girls – Toys do not have a gender.
So how will you find that perfect toy?
Does that winning toddler toy or creative way to play for a five-year-old even exist?
I pay close attention to what my children have played with and which toys got tossed aside each year.
Besides searching for the best sellers, I am also looking for the best toys for the long term. I want to spend my money wisely and know I am investing in a toy that my boys will not hide away in the playroom.
With three children ages seven and under, we have tested plenty of toys and are here to report our favorite toys for kids!
RELATED: Give yourself the gift of understanding how your child learns through play with the WONDER: Playing to Learn online course.
Play and toys are essential in the early years.
Younger children need toys that encourage problem-solving, exploration and develop fine motor strength, not to mention creativity, imaginary play, and self-esteem.
Older children need toys that take these skills and continue to add upon prior knowledge. We want toys that expand play into a timeless web that captures the love of discovery.
We all need toys that encourage imaginative play and that our children will play with for many years – no more one-and-done toys.
These are the best toys for kids.
What toys should every kid have?
We know that play sets the foundation for future learning.
Touching and manipulating open-ended toys now will serve your child down the road as they begin to read in a textbook about the objects they had a chance to TOUCH in the early years.
We talk all about the importance of play a lot here at Days with Grey!
Simply put, children learn by doing, and kids need toys that prompt thinking.
We know this.
Giving children a chance to play with the best toys in the early years is like a golden ticket to their future. Kids that know how to play will move mountains.
The best toys for kids allow them to learn through their inquiry, creativity, and problem-solving.
Now that is a true gift!
The best toys for kids start here.
This toy list has several categories for every age, stage, and desire to play.
CLICK THE IMAGE FOR THE TOY LIST
- 30 Toys for One-Year-Olds – What do you get a baby for their first birthday or holiday? I am looking for something that a baby can grasp with their hands and experiment with their thoughts. Here are my favorite gifts for one-year-olds.
- Toys for Two-Year-Old Toddlers – Why are toddlers the most difficult to shop for? Is it because they are slowly gaining independence with their play yet have a short attention span? Perhaps. Allow me to take the stress off of finding the perfect gift. After raising three toddlers, I can tell you which toddler toys are top-notch for inspiring play.
- Toys for Older Kids – Older kids love toys that capture their imagination and interests. Our list includes indoor and outdoor games, toys, and even craft supplies that will pique the curiosity of your favorite early elementary kiddo!
Favorite Toys that are Timeless and Intentional
- Top Open-Ended Forever Toys – This gift list contains the handpicked, open-ended, hands-on toys that inspire play. These are toys we have in our home and have used for years.
- Block Play – Remember building towers in school or at your neighbor’s house? Good news! Blocks are still a foundational and creative way to play. We had listed some of the original sets that will take you back in time and some you only dreamed of having when you were younger.
- Toys under $25 – Who needs stocking stuffers that aren’t candy or another pair of gloves? After 13 years of teaching and five years of parenting three boys, I have found great resources for your preschoolers to use every day. This gift list is all under $25 and will not disappoint.
- Outdoor Toys for Kids – Want to know my secret to getting kids over the late afternoon hump? It is going directly outside between nap/quiet time and bedtime. Rain or shine, here are our favorite ways to play in the backyard or on the go.
- Art and Craft Supplies for Kids – What are basic art supplies? What should be in a preschool art center? Find it all here. This gift guide includes our favorite Ikea Art Cart, along with what we put inside to get started.
- STEM and Math Toys – Encouraging your child’s love for STEM learning is a smart move. Especially since understanding math, science, technology, and engineering are almost all hands-on. Allow your mathematician to soar with these STEM toys.
- Alphabet Toys – I want my preschoolers to become familiar with the lines and curves that form a letter, along with being able to toss the letters into a sensory bin for hands-on learning. From setting up your Breakfast Invitations to Sensory play, this letter supply list is pretty versatile! Here, you will find a detailed list of letter activities from Amazon we own, trust, and love. You don’t need to own a ton. Just a few that you can use in a couple of different ways!
Other Toy Lists We Love
- Melissa and Doug Favorite Toy List – We want our children to spend less time on tablets and more time playing. But some struggles come along for the ride.
- Essential Breakfast Invitation Must-Haves – Okay, if I were stranded on an island with only 10 Breakfast Invitation supplies, which ones would I bring? You don’t want to miss this!
- Experience Gifts for Kids – Looking to spend more time together? We are too! I searched for nine inspiring ways to come together as a family and enjoy new experiences together. Get one of these events on your calendar today! (Post LIVE on November 13th)
- Small Business Gift Guide -Looking to support a small shop (or few) this holiday season? I am! This small business gift guide is here to help. No affiliate links. Just small shops that work hard to deliver excellent products.
- 2020 Toy List – Here is a collection of toys we tried in 2020.
Open-ended toys unlock thoughts, ideas, and creative thinking.
This holiday season, inspire your young learners with intentional toys.