Whats Your Childs Favorite Toy?

Updated on June 20, 2012
A.H. asks from Anniston, AL
16 answers

Im looking for fun and education toys for the ages 3-4 both of my children have very short attention spans and dont play with anything for long. so what are your childs favorite toys? and if any of your kids have the innotab or leappad what are your thoughts on it and the durability? thanks :)

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So What Happened?

thanks! we have the water and sand table, i thought they would just love that and got a big one with umbrella... they will play a few minutes then move on, my daughter has her doll house but they both use it to store cars instead lol we do make homemade play dough and they LOVE that my daughter will play with that for awhile but my son hates sitting there so doesnt last long for him. We bought him a train table for christmas and ended up putting it away because he was to rough for it and i had to replace several parts. we will get it out soon and try it again, he loves trains but hes just a very rough boy :)

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answers from Cincinnati on

My son likes the simple things, blocks and matchbox cars. In fact yesterday he decided to take all the can goods out of the cabinets and use those as blocks.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

My kids, and now the grandchildren, all like the Fisher Price toys ( garage, barns, etc. and people who fit them ), cars, Thomas or other trains, doll houses, Lego ( size depending on the child and age ), Magna Doodle, etc.
They play well for long periods of time once they pick a toy and get it all set up. I never had attention span issues with them but then they weren't just walking around all day allowed to do nothing and get 'bored' like most kids these days are. There is time to play and time to do other things. I find the grandchildren aren't very interested in the leappad and toys that aren't as hands on. Not to say some kids aren't.

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answers from Seattle on

Me, the beach, and each other. ;-)

Have you checked out Starfall.com? It's a wonderful (and free!) computer site that helps kids learn to read.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

At that age my kids were mostly into pretend play (dress up, store/cash register, toy kitchen/babies, action figures, race cars and trains, that kind of stuff.) They also loved playing in the sandbox with buckets of water, and building forts out of the couch cushions and under the coffee table and kitchen table. Lots of learning in those activities! Oh, they did a lot of arts and crafts, drawing, painting, play doh, beading, lacing etc. Those activities are important because they strengthen their fine motor skills, which they need to become competent writers.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

A fluffy teddy bear would do the trick. At least in my case that for sure. :)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Portland on

Our favorite toys here (my son is five, so these are ones he's used at 3 and 4):
toobers and zots
bristle blocks
Plan toys Cone shape (like a puzzle, comes apart, great to go with creative block play)
stacking pegs (Lauri makes a good set)
floor puzzles/tray puzzles
Playdough!!!! (I can't recommend this enough, and you can pull cutters/props for this from your kitchen.)

scrap pieces of wood from a carpenter friend
spray bottle
hand shovels
pails of water
rocks, pincones, sticks
cars, dump trucks, diggers for sandbox

Laurie is right on regarding a child's attention span. One of the best things we parents can do is let them struggle a little with finding something for them to do. It's less about keeping them entertained and more about letting them discover what makes them happy.

If you are looking for activities, I highly suggest MaryAnn Kohl's "Preschool Art" book. She also has one she co-wrote called "Math Art" which introduces some basic math concepts which go beyond number recognition. Have fun!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Grand Forks on

Mine didn't like anything that reqired batteries.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

My 2 year old loves the I-Pad. He only gets it for about an hour every night but enjoys all the great learning apps we purchase for him on there.



answers from Augusta on

sidewalk chalk,
blank paper and crayons
Take a long Thomas the train sets



answers from Columbia on

His personal cell phones (he has 3) and his personal remote control (looks exactly like a satellite remote)

He's 16 months.


answers from Dallas on

My LO is not interested in much technology. She is hyperactive, but if I pull out her littlest petshops, she'll sit and play for an hour or so. She's getting into Barbie's lately, so I bought her the Kidkraft wooden dollhouse (it's about 4 ft. tall and has lots of room) on Craigslist for $30. She loves it!



answers from Chicago on

My daughter has the leappad and loves it. She is 6. Her brother loves it too and he is 3. Be prepared to spend a small fortune on batteries if you get one though, b/c they suck them up. I'd get the AC adaptor too.

But for the past couple weeks my kids have been into the FurReal animals. Little mechanical animals that make real noises and movements. They carry them around and play with them all day.


answers from Austin on

Just a reminder, your children only have a few minutes of attention span, this is normal. Usually 1 minute per year. So right now 3 and 4 minutes playing with something is normal.

That being said, our daughter loved blocks, puzzles and the outside ride on toys. Then the dress up..

She also liked hot wheels cars. She liked when we drew " roads" on big pieces of paper or on the sidewalk with chalk. She would push those cares on the lines.


answers from Chicago on

We have had a Leap Pad for about 6 months and that thing is DURABLE! I have 3 boys and they are pretty rough on it, but it shows no sign of wear and tear. The worst thing about it is that it is a battery hog, so I would definitely invest in an ac/dc adaptor for it (you can buy them online, I have yet to see one in the stores.)

The apps for it are very enjoyable. My 3 yr old is obsessed with a dinosaur game. My 5 yr old loves the Pixar Pals games.

Not a bad way to spend $99. Plus, it has a built in camera (both still pics and video). Not very high resolution, but they can play with the pictures by adding special effects to it. Lots of fun for them. You can also load some e-books onto it. Highly recommend.



answers from Kansas City on

My kids are 4.5 and 2.5. They both really enjoy Little People toys and have played with them consistently for a long time (in both age and attention span! ;) The bigger pieces like the farm and garage have lots of moving parts in addition to their other features which adds extra excitement.

My kids have little character computers that play preschool games. I just bought my son's, which is a Batman one, my daughter got her Barbie one as a hand me down. They look like little lap tops and have letter keys and a bunch of buttons to play various games. My son loves to play it. He can't do the games without help but he does enjoy just sitting there and pushing buttons. My daughter (4.5) will play with hers for 30 minutes straight. They are only $20 and might be good introductory electronic toys.

Both my kids also love books on CD. We have some alphabet type books (Alphabet of dinosaurs, bugs, sports, etc.) and some Biscuit books. Puzzles are also on our list of favorite things.

My daughter also is happy to sit and do paining books, coloring books or dot to dots. THey both love crafts but my little guy doesn't last long, but he has a ton of fun...and mess!



answers from Los Angeles on

I'd go for something that isn't electronic. I think they lose interest in those quickly too. Unless you're spending a lot of time in the car, in which case those can be pretty useful for keeping them occupied.

Have you ever looked into Discovery Toys? I am an independent rep and our products are all fun and educational. For a 3-4 year old boy, you should definitely check out Motor Works. It's a set that comes with a car, a motorcycle, and an airplane, plus a battery-powered screwdriver for building them. You can take them apart and rebuild them as much as you want. My son has had it for almost 3 years and still loves playing it. We've given it multiple times as gifts for his friends and everyone says it's a favorite.

Other very popular toys for this age group from the Discovery Toys catalog are Geomino, a fun domino-style board game that both kids can play, Playful Patterns (it will help them build the foundation they need for reading, math, critical thinking, independent play, and more, and Marbleworks, which is a very fun marble run toy. I highly recommend all of them. We also have many sets of blocks and other games, but the ones I mentioned are my kids' favorites!

Please check them all out at http://www.discoverytoyslink.com/karenchao Everything comes with a lifetime warranty! Send me a private message if you want more info. Seriously, these toys are awesome and you and your children will love them.

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