If you were to pick one toy? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 30 Old 05-02-2012, 09:43 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm looking for toy suggestions...

 

I'd like the toy to be able to:

 

*be very open ended

*be of use to all ages

*be "natural" minded...some plastic is okay, blingy technology is not

 

Thanks for your ideas!


"If you keep doing the same things you've always done, you'll keep getting the same results you've always gotten."

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#2 of 30 Old 05-02-2012, 10:07 AM
 
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Legos would be my choice as the thing that has gotten the most years of play, here. But the small ones are a chocking hazard therefore not an all ages toy. They are also difficult for many kids under 4 and 5 to manipulate without help. There are duplos (bigger ones) for toddlers and preschoolers but I suspect that size isn't as long lasting in play as the small ones. My ds never seemed very interested in duplos. And there are some kids who don't like legos at all. 


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#3 of 30 Old 05-02-2012, 10:24 AM
 
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lego  except for those under 3

 

 

if youa re really antiplastic then i would say unit blocks, except beond age 8 or so they are not really going to be interested in those too much.

 

It is pretty hard to find a toy that will appeal or be safe to all ages, I think you have to go with what will appeal to the widest range. 2-8 at the most for blocks, 3-adult for lego.  My 6 year old will play with unit blocks, mu 8 year old rarely, and thye both tend to use the blocks in other play, so you've got 2 or 3 types of toys being used with the blocks, not just playing alone with blocks (like cars with blocks, or army men with blocks)

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#4 of 30 Old 05-02-2012, 10:24 AM
 
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For outside, I'd say Bigwheels.  I still think those are the best classic toys ever.

 

Large motor for inside, I'd say a Peanut shaped ball.  They make different sizes, and the 60 cm( third size up) is the most useful.    We have the smaller and the third size, but they only like the third.  They do crazy tricks on  them.

 

Then, for small motor, I like a wooden block set with "extras" .  By Extras, I mean tiny animals, or cars, or road... then I rotate the extras, but the blocks stay the same.

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#5 of 30 Old 05-02-2012, 10:27 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Just1More View Post


*be of use to all ages

 

 

I don't think this exist. The toys that have lasted the most years at our house where a brio train and legos, but neither of those are truly of use to *all* ages. Everything has a range, some things just have a bigger range.

 

My kids didn't like legos until they were about 7, which is a lot later than some kids. We still have tons of lego and recently they got drug out and played with again (my kids are 13 and 15).

 

The brio train also lasted far longer than most toys, but they did outgrow it. We kept it because it is such an awesome toy, and we drag it out when people with small children come over. It can be played with by a wide age range.

 

Other great toys at our house were baby dolls (and paraphernalia), balls, a wading pool, and playdough.

 

A wooden house stable (and paraphernalia) also worked well for open ended play for years and years.


but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#6 of 30 Old 05-02-2012, 10:30 AM
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#7 of 30 Old 05-02-2012, 10:49 AM
 
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It is hard to think of what older kids and  infants and toddlers could play with safely and would all want to play with.

 

I think a ball is the friendliest all-ages toy choice. A ball could be used in many different ways.

 

I can think of toys that have a wide age range like blocks, a sand box with sand toys or some kind of play dough or clay.


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#8 of 30 Old 05-02-2012, 10:53 AM
 
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Water was actually my first thought for an all ages plaything. But most people wouldn't categorize it as a toy.


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#9 of 30 Old 05-02-2012, 10:54 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post

I don't think this exist. The toys that have lasted the most years at our house where a brio train and legos, but neither of those are truly of use to *all* ages. Everything has a range, some things just have a bigger range.

 

My kids didn't like legos until they were about 7, which is a lot later than some kids. We still have tons of lego and recently they got drug out and played with again (my kids are 13 and 15).

 

The brio train also lasted far longer than most toys, but they did outgrow it. We kept it because it is such an awesome toy, and we drag it out when people with small children come over. It can be played with by a wide age range.

 

That was my thought as well.

 

If space is no issue, I guess something like a trampoline would also be good for lots of ages.


 

 

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#10 of 30 Old 05-02-2012, 11:05 AM
 
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Architectural blocks (esp. the higher quality ones, like haba).  They are pretty awesome even for teenagers/adults since they're more interesting than basic blocks, useful with any kind of small person/animal other toy, and usually safe for young kiddos to.

 

 

Skyballs are pretty fun too (like a softball with nylon tail) as would be frisbees (the cloth ones are a lot easier for younger kids to use, too).

 

 

Paint.

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#11 of 30 Old 05-02-2012, 11:05 AM
 
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While not actually a "toy", and more of a family member in my books, I would say a cat or dog.  Our cat has been interacting wonderfully with DS since he was just little and my sister and I had an awesome cat growing up who allowed us to dress her in doll clothes and take her for a ride in our doll stroller (among other things).

 

Other things, while not ALL ages but pretty broad, would be play silks.  When DS was younger, they were great for playing peek-a-boo, now he likes to toss them in the air (and still play peek), and pretend that he's wearing a cape.  Down the road they can be used for all types of imagination play, from dress-up to fort building, etc.


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#12 of 30 Old 05-02-2012, 11:29 AM
 
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Action figures/dolls. My kids have always enjoyed them and I have an adult sibling that still very much enjoys them.

My dh got a Lego set for Easter and has been so happy with it. My baby mostly plays with the Lego people. So an all age toy, but very different type of play.

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#13 of 30 Old 05-02-2012, 11:59 AM
 
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If only one choice, and without any plastic - I'd pick one of the (german?) small rainbow wood stacking bowl or arch sets like this - http://www.amazon.com/Rainbow-Nesting-Stacking-Small-Outside/dp/B000Y2MOQM which are so high quality, can be teethed on, "cooked" with in play kitchen, build a tower out of, hide things in them when stacked with one inverted, lightweight and pack-able, share-able/dividable between siblings, not gendered, still look good after heavy use (dirt, washing, etc even if not so bright any more),etc etc. Lots of use here but my oldest is only nearly 6.

 

In the not for babies but going up to an older age-range catagory, I'd definitely say tinker toys and wood train sets, and other small-part building fun.

 

And the *only* plastic toy I've actually asked family to buy us are the clear colored MagnaTiles - http://www.amazon.com/Magna-Tiles-Clear-Colors-piece-set/dp/B000CBSNKQ 

which my kid has played with from ages 2 to 6 with no loss of interest and are of equal interest to kids of all genders as I have observed at their preschool. Pricey, though, but totally worth it and very open-ended and beautiful to see how they navigate making 3-d shapes from 2-d ones. and the stack flat into a small space if storage space is an issue. Heck, *I* like playing with them. :)

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#14 of 30 Old 05-02-2012, 12:11 PM
 
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Magnet dolls have been a favorite of my dd's for several years, they come wooden or just as magnets. Legos, Barbies, and horses are also still favorites but it sounds like you are looking for other things beyond plastic. Drawing stuff and paper has also always been a big hit but those take replacement frequently.
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#15 of 30 Old 05-02-2012, 05:01 PM
 
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magnatiles?  They are safe for small kids, but fun for 2 or 3yo to adult.

 

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#16 of 30 Old 05-02-2012, 05:43 PM
 
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My kids have gotten the most play value from plastic animals and Playmobil.  (There are wooden alternatives, but you wouldn't be able to find as big a selection as with plastic, and I think kids really prefer the realism of plastic.)  I'm not sure if that counts as a single toy, because you really need a big collection to have a lot of fun with them.  Also, the littlest pieces wouldn't be safe for babies, and teenagers probably wouldn't want to play with them.  But if for some reason I only wanted to have one thing for my kids to play with I would definitely invest in either a large collection of Playmobil or a large collection of plastic animals and people (Schleich, etc.) 

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#17 of 30 Old 05-02-2012, 06:32 PM
 
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Pop-out tunnel would probably be my choice.  DD started playing with hers at crawling age, and when her older friends (oldest is 10) come over, they have lots of fun with it, too.  Rody horse, too, but the age range for that starts a bit older.

 

Edit:  Just thought of music stuff - maracas and whatnot.  Even a baby can shake along.

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#18 of 30 Old 05-02-2012, 06:48 PM
 
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Play food and kitchen, altho interest starts to tail off around 8 or so. 

Balls, play silks, and skipping ropes. 

Playmobil. 

Play mat with a town on it and toy cars. 

Playdough and some cookie cutters

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#19 of 30 Old 05-03-2012, 06:51 AM
 
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Wooden blocks tend to be my kids favorite.. I got a huge set from a thrift store when DD1 was a baby and now 5 years later they still get played with. Even when we have older children over they get played with by all the kids..

 

Siblings are wonderful "play objects" but then to be demanding and costly to maintain orngbiggrin.gif Mine can't wait for the baby to get here so they have another playmate. I keep having to remind them she/he is going to have to grow a lot before they can play together.


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#20 of 30 Old 05-03-2012, 07:58 AM
 
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Plastic and rubberish (don't know exact material, but think the bigger ones you see in zoo gift shops) animals, could do wood too, but I find for animals it is usually either too dangerous if thrown/tossed/stepped on/tripping or has easy to break off parts. The little plastic ones aren't good until 2-3, but the rubber ones could be used with supervision probably by any age. Lots of great open ended play, especially with a few random other toys/items around to build mountains (pillows are great), grass & water (I have some cloth coasters my DD uses for this), blocks (for making a zoo or house for the animals), etc.

Kitchens with food/utensils/pots/pans/etc. I've seen wooden and plastic and even stuffed for the food. The more things to interact with in it the better

Dolls with accessories - I like stuffed dolls personally, plastic dolls are no fun to cuddle with, with lots of clothes and random other accessories or just give her baby spoons and bowls and what not for feeding, she likes to put dolls in her own stroller and push them around, put them to bed with blankets, etc.

Toy cars, either just cars or bigger vehicles that come with people/items/animals to put them in, plastic, wood or metal

Dollhouse/Farm/etc. - again with little people, furniture, animals, etc. as appropriate and available in plastic or wood and even some soft sided, but the latter doesn't usually work for older kids

Empty boxes of various sizes - my DD already at 2.5 does a lot with these, build things, put things in and out, etc.

And I agree, there aren't many toys that can be used for all ages because a lot of them if they are safe enough for an infant aren't "fun" for older kids, but some that are safe with supervision for all/most ages

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#21 of 30 Old 05-03-2012, 08:28 AM
 
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blocks, wooden, lots of them.

 

Kids also got a lot of mileage out of dollhouse (castles)  with lots of figurines.  Come to think of it,  I think the figurines are as valuable as the house.  

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#22 of 30 Old 05-03-2012, 10:25 AM
 
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Pop-out tunnel would probably be my choice.  DD started playing with hers at crawling age, and when her older friends (oldest is 10) come over, they have lots of fun with it, too.  Rody horse, too, but the age range for that starts a bit older.

 

 

OMG, this reminded me of "Super Fort":

 

http://www.amazon.com/Cranium-303050000-900E-Cranium-Super-Fort/dp/B000TCUC70

 

Of course, you can *basically* replicate it with household materials and play silks (or sheets).  But once kids are of crawling age, they enjoy it, up to much older children who can really build large, complicated, structures.


 

 

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#23 of 30 Old 05-03-2012, 11:13 AM
 
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Another vote for wooden blocks! We have alphabet blocks and also a set with interesting shapes for building cool architecture.

Toy cars (a la Hot Wheels), stuffed animals...books! (which are not really toys but timeless, good for all ages, you can go back to favorites again and again.) Dress up stuff like capes and funny hats.
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#24 of 30 Old 05-03-2012, 02:17 PM
 
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Playmobil, hands down.  It is absolute #1 around here.
 

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#25 of 30 Old 05-03-2012, 11:19 PM
 
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Blocks and stuffed animals. The way little boys play with stuffed animals is really different as they get older, but still interesting. While wooden blocks are great, don't forget that they can build big forts out of the folded cardboard ones with the brick patterns on them. Those may be practical for you if you have space to store them. 

 

 

I find that my kid makes a lot of his own toys, usually out of discarded packaging he thinks is cool, and duct tape, thumbtacks, markers, pushpins, plastic film canisters. 


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#26 of 30 Old 05-04-2012, 09:57 AM
 
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Someone mentioned cardboard boxes.  Even babies love the boxes.  Blocks.  Those stacking boxes have gotten almost constant use in the house for 7 years.  Beanie-baby size stuffed animals.  Silk scarves.  Animals, all kinds of materials from wooden to Schleich-style to Playmobil chunkies.  Dolls, especially the little ones in this house.  Balls.


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#27 of 30 Old 05-11-2012, 01:23 PM
 
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For what age?

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#28 of 30 Old 05-12-2012, 09:37 AM
 
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Those giant cardboard blocks that look like bricks and are very sturdy.  Good ones are hard to find; we got ours from Rosie Hippo years ago, when our eldest child was two, and they are still played with once or twice a week.  (Our eldest is now eight).

 

Other toys that have maintained their value as the kids grew older are the play silks (now used as ninja scarves and backdrops for Barbie and action figure play), TRIO building toys (from Fisher Price), Zoobs (building toys as well), and Legos. 

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#29 of 30 Old 05-12-2012, 09:49 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all the great ideas. The reason I asked is because we are going to be traveling all summer. I wanted to take a minimum of toys for my 5 children...newborn to 7yo. Thanks again for helping me brainstorm good options.

"If you keep doing the same things you've always done, you'll keep getting the same results you've always gotten."

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#30 of 30 Old 05-12-2012, 11:39 AM
 
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Not as all-ages, but some of the lauri toys are really great for traveling (small puzzles, stuff that older kids could easily do with a younger kid who still needs help.).  

 

Some bingo games with just pictures are nice, and travel well too.  

 

 

 

Come back after the summer - I'd love to hear what works out best for you.  thumb.gif  It's an interesting dilemma. 

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