Toys That Will Keep Kids Busy For Hours


By Rachel Wells

It happens every December – kids end up with a barrage of new toys. With this year being especially challenging, it’s easy to want to spoil our kids with new forms of entertainment, and waking up to a Christmas tree filled with presents is undoubtedly fun and magical – but there is one common problem, and that is that many of the toys we tend to buy our kids are “one and done” types of toys that don’t teach, inspire, or grow with them, and they most certainly do not keep children’s attention for hours at a time. When a toy has only one purpose, kids will show interest in it only until they are done exploring that purpose, and when there is nothing new or interesting to do with it anymore, it gets tossed aside. These types of toys are meant to entertain your kids, not for your kids to learn how to entertain themselves.

Luckily you can inspire your child’s imagination and creativity with open ended toys that will keep them busy for hours and last for years. Open-ended toys encourage problem solving, real world connections, creativity, and the ability to focus and act intentionally. Open ended toys allow children to engage in play that can be continually changed up and made new.

So which toys are worth the investment? Fortunately we have done some hard work for you! The following open ended toys are screen free, sustain interest, and please parents (I.e. nothing large or that make a ton of noise), all while being educational, entertaining, and teacher approved.

Building Toys

These classic toys can be used to endlessly encourage your child’s imagination.

Wooden Blocks
Magnetic blocks
Race cars and hot wheels tracks
Rainbow stacker
Train set with tracks

Arts and Crafts

Perfect to pull out when your child says “I’m bored” this winter.

Sewing kits
Weaving loom
Painting stones/rocks
Wood crafts/building kits
Jewelry making supplies
Tie-dye kits

Pretend Play

Encourage your child to make real-world connections through pretend play.

Dress up clothes
Doctor kit
Play kitchen/food
Cash register
Doll house
Shopping cart

Puzzles and Games

There are games and puzzles for all ages and interests. Some favorites that encourage strategy and open ended thinking include:

Sequence Jr
Monopoly Jr
Connect 4
Scrabble Jr

Science and STEM

Collect pre-packaged science kits, or wrap up some common/kid friendly experiment supplies.

Crayola science kits
Kinetic sand
Water beads
Marble run
Chisel open dinosaur egg kits
Tinker toys
Insect kits (perfect to open up in the spring)

What are some of your child’s favorite open ended toys? We would love to hear your thoughts!        

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