Timeless Toys – to stand the test of time!

As a parent to three kids, I long ago accepted that my home would become a child’s playground. However what I didn’t foresee when I gave birth 10 years ago was the sheer volume of toys cluttering the floors, shelves, cupboards and every room in the house.  I didn’t realise the attachment my children would have with (what was essentially) plastic junk.

Being an expat family, we can’t always get our hands on the latest fad in kids’ toys (thank goodness). So when possible, I try and give them timeless toys: essentially those toys which will stand the test of time. This tends to serve me well and I can see the difference they have on the way the kids play. Toys that have survived (and evolved) over generations generally require more imagination, more fine motor skills and generally keep the kids’ attention longer.

These timeless toys are rarely a fad. The same box of Lego has sat in our house for years, being added to. It never gets boring. Jigsaw puzzles have developed and art and craft supplies become ever more exciting the older they get.

The list of timeless toys below will keep your kids entertained for the majority of their childhood and beyond.

(please note, as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases, However this in no way influences my choices in this list)

Good old-fashioned Lego (#ad) You cannot ever go wrong with Lego. Ever! Today, you can buy starter sets such as in the photo link, or individual sets. Once built, add them to the collection of bricks and redesigned into something totally different. As an adult, I still love a good old Lego construction session.

LEGO Classic Large Creative Brick Box Building Set, Toy Storage Solution for Home or Classrooms, Creative Toy for Back to School, Interactive Building Toy for Kids, Boys and Girls Ages 4 and Up, 10698
  • Engage your kids in pretend play by letting them build their own play toys, such as creating a toy house or toy scooter. This classic creative kit of LEGO bricks comes includes 33 different colors of bricks
  • This brick box includes 8 different types of toy windows and toy doors, 2 green baseplates and 6 toy tires and toy wheel rims to create hours of creativity for kids
  • Kids will become creative builders as they use these color toys to build a figure or build a castle while also engaging in kids playtime
  • The large build and play LEGO Creative Brick toy playset is compatible with all LEGO construction sets for never-ending creative play
  • The green baseplates in this build it yourself set measure over 6-inch long and 6-inch wide, and 4-inch long and 2-inch respectively. Kids will get to build and play with 790 pieces and is ideal for boys and girls of any age

Other construction toys (#ad) Brands such as KNex, Duplo blocks and Tinker toys are equally as fun, providing a different take on construction. All cater to kids of all ages with different levels of difficulty.

K’NEX Imagine: Click & Construct Value Set – 522 Pieces, 35 Models, STEM Learning Creative Construction Model for Ages 7+, Interlocking Building Toy for Boys & Girls, Adults
  • 522 ASSORTED PIECES – This set comes with 522 classic and micro K'NEX parts and pieces that "click" together, allowing kids to create anything they can imagine
  • 35 different models – the included instruction booklet shows builders how to create 35 unique models with its step-by-step, color-coded instructions. This toy is ideal for kids aged 7+ and up
  • Convenient storage – storing small plastic toy parts is easy with this plastic storage tub. keep everything together, including loose parts and partially built models

Wooden building blocks (#ad) Building blocks are still a firm favourite in my house, despite my kids getting older!  Now they’re used to create animal enclosures, army barracks, princess castles and obstacle courses. The opportunities for imaginary play are endless. Building blocks are a must-have for every family.

Melissa & Doug Wooden Building Blocks Set - 100 Blocks in 4 Colors and 9 Shapes - FSC Certified
  • 100 solid wood building blocks perfect for hours (and towers!) of fun
  • These building toy blocks come in 4 colors and 9 shapes
  • Ideal for building and introducing early math concepts
  • Engaging with the Melissa & Doug wooden building blocks set is a classic creative and educational activity
  • Brightly colored wooden building blocks set makes a great gift for toddlers and preschoolers, ages 2 to 5, for hands-on, screen-free play; product made with FSC-certified materials that support responsible forestry; applies to new inventory only (FSC C156584)

Board games (#ad) We’re now in a position in our house where we’re playing games that not only am I allowed to win – but I actually enjoy. My kids are now 8, 10 and 12 and family games night favs include Cluedo, Quirkle, Catan, Boggle and every card game known to man.

Hasbro Gaming Candy Land Kingdom Of Sweet Adventures Board Game For Kids Ages 3 & Up (Amazon Exclusive)
  • CLASSIC BEGINNER GAME: Do you remember playing Candy Land when you were a kid. Introduce new generations to this sweet kids' board game
  • RACE TO THE CASTLE: Players encounter all kinds of "delicious" surprises as they move their cute gingerbread man pawn around the path in a race to the castle
  • NO READING REQUIRED TO PLAY: For kids ages 3 and up, Candy Land can be a great game for kids who haven't learned how to read yet
  • GREAT GAME FOR LITTLE ONES: The Candy Land board game features colored cards, sweet destinations, and fun illustrations that kids love

Click here for our go-to board games

Orchard Toys (#ad) For a long time we were playing a range of Orchard Toys games which are a perfect introduction to board games for preschoolers and younger primary kids. Great fun, and a chance to learn through play. I cannot rate these games highly enough.

Orchard Toys Moose Games Shopping List Race to Collect Your Groceries in This Fun Memory Game. Age 3-7. 2-4 Players
  • Fun memory shopping game for 2 - 4 players
  • Be the first to match your products and place them in your trolley or basket!
  • Encourages matching and memory skills
  • Suitable for ages 3 - 7
  • Orchard Toys number one bestseller

Play food/kitchen (#ad) The toy kitchen has been a permanent fixture in our house for almost a decade. The kids never get bored of it. The food options have grown over time as has the list of accessories. They play together for hours. Just how extensive a kitchen you have will depend on your space and your budget.  Even a tray of wooden cutting food and some plates will go a long way in keeping your younger kids entertained.

ROBUD Wooden Play Kitchen Set for Kids Toddlers, Toy Kitchen Gift for Boys Girls, Age 3+
  • THE PERFECT PLAY KITCHEN FOR YOUR LITTLE CHEF: Robud Kitchen Playset enhances creativity and fine motor skills. Made of solid wood, sturdy and durable construction.
  • CLASSIC GAME & TOY: This bright and colourful Wooden Kitchen Set and inspire early imaginative play by helping children to understand the concept of "making" food to eat.
  • REALISTIC FEATURES: The kitchen playset contains everything little gourmet chefs could need for preparing food. Turn the knobs to make clicking sound adds realism for pretend play.
  • IMAGINARY FUN: Role-playing game, allow your children give full play to their imagination and provide lots of fun. Develop children's interests and hobbies, exercise hands-on ability, and improve language expression and social skills in game.
  • GREAT GIFT: Kitchen toy promote dexterity, hand-eye coordination, This kitchen set is ideal for creative role-playing sessions and perfect gifts for kids.

Wooden train track (#ad) Another classic to add to the list, a wooden train track and accessories is a must for younger kids. As my kids have grown older, it still makes an appearance but is often accompanied by other favourites and the once simple train track has grown into something of a city!

Tiny Land Wooden Train Set for Toddler - 39 Pcs- with Wooden Tracks fits Thomas, fits Brio, fits Chuggington, fits Melissa and Doug - Expandable, Changeable-Train Toy for 3 4 5 Years Old Girls & Boys
  • 🔔Premium Wood Craftsmanship – These wooden train track are made with beach wood which is sturdier than pine and features hand-sanded edges to better protect children during play. They’re also BPA, lead, and phthalates-free.
  • 🔔Popular Brand Compatibility – Making our toy train set for boys and girls even more fun is the fact that they work with other popular toy train brands
  • 🔔Expandable Track Designs – A great way to promote active, healthy play in young children, these wooden train set come with three different mode pieces and allow multiple connections with two or more sets. Great for expanding imaginations, too!
  • 🔔Complete Train Set for Toddlers– These fun train set for kids feature Double-Side design tracks, a bridge, people, an engine, passenger car, hauler, and other accessories children can use to create their own unique track!
  • 🔔Wonderful Gift Choice – Wooden train set is easy to build and enjoy. They also come with a colorful and storage box to make them easier to store or for portable play. Great gift for 3,4,5 years old boys and girls Birthday or Christmas.

Cars/race tracks (#ad) Toy cars are sure to be firm favourites for years. Whether you go for the latest Hot Wheels stunt track or a simpler selection of die cast cars with a road mat, your child will play with these for years to come. We tend to buy our son Hot Wheels sets for Christmas/birthdays as they’re always a favourite and the tracks are all compatible with each other. He loves them!

Hot Wheels Toy Car Track Set, Criss Cross Crash with 1:64 Scale Vehicle, Powered by a Motorized Booster (Amazon Exclusive)
  • Rev up your child's curiosity and problem-solving skills with this super-fun set!
  • Crank up the competition with challenging intersections, hairpin turns, motorized boosters, and a huge crash zone!
  • Car feeder ramp fuels exciting storytelling moments and continuous racing action.
  • Set features plenty of parking spaces for easy, convenient storage.
  • Includes one Hot Wheels vehicle for racing adventures right out of the box!

Barbie (#ad) Possibly the queen of toys, Barbie has been entertaining kids for decades! While only our middle daughter is a Barbie fan, she will sit and play for hours and has a whole host of accessories. It’s like an old-fashioned game of The Sims!

Barbie The Movie Doll, Margot Robbie as, Collectible Doll Wearing Pink & White Gingham Dress with Daisy Chain Necklace
  • Take home a part of Barbie The Movie with this collector Barbie doll! Wearing a pink gingham dress, she’s all set to have the best day ever in Barbie Land.
  • Barbie doll models a vintage-inspired pink and white gingham dress with a matching belt and full, pleated skirt.
  • Her long blond hair is styled in a half-up do and tied with a pink ribbon, perfectly showing off her daisy drop earrings.
  • She looks just like film Barbie with her daisy chain necklace! An adorable pink bracelet and heart-adorned pink pumps complete her look.
  • This posable doll comes in a collectible Barbie The Movie box. Check out the whole collection for more fantastic ideas! Each sold separately, subject to availability.

Play Dough/modelling clay (#ad) Who doesn’t love creating play food/scenes out of Play Dough? As an adult, this has always been one of my favourite activities (to play with the kids of course!) The bright colours and endless opportunities never get dull and with the addition of air clay to our supplies, the creations can be used again and again. We even made a market out of it for the Barbies – tiny pieces of fruit, veg and other groceries. The potential is unlimited!

Play-Doh Ultimate Color Collection 65-Pack of Modeling Compound, Non-Toxic, 1-Ounce Fun Size Cans, includes Sapphire, Sparkle, Confetti, Metallic Colors, and Color Burst (Amazon Exclusive)
  • IMAGINE A WORLD OF PLAY-DOH COLOR: This 65-pack of Play-Doh modeling compound has a wild variety of 60 different colors with classic rainbow colors, Sparkle, Confetti, and Color Burst compounds
  • 65 SMALL 1-OUNCE CANS: These 1-ounce fun size Play-Doh cans are see-through to show off the fun colors inside, and each can is resealable for storage to play again next time
  • FEATURING PLAY-DOH SAPPHIRE SPARKLE: 5 cans of super sparkly Play-Doh blue sapphire compound add extra shimmer and shine to kids' creations
  • SO MANY WAYS TO SHARE: These small Play-Doh cans are perfect for sharing - birthday party favors, arts and crafts activities, or a great gift for kids 3 and up who love to get creative with modeling clay
  • ORIGINAL PLAY-DOH QUALITY: A favorite since 1956, Play-Doh modeling compound is made primarily with wheat, water, and salt, and goes through vigorous testing so it’s always high quality and super fun

Transformers (#ad) … Robots in disguise. Nothing beats a good old transformer! With the level of difficulty rising with the age of the child, Transformers are timeless and as great fun now as they were 30+ years ago!

Bumblebee Transformers Toy Rise of The Beasts Action Figure, Highly Articulated 6.5 Inch No Converting Bumblebee Model Kit, Transformers Toys for Boys Girls 8 Years Old and Up
  • 【Transformers:Rise of The Beasts Action Figure】OFFICAL LICENSED THE MOVIE 7 FIGURE,crafted with precision and care,this collectible bumblebee transformers toy brings your favorite character to life in stunning detail,capturing the look and feel of Transformers Rise of The Beast Movie.It is not just a collectible,but also a great supplement for Transformers Studio Series action figures,allowing fans to feel the charm of Transformers
  • 【6.5 Inch Bumblebee Transformers Toy】Measuring 4.72(L) × 3.35(W) × 6.5(H) inches,this PRE-ASSEMBLED and high-quality Bumblebee transformers toy is easy to assemble and play.The model kit has 29 pieces,including 2 pairs of interchangeable flexible hands.Fully articulated,it not only provides excellent stability but also can pose in a wide range of positions.Notice: Just on mode, no transformable
  • 【Accurate and Durable Bumblebee Figure】This Transformers Bumblebee has 16 rotatable joints throughout the whole body,allowing for a wide range of poses with ease and precision.It can turn around 180 degrees,both arms can rotate 360 degrees and bend up to 150 degrees.More surprisingly,its legs can perform front kicking 90 degrees and curling 90 degrees.The figure is so detailed that even the feet’re capable of being upturned 30 degrees,which really suits the preferences of both kids and adults
  • 【Perfect Gift】Bumblebee Toys are the perfect gift for anyone who loves the Transformers franchise.Whether you're shopping for KIDS,a fan of the movies,a collector of action figures or just someone who appreciates great toys.Bumblebee Toys are sure to impress.Give them as a gift for Father's Day,Mother's Day,Children's Day,birthday,Halloween,Thanksgiving or Christmas.These Transformers Toys are more than just playthings - they're a symbol of adventure,imagination and nostalgia
  • 【Exquisite Collections】Made from high-quality materials,our Transformers action figures are built to last.Featuring intricate designs and a realistic paint job,this figure is a faithful representation of the beloved character from the Transformers franchise.This Bumblebee Transformers Toy is a perfect addition to your collection.Don't miss out on the chance to own a piece of the movie history - Transformers Rise of The Beasts


Action figures (#ad) Whatever the latest fad in Hollywood, you can guarantee there will be an action figure to match. However, the traditional superheroes are just as popular now as they ever were!

Marvel Avengers Action Figures - Iron Man, Hulk, Black Panther, Captain America, Spider Man, Ant Man, War Machine & Falcon! (8)
  • Pack 8 Marvel Super Hero figures Hulk, Iron Man, Ant-Man, Black Panther, Captain America, Spider-Man, Marvels War Machine, and Marvels Falcon
  • Movie-inspired design
  • Includes character-inspired accessories
  • Imagine the heroic action with 8 iconic heroes

Jigsaws (#ad) Starting with the most basic, and working up to really detailed, tricky puzzles, a good jigsaw will keep your child busy for hours. We regularly have one on the go – the bigger the better in our view –  adding to it when we have some time.

Ravensburger Fun at The Carnival - Engaging 300 Piece Jigsaw Puzzle for Kids | Unique Piece Design | Anti-Glare Surface | Perfect Skill-Building Game for Toddlers and Kids | Model Number: 13231
  • UNIQUE PIECE DESIGN: Every Ravensburger puzzle piece is unique, eliminating the frustration found with other brands. This ensures a perfect fit and an engaging experience for kids of all ages
  • ANTI-GLARE SURFACE: Crafted with an exclusively developed, extra-thick cardboard and fine, linen structured paper that creates a glare-free puzzle image for the best experience possible
  • SKILL-BUILDING GAME: Puzzles not only provide fun but also support a child's development. They help in building skills such as concentration and creativity
  • BESTSELLING BRAND: Being the bestselling puzzle brand worldwide, Ravensburger assures premium quality, both in content and material
  • IDEAL GIFT: Ravensburger puzzles are a fun activity for kids to do alone or in a group, making them a great gift for birthdays, holidays, or any special occasion

Art/Craft supplies (#ad) A craft supply is the perfect way to stay entertained on a rainy day, or when you want to make something handmade with love. Our supply has grown substantially over time – with each kid having their own large tub which I refill whenever it’s needed. You can buy pre-made tibs such as these, or simple make one up yourself with glitter, glue, card, pipe cleaners, felt, stickers, tape, pom poms, googly eyes, foam shapes – the list goes on and on. We never get bored of creating!

FUNZBO Arts and Crafts Supplies for Kids - Craft Kit with Glitter Glue Stick, Pipe Cleaners Craft & Craft Tools, DIY School Supplies Kit, Girls Toys, Gifts for Girls and Boys age 4+
  • ✨ALL IN ONE COMBO - Everything you need for kindergarten homeschool supplies is all in 1 Arts & crafts supplies jar so you could create art to your heart's content
  • ✨ENDLESS CREATIVITY - Stoke your Imagination and develop your creative skills with all the Arts & Crafts that you could possibly create with this science kits for kids age 4+
  • ✨ HOURS OF FUN - Guaranteed that you and your children will enjoy for hours crafting toys, room decoration, or school projects!
  • ✨EASY TO STORE - FunzBo Arts & Crafts supplies set comes in a reusable plastic jar designed for easy, convenient, hassle-free storage!
  • ✨30 DAY RISK-FREE TRIAL - Full refund within 30 days. Bring this craft kit to surprise your kids today!

The above list is a selection of my favourite timeless toys. You may have others! Whatever you choose, they are the perfect distraction to screen time and not only offer entertainment value but also help to improve coordination, fine motor skills and imaginary play!


Click here for a list of the most loved Christmas gifts for toddlers, or here for ideas for older children.