Motherly Collective

It’s that time of year again when we start asking our kids “what do you want for the holidays?” and answers like “a robot that turns into a cupcake rocket” send us down an online shopping rabbit hole. As a mom of two and a play person (and the founder of Follies), the looming question only becomes more daunting as the days pass. The family group chat becomes impatient waiting for my suggestions and inevitably, grandparents and aunts weigh in with toys that I know will end up in the giveaway pile by spring.

So for the past few years my kids and I have put together what I call a “retrospective holiday gift guide” based on toys they loved so much, they actually ended up playing with them for an entire year if not longer. 

Related: The most age-appropriate toys for babies and kids according to an early childhood development expert

One characteristic these timeless toys have in common is that they are what we call low floors, high ceilings in “playful learning speak.” In other words, they are easy for children to start playing with, but complex enough to allow them to challenge themselves as they grow older and play with the same toy in more elaborate ways.

Here are my top recommendations for timeless toys to gift this year:

storytimechess
$39.99

1. Story Time Chess

I am a big fan of board games as gifts for children- especially ones that can work for both younger and older children. Storytime Chess claims it can teach kids as young as three how to play chess, and I am here to confirm it. The board game comes with a very engaging storybook and mini games that teaches children the complex rules of chess through, well you guessed it right…storytime.

Wishbone
$179.99

2. Wishbone

Wishbone Flip is an award-winning 2-in1 rock & roll toy, ideal for 1 to 5 year olds. What we love about the Flip is that it truly grows with a child, from when they just want to rock back and forth to scooting away when they are older. The smooth ergonomic mechanism allows kids to drive in more elaborate ways as they grow their dexterity, compared to other similar ride on toys that are only good for a few months.

Baby Bauhaus Set
$60

3. Baby Bauhaus Set

I find the year you have your first baby to be the most overwhelming year in terms of buying literally anything and everything in the middle of the night for your baby. Choosing toys that can grow with your baby for their first 18 months are a blessing and one of the reasons we designed our Baby Bauhaus Set. These soft beautiful blocks will take you from newborn, to tummy-time to the toddler building towers stage.

ooly
$30.99

4. Ooly

A nice arts & crafts gift will go a long way, enter Ooly, a beautiful brand created by two art directors. The high quality markers, coloring books and Follies community favorite, the Chunkies set are the perfect stocking stuffer for any creative kiddo in your life.

Soapen
$17.99

5. Soapen

On the topic of stocking stuffers as well as creative toys, we love Soapen in our household. They make washing hands really fun and creative and best of all fuss free.

Lego Classics
$28.99

6. Lego Classics

Everyone loves LEGOs and a lot of times we end up choosing one of their themed sets for the holidays; it looks more special perhaps. But their Classic bin is so much more open-ended and will truly be appreciated more by your kiddos who will get a good size of bricks to build their hearts out.

Follies Casa Azul toy
$180

7. Casa Azul

Have a kid who loves art and building structures? The Follies Casa Azul is perfect for the little architect in your life. The  gorgeous silk screen panels  connect within minutes to create a kitchen, a playhouse or a puppet theater.

Great Pretenders
$Prices Vary

8. Pretend Play

Roleplaying is a play pattern that truly kids of all ages enjoy (or maybe even grown ups, no judgment!), so investing in some fun costumes is always a hit. We love the Great Pretenders as a family.

Healthy Roots Doll
$84.99

9. Healthy Root Dolls

We love Healthy Roots dolls as a family, not only do they empower girls through hairplay, but compared to other dolls on the market they truly allow for elaborate play as a child grows up and can wash, braid and style her hair just like real hair.

This story is a part of The Motherly Collective contributor network where we showcase the stories, experiences and advice from brands, writers and experts who want to share their perspective with our community. We believe that there is no single story of motherhood, and that every mother’s journey is unique. By amplifying each mother’s experience and offering expert-driven content, we can support, inform and inspire each other on this incredible journey. If you’re interested in contributing to The Motherly Collective please click here.