After eight years of parenthood these are many of the toys that have gotten the most use in our home. I sure wish I had a list like this a few years ago it would of saved us some money :)
Sensory tables offer endless opportunities for indoor and outdoor play. You can fill it with just about anything: water, sand, beans, rice, cornmeal, shredded paper, water beads etc. The props are endless too, it can be an animal habitat or a baby bath center or a construction site.
Without our scooters we wouldn't get around our awesome neighborhood as much. They have provided our children a lot of freedom.
We are blessed to live on a dead end street so street hockey provides HOURS of endless fun and exercise.
Marble runs have fascinated all my kids and they really appeal to a wide age group. I like the set offered by Discovery Toys the best.
A doll house. I like Calico Critters because I had them as a kid, but really any will do, including a book shelf with some cardboard furniture.
A kitchen is such fun. I found ours at a church sale for $15. I love all the food and dishes from Ikea and Melissa and Doug. I also like that I can add cultural elements to the kitchen with food from around the world. Sushi and chopsticks, dim sum steamers etc.
You'll notice I didn't post legos or train sets, although we did splash out on both items, they just don't seem to hold our kids interest.