Best Toys for Kids

Must-have items for your child's toy box

Most people can't reminisce about their childhood without remembering their favorite toys. After many years of caring for children and a few years of raising my own (and, of course, as a former child myself), I have found that there are some toys that are perennial favorites for all kids. Toy choices these days are endless, but those on this list will be favorites for many years to come.

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#10 - Music player with microphone

What kid doesn't love dancing and singing at the top of his or her lungs? Whether it's high-tech or low-tech, a music player provides hours of loud, silly fun and will endlessly entertain kids of all ages.

#9 - A play kitchen set

Children love to play chef, cooking food to serve their parents and sharing meals with friends. A kitchen set is a great way for children to entertain themselves (and their parents) while learning about family values.

#8 - Puzzles

Puzzles are perennial kid favorites. From simple wooden puzzles to complicated brainteasers, kids like puzzles because they are a fun brain workout that everyone in the family can enjoy together.

#7 - Building blocks

If kids like anything better than building tall towers, it's knocking them down to build again. Blocks give children a sense of accomplishment about their creations and can satisfy their curiosity about the causes and effects of demolition (without destroying the house).

#6 - A ball

Kids all over the world play with balls because they're fun! A big bouncy ball provides fun with friends while teaching sharing. Playing ball is almost a childhood requirement.

#5 - A bicycle

Children love bicycles because they mean freedom. Bikes let kids explore their world and give them a taste of independence. It's hard to imagine childhood without a cherished bicycle.

#4 - Books

There can't be enough good things said about children's books. Reading takes kids to far-off places and lets them have adventures that stretch their imaginations. Books are a must-have for all children.

#3 - Art supplies

Art supplies give children a rare chance to express themselves freely, and the pride they feel when their masterpieces are displayed is priceless. Children of all ages love to create art.

#2 - Dress-up chest

There is one toy from my childhood that I can remember playing with for hours - my dress-up clothes. With this toy, children can pretend to be anyone, doing anything, anywhere. A dress-up chest provides hours of imaginative play.

#1 - A treasured friend

A favorite stuffed animal or doll is someone for children to tell their secrets to and to rely on in times of trouble. Children need that one special toy that is their best friend, their confidant and their protector.

Classic toys let families play together to create memories for a lifetime. The hot, new toys might be those that kids clamor for, but these 10 tried-and-true favorites are those that they will cherish and enjoy for many years.

By B. Devoy