If you're buying for your own kiddo or local kids, please shop at your local toy stores when you can! We have purchased our fair share of toys over the years, and I just wanted to share a few that have remained in play for a long time.
MAGNA-TILES: After 4 years, these still have a permanent place in our living room and are pulled out often to build with. My oldest (now 8) particularly likes building and I am glad that we continued to invest in these over the years. We have a good sized collection, making for exciting builds. These got us through the pandemic!
Schleich Animals: Our collection started with farm animals before my oldest was even two. We have a range of exotic and lots of cats and dogs, too. The kids seem to really love the big animal and baby pairs we have -- think mommy hippo, daddy hippo and baby hippo! These have been played with in the traditional imaginative play ways, incorporated into building zoos with magna tiles, bath and shower companions, and even as made up family games.
Play table: A bigger investment, but you'll use it for many years. I've linked the one we bought. We did not buy the chairs, which turned out to be a good call for us. Our kids mostly played standing up, walking around the table to set things up. Once we started to use it as an art table/desk we bought plastic stacking chairs off Amazon.
Growth charts: One of my favorite baby shower or family gifts. These are available in lots of cute themes you can personalize, or get a more simple wooden one that can be hung up in the home and not be an eyesore.
Fake snowballs: Last, but NOT least. We freaking love these! They have been a favorite gift to give as well. Ours get packed up with the Christmas decor and are so fun to get out each year. We have had many "sneak" attacks when dad comes home from work or guests come over, and countless family snowball fights. Don't overthink this, just get them and enjoy!