Looking for the best toys for multiple ages? Here’s a roundup of toys that all of my kids have played with for many years. They’re great for entertaining a wide range of ages and perfect for keeping siblings entertained!
Last week, I did a little Q&A over on my Instagram stories and someone asked me for a list of toys that all of my kids play with. The holidays are approaching and lots of people have gift-giving on the brain. I had a few toys that immediately came to mind, but I also decided to ask my audience for their suggestions. With their help, I came up with a great list of the best toys for multiple ages.
These are forever toys. The ones you can buy when your first kid is one or two and save until your youngest kid is heading to middle school! Some are expensive, but I think the fact that you can keep them around for many years gives them a lot of bang for their buck!
So, here are my top 10 recommendations. This post contains affiliate links where noted. That means when you purchase through my link, I receive a small amount of money, at no additional cost to you! Thanks so much for supporting The Lean Green Bean!
10 Best Toys for Multiple Ages
We got this last Christmas and have used it daily since. I even have a whole Instagram highlight of different ways we’ve used it. It’s great for obstacle courses, forts, watching tv, saving your couch cushions, monster truck ramps, and endless other things!
I always recommend people splurge on the name brand ones because I feel they work the best…and also splurge on the 100 pack because you’re going to want as many pieces as possible. But if you’re on a budget, Picasso brand works fine too and they do work with Magna-Tiles – we have some of each kind and use them together. I also recommend a magnetic board to build on (aff link). If you’re on a budget you can use an old cookie sheet!
I recommend these for ages 2+. Megabloks (aff link) are great for the first year or two and around age 4, they can move on to the smaller Legos…but duplos are great for those middle years. My 2-year-old can play with these and i think they stick together better than Megabloks, and my almost 5-year-old still plays with them even those he also likes the smaller ones.
Jumbo Cardboard Blocks
These are a little annoying to put together but you only have to do it once…and then you’ll have a great stash of sturdy cardboard blocks that the kids will love to build with, knock down, crash into, jump over etc!
We have this one from Lakeshore Learning and love it. This Crazy fort on Amazon is similar. (aff link). These are easy to snap together. The only thing to consider is that to make some of the designs in the booklet that comes with it, the red connectors need to be oriented a certain way (there are arrows on them) so I often need to help my kids (almost 3 & 5) set them up. If they just want to build a big square or rectangle, or their own design, they can connect them however they want.
Wooden train tracks
Most of the wooden tracks – Brio, Obrium, Melissa and Doug etc are interchangeable so I’d look for whichever brand you can find the best deal on and you can add more later! You can set them up in endless patterns and can easily add to your first set to make longer and more complex tracks. They’re also great for traveling. I always pack a ziploc bag full in my suitcase with a few trains because you can set them up anywhere.
There are tons of different models out there so you can browse around and find a design you love, one to fit your decor etc. We got ours when my oldest turned 1 and all my kids still play with it daily. I highly recommend adding some food, this shopping cart and cash register to the mix as well (aff links). And then you can save your food and diaper boxes and set up your own grocery store like I did here.
I found mine on FB marketplace…a great place to look for any of this stuff, but both my older kids use it. I’ve found it’s a common thing to have in preschool classrooms and both of my kids started playing with ours at home more after they were introduced to it at school. Ours was from Plan Toys but this one from Hape is also great.
Occupational toys and dress-up clothes
My kids love their doctor kit and all of their dress up clothes (order slightly big so they can grow into them and use for multiple years). They also love their pretend tools, cleaning supplies and explorer set (binoculars, compass, flashlight, etc). *aff links*
Obstacle course equipment
I had some other best toys for multiple ages that didn’t make my top ten and I also posed the question to my audience on Instagram and got some great suggestions so here are a few more ideas!
- Playdough – use it by itself, give them some scissors or butter knives to cut it with, use a rolling pin and cookie cutters etc
- Sensory bins – fill them with kinetic sand, water beads, dried beans or noodles, water, scoops, cups, spoons etc and let them go to town
- Whiteboard and dry erase markers
- Spray bottles
- Water/Sand table
Arts and Crafts:
- Pipe cleaners
- Pom poms
- Washable paint
- Popsicle sticks
- Paint Brushes
- Kwik Stixs Solid Tempera Paints – perfect for when you need something bolder than a marker but want it to dry quicker than regular paint
- Do A Dot Art! Markers
- Glue Sticks – I like the disappearing purple ones because they can easily see where they’ve spread the glue
- Butcher Paper – for me this is so much easier than single sheets of paper because you can tear off as much or as little as you want each time
- Construction paper
- Hole punches
- Hot Glue Gun – to be used by parents of course
- Vehicles – dump trucks, cars, construction vehicles, hot wheels…anything with wheels that you can build roads/garages/houses for
- Wooden blocks
- Dolls and barbies
- Little people and toy animals/dinos
- Marble Run (aff link)
- Board games
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