The Best Investment Toys Which Stand The Test of Time
With Holiday season around the corner, one thing on everybody's minds is gifting. I'm all for some festive spirit, but accumulating a million kids toy parts throughout the year is something I've come to really disliked. We've all been in that position where we've found the cutest ice-cream cart with a hundred different pieces, which end up getting lost within a week, and almost every mama I know has a box of all the small parts from all the toys that just gets larger and larger.
So here, I've rounded up a list of toys that have truly stood the test of time. And what I mean by that is that these are the toys that we've had use out of for 1, 2, 3 years and I'm sure will continue to be of use for years for come. They wear well, they don't come with hundreds of moving parts and they grow well with your child. All Products are linked below.
V Tech Toy Train - this is one baby toy that really has surprised me. It was gifted to us at my baby shower and was a toy I kept in our nursery. When my first-born was very small he'd enjoy playing with all the many buttons on the side, which light up and play music. As he got older, he'd sit on the train, and throughout his toddler years he has used it as a racing train to whizz up and down the house - my first born is now almost three and still uses this weekly
Ball Pit - simple and sweet, a ball pit is a very reasonable toy that can be moved from room to room and really does make for a great investment. You can get so many variations of ball pits, from a classic shape, to one with tunnels and adjoining tents
Kidkraft Lego Table - more suitable for a toddler, we love this particular Lego Table because it comes with 3 storage buckets tucked neatly below, and also opens and closes so the kids can tidy up once they're done
Painting Easel - again, there are multiple variations of these depending on your budget, but this really does go a very long way. There are many options that double up as a chalk board on one side and a painting board on the other. I'd recommend investing in one that has some storage options as it's nice to keep all your painting equipment all in one place, or else you find everything goes missing very easily!
Mud Kitchen - we absolutely love this Toy, it works well if you have a garden space or terrace / balcony space. The concept is purely to get your hands dirty, as the name implies, think mud pies, soil and leaves, we add jars of lentils, rice and pasta, and often a bucket of ice, anything that mixes well. I recommend investing in one that has some storage space for utensils. There are also options that can connect to your water supply and allow the kitchen taps to work, if your Mud Kitchen comes with taps
Playhouse - there are endless options for play houses, you can go all out and get a wooden structure, you can take it one step further and get a wooden structure on stilts creating a tree house, you can get a plastic one which wears much better over time and is more reasonably priced - the possibilities are endless. I've linked the company I used for our Play House and Mud Kitchen at home as there are many beautiful design options which can give you some good ideas. For a plastic alternative, I recommend the Little Tikes brand
Bouncy Castle - there are multiple variations of these, depending on the size you're looking for and the ages of your children. I'd recommend investing in a slightly larger size so that it can be used throughout the years if your family expands and for playdates
Toy Kitchen - this is by far my top investment pick, my babies started playing with this as soon as they could walk, and it is still used daily. There are also endless add-on options which make for good presents throughout the years (pan sets, utensils, toy food). Some popular toy kitchen options are the Ikea Kitchen (which we have at home) which is a great price and can be seriously dressed up, all you need to do is head to Pinterest to see how people have Pimped out their Toy Ikea Kitchens. Other great options are the Marshmallow Play Kitchen and Le Toy Van Oxford Kitchen
Melissa and Doug Snacks and Sweets Cart - there are several variations of this, from a Lemonade Cart to a Grocery Cart - they make for hours and hours of independent and creative play and last through the years
Swing Set - similar to the Play House, there are a range of options here depending on how much you want to spend. The wooden sets have much more longevity but come with a significantly bigger price tag. We've had our Little Tikes plastic swing set for 2 years now, and have got so much use out of it, it's also very easy to move around and it has lasted very well. I've linked two options here, the Little Tikes Swing Set and the Backyard Discovery Swing Set.
Ducati Bike - this comes in two versions, a toddler version and a young adult version. It is an electric bike with peddles and requires a weekly charge. My kids started using this (with supervision and help) as early as 15 months, and it is an absolute favourite of ours
Melissa and Doug Wooden Cleaning Set - it's a weird obsession but most children love to clean. So if you really want to give your kids (and yourself) a special gift, give them some well made cleaning utensils they can actually do some real cleaning with! Melissa and Doug toys are always excellently made and really do last well