evergreen toys

Evergreen toys that should be in your home

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Toys are forever on our shopping lists!  Whether you are buying a birthday present, a Christmas gift, a reward, or just an “I love you and you deserve it’ gift, you end up buying toys. But how do you make sure that the toy is the right one? How can you be sure they will love it and play with it?

Simple, you buy an evergreen toy! What are evergreen toys you might ask. Something that never withers and dies? Pretty much!

Evergreen toys are very similar to open-ended toys, they are versatile, encourage independent play and grow with the child.

Evergreen toys never lose their appeal. And that’s how you know you’ve bought the right toy!

I think that having a handy list with open-ended evergreen toys will save you plenty a times. And we are here to help. We put together a great list of toys that you can buy and never doubt whether you bought the right toy or not.

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Indoor evergreen toys (that we like and recommend)

Baby toys

Nowadays companies offer endless options of eye-catching toys. Most baby toys are battery operated which we advise against given the great risk button batteries pose to babies.

Moreover, try NOT to aim for toys which do everything for the child and ask nothing of them. Choose toys which are evergreen, that grow with the child and offer kids the chance to explore and learn. Toys that can be staked, pulled, pushed, rolled, squeezed, toys that bounce, that surprise the child are great options.

Opt for toys that can easily be manipulated by little hands and pose no danger. Less colour and noise is better!

Some examples of toys

Wooden blocks

Amazingly versatile, wooden blocks allow children to use their imagination and deeply engage in play. There is no limit to what you can invent, and the great part is they are great for little hands and older hands as well! That is why they are the perfect evergreen toys!

Build towers and rescue people, create an enchanted forest, build towns and roads, play a stacking game or a knock them down game, you name it. We love wooden blocks, and we recommend them wholeheartedly!

Some examples of toys

Construction sets

Melissa and Doug have great construction sets, lovely wooden ones that help not only motor development, but also imagination. However, we simply love a certain construction set because we can play as a family.

It’s called Suspend and it’s loads of fun. It teaches my son turn taking and my husband patience, and we all enjoy it in the evening when we try to calm things down a bit.

Some examples of toys

Pretend play

Pretend play leads to adult creativity. You can encourage kids to create alternative selves and realities and in doing so you help them develop cognitive and affective skills. Pretend play supports the development of thinking skills.  It also encourages children to take pleasure in challenges and problem solving. This in time gives kids the ability to control their emotions and anxiety.

For more about pretend play and how it helps, we recommend the book ‘Pretend Play in Childhood: Foundation of adult creativity’ by Sandra W Russ

Some example of toys

Toy animals

Oh, toy animals are at the top of the list of evergreen toys!  Be it hand puppets or animal figurines, wooden animals or cuddly ones, toy animals can be used in all kinds of games and scenarios.

Melissa and Doug have these amazing create yourself animal figurines and we love them! First of all, because they encourage creativity and allows space for children’s ideas to surface. Also because they allow you to personalise the toy and help children feel a sense of achievement in doing so.

Then use the little toy animals as you wish: superhero dogs, the policeman cow, the flying horse and the farmer pig can all go on a treasure hunt together.

Some examples of toys

Collaboration games

Collaboration games include board games, role play, construction games even, pair and groups games that help children collaborate and negotiate. 

Did you know that as a species we are designed to work together and help each other? Children as young as 3 are able to share fairly and so peer collaboration can further help children develop this sense of fairness. 

Collaboration games are essential for kids because they learn to share knowledge and display expertise. What is more, children need to communicate and reach an agreement, while at the same time support and encourage others during play. 

Need we say more?

Some examples of toys

Creative toys 

Creativity is the path towards exploration and knowledge. Creative play is  a great tool not only with typical children, but it is also being used with adults who are at risk, with children who have special needs and those who take part in art therapy.

I have recently read an article about creative play being used in hospitals with children and adults diagnosed with cancer to help them feel less distressed. Which is amazing, and talks so much about the power of play!

Creative toys may include arts and crafts, cards, building toys and toys that encourage role play, people figurines and any loose parts elements you may have, and lots and lots of imagination.

Some examples of toys

Dress up and role play toys

Pretend play is essential for young children’s exploration of themselves and the world. At first children will engage in dress up play that reflects their lived experiences: mummy cooking, the postman bringing parcels, a policeman saving or arresting someone.

The older they get, the more complex dress up play becomes. They will travel to other times and places and experience the world far and wide. And because they engage in collaboration and negotiation when playing with others, their social skills blossom as well. 

Dress up games give children the possibility to perform their identity and discover bits of themselves in ways they couldn’t otherwise easily do.

So offer them time and various resources to do so! Dress up is not goofing around, it’s discovery and self-discovery! 

Some examples of toys

Don’t forget

Toys don’t need to overwhelm the child, they need to be a resource towards learning and exploration. We love evergreen toys because they help you reduce costs, they grow with the child and offer endless hours of play. 


You can always take a look at our indoor and outdoor open play ideas for more inspiration. 

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4 thoughts on “Evergreen toys that should be in your home”

  1. Oh, I like the construction toy with the suspended parts! I’ve never heard the term, “evergreen toys,” before. Yet, we have several on your list, starting with the classic wooden blocks.

  2. These are all awesome toys! My son especially loves pretend play toys. He has the pretend vet set, and he plays with it all the time!

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