Toy All Stars: 7 Toys Your Kids Will Play With for Years

As I finished the last of the 2012 Toys that Get Played With lists, I got to thinking: Several of the toys showed up on list after list, demonstrating SUPER staying power. I decided to make a list of them!

Each of the toys on the list below shows up on THREE or more Toys that Get Played With lists this year:

  • GeoTrax Sets: On the lists for kids 1 year old to 5 years old. Manufacturer’s listed age range is 2 to 7.
  • Play Kitchen and Play Food: On the lists for kids 1 year old to 4 years old. Manufacturer’s listed age range is 2 to to 7. Keep an eye on age range for specific kitchens as you shop.
  • Imaginext Play Sets: On the lists for kids 3 years old to 7 years old. Manufacturer’s listed age range is 3 to 5.
  • Plasma Car: On the lists for kids 3 years to 7 years old. Manufacturer’s listed age range is 2 to 5.
  • Lego: On the lists for kids 3 years to 7 years old. Listed age range is 4 and up.
  • Magna Tiles and other magnetic building toys: On the lists for kids 3 years to 7 years old. Manufacturer’s listed age range is 3 and up.
  • Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars: On the lists for kids3 to 7 years. Manufacturer’s listed age range is 3 and up.

Some toy categories stay relevant with kids for a very long time, but the specific toys or accessories within that category may change. Toys that fit this category are:

  • art supplies
  • dolls
  • dollhouses
  • musical instruments
  • dress up clothes
  • cars and trucks
  • LeapPad and other electronic toys
What do you think? Which toys have your kids played with for years and years?


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  1. Regina says:

    Great list! Thanks for the helpful information!

  2. Anitra says:

    This is a great list. I will say that my 4-year-old and her little brother still play with some cars and a ferry boat from Viking Toys that she was given for her first birthday. Probably the toy with the best longevity yet in our house. Play food also gets played with almost every day.

  3. Great list!
    I think the sweet spot for matchbox cars is 3-4 but my older boy loved them so much starting at age 2 and my 1 year old is already really interested.

  4. Sarah says:

    Magnatiles DEFINATELY have staying power and they span genders. Our 2.5 year old son, and 4 year old and almost 6 year old saughters all love these to the point that we got a second BIG set. Expensive, but so worth it! Our 7.5 year old Godson still enjoys these when he vistis.

  5. Kaymore says:

    Fisher-Price Little People Lil’ Movers School Bus has had the most use longevity for us. It’s great as a container toy for really young kids, and when they are older, it’s good for pretend play. In the 5 years we’ve had it, I don’t think I ever had to replace the batteries either!

  6. Melissa says:

    Three years later my kids still play with their play kitchen and play food- granted we’ve had to replace play food from time to time due to lost pieces, chewed items (really, kids?!), and general wear and tear.

    The other toy they still loved to play with every chance they got was their sandbox that we keep on our patio- we live in Florida. However, we got rid of it due to Mom and Dad’s sanity. They would track sand in the house no matter how “carefully” they played not to mention we constantly changed out our sand for fear of bugs, etc. And the sand was expensive because I would buy that special eco no carcinogen sand. For these reasons we had to let it go but they still ask about it all the time. Kids love sand.

  7. Betsy says:

    We have them all except the magna tiles, too expensive. We are getting into playmobil now because they have more options than imaginext. A wooden train set should be on the list for sure.