Ah, Christmas. A time of joy, celebration and wondering what on earth to get the kids this year! I went on the hunt to find toys that are not just good value for money, but that actually keep kids interested for months or even years. I’ve learned the hard way that toys are not all created equal. You know the story. Your kid is obsessed with a (very expensive!) toy for a few days and then they lose interest. The toy ends up in a closet somewhere, taking up space while you hope it makes a comeback. Spoiler alert: It never does! Here are some parent approved toys that kids can’t seem to get enough of:
Ages 3 months +
It’s hard to describe just how much my daughter loves her stacking cups. Or how much I love stacking them just so I can watch her demolish the stack! They’re cheap and seemingly boring, but the little ones love them! They also help develop motor skills and the bright colors attract babies like moths to flame. A must-have!
Age 6 months +
This Amazon exclusive set, which is currently on sale on Amazon, includes the Fisher-Price Brilliant Basic Baby Blocks and their colorful stacking pyramid. The versatile blocks and rings can be stacked (resulting in epic slow motion destruction videos), scattered, chewed on, banged together and much more. They are a great learning toy and in constant rotation in and around our house and pretty much every nursery or daycare play room. This is a classic staple that every kid loves.
Ages 0 – 24 months
This little cow doesn’t look like much, but it has paid for itself many times over. It lives in our car now, because when our daughter gets a little fussy during a car ride, it keeps her happy for AGES. She still isn’t showing any sign of being bored of it after almost 9 months! It’s perfect for travel because it is compact, the batteries last forever and it can be flung around by an angry toddler without causing too much damage. Fair warning, it’s annoying if you’re trying to listen to music or don’t enjoy hearing the ABCs sung in a slightly nasal voice on repeat, BUT my little one grins from ear to ear when I turn it on. While the manufacturer specifies ages 0 – 24 months, my daughter didn’t show any interest in this until about 4 months and then it was love.
Ages 2 – 4 years
Obviously I would include this one! But in all seriousness, I think about some of the toys we have bought for our daughter, weigh the cost against the amount of time she ends up playing with them and most are just not worth it! But the Piki Piki Bike is just incredible value for money. I have seen my nephews as well as my neighbor’s daughter use their Piki Piki Bikes for YEARS. It is so encouraging to see them active and moving around in today’s screen saturated world. Without a doubt, this is a toy that keeps bringing joy (and keeps the kids busy) for a long, long time.
A ball pit is never ending, safe fun for kids, especially if you have more than 1 child, and the games you can play evolve with your child as they grow older. This one will be a favorite that sticks around. Not all balls are created equal, so be sure to look for crush proof, BPA free plastic balls. Be aware that until you can teach or bribe your child to pick up the balls at then end of the day, you will be getting in a lot of squats.
Written by Sean Spence and Anelda Spence
Sean is a music producer / recording studio owner / Piki Piki enthusiast and father of a very busy 1 year old. Anelda is a sound designer / songwriter / Piki Piki lover and mother of that same 1 year old.