The holidays are coming and if your families are anything like mine so are the wish list requests. Everyone wants to know what gifts to give to kids, after all they are so much fun to buy for.
There are lots of choices out there, many of them are quite expensive, so it can be hard to know which choices are a good value. No one wants to overspend on junk. Never fear! I am here to help.
Over the last few weeks I have questioned dozens of parents to find out which toys are really worth the higher price tag. These toys are a good value because they last a long time, multiple kids can play together at once, or they are just plain awesome and get played with for hours. Every toy on this list has been suggested over and over again by experienced parents who have continued to be happy with their investment. Affiliate links are used throughout this post.
Best Building Toys for Kids
Parents almost unanimously agree that spending extra on building toys provides great value and I totally agree. They encourage open-ended play and can grow with kids.
These are a classic for a reason! There are tons of choices when it comes to LEGOs, but here are few favorites.
- LEGO Bricks & More 607 piece Creative Bucket
- LEGO Creator Family House
- LEGO Friends Jungle Rescue Base Building Set
Another building favorite, these magnetic shapes can be used to create all types of 3D structures. We like the Magformers Magnetic Building Construction Set – 62 Piece Designer Set for the variety of shapes.
Magna-Tiles® Clear Colors 100 Piece Set is another magnetic building set that can be used to create flat or 3D structures. These are fun on the light table if you have one.
Best Play Kitchens for Kids
Oh how kids love play kitchens! A good quality one can last you more than 10 years. There are tons of choices out there so try and choose something you (and not just your kids) will like for years.
Here are some reader favorites:
- KidKraft Uptown Espresso Kitchen
- Step 2 LifeStyle Dream Kitchen
- Melissa & Doug Cook’s Corner Wooden Kitchen
Best Outdoor Toys for Kids
Some of the coolest toys also help kids work off some excess energy outdoors!
- Strider Classic No-Pedal Balance Bike
- Radio Flyer The Ultimate Comfort Wagon
- Step2 Naturally Playful Sand & Water Center (We have this water table that we love too, the one with the umbrella was a mom favorite though!)
Another thing to consider for the backyard if you have the space is an outdoor play set. The type that works best for you will depend on how much space you have, your budget and what is available in your area.
Best Electronic Toys for Kids
If your kids are ready for electronics I kept hearing the same three recommended over and over again. We actually have owned a version of each and I can say they are worth the investment and built to grow with your kids’ needs if you think they are ready for them.
- LeapFrog LeapPad3 Kids’ Learning Tablet We were given these and my kids adore them. My 8 year old has learned her times tables from the School House Rock app and my 4 year old loves the learning games. When given the opportunity for screen time in our house these are the kids go-to choice. They have a pet chat feature for families that is like texting that my kids think is very cool.
- Kindle Fire HD 6 Kids Edition So many of the elementary parents recommended the Kindle Fire for both educational value and fun. The Kids’ Edition boasts parental controls, a 2 year guarantee, and a year’s worth of unlimited access to 5,000 books, movies, TV shows, educational apps, and games. At less than half the price of an iPad the Kindle Fire is worth a look.
- Apple iPad Mini If you already have Apple apps for kids on your phone or iPad then the iPad Mini may be a good choice for you. The tablet itself costs more but there are lots of free apps out there and if you already have a lot of Apple products it may actually be less of an investment for you. Just make sure to get a good case!
Best Dolls and Accessories for Kids
This is such a big category that it’s hard to really do it justice in a short amount of time. I almost skipped this section but certain brands and toys kept coming up so I wanted to at least share those!
- For small play sets the two most recommended sets were Little People and Playmobil.
- For high quality baby dolls parents like American Girl dolls and accessories.
- For dollhouses KidKraft dollhouses were the ones I heard most often. Our dollhouse is a KidKraft one that we’ve had for years.
The types of gifts on this list a great for a joint gift between kids or from a group of relatives. Instead of getting bunches of gifts you may not have room for having relatives go in on one big gift your child really wants can be a great idea.
Didn’t find everything you are looking for on this list? No worries!
I’ve joined together with over 75 bloggers for the ultimate gift guide collaboration! There are choices for every type of gift you have on your list. Woo hoo!
This Gift Guides for Kids Pinterest board is FULL of ideas and info as well.