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6 Classic Toys That Kids Play With For Years

Updated on October 10, 2014

Classic toys that kids love

Are you looking for a gift for your child, a niece or nephew or your grandchildren?

Before you rush out and but the latest fad toy, think about the "classic" toys that have been around for years. You know, the ones that you never throw away because kids play with them forever?

Toys cost a lot of money and too often they are only loved for a short time. I love toys that encourage imaginative play and toys that can entertain both boys and girls at a range of different ages.

I started to think about "timeless" toys and came up with a list of 6 classic toys that my kids (both the boys and girls) all loved and ones they have played with for many years.

Many of these have been around since your own childhood and they still have a lasting appeal.

Wooden blocks
Wooden blocks

1. Wooden Building Blocks

Wooden blocks are very versatile and one of the few toys that children will play with for many years. Even older children, aged 10 to 12 and beyond, like building with blocks, whether its constructing a simple house, a parking garage or a complicated pyramid.

Educators all agree that wooden building blocks are one of the toys that no child should be without.

Because they are so durable, blocks will last for many, many years and, as a child gets older, the blocks will adapt to suit their developmental stages and imagination. Wooden blocks can be played with either on their own or in combination with other toys like Matchbox cars, toy people and farm animals.

A good quality set of wooden blocks can even become a family heirloom!

Lone Ranger Lego
Lone Ranger Lego

2. Lego and Duplo

Lego, which comes from the Danish words "LEg GOdt," meaning "play well", has been around since the 1940's and is still as popular as ever.

It was named by Forbes magazine as the "Toy of the Century"!

Originally basic building blocks, Lego first introduced Lego Sets in the 1960's that came with all the parts and instructions to build a particular model. They are now available in themed sets (castles, firemen, Western, pirates, Star Wars, Harry Potter, etc.) for more realistic fun.

Duplo bricks are twice the size of traditional Lego bricks making them perfect for younger children but big kids love them too!

My children love the Duplo Zoo, farm set and fire station the best.

How To Make LEGO Robots

Mr Potato Head
Mr Potato Head

3. Mr Potato Head

Back when I was a child, Mr Potato Head was simply a collection of plastic facial features and kids had to supply the real potato or vegetable to bring him to life. The pieces were smaller than our modern day Potato Head (and sharper too!)

With a change in Government regulations in the 1960's, and complaints about rotting vegetables sitting around the house, the company later added a plastic potato body to the kit and the pieces were re-designed to be larger and more child friendly.

Mr Potato Head was the first toy to be advertised on television in 1952. The kit cost 0.98c and a million units were sold in the first year! The concept is still as popular now as it was back then and millions of children have welcomed Mr Potato Head and his friends into their lives.

Mr Potato Head Playskool
Mr Potato Head Playskool

The new slimmer Mr Potato Head comes with shoes and more accessories. Storage compartment for all his parts!

 
Dress Ups
Dress Ups

4. Dress Ups

Whether it's becoming a fairy princess, a beautiful Monarch Butterfly or a super hero for an hour or two, most young children just love to dress up!

Dressing up play isn't just a fun activity for children, it is an important activity because it gives them the opportunity to use their imagination, build on their vocabulary and gain confidence.

That's the reason you will find a box of dress up clothes in the corner of most kindergartens and preschools. Early childhood teachers understand the importance of this play.

So why not put together your own "dress up" box at home? You can fill it up with old "grown ups" clothes, treasures sourced from your local thrift shop and real costumes for special occasions.

Dress ups are a fun way for kids to fill in a rainy afternoon when they have friends to play too!

How To Make A Kids Super Hero Costume - easy!

Make a simple Super Hero costume with this step-by-step tutorial. Let your kids decorate their own super hero cape! Great idea for a kids birthday party.

Ken and Barbie
Ken and Barbie

5. Barbie Dolls

Some people think Barbie is an unrealistic and unhealthy role model that little girls will play with and want to emulate.

Love her or hate her, it's a simple fact that a lot of kids like to play with Barbie!

Chances are you owned a few Barbie's yourself growing up?

My girls (who are more into animals than dolls) still had many hours of fun with their Barbie's. They would dress them up for all sorts of occasions and, as they got older, they took to cutting their hair and re-designing their clothes. We still have a gorgeous "punk" Barbie in our toy collection!

And of course Barbie has evolved over the past 50 years to keep up with modern trends and interests and these days she isn't just a glamour queen.

Did you know that Barbie has had more than 130 inspirational careers? So if your little girl aspires to be an astronaut, a Barbie Rock Star ,a vet, a nurse or police officer there is a Barbie doll for her. Barbie even ran for President in the 1990's!

Ruth Handler (the lady who created the Barbie doll) says herself "My whole philosophy of Barbie was that through the doll, the little girl could be anything she wanted to be. Barbie always represented the fact that a woman has choices."

6. Play-Doh

The smell of Play-Doh still reminds many people of their childhood, where we played with Play-Doh straight out of the can.

Play-Doh has been around since 1956 and still provides hours of creative play. Kids love to roll, squeeze, stretch and mould Play-Doh into shapes.

Play-Doh allows children to express their ideas and experience the fun of creating imaginary objects, little figures, pretend cookies, flowers, animals or cars. Add a few accessories and your child will be amused for hours!

Now days you can buy a whole range of awesome Play-Doh factories or themed sets. The Play-Doh Dentist Drill 'N Fill looks great fun and even comes with a battery operated drill!

What classic toys do your kids like to play with?

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