My kids have tons of toys which are never played with. As far as activities go, they tend to stick with certain toys and activities. Sure they play with other stuff sometimes, but for the most part they have set things they do several times a week.
If you are looking for a list of “hot toys”, this isn’t it. This is a list of activities and toys that will ALWAYS keep their interest to a certain extent, and isn’t just a fading fad.
1. Computer Games & Sites
I don’t know what it is about the computer, but my kids love it. They each have several downloaded games they play on a regular basis (maybe once or twice a month per game), as well as a list of sites they visit weekly. See our list of game sites for kids and free toddler games.
2. Game Systems
As much as I hate to admit it, game systems will always be popular and a source of entertainment for kids. I broke down and bought my son a GameCube for Christmas, which I’m glad I did. He loves it and plays it often for no more than we have invested in it.
Amazon.com has a lot of options for game systems and games you might want to check out. If you are concerned about the educational value or concerned your kid might turn into a couch potato, you can check into getting a Wii with games designed to get them moving.
3. Books & Magazines
Classics that never die. While typing this, my preschooler is looking at her Highlights magazine, and asked me to read to her. Of course I had to before finishing this post! Just proof how much entertainment a simple book or magazine can be.
Books are everywhere, and best of all they are FREE at your local library. In the summer you can make it a weekly family event to take a trip to the library. We are lucky enough to live just a block away from our local library, and my oldest son is old enough to go up there by himself now to check out books.
Magazines and books both can make great gifts as well. Take a trip to the local bookstore or see what children’s books are currently at Amazon.com.
4. Board Games & Card Games
Not only can you get involved with your kids and have a little family time, but it keeps them pretty entertained. My kids love to pull out certain games to play. Many of the classic games you can find featuring their favorite characters (Spongebob Monopoly for example). We’ve got a whole list of places to buy board games listed at Idea Queen.
5. Webkinz, ePets, and other online pets
While this may seem like a “hot toy” right now, I really think with the combination of online and offline play, they will be around for quite some time. I have never seen my kids play more with any one thing as I have with the Webkinz. They log in every day to play with their pet, and do various activities. Sometimes the real stuffed animal comes with us when we leave the house too.
Epets are also pretty popular, and the site has quite a bit to do. There’s several other version of the two most popular types as well – Littlest Pet Shop now has a stuffed animal you can play with online, and there are a few other smaller companies that sell them as well. Our experience so far has only been with the Webkinz though, and they absolutely love them. Since we can adopt as many pets as we want, this is going to be a big deal for quite awhile.
There’s my list for the top 5 toys they’ll never get tired of. If you have anything to add, please leave a comment!