Please Recommend Good Toys/games for Preschoolers.

Updated on September 06, 2012
T.S. asks from Fort Worth, TX
9 answers

We need a major toy overall in our house. My kids are 4 1/2 and 3 1/2. My plan over the next few days or week is to go through all of their toys; trash broken ones; give away those they are too old for; and organize the ones we'll be keeping. What suggestions do you have for toys that your children really like(d) at this age? Would love suggestions for fun toys/games as well as educational ones. Over the next few months, I'll probably buy one item a week or so, depending on the cost and our budget. And your suggestions will also help me plan for Christmas presents I can start purchasing in advance. Thanks!

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answers from Washington DC on

Well, right now my DD has two plastic "grow windows" in our kitchen to grow some beans. And she loves toy kitchens, baby dolls, craft items, her trike, stuffed animals, duplos, I 'Spy books, cardboard boxes, shovels, pails, a sandbox (made out of an old wading pool and some cheap play sand from Home Depot), and dinosaurs. She keeps turning game pieces into other toys so I don't get get her those or puzzles. And books, books, books.

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answers from Kansas City on

Our favorite toys are Little People or other small action figure type things. My kids are almost 3 and almost 5 by the way. We have tons of books, we love to read! I guess I'll just list our other faves...
play doh
board games and card games (eBoo card games are awesome!, hi Ho Cherrio, hungry hungry hippo, candy land, etc.)
mega blocks
musical instruments
dress up stuff (even my boy likes this)
sit and spin
bikes, trikes, scooters, etc.

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answers from Milwaukee on

My kiddo loved playing Mickey Mouse Yahtzee. It's perfect for both your kid's ages. And really....there is nothing funnier than a young kiddo shaking the dice yelling out "c'mon mickey!!". Precurser to craps in vegas :) Seriously though, she loved the game.

I also got my kiddo a hello kitty binder and sheet protectors. She loved to write "books" so we would staple them together and put them in a protector and then the binder. It was her very own big book.

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answers from San Francisco on

Do they go to preschool? I swear I got most of my toy/organization ideas there!
At that age mine were all about pretend play: dress up (not just girly stuff, but doctor, soldier and firefighter too) dollhouse, store, kitchen, babies, cars/trains/little people/action figures, etc.
They also loved building forts and houses out of large pieces of boxes/cardboard, towels, blankets and whatever else they could get their hands on.
And of course play doh, markers, paint and whatever other art supplies were on hand.
If you like to play games as a family, we really liked Memory and Stare, two games where age really isn't an advantage, lol!

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answers from Kansas City on

My 4 1/2 year old has always been interested in trains and still is, so we have a lot of tracks around our house (different kinds, too, like wooden, flexi, tomica, etc). I like how they not only fill his need for train play but fuel his imagination and math skills as he designs track layouts and builds things for them to go past.

He is also obsessed with Legos now! A lot of the "city" series is for kids 5 and up and he is able to follow the directions and create a ton of things on his own, too. He also likes the "creator" series for 7+ if we help the first time, then he is good mostly on his own. He also still plays with the Duplo/MegaBlocks bricks if you don't want the little legos yet.

Staying on the building theme, he has a renewed interest in his basic wooden block set (the 100 piece one from Melissa and Doug). Today alone he made his uncle's house, a grocery store, the empire state building, a water tower, playground, library and beach house for a city in the living room.

Airplanes and rockets are a hot topic right now and we dug out my brothers' and husband's old ones and it's like our house is the world's busiest airport.

He spends a good deal of time drawing with all sorts of things like crayons, paint, chalk, glitter glue, markers. We have a little table set up for him that has all of his art supplies (except the paint) in a bucket underneath and plenty of paper at hand.

Games are wonderful for us to play as a family and he is also old enough to play with friends and no adults now. Your boys might enjoy Hisss, Go Fish, AnimaLogic, Bingo, Crazy Eights, Twister, Operation, I Can Do That, Dominoes, Busytown, Hullaballoo, Lite Brite, Bean Bag Toss and Pop-Up Pirate. Even an age-appropriate chemistry set fills our time.

And books. Books. Books. :)

There are so many things out there it is easy to get overwhelmed/get too much. See where your boys interests are and go from there!

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answers from New York on

These are what my girls played with at that age
toy kitchen
toy stroller, she really didn't play much with the dolls, but loved pushing them in the stroller

My girls are in high school and we still have these games
Candy Land
Pooh Match and Stack Game

I also recommend you check out the games by Cranium.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Hi T.,
I am a Discovery Toys consultant and we have excellent educational products for children. Some of my favorites come from the preschool age group, as they are incredibly fun, they keep the kids engaged for a long time, and they can grow with your child.
My favorite is Playful Patterns. It comes with foam shapes and pattern cards that get increasingly harder. It helps kids learn the skills they will need to go on and learn reading and math, plus concentration and fine motor skills. It is a truly awesome toy!

I also love Motor Works, where kids can use a battery-powered screwdriver and build (and rebuild) a car, airplane and motorcycle. It's our #1 selling product and the kids absolutely love it.

We have many others. Please visit my website at to view everything we have available. If you want other recommendations or if you want info on how to get the toys for free, please send me a message!


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answers from Austin on

Depending on what you do with them, just about any toy can be educational. Even our Barbie dolls have to take care of their "pets," feeding, watering, walking the dog, and clean their "house" - Barbie furniture, arranged in a large box. This means the kids have to be creative every time they play, and rebuild the "house." So my suggestion there, I guess, is don't get everything and set it up perfectly - leave their "sets" with some creativity, like a train you have to re-lay every time, or a doll house you have to re-create.

But, as for favorite toys and games that we always come back to: Candyland, Chutes and Ladders, and we are now (ages 6 and 3) getting in to "logic games" like Mastermind and Traffic Jam. Little People (we keep these fresh by using the holiday ones in addition to the ones that are out all the time - plus, it gives the kids a holiday decoration they are actually allowed to interact with!); a pop-up play tunnel; soccer ball (and softer balls to play with in the house); small figurines - we have assorted little dolls that are hand-sized - fairies and princess, mostly, but also those great plastic animals you see in bins all over the place; we do jigsaw puzzles A LOT as a family, too (it's not uncommon for every large flat surface in the house to have a jigsaw puzzle in progress or just recently finished on it - including dedicated puzzle boards and the floor - even my 3 year old is up to 24 piece jigsaw puzzles); rubber stamps; interlocking building blocks; play-doh; a big box of miscellaneous craft supplies (think really random - paper plates, wooden clothespins, string - all have made our way into the craft bin); bendaroos; lots and lots and lots of books; music - the girls each have an inexpensive, durable, kid-friendly MP3 player - filled with whatever genres interest them, not necessarily "kid music" (within reason, of course!); don't be afraid to get things that are technically "too old" for them, based on the age printed on the box - like the kids with Mastermind and the puzzles, if it is something that REALLY interests them, they will figure it out!

Have fun!

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answers from Chicago on

cardboard blocks.

what are they interested in? My son is obsessed with firemen. My daughter loves fairies. do your kids have any obsessions? I'd figure out what they are interest in, and hten buy some toys, but cardboard blocks are a giant hit in my house. You can build so much with them, so they can build whatever they are interested in!

1 mom found this helpful
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