best value toys

The top 5 best value toys we have bought EVER!!

As I have four children and a love of buying stuff I have bought a lot of toys over the years.  In fact our playroom looks much like a playgroup or nursery as there are just so many toys.  So after 11 years of parenting I feel well placed to tell you about the best value toys we have ever bought.

If you are starting to prepare for Christmas or birthdays or are perhaps new to this parenting malarkey then you need to know that not all toys are made equal!  There are some that my kids were desperado to have which actually never got played with and then others that cost me a small fortune, but have been played with almost everyday.  Some toys cost a few pounds and have lasted for years and still others were the biggest waste of money so which are the best value toys?  Well here are our top 5 best value toys we have bought

(Well it was 5, but then I thought of another one so you get a bonus)

This post contains affiliate links, but everything I am writing about I have actually bought and my kids have used; again and again and again!Best value toys

Aquaplay Canal System

I have mentioned this one a few times now as I literally think it is the most amazing toy.  They have come down in price considerable since I first bought one, but even at the price I paid it is one of the best value toys we have ever bought as it has, so far, lasted for 10 years and it lives outside all year round!

There are loads of different versions of the Aquaplay sets some which you can expand on over time by adding extra pieces and some which are compact and perfect for small gardens.  

Aquaplay sets are a really versatile toy which almost grows with your kids.  Basically the way they play with it changes as they grow up.  My younger children still use it to play with water, pump the water and move the boats about, but my older children bring down their pirate ships and playmobil characters and we have full blown battles and imaginative games unfolding all based around the canal system.  It has been the Nile, a water way to a desert island and a dinosaur world and that was just this summer!

There are loads of sets to choose from, but I think the best aquaplay set is this one because…

  • It is a great size for several kids to play with at once
  • there are lots of different elements for them to play with such as locks and bridges so it keeps kids occupied 
  • It is a great starter set which is expandable so you can add to it as your kids get older and want more 


I love these toys they are so sturdy and practical.  Even my ruffians can’t damage them…  I love that they are easy to transport and that they spark the children’s imagination.  I especially love the histories range as that has given rise to lots of conversations about the Romans and the Egyptians and so has helped them to learn.  My boys and girls all love a bit of playmobil and we have a vast collection at this stage.

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Despite the fact that Lego gets everywhere and bloody hurts if you stand on it, it is on my best value toys list as it gets played with endlessly in this house. 

Lego is expensive, but I find that if you get the creator ones where there is more than one thing to make or the classic boxes  where there are loads of different things that they can make out of each set. 

Also the fact that they sit quietly and concentrate on the building for seemingly hours makes it a great time for me too!! 

As with other toys on this list they can also play really imaginatively with their Lego.  My boys create their own worlds and then there is always a battle of some sort between the characters and the girls love to create little worlds for their lego figures and the Lego Friends are a great hit with them too.


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Tomy Toomies Hide and Squeak Eggs

These are so popular in my house they couldn’t not be included in our list of best value toys.   It is only a little toy that costs no more than $15, but they are the gift that keeps on giving.

Originally they were used as shape sorters when the kids were babies, then, as a toddler, one of my sons decided he liked surprise eggs and then anything to do with eggs so he was obsessed with these. 

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Now that the boys and girls are older these eggs are used as part of their play food for the play kitchen and are regularly.  I would also recommend a play kitchen if you have the space….  Ours is a kitchen and a restaurant apparently.



We only discovered these this summer, but they have become a firm favourite both with the kids and with me.  They love them as they just love to make stuff whether following a pattern or just from their own imagination. 

I love them as they keep them so engaged and for the littler ones are fab for their coordination and motor skills.  They are also just easy for them to use and I cannot see how they could break them. 

The thing I love best is that they take up so little room that we can take loads on holiday with us or even take some to keep the kids occupied if we are out for a meal. 

We have wheels and bits to make a ferris wheels so the possibilities are truly endless and as the kids grow the things that make can become more complex so there is real longevity here.  It isn’t just something you buy for say a 2 year old and by the time they are 3 its in the bin. 

There are so many fab sets of these that I could go mad buying them all.  I should say that we were also recently sent two sets of these by Magnaformers, but originally I bought sets for the kids which is why they are still included in this list of best value toys. 


These are another of those toys that seem to keep on giving.  My kids started playing with these from the time they were around 12 months old and my 8 year old still loves them.  We have even taken them on holiday as they tend to come in a bag so are perfect for transporting on road trips or to grandparent’s houses. 

Great Value toys

My almost 4 year olds are obsessed with them at the moment and love just building towers or using them to make anything from crocodiles to people (they have good imaginations).  They also use them for making colour patterns so lots of learning going on here too.  They are robust and we have had our one large set for 7 years.  You can’t go wrong with that kind of value!

These toys I have written about here are all ones that I have purchased and that I stand behind as being the best value toys that we have ever bought and ones that your kids will play with for years!

29 thoughts on “The top 5 best value toys we have bought EVER!!”

  1. This is actually a really useful list! A lot of these lists aren’t that great if I’m honest as they tend to be split by gender and only offer dull stereotypical choices, but this one’s really good 🙂 I’m pretty certain my little tot would love the aqua canal so i’m gonna try that! #DreamTeam

  2. You just can’t go wrong with lego!!!I’d forgotton about those cute little eggs though , also having 4 children I have spent so many hours playing with those eggs!! I think our best toy would be a wooden train track that was added too with each child until it almost needed a room of it’s own for storage #dreamteam

  3. Huge Lego Fans here although as I Had just one battered biscuit tin of Lego handed down from my brothers, it amazes me what my children have had over the years. Good and bad in different ways. Nice to find out about some new toys via your blog post #DreamTeam

  4. Great to see that all the toys you had such good experience with our toys to fuel children’s imagination, often simple ones that were already around when I was a kid (which is somewhat reassuring, phew) 🙂

    1. The oldies are the best! They also play with my fisher price doctors set from the 1980s and they love it! Thanks for joining in with the #DreamTeam

  5. I got my boys a kitchen last year they loved. They love lego now mind but if they saw the aqua toy they would despeately want that. Fab choices for christmas presents for kids X #dreamteam

    1. My boys are getting a bit big for the kitchen now, but they still do love a good game of restaurants! The aqua toy is definitely a firm favourite here. I think I might even like it more than the kids 😉 Thanks for joining in with the #DreamTeam

  6. Lego is definitely a stand out for us. It gets everywhere, but it’s so worth it. Mine has just discovered playmobil and at the moment the lego/playmobil cross over game is epic at the button house lol. Thanks for being a brilliant #dreamteam host xx

  7. #thesatsesh we are having another lego CHRISTMAS and i couldnt be happier – we also love a little playmobil action but lego is my dream. Leave me with s build and a GnT 🙂 happy christmas

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