10 Open-Ended Toys Your Kids Will Play With for Years

I was watching the girls playing together the other day when I started thinking about how long we’ve owned the toys they were using — and I was shocked to realize it had been about 4 years! Then I started thinking about all of the girls’ favorite open-ended toys. Most of them were originally purchased when the girls were 2/3 years old — and they’re now 5 and 7! We are still getting a lot of use out of them, so I thought I’d share 10 open-ended toys your kids will play with for years in case you’re looking for some good investments!

Our very favorite open-ended toy is that timeless classic — the building block! My husband made a huge set of natural blocks that the girls have played with for years. But if you don’t have someone who can make blocks, this colorful set by Lovevery has also provided so much fun in our house!

This is the natural set of blocks my husband made from scrap wood.

My girls have always loved combining dinosaur figures with their block creations and acting out whole stories. There are so many good dinosaur figures out there, but we love these ones with moving parts!

My husband also made a dollhouse for the girls, but they actually prefer taking the furniture out and using it in their building block houses! We have this dollhouse furniture, and this is the dollhouse that goes with it.

These magnet blocks have been another major favorite in our house — and they’re especially fun to take along on a road trip with a baking sheet! We love these so much that I actually bought two sets so we would have a ton of blocks to use for building. I can’t find the exact brand we have, but these are similar.

This marble run has provided years of entertainment, although your kids will have to be a bit older to be able to build it independently. There are instructions that show how to build several designs, and you can of course also design your own!

This construction set is the one that inspired this blog post to begin with! There are so many fun ways to build and play with the pieces — adding wheels to make movable vehicles is the most fun for my girls.

A nice farm set is perfect for pretend play for kids of all ages. We have this barn plus several of the related add-ons, and I made the felt play mat to go with it.

And what kid doesn’t love a baby doll! Nora took this picture of hers all tucked in to her basket. We have a couple of this brand, which we love because they have several skin tones to choose from and are anatomically correct — plus they smell delicious!

A light table is another good investment that you can use with so many different materials. My husband made ours, but this one is similar. Our favorite thing to do on the light table is to create things using these transparent shape tiles!

And last, but not least, is my girls’ newest favorites — all things LEGO! We have specific building sets (like Hogwarts, the Frozen Castle) as well as a big bin of pieces for open-ended building and playing.

We highly recommend all 10 of these open-ended toys for years of fun!