Especially since we live in a smallish apartment, we look for longevity in toys both in the quality of materials and in multi-age appeal. We recently purchased a small cube puzzle for our 9 month old. He's too young for the puzzle aspect of the toy, but the blocks are a perfect size for his small hands and, for now, he has a grand time banging two blocks together or rattling them around in their wooden box.
We recently had a 4-year-old visitor who, looking around at our small selection of "baby" toys, immediately honed in on these blocks and began to put the different animal puzzles together so we feel good that this toy will be hanging around for a few years. It's also super cute to display on a shelf when not in use.
This particular puzzle, called the Backyard Buddy Puzzle ($12), is made by one of our favorite companies, ImagiPLAY. When it first arrived it seemed smaller than we'd thought, but the 1 1/4" blocks are just right for our son. (We should note that the website we purchased this from lists the toy as 2+ years, but we don't believe this is for safety reasons.)