Looking for a toy for a child that won’t be donated in the January organizing push? Are you in the middle of a pre-Christmas playroom purge? Or maybe you’re like me and are always on a mission to simplify your life. I’m constantly trying to balance my wanna-be minimalist desires with my love for all things crafty, kiddie, educational, or beautiful.
As a homeschool mom with a child development background, I think toys are so important for children! But, at least in my experience, it has been impossible to keep all the toys!
So from my home to yours, here are 10 toys that have survived dozens of purges over the years.
I hope this list is helpful when you’re shopping for gifts or considering what to keep in your playroom!
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1. Dress Up
Quality dress up clothes get SO much playtime at our house. My oldest daughter is on a Princess kick, and one of our favorite companies has been Storybook Wishes Dress Up. We have the Snow White dress. It’s GORGEOUS and has held up really well!
2. Shape Sorters
I’ve saved just a few toys for a someday Rainbow baby, and this was one of my top choices. It’s great for several developmental skills and has elements that are fun for little babies and toddlers. Plus it’s easy to store for easy entertainment for young visitors and is a fantastic price!
I think art sets are perfect gifts for children. You can pick and choose a specific project or supplies based on the child’s interest, you don’t have to have a subscription, and it keeps you from needing to have a bajillion art supplies on hand like I do. This ALEX toys sewing kit has been one of our favorites!
4. Duplo Sets
All of my children LOVE Duplos. I try to snatch up any I find at thrift stores, but sometimes we invest in a new set because they’re fantastic, sturdy toys that are great for fine motor skills and imaginative play. Our Duplos can keep my kids’ attention for a loooong time even the bigger kids. And they aren’t as painful if you step on them. This Mickey Mouse Clubhouse set has been their favorite because of the fun airplane.
This Schylling cupcake tea set has been going strong for a few years after hours of play and still looks adorable! We keep it in a cute storage suitcase for easy cleanup. It’s a great size for little hands–small without being too small and has withstood heavy use with siblings and friends.
We have had this set for five years, and we still love it! My 6 & 8-year-olds love exploring with it on their own, and it’s still fun for younger ones with an older sibling or grownup. Durable, educational (STEM), great price, and FUN! Perfect toy combo.
Most of this list is fine motor toys, but one of my boys is as active and strong as they come so we’ve tried and broken a lot of gross motor toys! My sister gave us this teetor popper a few years ago, and it has been loved by all. We’ve enjoyed all of the Fat Brain toys we’ve used.
8. Melissa & Doug Toys
Melissa & Doug toys rock! It can be tempting to buy all the toys because they are great quality! Two from this company that have survived all of the playroom purges in our home are the Melissa & Doug Felt Food Sandwich set and their Pattern Blocks set.
Our family loves us some Lego, but have you also tried K’nex? They could be a great addition or alternative for your building collection. We only have two sets, but I think there’s lots of playtime and interest left even after enjoying them for several years.
10. Card and Board Games
Are you a card game family or board game family? We love both! I have to keep our stash carefully curated so it doesn’t overrun our game storage space. A huge card game favorite in our house the past two years has been GUBS. We have also loved everything we’ve purchased from the Learning Resources company. This Mental Blox game/toy has been loved by babies (just the blocks) up to 5th-grade friends who have played the strategy game cards.
What are the classic toys that survive purges in your house? I’d love to hear your favorites!
You can read about more of the This Blue Dress sisters’ favorite things here!