fun gifts for toddlers

Moms’ Picks: Best Big Toys for Toddlers and Preschoolers

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7 Best Big Toys for Toddlers and Preschoolers

Ever wonder what big toys for toddlers are the most fun? With all of the amazing big toys for toddlers and preschoolers available today it should be easy to find something your kid will get hours, days, even years of enjoyment out of. But that hasn’t been my experience. Because kids are unpredictable.

Too often it plays out more like this, you pick out the latest and most spectacular big toy for your child. You’ve spent days or even weeks carefully researching the toy you want. And you’re probably plunking down a ridiculous sum of money for the item you’ve so carefully chosen.

Then, three days later they toss it aside in favor of a plastic dinosaur from the dollar store. And they never play with it again for the remainder of their childhood, during which it will take up valuable play space, or you know, furniture space, in your living room, ignored and gathering dust.

To combat this dark future for your next big toy purchase, I took an informal poll of some of my mom friends to find out which big toys their kids love most. Not only love but have also played with often over a long period of time.

So, these are big toys with an appeal that lasts. Check them out, Mamas, before you buy your next big toddler toy gift.

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Awesome Big Toy Gift Ideas for Toddlers & Preschoolers

best gifts for toddlers and preschoolers
 1. Playhouse or Play Tent for Toddlers and Preschoolers

Kids love immersing themselves into their own world, hidden from their parent’s view. Or at least, somewhat hidden. And one great way to give them that is with a playhouse or playtent. 

Playhouses are one of the best toys for toddlers and preschoolers. They are so versatile and provide hours of entertainment. 

If you have an abundance of space, by all means, get a big fancy playhouse! Your kids will love it. Or if you have a big yard, go for one you can set up outside. They’ll spend hours in it according to the moms I talked to.

gift idea for 2 year old

One playhouse that was mentioned by name by several moms is this, Wonderball Fun Playhouse. Which seems to no longer be available. But this looks like the latest version. I totally wish I had room for this at my house. 

If a playhouse is out of your reach for space or price reasons, consider a play tent. We have a couple of these at my house. I like them because they fold up and go away when your kids aren’t using them. And when you bring them back out they are exciting all over again.

We bought this Mickey PlayHut play tent over two years ago and it’s still going strong.

We also have this Ikea Circus Tent and have gotten a couple of year’s use out of it. My kids would have it out all of the time if I allowed it. But it’s pretty big. They even like to sleep in it sometimes. 

It makes a great, quiet reading space for little ones. And is fun for hiding and rolling around in during the not-so-quiet times.

fun gifts for toddlers

2. Play Kitchen

A play kitchen was a toy for toddlers and preschoolers that was mentioned over and over by the moms I talked to. And I totally get it. I still remember my own play kitchen from when I was a young child. My sister and I played with it for years.

My kids have been using our play kitchen for years and it still gets played with almost every day. And it has been a favorite toy at every age from about two to the early school years. 

best big toys for toddlers train table

3. Train or Activity Table

A train table is a super fun gift for toddlers. If you’re looking for a gift idea for a two year old or three year old, a train or activity table is a can’t miss.

And it’s something most kids get years of use out of. Which is great because it does take up a lot of space.

You can find some really cool ones on Amazon. I like the looks of this one because it is compatible with Brio train toys and Thomas and Friends (but do check each toy for compatibility).

 My husband actually built our kids’ train table himself. It even has a dinosaur table on the bottom. And the top and bottom can be swapped.

But if DIY projects aren’t your thing, there are lots of great options for train and activity tables for toddlers and preschoolers. Check out Amazon or your local toy store.

Related Post: The Best Art Easels for Toddlers to Get Creative

gift idea for three year old

4. Water Table

My daughter has been asking for her water table since we put it away last fall. But we have to wait for spring or summer. There is no way I am bringing that mess in the house. But outside, definitely!

I am looking forward to water table season as much as my kids. Bring on the sun!

Water tables are great for kids because they get wet and can splash around without having to get totally submerged. And it’s a small enough amount of water you can easily warm it up before they play in it. Plus, old bath toys get a second life as water table toys.

best three year old gift ideas5. Slide

I have four different slides for my kids to play on. Three outside and one inside. And they all get lots of use.

Slides are cool. Ask any kid. Most adults even like them when they’re big enough for us to take a ride. My own kids and every daycare kid I’ve ever had are always super excited about slides.

My favorite slide is the Fisher Price Fun Slide N Rocker. We’ve had it in our living room for over three years. But they no longer make it so the price has shot up like crazy. 

But there are plenty of great alternatives if you’re looking for a great toddler slide

Toddler slides can make a great gift for one year olds on up through three to four years. Choose one in the right size and height that will work for your little one. And maybe give them some room to grow. That way the toy can last awhile. 

best gifts for two year old

6. Power Wheel

Although my kids don’t have a power wheel, I’m sure they would like one. They have certainly enjoyed them at a friend’s house several times.

Multiple moms mentioned these to me as a big hit with their younger kids. It was definitely a favorite gift for two year olds, even younger ones with the right skills. 

And what’s not to love? These things are awesome. I love the description that it drives an “exciting, but safe 2 mph”. Woo-hoo! But seriously, they do look fun and that is the perfect speed for a little one.

Plus they come in a couple of different colors and themes so it should be easy to find one your toddler will love. 

best big toys for toddlers

7. Foamnasium

Foamnasium pieces are super cool! They are something I would expect to see at a preschool or a children’s museum, but small enough to have at home.

I had never heard of these until I did my little survey and heard from several mamas about how much fun they are. Now I can’t wait to get them.

If your toddler or preschooler loves to climb and jump and is basically a little ball of energy, this will be the perfect gift for them. 

Your child can climb, stack, crash, repeat. And I like that you can buy a few pieces at a time as you can afford them and add to your collection slowly.

Big Toys for Toddlers and Preschoolers They’ll Love!

There are hundreds, maybe thousands of toys for young kids out there. But we all only have so much money and space for the big toys. And when I pick out a toddler toy I am always hoping a big toy will create some big fun. I hope you can use this list to help you find the perfect big toy for your little kid.

Please add your own big toy suggestions in the comments!

And be sure to sign up for a FREE 30-Day Trial of Amazon Prime for free two-day shipping if you need your new toddler toy delivered in a hurry!

Gift Ideas for Big Toddler Toys for Your Home

best big toys for toddlers

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18 thoughts on “Moms’ Picks: Best Big Toys for Toddlers and Preschoolers”

  1. Oh these are good! We have a play kitchen, but I’m thinking a playhouse would be AMAZING. Thank you for sharing these! I’m definitely pinning this article for Christmas/birthday ideas!

  2. I am now a Grandma, but I love this list! My children loved their play kitchen and outdoor plastic play/structure type house! My kids used several Rubbermaid tubs as their water table:) My kids always wanted a battery ride on toy, but we never got one. A great “kid powered” ride on toy is a Plasma Car! Move the handle back and forth and the car moves! Little kids can push with their feet and the weight limit is 150lbs! I ride on it too and race the kids! I own two-one I purchased at Homegoods and the second at, surprisingly, Aldi, but I’ve seen them online. They don’t work well on carpet but are amazing on hard surfaces.’

  3. Hello Elizabeth, I was searching for the best toy for my baby and your blog makes me want to start shopping here. Really, you have shared best big toys for my little one child. Thanks for your awesome tips.

  4. Great list! Slides are great aren’t they, and mine loved hiding in a cheap tent. I didn’t think to buy a toy kitchen at first having two boys (*very gender stereotyped,ashamed of myself) but it was their favourite thing to play with at everyone else’s house so got one from EBay. They cook me pretend dinner on it every day! Never heard of a dinosaur table though…great idea! My top toy altogether for 4-12 months would be the Fisher Price Rainforest Jumparoo. All three of mine absolutely adored it. Bought it second hand but would be worth every penny of the full price!

  5. My girls loved having a play tent when they were younger. I’m hoping this year to build them a little playhouse outside for summer!

  6. I love all of these ideas! Toys that leave play open to your child’s imagination are the best. My son loved his play kitchen from a year old and now that he’s climbing I can’t wait to get an outdoor playset this summer.

  7. This makes me want to start shopping now!! Im in desperate need of more outdoor toys. Especially since its already warm here! Im going to be stalking tbe secondhand stores for a water table for sure! Great list!

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