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Top Toy Picks for the Preschool Years

The preschool years are pure magic, fueled by everyday investigations and pretend-play experiences. In this collection, you’ll find my favorite play materials that support STEAM learning and imaginative play. These gifts will inspire your preschooler to move, create, explore, and pretend.

Alphabet Play Block Set, $195

The entire family will love this ingenious wooden alphabet block set created by Korean designer Oioiooi. It consists of 60 solid wooden blocks made of walnut and beech wood. Each wooden letter has a corresponding shape for children to identify and match as they play. The included picture book, storage bag, and sturdy drawer box makes this block set a unique, heirloom-quality gift that will be part of your family’s play experiences for many years to come. 

Casa Bag, $60

A little house-shaped bag for kiddos on the go! The Casa Bag by Olli Ella is handmade from 100% natural rattan and includes an adjustable, removable strap. It opens at the roof and door for easy access to small dolls and tiny trinkets. This is the perfect toy accessory for every adventure! 

32 Crayon Rocks in a Muslin Bag, $20

Made in Kentucky from soy wax, Crayon Rocks were designed to strengthen and train children’s tripod grip muscles to make writing easy and fun! When it comes to texture and appearance, Crayons Rocks are part traditional crayon, part oil pastel. They are sure to be a huge hit with your little artist!  

King of the Road Play Set (40 pieces), $156

Way to Play flexible road segments can be combined into endless combinations and can be used on almost any surface from a hardwood floor to a sandy beach to the bathtub! Your transportation enthusiast will be smitten with this road set that paves the way for endless adventure!

FIRST GO! Balance Bike, $189

Forget about training wheels! This vintage-style balance bike is a safe and comfortable ride for your little one that will naturally develop their ability to balance and steer. The front wicker basket is an all-time favorite, allowing kids to pack the essentials for a full day’s adventure. 

Uncle Goose Planet Rollers, $32

We're starry-eyed for this Planet Roller collection by Uncle Goose. Each handcrafted wooden roller is designed to introduce children of all ages to the solar system. Uncle Goose is a company founded by teachers. They believe that intentional toys are the building blocks of creativity. ⁣Made in Michigan, each roller is hand-manufacture by skilled designers and craftspeople out of durable white Maple. 

Tangerine Toys Bow & Arrow, $37

Kid approved! This bow and arrow set guarantees hours of fun for the whole family! Made from high quality materials that are build to last, each set comes with a wooden bow, a cotton fabric bullseye and three wood arrows with a safe felt tip.

Maileg House of Miniature Ultimate Dollhouse, $298


The ultimate gift for Maileg Lovers is here! This charming dollhouse is the perfect place for your mice and bunnies to call home. Dollhouses are an instant catalyst for imaginative play that can help children develop language, communication and social skills. Through play, little ones can explore concepts like family, home and relationships, that will help them grow and mature. Let’s turn this house into a home!

Loog Mini Guitar, $89

Meet the ideal first guitar for children. The Loog Mini guitar is a real guitar crafted out of wood with three low-action, nylon strings for easy playing. Designed for little hands, the Loog Mini is about the same size as a ukulele but plays and sounds like a classical guitar with standard tuning and perfect intonation, so anything kiddo learns on the Loog can be applied to a 6-string guitar. The Loog Mini is a real instrument that helps young children acquire skills that will stay with them forever, from fine motor to listening to perseverance.

About the Author

Allie founded Rose & Rex in 2016 while earning her graduate degree in Early Childhood Education at Bank Street College of Education and teaching pre-kindergarten in Manhattan. As she watched her students grow and transform through play, Allie knew she wanted to start a broad conversation about the importance of play for children in today’s results-driven culture. She was named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 list as a leader in the retail category. Allie is a new mom to her son, Xander. As she navigates running a business while taking care of a baby she is often sleep deprived but remains an enthusiastic cheerleader for play!

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