Toys That Last: Evergreen Toys That Get Played With For Years To Come From A Longtime Nanny/Mom

toys that last evergreen toys/gifts that get played with for years to come from a longtime nanny/mom
toys that last evergreen toys/gifts that get played with for years to come from a longtime nanny/mom

As a babysitter since I was 11, nanny for 10 years and now mommy I have a lot of experience playing with kids! Christmas is rolling around and I was thinking of things to buy my kids that would be toys that last us for years to come. The evergreen toys the ones that will be played with for years and the ones that siblings will enjoy when they get passed down.

I love to give gifts that kids will play with and will still play with a couple years from now. It feels so wasteful to give the hip gift of the season knowing that it will be donated to Goodwill a year from now. So, I decided to make a list and share that list with all of you. I hope you enjoy giving a gift that will be enjoyed for years to come.

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. I may receive a commission if you choose to make a purchase. All opinions are my very own and I never share anything that I don’t use and love! This is at no cost to you and allows me to stay home with my babies! Thank you!

Toys for Girls


  • Kitchen SetKidKraft Ultimate Corner Play Kitchen with Lights & Sounds, Brown/White – This is actually great for boys and girls! Everyone loves to play pretend chef and restaurant. This is one of those bigger purchases but when you get age 1 1/2 – 6 or so out of it with it being something future siblings can play with, it’s well worth the money.
  • Melissa and Doug pretend foodMelissa & Doug Food Groups - 21 Hand-Painted Wooden Pieces and 4 Crates – This company is amazing! They make wooden toys that last almost FOREVER! The pretend food sets are so great and they come out with new ones all the time. Cookies, fruit cutting, sandwiches, pizza, ice cream and so many more. I think I have just as much fun playing with these sets as the kids do!
  • Small dollsYou & Me, Happy Family, Family Action Figure Set [Dad, Mom, Daughter, and Baby] Brown Hair/action figures – These little characters end up being in every game imaginable. Tea party, school, house, swimming mermaid adventures in the bath. Starting from around 2 all the way to around 6 or so. 4 years is a good toy life. I have seen little girls play with their mommy’s old dolls from when they were children. The imagination keeps these characters evergreen.
  • ALEX Toys Giant Art JarArts and Craft sets – Little girls love to craft(and many boys too). Starting around 1 1/2 years old to however the oldest person alive is today, people love to create! This is one of those gifts that anyone can have fun with and it never goes out of style.




Toys for Boys


  • Learning Resources Jumbo Zoo AnimalsAnimal/action figure sets – These little people and creatures will end up playing every role you can imagine. Heros, bad guys, aliens, monsters..they will be rescued from lego towers and shot down with Nerf guns. Boys imaginations are packed full of action adventures and these little characters will carry out all of those adventures. From 2 years old to around 6ish these toys will get a lot of play and then siblings will enjoy them as well.
  • Nerf N-Strike Elite Strongarm BlasterNerf guns – Geared toward a little older of an age from around age 4 or 5 to adult Nerf guns can make for epic battles! I know some parents are not comfortable with pretend guns so be sure to check before you gift this item. I have had some awesome Nerf gun challenges and battles that are better than the best workout I’ve ever done! Kids never run out of energy!
  • Nerf Pro Shop Mini Sports PackSports balls – I dare to say that  almost every child will play with a sports ball at some point. An overwhelming number of those kids will pick up a sport either at recess or on a team, often times both. These balls are great for in the house too and provide hours of entertainment and endless games. These are great from age 1- 100! Another sibling pass down item as well.
  • Race cars – On a race track, car mat, the floor (try masking tape for a cool race course of your own design), down the slide or really anywhere these are great. They are small and can travel well to provide entertainment anywhere. An age old enough to not put small parts in their mouth to 11ish these cars will get a lot of miles put on them.

Toys for All


  • LEGO Classic Medium Creative Brick Box 10696Legos – A classic toy with endless potential for boys and girls of all ages! A great hand me down collection too! Age 2- 100! Just make sure your 2 years old doesn’t eat things because they are small. Try Duplo sets for little ones.
  • HedBanz Game - Edition may varyBoard Games – These are great if you choose a game that can be played over and over again. Think Sorry, Payday, Monopoly, UNO, Yahtzee, Candy Land, Trouble. The games that everyone has and everyone plays are the timeless ones.



  • PLAYMOBIL City Zoo Kit, LargePLAYMOBIL Sets – Check these out! I don’t know why a lot of people don’t know about these awesome building sets. They have hundreds of options and they are so fun to make and play with. I once built a whole city with a kid! We played for days!


  • Little People Sets – I have played more little people in my life than maybe any other toy. Small easy to handle people with houses, farms, buses, planes and all kinds of other extras. Great for imaginative play! Just when you think the kids have outgrown them you find them playing again . Good from age 1-6ish and a great sibling toy!
  • Durable Kids Doctor Kit with Electronic Stethoscope and 12 Medical Doctor's Equipment, Packed in a Sturdy Gift CasePretend Play SetsDoctor/Handyman – Kids love to pretend to be grown-ups in the workforce! It is a go to game from about 2 years old to about 8 or so. These sets help kids feel like the real deal!


  • Train/Car/Lego Activity Table – A bigger purchase here but if you have space these are so great because they are multifunctional. I like to store the toys underneath for easy access so they get played with often! Great from around 1 1/2 to about 8 or so then the kids get too big to play legos there.
  • Learning Resources Pretend & Play Teaching Cash RegisterCash Register – Any store kids can dream up needs a cashier and so do restaurants! This a bonus learning opportunity to practice with coins and money. These get used at lemonade stands too! Great from around 2 or so to about 10ish and another great pass down toy!

  • ABC MOUSE – A subscription to this awesome learning app is a great gift! It can be played on a phone,tablet or computer! The games are so great for learning, we use it to work on the alphabet with my 2-year-old. For the kids, it feels like they are playing games but the secret is that all the games are educational! Really great for ages 2-6!


These are some of the classics that I have seen and played with over and over!

I want this to be a place where moms can come together and share helpful information and support one another! So please add in the toys that have passed the evergreen test in your house.

4 thoughts on “Toys That Last: Evergreen Toys That Get Played With For Years To Come From A Longtime Nanny/Mom”

  1. Small dolls and pretend food definitely withstand the test of time! I find that it’s the toys that don’t encourage imaginative play are the ones that get forgotten the easiset.

    1. Hi Xavia,

      I definitely agree! I have played so many different games of pretend with those toys because they can be used in just about any game kids can think up!

  2. I agree that investing in gifts that kids play with for long after a usual battery life is the way to go! That said, I wish you hadn’t separated these into girl/boy toys. Plenty of boys I know enjoy playing with arts and crafts supplies, and many girls I know love Legos and blocks.

    1. Hi Catherine,

      Thanks for the comment! I totally agree that all these toys can be great for both boys and girls!

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