Mommy, I'm Bored: Toy Gift Ideas to Keep Kids Entertained

As a parent, you want to keep your kids occupied and entertained in a positive and healthy way. However, kids have short attention spans. One minute, they want to color at the table, the next they want to watch television or play pretend in their room. While this is totally normal behavior, and their attention spans will lengthen as they get older, you need to find a variety of toy gift ideas that keep them both busy and entertained so everyone is happy.

Before you start seeking out the best gift ideas for each of your children, you need to know the right types of toys to pick for each age group. Children under age 2 benefit the most from toys that stimulate their senses, though they need pieces that aren’t a choking hazard. When your child reaches ages 3 and 4, the best toy gifts involve creativity skills, independent play, and greater mobility. By ages 5 and 6, kids want a bigger challenge, and your toy gift ideas should focus on interacting with others. From ages 7 to 10, children form a greater sense of themselves, making decisions about their likes, dislikes, and self-image, so you need to consider these needs while shopping for gifts for kids.

Whether you are buying toy gifts for boys or girls, your ideas need to center around helping them discover themselves. Educational toys expand one part of the brain, while creative thinking triggers another. Since there are so many options, use some of these toy gift ideas to gain a little insight into what's available and make the best choice for your little ones.

Fun and Educational

If you’re a parent, the ultimate dream is to find gift ideas that educate and entertain at the same time. Depending on your child’s age, it’s easy to find ways to stimulate their brain with the right toys. Children under age 10 go through plenty of cognitive development, making building and analyzing gifts a great choice. Use blocks and puzzles with the appropriate size pieces for their hands and skill level. One popular toy gift idea for children in kindergarten and up is letter magnets, which come in many shapes, colors, and styles.

Play a Melody

Rather than using toy gifts to keep your kids quietly entertained, find a musical instrument (real or fake) that engages them. With drums and guitars to echo down your hallways, your child learns about cause-and-effect, and they recognize different octaves and sounds that they don’t hear in everyday life. As they learn to create melodies with these toy gift ideas, their brain releases hormones that cause joy and heighten focus. There are plenty of gift sets that include multiple instruments or noise-makers to give your child a greater variety in their play time.

Invoke Creative Thinking

Every unique toy gift needs to stimulate their creative thinking, and nothing comes as naturally as pretend play to a child. You don’t need many supplies to create a dress-up or costume box for them since children naturally thrive in their imagination. Choose regular costume jewelry and outfits, seek out characters that they know, or add sheets and scarves to make this one of the best gift ideas for your child. A fun chest or storage ottoman would make a wonderful storage space for the pieces and can be matched with a bedroom or playroom decor.

Think Outside the Box

Every child is not the same, and some kids flourish with toy gift ideas outside of the kid section. However, these engaging products keep kids away from their cell phones long enough to relate to and speak with the rest of the family. Take some normal household products to help them challenge their imagination, taking their pretend play beyond typical indoor and outdoor toys.

A flashlight, for instance, is perfect for hunting down the “monsters” they imagine, or make it the backdrop for different shapes with your hands. A handheld massager’s vibrations feel funny between hands and fingers, and some studies suggest that these objects make some of the best toy gifts for children with special needs. Use any objects that promote sensory play, like a glittering disco ball or even a music player.  

Even with the most popular unique toy gifts, you need to find the right fit for your child to help them stay occupied. There are plenty of options that promote creativity, critical thinking, and independent play, but you'll have the most success from learning your child’s interests. Once you know which of the toy gift ideas they'll enjoy the most, your shopping list is easy to create. Find the best toy gift for your child, and watch them entertain themselves for hours, or until the next time they come to tell you that they’re bored.