The basic standards for a good toy in our house is that the ratio of hours of entertainment must be high relative to the amount of space the toy takes up. A yo-yo, for example, need only be used by a child for a few hours but a pretend kitchen better be the center of a child's play for many, many hours. Recently, I've been doing a little clean out, and I've added the criteria that the toy should be able to be played with by both Connor and Helen, offering each of them something.
The marble runs in our home have been lifted up in status recently. Helen can build and test one route for the marble to come down while Connor builds another, often with the more complicated pieces, more twists, and a little more craziness.
The recently completed run?
I love this toy, so I'm always thrilled when it's revived from the shelves it normally sits upon.