My Top Toy Recommendations

My Top Toy Recommendations


I am often asked if I can recommend toys for different stages of childhood. I have to say however that I’m not much of a toy person and actually neither are my children. Nature and the everyday world often is a far better entertainer (cardboard boxes surely come top of the list!). Most toys inhibit imagination and have a very limited range of play, no wonder that so many parents say “he only plays for a minute or two”. A ‘good’ toy needs to involve an element of control in terms of how a child chooses to play with it, ie: there needs to be more than just one action/motion/use. Ideally it will be gender neutral too.

If you do want to buy your child a toy or two, here is my (very small per age group) list of items I recommend, from personal parenting experience. What I will add here is that every toy is infinitely better if you join in with the play too.




rat Ribbon Rattles

ball Sensory Balls

Older babies to 3 years

Cotton Reel Threaders

  Wooden Blocks

  Brio Trainset 

  Lewo Grimm’s Rainbow

  Peg Boards

  Messy Play Tray (fill with paint, foam, water, ice, rice etc)

  Stickle Bricks

peb Stacking Pebbles

pod Snuggle Pod Sweat Pea doll

doll Wee Baby Stella Doll

3-7 Years

kit Kidcraft kitchen

  Gears Gears Gears

mag Playmags

  Sea Monkeys 

  Stomp Rockets

  Marble Runs


mon Cheeky Monkeys game

ma Magic Maths game

8-13 Years

   Labyrinth Game

  Hot Wires


dig Gemstone dig

cry Crystal growing kit

di DIY spider robot

  Dr Zigs Bubble Set

sc Scratch art

 Flibberty Adventure Den Building Kit

Note: I have linked to Amazon products so that you can read a description of each product, but most can be bought freely elsewhere on the internet and in local shops. The links are to the UK version of Amazon, so apologies to those of you reading who are outside of the UK, in many cases you can overwrite the with your country’s domain (e.g .com) and it will show the the page from your country.

Lastly, some of these are affiliate links, the small amount of funds I receive from these go towards my costs for the upkeep of this blog and my newsletter.

Published by SarahOckwell-Smith

Sarah Ockwell-Smith, Parenting author and mother to four.

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