Top 10 Toys

Between Black Friday tomorrow and Christmas less than one month away, I figured I would share my kids favorite go-to toys. We really try to buy open ended toys in our household.

Open-ended: there is no “end” point, there is always room for a different interpretation and imagination.
Close-ended: there is an “end” point..for example you hit a button it makes a sound and it is over.

All these toys are also played with EVERYDAY by BOTH of my kids..a 1.5 year old and a newly 5 year old. Obviously they play with them in different ways, which is why open ended toys are great.

Are these toys cheap? Nope, but they will be played for YEARS through multiple children if need be. They also re-sell awesome on Facebook marketplace if you chose to. Many of them I plan to save for my hopeful future grandchildren.

Bonus points if you take any of these options and find them made by a local business or Etsy. I am sharing the Amazon/Walmart links, buying from a small business is always better!

At the bottom, I will share some things I got for Christmas, but can’t confirm their greatness yet.


1. Magnetic tiles.
We have two brands, I like this brand better.

2. Bucket of animals
Walmart has a bunch of different bucket types by Adventure force. I would always recommend checking Etsy for options, too.

3. Shape sorter

4. Hape Marble Run
HAPE! HAPE! HAPE! If we have ever talked towns, you have heard me mention the company Hape. If you are looking for awesome open-ended non-toxic toys…it’s the answer. Plus, it can be ordered on Amazon.

5. Grimm’s rainbow stackers & nesting cubes
Grimm’s is another go-to open-ended non-toxic (that’s a lot of hyphens) toy brand. We have their large rainbow wooden boxes and stacking rainbow. I want some of their puzzle stackers in the future.

6. Play dough & play dough toys
EVERYDAY. Some people stress about the mess, not my style, but if you do a tip is to just leave it on the floor until it hardens then vacuum it up. We have two brands of non-toxic play dough – Aroma Dough and Green Toys. Aroma Dough smells better and is prettier, but Green Toys seems to last longer. Regardless, since it is non-toxic you will have to replace it every 3-6 months.

Play dough toys rock, but cookie cutters work just as good in a pinch.

7. Action figures, barbies, dolls
Our current additions to stacking, house building etc…are Avenger & Frozen characters. We have this for Remedy’s first doll, a great plastic free organic option!

8. Puzzles
BIG floor puzzles rock and take quite a while to do. Wooden puzzles are great & their parts can also be used for imagination place elsewhere. Even though, I don’t love the Melissa & Doug brand..they usually have the best options for wooden puzzles & huge floor puzzles. The ABC train is still a daily go to.

9. Books
I mean, do we really need to go over the benefits of books? ALL THE BOOKS. I am little nutty about books. I try to read at least 10 books a day to my kids. Sometimes I’m over, sometimes its 3 and mom is tired. Our everyday faves are Dr. Seuss. Most of these below I could read to you without looking at the pages, bonus points for when I can find them in board books so they hold up longer.

10. Art supplies

9 times out of 10 when one of the grandparents ask what we want/need for the kids, we say art supplies. Markers, colored pencils, paper, paint always need replenishing. All the giant Crayola coloring pages rock. The brush set below is always a huge bargain and awesome.

11. BONUS: Kitchen supplies
Another plug for Hape, we have their play kitchen, food, etc. These cuttable wooden food sets are a must.

Most of these are to keep busy bodies active inside this Illinois winter.

Air Fort
So freakin’ stoked about this

Wooden Wobble Board

Cuttable cake

Inflatable jump house

Indoor toddler playground

THE END, finally! Honestly if you need even more ideas, reach out! If this list helps one person not buy some plastic close ended piece of crap, it was a success!


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