Five Gifts For Kids That Have Lasted More Than Five Years


The holidays are approaching and when I think of the best toys in our house I try and make a mental note of the toys that have lasted the longest, or at least five years. The toys that foster creativity, problem solving, and independent play are my big criteria and help me narrow down the best gifts for kids!

Here are the top five toys (or categories) that have lasted beyond five years.

  1. Building Fun: Any toys that focus on building are great for rainy days and let’s be honest….pandemic fun. Here are some toys that provided my kids hours of creativity and endless possibilities. Side note: if your kids are old enough they could even draw or write their ideas before creating it.

Straw Constructor Set: This set is made of straw like pieces that are connected by a smaller piece. This set had my kids building houses, restaurants, and rocket ships. Side note: make sure not to purchase if you have little ones that put things in their mouth.

Big Blocks: These can be expensive so we typically build up our stock throughout the year. The boys like to make a big living space out of blocks and do what they call a 24 hour challenge and try and live in it. They usually last a couple hours. I have seen so much teamwork with this toy and such great ideas.

Magnatiles: Endless hours of fun. Add some zoo animals or other figures and watch the creativity take off!

Castle Fort: They love building a castle out of these fun pieces and putting on plays.

2. Themed Containers: Any toy is going to get neglected at some point. I like to have “themed containers” and rotate them throughout the year. I just put a bunch of like items in a container. Some ideas of themes are the following: army, playdough, Shopkins, play kitchen items, superheroes, games, princesses, costumes, you name it. I rotate the containers and its like getting something new. Never gets old.

3. Lego Box: I purchased an item like this one at Target and I am not lying when I say it has provided my boys and their friends HOURS of fun! There are a lot of great options on Etsy as well (check out the link provided.) In the summer I would set this box out with various Legos inside and they would play the day away. They built Minecraft lands, garages, homes, you name it! Plus, you can use the lid as a platform for building for structures.

4. Support a local business for a unique date day: Every year I give each one of my kids a date day in a box. I fill the box with fun items that we could use on our very special one-on-one date. One of my sons loves Pokemon so I may fill his box with Pokemon cards, a winter hike, and a donut box from Peace, Love, and Little Donuts. My other son loves farm animals and is raising chickens. I might fill our date box with his own custom shirt from LL Custom Designs, a gift card to City Folks Farm Shop, and a lunch at one of our favorite family-owned places, O’Nellys. Another son loves painting so I may fill his date box with paints and canvases, a gift card to a local painting shop, and a gift card to our local bakery, Sassafras to pick out a treat. These date boxes never grow old and I feel like they are one of my kid’s favorite gifts!

5. Open Ended Art Materials: Sometimes I throw some open-ended art materials as gifts and watch the ideas soar. I throw in paint, drawing paper, markers, bingo markers, stickers, glue, googly eyes, construction paper, pipe cleaners and see the creativity unfold. It is one of the best gifts for kids!

I hope this list helps you decide on the best gifts for kids when considering what toys and experiences have worked for our family! Have a safe and wonderful holiday season!

We also have additional gift ideas sorted by age as well if you need more ideas!

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Melissa Burnett was born in New Jersey but moved to Ohio at the beginning of a school year where she thought her parents forgot her at Kindergarten and spent most of her first day in tears. Since then, she learned to transfer her imagination onto paper and write stories. She taught Title 1 Reading and wrote children’s books before embarking on her journey into parenthood. Melissa is a mother to twin boys and a younger boy who keeps her on her toes. She enjoys Friday stay home movie night with her boys and dreaming up business ideas with her extremely patient and loving husband. When she is not breaking up wrestling matches, Melissa and her husband spend their time working on rental cabins in Hocking Hills. They also enjoy popcorn and coming up with new popcorn flavors. Melissa promises she does not have motherhood figured out, but she does have many funny stories to share and a word of advice “when you go through the car wash with kids…make sure your window lock is on.” Follow her blog: