Recommended high play value toys

Are there any toys with high play value that you’d recommend other people buy for kids or adults?

Klutz Lego Crazy Action Contraptions Kit
Here is the final project:

I got the book for $15 recently at Kmart in Australia.

Neocube/Small strong spherical Neodymium magnets

You can squash them in your hands for stress relief, make 2D designs or intricate 3D shapes. It’s good to have a large amount then if you have some friends or kids over you can share it with them. It’s good for all skill levels.

A $15-20 musical keyboard. I bought one for the oldest when he was about 6 months old. He wasn’t sitting up on his own yet so he played with it by slamming his lil feet down on it. As he got older he could do more with it. Newer models were bought for each sibling. Only one son turned out to be musically inclined but I can guarantee if I pulled one out of storage all 3 would be playing with it. Especially the later ones that had a nice playback feature that turned “mashing the keys” into what almost sounds like music.

One tough thing is that you never can really predict which kid (or adult) will prefer which toy. For example, there are countless building toys, from Legos to erector sets. But one kid might only play with Legos, and another might only play with K’nex (if they still make them - my son’s favorite). And each kid will disdain the other kid’s choice.

It can be tough trying to anticipate which toy will apply to which kid - and for how long at which age. And with some, you need a certain level of investment before it clicks. One kid might not have much interest in a basic bucket of Legos, but once you acquire enough that it takes over your home, he/she will bloom into a budding architect. Or not.

I can’t open the neodymium magnets page, but I should note that the giving of small magnets to little kids isn’t recommended because they can clamp together parts of the digestive tract if swallowed:

As for the other, heck, I think just ordinary Legos are about the highest-play-value toy out there. It’s an infinitely reconfigurable construction toy that’s intuitively easy to use. And it’s highly resistant to breaking and brightly colored. What more could you want?
I’d also suggest an Erector/Meccano set for older kids (lots of small parts that can be swallowed) for similar reasons. I loved mine as a kid.

Those cheap scooters are good. Also those little ride on toys they wiggle to make them move (cant remember their name). I think all kids like them.

Any of the Perplexus maze balls are good, clean fun. If it weren’t for the sound of the ball falling all the time that drives my wife nuts, I’d play with mine a lot more.

A cheap plastic ball.

Bubbles. Even just the single bubble wands can make hours of fun, weather permitting.

Those magnets are great - but they’re identical to Buckyballs - which the gummint forced to shut down. Not sure why they were just after Buckyballs when the same magnets are so readily available elsewhere.

What age range are we talking about?

Regardless, I don’t think you can go wrong with the Tonka Classic Steel Dump Trucks, Bulldozers, Trenchers, and Road Graders. I pick them over the regular plastic Tonka models because their sturdier and can more easily withstand the strain put on them by a five-year old.

Also for younger kids, I recommend a good set of building blocks.

I’d replace the magnet ones with Magnatiles - they have them at my daughter’s daycare and they are in daily use there by both boys and girls - we recently bought them for use at home too.

Otherwise, depends on the age (my kids are 6 and under so these may be a little junior); Lego is always good, watercolours (less messy than poster paint and will wash out), modelling foam(great from a fairly young age), kinetic sand(it’s addictive to play with, even by adults), and water beads, although these are only for kids who won’t eat them.

Lego and Playmobil sets for both genders, a doll house for a little girl, and matchbox cars & garage for little boys.

The danger of some of those magnet toys (I don’t know about the specific ones mentioned here), are with little kids swallowing them. When a little kid swallows two or more of them, they end up in different spots in the intestine and clamp onto each other through the intestine walls effectively tying the intestine into knots.

I think any kid would totally love, and get endless hours of enjoyment, if you got them one of those Russian SU-24 fighter jets.

Sometimes they tear through the intestinal walls causing internal bleeding too.

My son loves playhouses. He has a Sleeping Beauty princess castle, all the Fisher-Price toys: the Sesame Street house, the playhouse, the regular house, and the school house, and he has all the SpongeBob buildings.

He has Little People figures, including the sesame street ones, the whole set of SpongeBob figures, Star Wars figures, Scooby-doo figures, some Disbey figures, and they all play togetjher everyqwhere.

My kid got the most play out of his wooden train/rail/stations set. From 3 to 6 it was his favourite. And they have good resale value, too. Most kits fit on each other these days.

He’s 7 now, and for the past four months he has played a LOT with the computergame Minecraft. The worlds and buildings the kid has built! I’ve come to think of Minecraft as a virtual unending box of Lego’s.

General wooden blocks of various sizes can be played with in many different ways.
Tent-style playhouses.
Big cardboard boxes.

Plasma cars for little kids!

Forget those noisy, crappy plastic, day glow coloured, abominations. With there unworkable pedal systems that barely function.

The Plasma car delivers the sports car experience, for little kids, on proper, well made wheels. (without the dangers associated with giving a small child an actual motorized vehicle!)

It’s kinetic, the car is propelled by jiggling the steering wheel back and forth. But not really! When they jiggle the wheel back and forth, it causes their bum to wiggle, and it’s actually that motion that is propelling the car.

Seriously, any kid you give this to, will be over the moon!

Thank you for this comment! We agree that the PlasmaCar is a fun and well-made toy for unplugged play :slight_smile: Take a look at our site for more info.