Timeless Toy Ideas

Updated on June 22, 2014
R.S. asks from Chicago, IL
24 answers

Hi there,

For those with older elementary school aged children, have there been any toys that you have found have lasted throughout the years...that your kids enjoyed playing with at age three...and still do at age six, seven or eight, etc? Thanks!

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answers from Jacksonville on

Play doh. Really.
Even when in middle school, they can enjoy it if you only pull it out once in a while... or you can let them "graduate" up to actual modeling clay. :)

I bought my 12 year old a ton of fresh new play-doh in 7th grade (to use for a Science project) and she pulled out all the old stamper things and knives and rollers, etc. She sat in the floor with it even. It was like she was reliving her childhood. LOL She loved it.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

Razor Scooter - I have kids ages 4 to 14 riding scooters.
Ping pong- We have a portable set that we use for the dining room table.
Badminton set - The kids also use the net for volleyball with any balls they can find in the yard.
The card game Uno is always a favorite.
Pails, shovels and cups & boogie boards for the lake/beach.

T. Y
SAHM of 5
14, 12, 6, 4 & 2

2 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

lincoln logs, knex, lego have a long life span.
a basketball hoop
a fort or tree house
a scooter/ bike
paint and an easel
slinky/ silly putty
etch a sketch/ that magnetic beard guy
swords/ capes and water pistols.

F. B.

2 moms found this helpful

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answers from New York on

Legos for sure. And the classic board games like the game of life. My grandsons and I play it all the time and we love it.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Kalamazoo on

Blocks, Legos, tinker toys,
board games - I have bought TONS over the years at garage sales!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

First--Isn'tThisFun-- thanks for the suggestion of using 'stampers' in playdough-- I actually have a bunch of ink 'story stamps' which don't hold ink very well but would be great to use on playdough. :)

I'd say blocks and flashlights (esp ones which can switch colors with different lighting 'gels') have held Kiddo's interest.

Asked him just now, he says he likes to play with 'food'. Go figure, what a joker. But I think he has a point, and some kid-sized kitchen utensils would be great. Or a cherry pitter. He has always thought it was cool.

Oh, and the marble run... I have been using that since he was about 2.5. He had a lot of small drums and liked to stack them on things, so the marble run was first built to become a 'drum kit' of sorts, and then has been used in it's proper form. This specific marble run is my favorite (in all my years working with kids with all different kinds of sets); you can remove a couple shorter, trickier-to-build pieces from the set when they are younger and add them in when they get older.


The price is good on this and a hint, if the loopty-loop comes apart, a blue produce rubber band works wonders.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

Our Lincoln logs still get played with daily. Thanks to the dog not all the pieces are there but they still love them!!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

There are adults that have MAJOR Lego hobbies and build amazing things!

This church is one of my favorites - all made with Legos!


2 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

A big appliance box!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Tinker toys
lincoln logs
legos (although at 3 you have duplos moving up to legos as they get older)
wooden blocks
action figures (we have vr troopers, ninga turtles, marvel etc as well as barbies galore)
old school fisher price play sets (air port, garage, castle, farm, house etc) with the round wooden people. we have a bunch of those original sets as well and the grandkids played with them and enjoyed them a lot more than the newer sets.

my kids are now 32, 26, 24 and 19 we have a huge thing of legos that started out as kits but as the years passed they ended up lumped in a big storage bin with drawers. the grandkids now play with them. same goes for the lincoln logs and tinker toys. we still have all the same sets that we got for the kids 20+ years ago. my son who is 24 recently said to me. When Randi (his wife) and I have kids I am taking my toys ok. I just said ok lol.

Your best bet is really basic stuff they can use their imaginations with. toys that come with an exact way to play with them get boring after a while but give them a basket of big plastic dinosaurs and a set of wooden blocks and they will play all afternoon. Can't say how many times an action figure has had to save a damsel in distress (barbie) and how many times barbie has had to patch up an action figure in a made up hospital after the battle. kids have great imaginations when they are able / allowed to use them.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

Wooden blocks, for sure. We have also gotten a lot of wear out of our Imaginext collection- my oldest has played with them since he was 3, now 6.5, my youngest is 3.5 and loves them. They set them all up and make movies with them that my husband and I have to watch. They have started building us seats out of milk crates and setting up a concession and ticket stand in the hallway, it's pretty adorable. But Batman versus killer dinosaurs is getting a little old...

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Anchorage on

Their razor scooters, legos, balls, nerf guns, and their iPhone (although that one I have to limit)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Colorado Springs on

Toys that children can really DO things with (as opposed to watching or pushing buttons). Legos. American Girl-type dolls (my granddaughters have made the AGs keepers - the Barbies were a passing interest). Huge boxes. Smaller, sturdy boxes in quantity. Art supplies (easel, lots of paint, paints, crayons, pencils, maybe markers). Tools. Balls!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Boise on

My daughter was obsessed with trains. We went on a "grown up" vacation for a few days and returned with an all wood train set made by "Melissa and Doug"... No batteries, no metal, nothing but wood. It came with trees, signs, pullies and other things. It was about $100, which was more than we would usually spend for just a "We love you, honey" gift.... but you could place the tracks in any way you want and it was so well-made we couldn't resist. Not only did she (age 5ish) love it, her big sister then 8, did as well. Then we had our son 4 1/2 yrs. later, loved it as well; not to mention all the kids that stayed at the house and I babysat...

So, the wood train set. It was played with until we moved and sold it, and the kids were 13, 10 and 5....

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Portland on

Funny, my husb and I were just talking about our favorite playthings as children. We both LOVED a big pile of sand or dirt and a big stick, a big spoon, and a bucket or even a big tin can for digging and carrying.

We both LOVED big empty boxes, to play in when we were smaller, and make wonderful forts and toys when we were older. So don't forget the value of simple "construction" stuff. Plus odd blocks of wood, hammer and nails.

My grandson is 8, and loves all the toys other posters have listed below. In addition, he loves the pair of Flash Flyers we got him for his last birthday. http://www.amazon.com/Daydream-Toy-Flash-Flyer-color/dp/B...

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Austin on

This was our daughters all time favorite toy. "The Twizzler". It hangs from a tree or I guess a swing set would also work.

She could swing all day on this thing. It lasted for YEARS.
She would spin so fast, it was truly amazing. She received it when she turned for and it lasted until she was in 4th grade.


Here is a video.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

When our daughter was very young, before K, we bought a middle ranged Casio keyboard and she played with that thing so much. It has all of the buttons so you can have drums, change the sounds of the keys, etc.

It was probably one of the best expenses for a toy and well worth it. I recall it was less than $200 and boy has it been used over the 19 yrs!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Odessa on

My oldest just finished kindergarten, so I don't have the experience of some of the other mommies. So far there are a few stuffed animals, art stuff, Candyland, Legos and a few puzzles that have been used through the years.

What a great question! Thanks for asking!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Houston on

A baseball and glove.

Any kind of ball - soccer, football, bouncy ball - anything to throw around and catchable.

A tire swing!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Legos and Barbies were the biggies. Dress up clothes, play kitchen, cash register/store and dollhouse with Playmobil figures and accessories were played with a lot too.
I also bought several vintage Fisher Price Little People sets and figures on ebay, the same ones I had as a kid (they don't make them anymore.) My kids loved those just as much as I did :-)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Investing in a nice doll house. You can put the bug furniture out a age thee-5, then add all the mall accessories as they get older.



answers from Oklahoma City on



Play set that is age appropriate, not a tiny one that is for smaller kids

Anything they can get on and get outside to play.



answers from Pittsburgh on

The adjustable height basketball hoop
4-square ball, soccer ball
T-ball set (which is now used for wiffle ball without the T)


answers from Washington DC on

legos, board games and anything to do with sports. things that kids use to build things are ALWAYS great. my kids got years of fun out of marbleworks!
:) khairete

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