Every time we went to the neighborhood park, my then 2 year old son would play "Ice Cream Store". He would set himself up behind the little window under the play structure and start serving ice cream. Pieces of mulch served as the ice cream AND the money and we would play over and over again. Sometimes my older son would drag giant branches over to the little window that would be REALLY BIG ice creams. This play continued all year, at every playground we would visit (come to find out, they all had similar little windows).
So when it came time for me to decide what to get him for Christmas, I started looking for a little ice cream play set. Little did I know that this toy I bought would become everyone's favorite toy (and therefor MY absolute favorite toy). Not only did my 2 year old love it, but he and his 4 year old brother played with it together for so long that Christmas morning! And then we took it to our extended family's Christmas that evening and the older cousins also all took turns playing with it.
Here's why I love it so much:
Ultimately I love this toy because kids love it. It's so worth the money (which I actually spent almost double this price a few years ago-- still worth it!)
If you're trying to brainstorm good toys to get your kid, I suggest a toy that expands on a pretend play theme they return to often. Repetitive play often signals they are processing something and the toy can help them master it on a deeper level. It's likely they will love the toy and get a lot of play out of it!