Every year there are lists of trendy toys on the market. For us, classic toys for kids are always going to rank highest on our gift guide lists. It’s sooner rather than later that the only thing your kids will want are electronics and video games, so now’s your time to stick with the classic gift ideas that will keep your kids’ imaginations engaged.
We compiled our classic toy gift guide with longevity in mind to get the most for your money. In our experience, these are the toys that kids tend to use over and over, and almost all of these classic toys encourage open ended creative play.
Classic Toys Gift Ideas
Blocks and Building Toys
You can’t go wrong with buying blocks and building toys for kids. Blocks are one of those toys that will be used consistently throughout the year.
Blocks are wonderful tools to help develop fine motor skills and hand eye coordination. MagnaTiles can seem like an investment upfront, but trust us, they are fun for even parents to build with.
We also love large foam blocks or cardboard bricks for building large structures fast. They are also more forgiving for toddlers just learning their stacking skills. Bonus: The foam blocks are soft, so they don’t make loud noises when they crash, which we greatly appreciate.
Toddlers love to vacuum and clean if they have their own cleaning tools. Get a pint-sized toy vacuum that actually works and you can reap some of the rewards too!
There is nothing sweeter than watching your baby take care of their own baby. Here are some cute and classic baby dolls. Choose from realistic dolls or soft cuddly dolls depending on your kid’s age and personality. This is an especially great gift for kids who are about to become big sisters or brothers.
Don’t forget the accessories! Pro tip: Doll cradles and toy strollers double as storage for dolls and stuffed animals when not in use.
A dollhouse may be the most classic of all classic toys. The only problem you’ll have here is deciding which one you’ll pick. There are so many adorable options on the market that we had a tough time narrowing down the selection. My daughter has been steadily using her dollhouse since she received it at two years old (we have the white one below).
Whether you opt for a classic wooden dollhouse or the ultimate Barbie Dreamhouse (our co-founder’s daughter’s favorite gift of all time!), is entirely up to you.
Fort Making Cushions
Tired of your kids using your couch cushions to make their own forts? Invest in some of these foam cushions and shapes now for hours of entertainment and flopping time for your kids. PN Team Member Alice says her son uses theirs every single day! Add in some tunnels for ultimate fort making possibilities.
Have a kid who’s always dying to help with dinner? We highly recommend a helping tower for your home. While not a toy, this is a gift your child will love having. We all know a tiny little helper in the kitchen can be anything but actual help. These learning towers help keep your child contained and safely involved.
We love these indoor playground toy gift options for gross motor development. If you have a wiggly kid with lots of energy, you know how important it is that they can use their body and move every single day, rain or shine. Indoor balance beams, rockers and little climbers are a great way to get the wiggles out and use those climbing skills.
Indoor Playhouses and Tents
There are so many sweet tents and playhouses on the market to inspire pretend play. And if you don’t have the space for the fort cushions above, these are a great space-saving alternatives that fold down when not in use.
So many of the toys on our list are learning toys. Pretend play and creative play are some of the most important learning kids can do, but traditional learning toys are great, too. We love learning toys that can also be used in creative play, like color matching dinos that can then go on their own adventures. Or shape matching eggs that can be used in the play kitchen.
Pretty alphabet puzzles help with letter recognition and can be used to spell simple words. We also love this personalized name board for kids to practice writing their own name. My kids were always begging for homework when they were preschoolers (if only that lasted!).
Gifts for infants and young babies are tricky because there isn’t much they can play with yet. Baby playgyms make great gifts for babies. Infants love to look up at the hanging toys and begin to reach and grab for them—an important milestone! Babies who can sit will love an activity chair to explore once they’ve outgrown their playgym.
I bought our first play kitchen when my son was just 20 months old, and it has proven to be a classic toy in my home. It’s received steady play from all three of my children and is still holding strong. (We have the Hape stove and fridge down below.) We added the fridge later, and it works wonderfully as storage for all the play food.
Nothing beats a bike with a bow on it for wow factor. Balance bikes, scooters and trikes make excellent gifts for older toddlers and preschoolers who are ready to ride. These adorable options come in so many great colors.
Who asked for a pony when they were a kid? We can answer that call, and we even have ride-on unicorns! The Radio Flyer Bumper Car below has lived in my house for over ten years and has been lovingly used by three kids. The 360 wheels are key for a kid to actually be able to ride around the house with ease. (Pro tip: leave out the batteries if you don’t want to use the crashing sounds.)
Any stacking toy is a classic toy for babies and toddlers. My kids LOVED nesting cups and stacking rings. The options now are even cuter and will look pretty even sitting on the shelf of your nursery.
Have you ever noticed when a play garage is out, all the kids head over to it? The ramps, slides and elevator prove to be fun, generation after generation. Maybe your car enthusiast will enjoy storing some of their cars in these truck baskets, too!
A starter train set is a perfect holiday gift for a preschooler, and one of the ultimate classic toys. Pro tip: Invest in high quality tracks that are easy for little hands to put together.
Workbench and Tools
If you have a little handy helper in your home, get them started with their very own toy tool box or play workbench for loads of imaginative play and working on those building skills!
What are the classic toys that are most used in your home? What kids gifts are you buying?
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