Because play is such an important part of childhood, I wanted this list of gift ideas for kids to focus on toys for children that inspire creative play. Keep on reading to see our top recommendations!
Be sure to check out all our gift ideas for kids!
Encouraging kids to play creatively and imaginatively is so critical to a child’s development. When playing and imagining kids are developing their creativity, as well as working on their social, emotional, and intellectual development.
By providing a safe play environment, as well as open-ended play time, we can help to encourage creative play in our children. This gift guide for kids includes toys that can help inspire creative play in your child. Many are our favorites we already have here at home that I’m excited to share with you. Others are on our wish list! (This list contains affiliate links.)
50 Gift Ideas for Kids to Inspire Creative Play
Pretend Play Toys
1. KidKraft Vintage Kitchen: Isn’t this one of the cutest play kitchens you’ve seen? We have some friends that have this one, and they love it!
2. Plan Toy Tea Set: This would be the perfect addition to any play kitchen. I love that it’s made from solid wood!
3. Melissa & Doug Deluxe Puppet Theater: The kids got this as a gift from their Grandma last year and love it! It’s such a fun way to promote creative play. Lucy is always making her own puppets and putting on shows for us!
4. Learning Resources Pretend & Play Calculator Cash Register: We’ve had this toy register for quite some time. The kids use it so much to play store, and I love that it has a real calculator built in!
5. Elves and Angels Julianna Kitchen Set: This kitchen set was originally given to Lucy by her Grandmommy and Grandbuddy when she was younger. It’s still a favorite! We are always getting yummy meals cooked and served to us! It’s absolutely beautiful and is solid wood!
6. Melissa & Doug Cutting Fruit Set: We have a set similar to this one, but I love how this one comes with more pieces. Perfect for your play kitchen!
7. Green Toys Dish Set: This was our first toy dish set we purchased for the kids to go with their toy kitchen. Love that it’s made from recycled materials!
8. B. Critter Clinic: How fun is this set? Perfect for your little veterinarian!
9. Learning Resources Pretend & Play School Set: Lucy is so in love with this! She plays school all the time when she has friends over and uses this frequently. And if she has no friends over and her little brother is an unwilling student, she sets up all her stuffed animals and teaches them!
10. Melissa & Doug Wooden Project Workbench: Such a fun gift the kids received last year! It comes with diagrams to help you build, or you can create your own projects!
Toys for Dress Up Play
11. Guidecraft Dress Up Storage: Wouldn’t this be a fabulous way to organize all your child’s dress up clothes? I would love this!
12. Toysmith Monster Feet: This would be a hit with both my kids! I mean, who doesn’t need some monster feet?
13. Silk Princess Hat: I love all the products from Sarah’s Silks. This is sure to inspire some fabulous pretend play!
14. Little Adventures Girl Superhero Cape: Lucy loves capes and can be frequently found flying around our backyard. This would make a great addition to her collection!
15. Single Playsilk: We have quite a few of these play silks. There’s just so many possibilities for these! Ours are frequently tied to make capes and princess skirts, sometimes our blue one becomes a pond for animals, and we always love using them for movement activities during music time!
16. Melissa & Doug Fire Chief Role Play Costume Set: Here’s a perfect dress up set for any firefighter loving child!
17. Butterfly Wings: We have these butterfly wings, and Lucy uses them frequently. They’ve lasted quite a while!
Toys for Building
18. Grimm’s Extra Large 12-Piece Rainbow Stacker – Wooden Nesting Puzzle/Building Blocks: This is one day we never bought that I really really regret. We’ve played with them at friends’ houses, and they are just beautiful and great quality. They’re frequently used for building and perfect for small world play!
19. Gears! Gears! Gears!® Beginner’s Building Set: Theo played with this at his friend’s house and loved it! I think it’s a fantastic way to create and learn all in one!
20. Haba Fantasy Blocks: Lucy received these as a gift when she was just a baby, and they are now a favorite of Theo’s. Every kid needs a set of blocks, and these are just beautiful and so fun to create with!
21. B. Stackadoos: When Lucy was a toddler, we were visiting a store that had these set up for kids to play with. We couldn’t get her to leave! So many fun colors and shapes to build with! Over the years we’ve bought these and added a few more sets. Always a hit with the kids!
22. LEGO Green Building Plate: I am desperately wanting to buy 9 of these to build a Lego wall! How fun would that be for your house or classroom? I’ve also seen some fun ways on Pinterest that you can create little Lego tables for the kids with these.
23. LEGO Ultimate Building Set : Lucy has entered the world of Legos! We started her out with this set and have been adding to it ever since.
24. Tegu Tints Explorer 40 Piece Set: Not only are these blocks absolutely beautiful, but they’re magnetic~ adding a whole new element to play! Definitely on our wish list for this year!
25. Mega Bloks Big Building Bag: This is one of Theo’s favorite materials to build with. He likes to create towers, houses, and cars and then play with his little worlds he’s created.
Toy Dolls and Animals
26. North American Bear Company Doll: Santa brought Theo this doll last year, and he loved it!
27. Little Colorado Unfinished Doll Cradle: We have a few products from Little Colorado and love the quality. I think this doll cradle would be such a fun addition for doll play!
28. Holztiger Wooden Rooster: This is our favorite brand of wooden animals! We have quite a few, and they are so much fun for small world play! Each year we add a few more to our collection. This year I’m wanting this rooster and some other farm animals!
29. Mommy & Me My First Doll Stroller: Lucy and Theo both LOVED pushing their dolls and stuffed animals around in the stroller. Such a great item to inspire creative play!
30. Camden Rose Cherry Wood Doll High Chair: Isn’t this just beautiful? This is for sure on our wish list! I know both kids would love using this for pretend play!
31. Plan Toy Doll House Vegetable Garden: We have lots of Plan Toy accessories for our doll house and love them all! We’re hoping Santa brings us this vegetable garden one this year!
32. Plan Toy My First Dollhouse: Doesn’t every child need a dollhouse? This one is gorgeous!
33. ‘Lulu’ Camden Doll: This was Lucy’s first official doll when she was a toddler. Baby Lulu has been on many adventures throughout the years!
Toys for Creative Play Outdoors
34. Backyard Safari Cargo Vest: How fun would this be for an outdoor adventure? Love all the little pockets and clips too.
35. Silk Rainbow Streamer: This has been a fun toy in our home for a few years. I put it in the outdoor category because the kids usually are running around outside with it, but of course it makes a great toy for creative play indoors as well!
36. Toysmith Nature Kaleidoscope Kit: We actually don’t own this, but have given it as a gift to a few friends at birthday parties. I can see my kids playing with this frequently~ especially when they’re imaging they’re pirates!
37. Radio Flyer Kid’s Wheelbarrow: We love our wheelbarrow! The kids have used it as a garden bed, a rock garden, and of course, to carry things all around the yard!
38. Step2 WaterWheel Activity Play Table: This is the water table we’ve had for years (that you’ve probably also seen on many blog posts on Pinterest). It’s perfect for creative play because it has two separate sides allowing all kinds of water and small world play. Recently we used it for our pumpkin patch small world!
39. Enchanted Fairy Garden Kit: We love fairy gardens! This would make a great kit to introduce children to the joy and fun of fairy gardens!
Musical Toys to Inspire Creative Play
40. Janod Wooden White Confetti 25 Inch Acoustic Toy Guitar for Kids: Lucy got this guitar last year from her uncle. First of all, it’s simply just cute. But it’s also great for making music! We’ve had many guitar performances!
41. Remo Kids Percussion: Lucy’s music teacher had these in her music class. Such a good quality and fun for the kids.
42. Blue Owl Wooden Jingle Bells: This is on our wish list. Our music collection is lacking in jingle bells, and I love the bright colors of this one!
43. Glockenspiel with Songbook: Here’s another musical instrument we love~ the glockenspiel! Of course the kids love playing music on it and performing, but it’s also been a great learning toy. They love taking it apart and putting it back together!
44. 3-Piece Soprano Recorder: Here’s another instrument on our wish list. I think the kids would love this addition!
Vehicles to Inspire Creative Play
45. The Original Toy Company Pop-Up School Bus: This toy would be perfect to inspire creative play for the younger child, especially any vehicle loving child!
46. Green Toys My First Tugboat: This is a fun bath or water toy! It’s always nice to have some items that help inspire creative play with water!
47. Rub a Dub Stickers for the Tub: Here’s another toy we’re really hoping Santa will bring! Looks perfect for creative play inspiration in the bath!
48. Plan Toys City Series Parking Garage: I know Theo would go crazy for this! He LOVES cars and plays with them endlessly!
49. Thomas Wooden Railway – Coal Hopper Figure 8 Set: This is the Thomas set we started Lucy out with when she was little, and now Theo enjoys it as well as all the pieces we’ve added over the years. Another quality toy!
50. Hot Wheels 9-Car Gift Pack : Theo’s go-to toy of choice is cars. He will play with these all over the house!
Be sure to check out our other gift guides for kids!