If you've got a child on your shopping list and you want to buy them something classic that won't be tossed aside in the gift pile, we have suggestions. Here are fifteen options for kids 12 months to 12 years — prices and age levels are included below.
This online and Atlanta-based store is definitely geared toward design lovers, and it's the kind of place where you might go for one really unique, high-end gift for a child — something they can keep for many years. We love this silver airliner, $60 (ages 3 plus).
Located in four places throughout the Boston area, Magic Beans is one of those well-stocked stores with a huge selection of toys and an extensive website. We like the wooden Chalet Dollhouse with Furniture, which has two units that can be rearranged, $230 (ages 3 plus).
The Eric Carle Museum Bookshop
Eric Carle's books are classics, and the museum and gift shop has all of them and more. His beloved caterpillar illustration is re-envisioned here as a Caterpillar Wood Pull Toy that wiggles as it rolls, $18.95 (ages 12 months and up).
Green Toys' products start their lives as milk jugs that are recycled and transformed into toys made in the USA. They have a variety of affordable and good-looking trucks, blocks, play kitchen dishes, and this Tea Set, $25 (ages 2 plus).
Designed for children between the ages of 2 and 5, Like-a-Bikes are wooden toy vehicles that are safe for smaller children, before they're ready for a big kid bike. It has no pedals, and it's operated by a child pushing off the ground with their feet. This is the MIDI Bike, $355 (ages 2 plus).
This online megastore is always a good place to comparison shop, since they have a huge selection of mass-market classics. One childhood favorite that never gets old is the Radio Flyer Red Wagon, $80 (ages 2 plus).
This is one of San Francisco's largest toy stores, with two locations in the city and an extensive website. They carry the classics — tin toys, trains, and wooden blocks — as well as action figures, bikes, bigger toys, and (shown here) the Briar Horse collection. This is Secretariat, $40 (ages 3 plus).
John and Amber Westerman run Pop Deluxe, a gift and accessories shop in Madison, Wisconsin. Although not exclusively a kids' store, it has a pretty extensive childrens' section with great toys, like this Constructibles Interlocking Building Blocks Set, $13 (ages 4 plus).
This online store's inventory is focused on imaginative play. They have a huge selection of childrens' costumes, from fairy princesses to pirates, as well as toys for girls and boys. This is the Personalized Tool Caddy, $64 (ages 3 plus).
This online children's store focuses on organic, natural and eco-friendly products. It's a good resource for long lasting, well-made wooden toys. This Camden Rose Solid Wooden Play Kitchen sells there for $250 (ages 2 plus).
If you're shopping for an older child, LEGOs are always a good bet. They never go out of style, and even grown-ups love playing with them. Check their site for what's hot right now, like this Lego White House, $50 (ages 12 plus).
The Wooden Wagon
This web shop carries imagination-driven, well-made, beautiful things for your children. They're the kind of store that searches for the best possible wooden blocks out there — like these Colored Geo Blocks, $63.50 (ages 3 plus).
Visit their website for a wide selection of European (mostly German)-made toys that embody Maukilo's motto: Buy once, Play forever. We're in love with this super-slick wooden and plastic A9 Compact Car, $38 (ages 3 plus).
Constructive Playthings supplies schools, daycare, and educational centers, in addition to selling directly through online retail. They have a lot of classic toys, including these Wooden Pioneer Building Logs, $40 (ages 3 plus).
This New York (and online) store is all about toys made from long-wearing materials in classic styles. They have some great riding toys, as well as arts and crafts, building blocks, and play kitchens. This Silver Speedster is $110 (ages 1-3).