Which toys stand the test of time

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toddler building block
For imaginations always at play
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Find out which toys stand the test of time to grow with your kids

Children are easy to shop for Ė a little too easy. Playrooms, bedrooms, cars, closets and basements can only hold so many things. Theyíre not complaining, but few parents are fond of the piles of forgotten toys that accumulate under each new layer of birthday and holiday gifts.

Next time friends ask what your children want or need, consider which toys stand the test of time. The items children continue to seek out arenít necessarily the most expensive or the biggest and they rarely have all the bells and whistles. The reasons they avoid the bottom of the toy box are pretty simple.

Every child is different so itís impossible to predict which gifts will be played with once or twice and forgotten before the decorations are put away. However, many classic toys for little ones share a few qualities. They're versatile, serve as a simple canvas for the imagination and consistently make the kiddies giggle.

These durable, timeless, frequently-used toys donít leave behind a mess or create loud distracting noises. They hold even the shortest of attention spans and lend themselves to either solitary or group play. Best of all, they sneakily develop skills and encourage imagination.

Building blocks

Ask a parent which toys stand the test of time and youíre all but guaranteed to hear some type of building block. From Legos and wood block sets to Lincoln Logs, these sets offer a challenge for children of all ages. Odds are most parents remember playing with a similar version when they were kids.

Blocks that fit or link together facilitate freestyle play time and are a first step towards more intricate architecture toys. At first it can take young ones a little time to understand how the pieces fit together, but they persevere. For parents, itís a wonderful thing to watch them building some of the things they see around town or in books, like castles, homes and farms.


Puzzles have long since aced the test of time. Yes they take up space while under construction and itís a bit frustrating when pieces go missing, but itís a small price to pay for a night of family fun. Piecing together a puzzle is a relaxing activity kids can do with grandparents, friends, siblings or alone on a rainy day.  

Outdoor toys

If you want to give them something theyíll use every day (except in winter), simple outdoor toys are the way to go. Many kids naturally want to be outside running around, exploring, chasing and being chased. Frisbees, bubbles, balls, jump ropes and sidewalk chalk channel their energy and never get old. Head to a park on a weekend and youíll see tons of people of all ages playing catch or Frisbee.

For keeping kids outside and limiting the time they spend sitting in front of screens, scooters, bikes and wagons are the big winners. Wagons can haul an afternoon-load of pebbles, wildflowers and other treasures, or serve as superhero vehicles or tired kid transportation provided a bigger person is willing to pull!

Scooters and bikes play starring roles in many childhood memories for good reason. Learning to ride is hard but so rewarding when they finally stay up. Plus the thrill of flying down the driveway powered by their own bodies is worth every inch of space taken up in the off-season.


Buy it or make and scent it yourself. Either way, Play-Doh is simply fun. Donít be surprised to find your grandchildren playing with it someday. Accessories like plastic utensils for cutting and adding texture, cookie cutters, pipe cleaners and googly eyes help them take their creations to another level.

Itís no surprise which toys stand the test of time. As long as kids have access to these items, good times are only minutes away.

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