Today's WFMW is a themed edition in preparation for Christmas...Toys Worth Buying. I must admit that I'm not sure I'm all that qualified to participate. I can think of very few toy purchases that have had staying power with my kids. There are, however, a handful that over the years they have returned to again and again.
1. Legos (all ages, as long as you get the big Duplo ones for little kids)
This has to be the all-time winner in this household. For the last ten years, there has been some form of Legos in use. More often than not, these are the go-to toy.
2. Building blocks (all ages)
When Firstborn arrived, his great-grandfather gave him a handmade set of blocks. They aren't particularly pretty, and I don't even think they're solid wood (some kind of pressed or particle board). But they have been workhorses of the toy collection. They've made towers, they've made roads, they've made buildings, and they've worked in combination with, at various times, Hotwheels, Thomas the Train, Legos, marbles and pretty much anything else.
I don't know that this actually ranks #3, but it was very useful. We bought the boys each one of these several years ago. It was chalkboard on one side, dry erase on the other, and the lid slid off to store paper, crayons etc. inside. We kept these in the van, and they kept the boys occupied while we drove.
I have heard of making something similar out of a 9x13 cake pan with lid. Supplies are kept inside and the lid serves as a work surface. Perhaps you could even paint one surface with chalkboard paint.
Really, art supplies of any kind have always been big hits with my three. We've had some fun with novelty items like Crayola Color Wonder, but the best is plain paper and pencils, crayons, or paint.
And now I will hop over to Rocks in My Dryer to see everybody else's ideas, as I'm fresh out of originality in the gift department. See you there!