8 Stylish Toys for Kids

Find our list of toys that are playful and sophisticated enough to double as decor.

Kinetic Sand

Sure, it may look like just a pile of common beach sand, but dig in and you’ll discover that in your hands is an addictive, three-dimensional building toy! Pile it, shape it, squeeze it, or just let it drift in slow motion through your fingers. This futuristic material possesses a delightfully mushy texture and just enough malleability so it can hold the shape of simple sculptures and sand structures. A secret binding agent keeps the granules together, so you won’t find sand dunes or drifts settling around your home after playtime. Uncommon Goods, $15-$45
Buddha Board

Calm your mind while creating beautiful images. A Zen-like Etch-a-Sketch. Use the included brush to paint designs onto the board with water. As the water evaporates your image will fade, but will reveal a new perspective on your creative endeavors, encouraging the Zen idea of living in the momentAmazon, $34.95
Alphabet Factory Blocks

More than just block-building fun, this wooden factory set is an eye-catching introduction to graphic design. It’s based on the work of House Industries, a hip, graphic design firm that creates lettering inspired by comic books, hand-painted signs and mid-century furniture. Each handmade, basswood block has grooved sides that interlock for easy stacking, while the remaining faces are embossed with a playful array of letters, numbers and symbols. The bold, black-and-white color scheme makes building patterns as much fun as building towers and houses. And when playtime’s done, there’s no need to box them away: they make a decorative accent that is both playful and sophisticated. Uncommon Goods, $70
Black Embossed Playing Cards

The Trademark Poker Devil Black Embossed Playing Cards bring an aura of intrigue to any game. They have all the traits of traditional playing cards, but give you the added sense of touch and performance with the embossed design. These thick, luxurious cards are very durable, and long-lasting, making them a must-have for card game aficionados. Houzz, $16.99

Liquid Glass Thinking Putty

A cooler version of the goop you grew up with, this translucent thinking putty outperforms juvenile paste with a consistency that’s springier, less sticky and more fun to knead. Roll this handful into a rubber ball (did we mention it bounces?), temporary sculpture or into a desktop game. It’s easy to tear, fuse and bounce into shape. Bonus: It melts back into a tidy puddle when you’re done for easy storing. Uncommon Goods, $14
Art Dice

Just a roll of the illustrated art cubes and next thing you know, a bespectacled unicorn is chasing a UFO on a palm tree-dotted desert island. The creative combinations are endless with these playful beechwood cubes that solve the classic kid’s question: “What should I draw?” Designer Eric Siegel’s wife, Molly, is an art teacher who made prototype dice to generate drawing prompts for her class. Eric’s set of six cubes offers 36 icons to inspire drawing fun for sleepovers, road trips, or rainy days. The icons are etched into the wood to ensure years of use. Uncommon Goods, $12


Take game time back to the leisurely, low-tech toys of yesteryear with this catch-and-throw set that’s sure to inspire some friendly family competition. Free from elaborate rules and complicated equipment, it’s a relaxing activity for all ages. The pair of elegantly curved beechwood throwers are enticing designs in their own right, while the soft rope ball invites you to snag it out of the air and send it back with a flick of the wrist. Uncommon Goods, $25
Motto Domino Game

More urbane than a house of cards and far easier to set up and knock down, our sophisticated Motto Series Natural Bone Dominoes are the perfect addition to any witty design space. Tiles, pips, and sleek display case are all crafted with gorgeous Black and Cream-toned Natural Horn for a classic couture feel. Houzz, $130



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