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Best Toys for Preschoolers in 2020

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With three kids five and under, I have quite a bit of experience with preschool aged kids and the toys they enjoy. I love getting ideas for toys from other parents, and I thought I’d share our favorites. I have rounded up our top picks for the Best Toys for Preschoolers. These are both toys that we already have and love, and those that are on our wish lists for this holiday season. I hope they give you plenty of great ideas for gifts for your preschoolers.

Affiliate info: This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you purchase something through one of the links here, I might receive a percentage of the sale, with no added cost to you. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. For further information, see the Affiliation Information Page.

Disclaimer: The information published in this blog is for information and entertainment purposes only. I am not an expert and you should look elsewhere for advice. I am not liable for any damages resulting from using the information on this blog. All activities for children require adult supervision. For further information, see the Disclaimer page. I recommend toys that in my humble opinion are appropriate for preschoolers, but every child is different and what is appropriate and safe for a given child should be determined by the individual parent of that child.

My criteria for selecting the Best Toys for Preschoolers

Everyone is looking for something different in a toy. I have quickly summarized below what I believe are the best characteristics for preschool toys.

The best toys for preschoolers are high quality. These are toys that can withstand regular play and will be around for years to come.

The best toys for preschoolers grow with the child. These are toys that kids won’t outgrow in a few months and will hold their interest for a reasonable amount of time.

The best toys for preschoolers teach the child something. I prefer toys that allow the child to practice and develop a skill, like pretend play, building, logic, writing, drawing, and creativity.

The best toys for preschoolers are fun! In order for a toy to be successful, the child must actually want to play with it and enjoy playing with it. Otherwise it’s just going to collect dust!

Best Vehicle Toys for Preschoolers

pin for best vehicle toys for preschoolers a section of the best toys for preschoolers
Wooden railway set, Garbage truck, Neighborhood vehicle set, Helpful neighbor’s garage, Nesting and sorting buildings and vehicles
  1. Melissa and Doug Wooden Railway Set

We’ve had an older version of this train set for about a year and my kids love it. I love the magnetic crane, bridges, and train shed that come with this particular set.

2. Matchbox Garbage Truck

This truck makes fun noises (not annoying, in my opinion) and my kids enjoy filling the can and truck with “garbage” (i.e. small figurines or paper) and dumping it back out. We’ve had it for 2 or 3 years and it’s not going anywhere.

3. Fisher Price Little People Around the Town Vehicle Set

This cute set is a great value. My kids love arranging the figurines and vehicles. I am considering adding the airplane and school bus to our set.

4. Fisher Price Little People Helpful Neighbor’s Garage

This is a small and compact garage. My kids love playing with car the elevator and pushing cars down the ramp. It comes with two Wheelies vehicles, and more Wheelies vehicles are available separately.

5. Melissa and Doug Nesting and Sorting Buildings and Vehicles

My kids love stacking the boxes in this cute set and putting the vehicles into the boxes. The vehicles are wood, but the boxes are cardboard. We have had some small rips in the boxes over time. They still love them.

Best Books for Preschoolers

best book for preschoolers part of the best toys for preschoolers pin
Ordinary People Change the World Gift Set, Little Kids First Big Book of Why, Potato Pants!, Ten Magic Butterflies, Grumpy Monkey, and You Choose
  1. Ordinary People Change the World Gift Set

Our whole family loves these books. They are intended for kids grade Kindergarten t0 4th grade, but my preschoolers enjoy them as well. They are entertaining and educational, and I also love the messages they teach. We have this gift set, I am Jackie Robinson, and I am Jane Goodall. I plan to pick up I am Neil Armstrong, I am Walt Disney, and I am Lucille Ball this holiday season to expand our collection.

2. National Geographic Little Kids First Big Book of Why

This book is part of the National Geographic Little Kids First Big Books series, which includes all sorts of topics that are interesting, fun, and educational. We love these books and they’re a great way to learn while having fun.

3. Potato Pants!

My twins chose to read this book every night before bed for nearly a year. They love it so much.

4. Ten Magic Butterflies

Intended for kids 4-6 years old, this book weaves early math concepts with a great story. My five year old twins love reading it.

4. Grumpy Monkey

This book is adorable and entertaining. We all enjoy reading it.

5. You Choose

My kids love to choose from all the colorful images where they would go, which vehicle they prefer, which bed they like, and so on.

Best Pretend or Dramatic Play Toys for Preschoolers

Best Pretend or Dramatic Play Toys for Preschoolers as part of the best toys for preschoolers
Leap Frog Scoop and Learn Ice Cream Cart, Doc McStuffins Pet Rescue Mobile, Melissa and Doug Pretend Play Fresh Grocery Store, Melissa and Doug Pretend Play Fresh Grocery Store, Schleich Horse Riding Stable
  1. Leap Frog Scoop and Learn Ice Cream Cart

We’ve had the older version of this toy for two years and my kids still really love it and play with it all the time. This is the newer deluxe version with ice pops as well as ice cream.

2. Doc McStuffins Pet Rescue Mobile

My daughter got this for Christmas last year and all the kids oohed and aahed over it all day. She still loves it and I think it would make a great gift. This carrier is also a great option that is a bit smaller.

3. Melissa and Doug Pretend Play Fresh Grocery Store

We have a grocery store in our playroom and it is played with all the time. The kids take turns shopping and working the cash register. With a little imagination, the grocery store also turns into a restaurant, a bakery, and more. A shopping cart or basket also make a great additions. This grocery store is the most similar that I could find to what we have, but I think there are many good options on the market. If you don’t want to commit to the space of a whole grocery store, a cash register with toy food is a great alternative.

4. Schleich Horse Riding Stable

My daughter got this for her fifth birthday, and it has become a fast favorite. The construction of this horse stable is beautiful and detailed, and it is a toy she will grow into in the next few years. It does have very small pieces. We plan on adding more horses to the set this holiday season.

Best Building Toys for Preschoolers

Best Building Toys for Preschoolers as part of the best toys for preschoolers pin
Jumbo Cardboard Building Blocks, MagnaTiles, Lego Duplo, 1-2-3 Build it! Car, Boat and Plane, Educational Insights Design and Drill Workbench, Gears! Gears! Gears!
  1. Jumbo Cardboard Building Blocks

These are great for building towers and my kids really love them. Even though they’re cardboard and have been well-loved, ours have held up well over the years.

2. MagnaTiles

These have been a favorite toy in our house for at least three years. MagnaTiles provide endless entertainment and never seem to get old. My kids build castles, towers, houses, trucks, and more. There are sets of various sizes available.

3. Lego Duplo

Great for building all kinds of creations. My kids make everything from birthday cakes to houses with these blocks. We have several train pieces similar to these that are always a hot item in our house. My daughter specifically added this Lego Duplo Modular Playhouse to her wish list, while my son spotted this Lego Duplo Superheroes Lab.

4. 1-2-3 Build it! Car, Boat and Plane

We all love to play with this building set which comes with 15 pieces that are used to make a car, boat, and plane. This is a challenge for my 2.5 year old, but he still enjoys building the vehicles with help.

5. Educational Insights Design and Drill Workbench

All three of my kids love playing with this workbench. They use the hammer and drill with the workbench, but also for imaginative play fixing “projects” all over the house.

6. Gears, Gears, Gears!

A fantastic STEM toy that our while family enjoys. I have outlined seven unique ways to play with this toy in this post.

Best Puzzles for Preschoolers

Best Puzzles for Preschoolers as part of the best toys for preschoolers pin
Melissa and Doug See and Spell, Melissa and Doug Giant Firetruck Floor Puzzle, Crocodile Creek Vehicles Floor Puzzle, Crocodile Creek Barnyard Floor Puzzle, Melissa and Doug Farm Cube Puzzle, Leap Frog Mr. Pencil’s ABC Backpack

These puzzles are all favorites around our house!

  1. Melissa and Doug See and Spell (Recommended for ages 4-6)

2. Melissa and Doug Giant Firetruck Floor Puzzle

3. Crocodile Creek Vehicles Floor Puzzle

4. Crocodile Creek Barnyard Floor Puzzle

5. Melissa and Doug Farm Cube Puzzle

6. Leap Frog Mr. Pencil’s ABC Backpack

Best Arts and Craft Gifts for Preschoolers

pin describing arts crafts for preschoolers part of the best toys for preschoolers list
ABC Busy Box Art Activity, Paper Plate Bug Art and Craft Activity, Paper Bag Puppet Art and Craft Activity, Wonder Stix Chalk Crayon, Kwix Stix Solid Tempera Paint

My kids love arts and crafts. I love the Alex Toys brand of crafts kits (numbers 1-3 on the list below) because they come with all the materials neatly packaged for several crafts.

  1. ABC Busy Box Art Activity

2. Paper Plate Bug Art and Craft Activity

3. Paper Bag Puppet Art and Craft Activity

4. Wonder Stix Chalk Crayon

My kids love these for drawing on white boards and on regular paper. They’re washable, last a long time, and are also fun to use!

5. Kwix Stix Solid Tempera Paint

I picked these up for my kids this holiday season, so I can’t review them yet. I expect they’ll love them.

What do you think of this list of Best Toy Gifts for Preschoolers for 2020?

I’d love to hear what you think of these books, blocks, puzzles, toys and crafts for preschoolers. Do you have and love any of them? Is there anything I’m missing? Comment below.

I’d also love to hear what you’re gifting your preschoolers this year! Leave a comment below.

Other Gift Guides from Hey Kelly Marie

Check out my Awesome Two Year Old Gift Guide and Best Outdoor Toys for Four Year Olds.

I also have Gadgets that Make Mom Life Easier that will make fantastic gifts for the hard-working moms on your list.

Affiliate info:I sometimes publish endorsements and advertisements, which means that if you purchase something through one of the links here, I might receive a percentage of the sale, with no added cost to you. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. For further information, see the Affiliation Information Page.

Disclaimer: The information published in this blog is for information and entertainment purposes only. I am not an expert and you should look elsewhere for advice. I am not liable for any damages resulting from using the information on this blog. All activities for children require with adult supervision. For further information, see the Disclaimer page.

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