When trying to think of toys to get for kids, it’s natural to think back to the toys we loved when we were little. Some of them aren’t around any more for good reason (looking at you, lawn darts!); others have simply disappeared. But not all of them! Some of your favorite toys from your youth are still around, and today’s kids still play with them.
Mr. Potato Head was first sold nationally in 1952. Originally, the toy was merely a collection of parts (eyes, mouth, nose etc.) with sharp pins on them. You supplied the potato — an actual potato!
In 1964, the plastic potato was added, and the toy became the one familiar to most of us.
Today’s Mr. Potato Head comes with a plastic potato, a pair of legs with shoes, two hands, two ears, one pair of eyes, nose, mouth, hat, mustache, tongue and a pair of glasses. Kids enjoy taking him apart and putting him back together, sometimes in weird ways! There is a door in the back of the potato so you can store the pieces inside.
If you want more choices in accessorizing Mr. Potato Head, check out the Mr. Potato Head Silly Suitcase. It comes with a potato figure, plus multiple pairs of eyes, feet, arms, and plenty of choices for glasses, hats, mustaches and more!
One of the first toys I remember playing with as a little kid was the Little People house. Back then the Little People had wooden peg bodies without arms or legs. Today’s Little People are bigger, chunkier and more detailed than the peg people of my childhood.
One of the best things about the Little People toys is that you can combine sets, large and small, as well as bonus packs of extra figures and vehicles. It’s hard to go wrong with these toys!
The modern day Little People house is the Little People Surprise & Sounds Home. This house comes completely furnished with movable and stationary pieces, and three family members. It takes two AA batteries, because this house has over 50 noises, from doorbells to alarm clocks–even flushing toilets!
The two halves of the house are on hinges and you can close up the house with all the pieces inside, and carry it anywhere with the handle on top.
For little boys (and many little girls!) it’s hard to go wrong with Hot Wheels cars. The individual cars are just a few dollars each, and make great little treats for a good grade or just because. If you are buying for a child who is just starting out with Hot Wheels cars, I recommend the 9-car assortment as a great value. Nine 1:64 scale Hot Wheels cars in assorted colors and styles makes a great beginning to a Hot Wheels collection, and is easy to add onto over time.
And of course, every kid with Hot Wheels needs a place to keep them all and carry them around. The classic “Ring of Fire” case is an excellent choice. It holds up to 40 cars and doubles as a playset, as the storage area becomes a ring, and the set includes ramps to drive the cars up to the ring for death-defying jumps!
Preschoolers love pretend role play. This the prime age for enacting everything from cooking and cleaning, to firefighting and construction. One classic toy for this age is the Fisher-Price medical kit. It’s available in blue or pink.
Both sets have the same items — stethoscope, blood pressure cuff, bandaid, syringe, thermometer and…well, whatever the thing the doctor uses to look in your ears and throat is called! All the items fit into a plastic carrying case that comes with the kit.
A wooden block set is a great toy for preschoolers’ imaginations as they can build anything from walls to castles to spaceships, knock them down, and start over. Blocks build motor skills as well, and sorting blocks by type and color can be another whole game or set of games to play.
For a sturdy yet inexpensive set of wooden blocks, you can’t go wrong with the Melissa & Doug 100-block set. The only drawback is that they expect you to store the blocks in the cardboard box they come in and that just doesn’t last long. So you may want to include a medium sized Rubbermaid or other storage container to keep them in.
Although there are thousands of toys that sing, dance, roll by themselves, or have full blown computers in them, the classic toys are still around and still providing fun for today’s kids.
What is your favorite classic toy? Leave a comment below!