Think back to your own childhood. Do you have certain toys that evoke an instant sense of nostalgia? I mean, we all played with bats and balls, tricycles and jacks... but are there any besides the classic standards that you remember with extra fondness?
Do your kids play with any of those same toys today? Isn't it amazing how despite the vast advances in technology and product design some toys just never go out of style? It makes me happy when I see my girls playing with the same toys that I loved when I was their age.
Here are five of my favourite toys from childhood that my kids consider among their favourites even today:
"Who walks down stairs, without a care, and makes the happiest sound?" It's Slinky of course! Slinky was invented by a naval engineer named Richard T. James and introduced to the American public in 1945. It was an instant success and has been a staple in toy boxes the world 'round ever since. I STILL love playing with Slinky and it never fails to get huge laughs out of my girls. There have been several incarnations of the Slinky (remember the dog!) over the decades but the classic metal coil remains an all-time favourite.
2. Etch A Sketch
I would never have survived my family's road trips to Florida without my Etch A Sketch. This clever contraption that lets you draw, erase, draw again, without messy markers and broken crayons was a life-saver for my parents, a time-killer for me and now a favourite toy for my own kids! We have the pocket-sized versions, one for each kid, and they are an integral part of our family road trips now too. Full circle!
3. Cabbage Patch Kids
These cherub-faced dolls caused literal riots when they hit stores in 1983. By the end of that year more than 3 million dolls had been 'adopted' by kids lucky enough to get their hands on one. I was beside myself for months wanting one and when Christmas rolled around and there she was (Anna Petrina, I still have her) under the tree? Well, it's not a feeling I'll soon forget. Can't say my kids were quite as excited to get their own, but they each have one (plus the collection I handed down) and I'm guilty of welling up when I see them playing with their Cabbage Patch Kids.
4. Big Wheel
It wasn't the most sophisticated riding toy around, but nothing came close to my Big Wheel. I lived on a slight hill, not super steep, but when I got this thing going and then hit the breaks, it would slide down the road (yes, we played on the road in my day) in a way that no rubber-tired fancy bike ever could. We scored a vintage one out of nostalgia for my family (who have to stay on the sidewalk and wear helmets, the poor dears) but you can still get an original Big Wheel and it still delivers the most awesome skids ever.
5. Star Wars Figurines
I doubt there was another movie—well, okay maybe E.T.—that had as big an impact on me as Star Wars. It was HUGE. My sibs and I collected all the figurines and spent hours of imaginative time in a galaxy far far away. My youngest daughter caught Star Wars fever at 18 months old when her uncle gifted her this Star Wars Colors book—now my whole family can recite it by heart. Next she became obsessed with Playskool Heroes Star Wars figurines after Santa brought a Millennium Falcon down the chimney. The entire family is playing with Star Wars figurines again and the force is with us all.
What toys do you remember most fondly from your childhood? Have any of them stood the test of time with your own kids?
(Main Photo Credit: Melisa TG on Creative Commons)