12 Timeless Toys That Work for Kids of All Ages

These classic toys keep kids engaged from toddlerhood to tweendom — and are built to last.

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a yellow and black pogo stick, set against an aqua background, one of the 12 timeless toys that work...

The whole point of toys is simple fun, but the making and marketing of all those toys is a serious business — and a seriously expensive part of parenting. The average American family can spend upward of $1,000 a year on toys and games for kids. And most of those will blaze through our lives like flaming fidget spinners for a season or two before breaking down on the job or losing kids’ interest. These are not timeless toys. On the contrary, the vast majority of new toys and games for kids will just make their way quietly to the nearest landfill after a few months.

Luckily, there is such a thing as a good toy investment — those rare toys that are cool enough to grow up with your kid, from toddlerhood to tweendom. These timeless toys are affordable, well made, and universally fun, appealing to all ages by satisfying our innate love of problem-solving. They’re built to last. They don’t need screens or electricity to be engaging, and they don’t need a corporate backstory or blockbuster tie-in to make sense. Long before we talked about STEM toys, these games and toys were honing spatial and logical reasoning skills, building creativity and shaping us as people.

The fun your toddler has scattering and re-stacking Magna-Tiles at 3 is essentially continuous with the fun they’ll have building complex structures out of Magna-Tiles when they’re 9. Here are 11 other timeless toys that every family should have — and keep.

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