One super fun thing about being a mom is that I get to shop for (and play with) toys! Christmas is a fairly simple affair in our house – one big family gift and then the kids draw names and each give one sibling a small gift – so I have to choose carefully! Here are a few toys that we either own or are on the “to own eventually either through Christmas or birthdays” list. These links are affiliate links, which means that buying through them supports this site at no cost to you. Thank you!
Awesome Gifts for Kids Aged 0-7
The Perfect Doll House
Mike will confirm that I have spent YEARS searching for the perfect doll house. I’m pretty in love with this one from Manzanita Kids. I’ve looked at modular doll houses before, and this one is by far the most versatile – with a nice open plan for multiple kids to share. We ordered this as our big family gift for this year.
Most years we purchase one large family gift, and then the kids give each other small gifts. Magna-Tiles were our big family purchase last year, and the kids have enjoyed them all year long! They are especially popular with four-year-old Lily. If you have a light table, the translucent ones are very cool!
I have had friends ooh and ahh over Wedgits for years, but I didn’t really see why they were so neat. It wasn’t until Lily came home from school all excited about them that I realized that this toy is a 3D puzzle of sorts (when used with idea cards) as well as a basic building toy. So cool! I love that they have come out with this translucent set for light tables and other fun play.
Emma got this set of LEGO Bricks for her birthday last year. The colors are great, and it was an easy way to add basic building bricks to our collection.
The LEGO Education DUPLO Brick Set is a great set for little kids.
My sister gave us this Melissa & Doug Wooden blocks set a few years ago, and it has provided hours of play! You can’t go wrong with a set of nice wooden blocks!
I said you can’t go wrong with wooden blocks, but sometimes it’s nice to have an alternative that doesn’t hurt when it gets thrown, or make a racket when a tall tower falls over. If you, say, have a sleeping baby plus a busy preschooler in the house, these Soft & Safe Building Blocks might be the way to go! My sister has a set at her house, and the kids love playing with them – so do I, actually. Because they are lightweight, you can get them to do things ordinary blocks won’t do.
Toys to Teach Problem Solving
I love Kumon maze books, and this Around the World book is my favorite! The mazes are challenging, but solvable, and kids get to know a few world landmarks at the same time – they can even check the landmarks off a world map as they complete the mazes. I only wish they would have taken the time to include a little information about each landmark.
Pretend Play Toys
Lego Castle Dragon Mountain caught my eye because it reminded me of the Lego castle sets I loved as a kid – not tied to a popular TV show or book, and built without too many large “special” pieces. The dragon looks pretty awesome, too!
This LEGO Education Community Minifigures set is the best way I have found to build up a minifigures collection without spending a fortune – especially if you watch for it to go on sale! My kids have been earning these little guys one at a time very slowly over the course of the past year. They get played with a ton! I only wish LEGO didn’t smother their female characters in makeup, but I consider these female figures infinitely better than the unbelievably thin with legs that don’t even move Lego Friends series.
For younger kids, I recommend the LEGO Education DUPLO Community People Set.
Our Favorite Baby Toy
The Alex Jr. Bop And Roll is my favorite baby toy – all four of my kids play with it! The wood balls make a neat sound as they roll across the floor, and it’s great for learning about cause and effect. If you have a child who throws everything, you might want to substitute softer balls, though!
Our top STEM Themed Toy
Snap Circuits is the only battery-operated toy to make my list! It’s an excellent introduction to circuit making! The flying saucer is our favorite setup for this toy.
What are your favorite toys?