When you’re holiday shopping for your kids, you’ll get more bang for your buck by choosing toys that your child will enjoy not just today, but for months (and even years) to come. In this article, Sue Sinclair of Raspberry Kids shares her top picks for toys that will grow with your child.
It’s true, kids grow like weeds. My seven month old is a prime example. She was too big when she was born to fit into some of her newborn outfits and she’s at the high end of the height and weight charts and outgrowing her clothes like nobody’s business.
Getting More Bang for Your Holiday Shopping Buck
When it comes to toys though, we’ve had great success in purchasing many items that grow with our children in terms of their capability, development as well as playability. This longevity makes the investment well worth it compared to purchasing the flavour of the month latest greatest plastic fantastic toy of the season that gets tossed aside faster than you can say humbug (which is pretty fast!).
We love and advocate ride on toys such as the Strider run bike or the Wishbone 3-in-1 original balance bike. Both of these allow the child to grow with the bike and are typically able to be used from about ages one through five. In the case of the Strider, which retails for $124.99, this works out to a cost of approximately $25/year.
Use Your Imagination
Other role play toys such as doll houses and play kitchens such as the Hape Toys Gourmet Chef Kitchen get years and years of play out of them. The up front cost of purchasing a nice quality kitchen will be amortized over several years and are typically in good enough shape when you are done with them to resell or hand down
We gave our daughter a toy kitchen when she was about three and she is now eight and still uses it. How she plays with it is very different though. She started by putting teddies and anything she could find inside the doors and loved opening and closing them. Slamming the pots and pans around was also a favourite way to play! Fast forward five years and now she is writing up her own menus and serving food to us from the kitchen in her restaurant (5 stars I might add). Over the years we’ve also been able to add to this item by introducing play food along the way.
Blocks Never Go Out of Style
Another toy that has grown with our children are the Tegu magnetic blocks. When our children first played with these, the structures they built were quite basic. As they’ve grown up, their imaginations are even more wild, their abilities have developed and their creations continue to be more and more complex. The same could be said for Plus-Plus open ended construction toys. Even as an adult, once you handle these, you cannot stop playing with them!
There you have it, some excellent examples of toys that can grow with your kids for years and years to come. They’re all tried and tested by our family including the biggest kids of all – adults! OK, OK, we didn’t personally test the ride on bikes – they have weight restrictions that preclude us from doing so – but we wanted to!
What about you – what are your favourite holiday shopping finds that bring joy to your kids for years?
Sue Sinclair is the Chief Executive Mom at Raspberry Kids, a local Vancouver lifestyle store where you will find fresh, healthy and fun products for little ones and families. She’s also a very proud Vancouver mom of three Vancouver Kids. Catch up with her (and do some holiday shopping) at raspberrykids.com.