Top 10 Best Open-Ended Toys


What are the best open-ended toys? Which toys are worth getting for your children? If you’re shopping for Christmas presents for your children, and you just don’t know what to get them, here are some ideas. These toys cause children to expand their imagination and creativity. They also keep children occupied longer, so they are a better investment of money. If you would like to see pictures of my kids playing with these toys, click on each number. To be honest, the top three toys of all time tied. I had to think long and hard to actually pull Legos to 3rd place. My husband would have placed Legos in first place as his favorite childhood toy, and to the credit of Legos, my husband STILL plays with them!

So here they are, the Top 10 Best Open-Ended Toys Ever:

#1 Costumes

#2 K’nex

#3 Legos

#4 Doll House

#5 Baby Doll

#6 Magic Trick Set

#7 Blocks

#8 Tinker Toys

#9 Gears

#10 Electronics Kit

Art supplies made it into the top 5 until I realized they weren’t toys, but they are always worth buying for your children. Marbles and Ramps and Nerf Guns were two runners up. We have also enjoyed walkie-talkies and spy equipment. What other open-ended toys have you enjoyed?

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16 Responses to “Top 10 Best Open-Ended Toys”

  1. Reen says:

    We have this list and also a play hut that is also a bed topper, puppet show place, tent, hut,….lol….yeah, you get the picture. I think the kids even used it on the beach to change in! Oh! Also, add Lincoln logs and dominos…and….well, I probably won’t have enough room to list them all.

    • Susan Evans says:

      Oh, yeah! I love those pop-up play huts. We use those all the time, too, for all kinds of things. We used to also have a huge barrel of Lincoln Logs, where we could put together a whole town.

  2. I started writing a post like this, though I like your ideas better! I’m thinking I may need to look into getting some K’nex. Your picture is amazing!!! My kids also love Legos and I’ve been thinking about getting them some tinker toys. I had those when I was a kid. 🙂

    Hope you’re enjoying your holiday weekend. 🙂

  3. Joy says:

    I love your list and we have a lot of what is on your list. I love seeing my kids use their imagination. It is amazing with what they can come up with. What I love most is that regardless of my kids ages (from age 5-18) still will play together with the toys. Legos are definitely a classic here, as well as the gears. As for electronics? That is my hubby’s work field and what my 18 year old is going to school for. So of course we have all sorts of equipment lying around the house that the other kids can play with! 🙂

  4. Play silks! They can mark out separate areas within a block/animal town, they can be used as dress ups (caps or headwear, usually, in our house), they can be dance scarves, they can be doll blankets, they can be the start of an impromptu picnic with the play food…

  5. Catherine says:

    You forgot to mention cardboard boxes. My kids play with them for hours. In fact, if we want to use a box for something specific (like packing things), we have to hide it from the kids.

  6. Sheila says:

    Great list. I enjoyed following along to see which toy would get #1. As you know we are a LEGO family but you did inspire me to get a few things off the shelf and put them out to see what will happen.
    My husband is a magician so we have magic trick galore and I love that they made your list. You don’t see that too often.
    Thanks for sharing your experiences–as I said I certainly enjoyed this.

  7. Kara says:

    This is a great list! I’m trying to get back to the basics with the toys I get for my boys. I love watching their imagination soar!

  8. Julie says:

    Great list! My boys always like Legos and some days will spend time using their imaginations to build things without directions! I love when they sit and do this!

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