Toys that provide extended playtime past the holiday season are both a child and parent’s favorite! 

As we make the last purchases and check off the list for those we want to give gifts to this holiday season, you might find yourself what toy to give your niece or even your own child, and wonder what kind of toy would provide hours of learning opportunities through play. As a gift giver, you might wonder if the toy will become a child’s favorite or end up in a toy bin donation shortly after the holiday.

One of the things Miniland has strived to do is to create toys that go beyond the initial interest of a child, maximizing its extended play value and really giving the gift giver a bang for their buck. Extended play toys encourage imaginative and prolonged play and are crucial for children’s development.

What kind of toys should you look for?

Sensory and Motor Skills Toys

Miniland’s new Feel to Learn Collection is a great choice for babies and gift givers as it offers a large collection of toys that will help them in the early stages of discovery and growth. The Soft Rattle Cubes set has contrasting colors and visual stimulating patterns that incorporates simple and recognizable drawings on eacah face. A care taker will enjoy showing and name shapes to a baby and as the child grows older, they will be able to pick up and identify the drawings on the cubes, extending play time.

The Crawling Roller allows a baby to be supported as they start to form strength on their back muscles and as they grow, it can be used to promote crawling. The various sensory elements like the bright colors, internal rattle paper and crinkly paper will also help promote tactile, visual and auditory stimulation.

Social Emotional Learning Toys

Toys such as our award-winning Emotiblocks provide the open ended play of learning to name their emotions and the emotions of others and is an already invaluable gift to give, strengthening their social emotional learning skills and building their communication and confidence. These blocks can also be used with our Family Diversity Blocks, allowing for extended play time with more than two sets.

Combining sets will allow a child to create any time of character a child likes or imagines. Perhaps a frightened firefighter, or a happy nurse, or a happy brother who just saw a puppy? The possibilities are endless when you combine your original set of Emotiblocks with other Miniland block sets to extend that play value.


A doll gets a young child excited to pen and play with a new, beautiful doll that looks just like them. After playing with the new doll, take it all over town and to play dates, car rides and vacations, the doll will likely we set aside for something else. One way to extend the play experience is to incorporate doll clothing that are just the right size for the dolls, a stroller to take a walk with, or a tea set to encourage pretend play. Dolls also help children participate in cooperative and social play, engaging them in role-playing, negotiating and collaborating with others.

If a child already has a Miniland doll, gift them clothing for their doll or a medical set will also be a welcomed gift by the child and parent and maximize play opportunities with items they already have.

By engaging with toys that promote extended play, children are given the space to explore, create, and learn in a way that aligns with their developmental needs and fosters holistic growth.

Happy Gift Giving!