Friday 23 September 2011

Lasting toys for children

"Lasting" is relative in this title. What I actually mean is that the toy keeps the child occupied over months and years and is likely to be used by younger siblings in time.

In many ways the best toys aren't conventional at all. Some favourites here are
  • sofa cushions for houses/dens/prisons/cages!
  • the shower cubicle which is a fairly longstanding rocket
  • duvets and pillows for mats/fights/tents/slides
  • mud

On to more conventional toys and games
In our house, these games have endured

  • The Spotty dog game. A fun method of learning numbers and counting to six.
  • Number dominoes.
  • The tummy ache game.
  • Scrabble
  • Monopoly
  • BigJigs and other wooden puzzles with strong boxes. I find tidiness a major challenge and anything with pieces without a strong box is a problem.
These are the toys that have lasted. Our younger children still play with these, some over a decade and a half, after they were originally brought.

  • Brio or other cheaper wooden equivalent train sets.Duplo
  • toy cars
  • dolls' house
  • pop-up tent
  • tea set and cooking things
Would love to know other families' favourite toys.


  1. When I married Michael, he came with Lego from when he was a child. So, technically we have Lego in our house, from Denmark, that is 40+ years old. :) I think most years we purchase some sort of Leg.

    Along with Lego, our other lasting purchased toys are:

    Uno (card game)

    Like you, we have used the cushions, blankest, quilts and such for tens, forts and the like.

    Out door toys have been all kinds of wooden guns and sticks for guns. They are hunters and protectors. :)

    Leaves for jumping into, but those are new every fall. ;)

    A hose and water for summer time fun.

    Those are the ones that come to mind for now.

    Happy playing to you and the children. :)


  2. Thank you, Carol.
    Lego was a big omission! Mainly because it is currently used out of sight of the youngest and so I forgot too. Definitely should have been on the list.

    Leaves are great at this time of year.
    Great to hear from you.


  3. Brio, Knex, and Lego blocks were favorites around here, but so were duck-tape, sand, water, pan lids, old electronic gadgets, wooden blocks, rocks, sticks, moss, rice and beans. The best toys didn't have batteries, made noise, or blinked. A child's imagination can do much better if given only half a chance. :-) Blessings!

  4. Couldn't agree more about the batteries!

  5. Very interesting! Does anybody have any idea how to store liftout puzzles? Finally, after becoming very exasperated, I've stored them in a 10 litre industrial icecream tub, all mixed up, and the children have nejoyed seeing if they could pick them out and put them in the different puzzles.

    Regarding Lego, we keep ours in the space underneath our armchair in a shallow long stack/store tub, 6 inches deep. It makes it easy to store but always at hand if we need it and out of sight if we don't. I don't bother with a lid any more so that if I find a piece lying around I can just pop it in the tub.

    If we have visitors and I think the children are getting a bit out of hand, I just bring out the big tub and put it in the middle of the dining room table, then suggest they try to make a particular model if they don't have any inspiration of their own. It has saved the day many times, and no mess!

    Elisabeth Woodhams

  6. Elisabeth-I really like your Lego idea. I might copy a version of this-there is an very suitable space under the sofa!

    We have similar issues with lift out puzzles although recently I have started storing them in used parcel bags. They need resellotaping each time but it has worked relatively well.