Classic Toys Gift Guide

classic toys

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If you’re trying to get your kiddos to put down their iPads or gaming joysticks and enjoy some non-electronic recreation, this classic toys gift guide is just what you need for inspiration. (If you’re on the front homepage of this blog, the embedded links will appear when you click the “Read More” button at the bottom of the post.)

If you're trying to get your kiddos to put down their iPads or gaming joysticks and enjoy some non-electronic recreation, this classic toys gift guide is just what you need for inspiration. Click To Tweet


Did you know Lincoln Logs were invented in 1916 by John Lloyd Wright, the son of architect Frank Lloyd Wright? Beloved by four generations of builders, they provide hours of fun while building a solid foundation in STEAM/STEM subjects. This set of 111 all-wood pieces comes in a commemorative storage tin with a manual for constructing three different buildings. It’s the king of classic toys.


Kids need fresh air and toys that will get them outside. A sandbox will keep them entertained outdoors while developing gross and fine motor coordination. Give them a pail of water to make “concrete”, and there’s no limit to the sand castles or forts they can create. This Little Tykes sandbox comes with a cover to keep the sand clean after the kids are done playing.


What’s a sandbox without a genuine steel-constructed Tonka steam shovel to move loads around? This classic truck features a rotating cab and a movable arm and bucket that your child can operate. Your little construction worker will be able to dig trenches and build mountains to their heart’s content. Best of all, this toy is guaranteed for life!


Perfect for an older child (8+), this box of 100 magic tricks will have them studying the manual and perfecting their performance. It includes the required magic hat, wand, suitcase, and various other high-quality props. Your child will gain confidence by teaching himself a new skill and you’ll delight in his accomplishment. Who doesn’t love a good magic trick?


Tell your kids this was how iPads were back in the day. This classic toy is limited only by imagination. As you child challenges herself to write messages or draw pictures, she’ll be developing hand/eye coordination as well as fine motor skills. A great toy to take on road trips for hours of fun.


You can still roll a ball of play-doh on a table and make a “snake”, but this budget-friendly kitchen set gives your child all they need to create fantastic plates of “food” (muffins, pizzas, cakes) to use for a tea party. It even comes with a magical oven that lights up and dings when the food is ready.


A good old-fashioned tea party is the perfect vehicle for teaching manners to children. This durable plastic tea set is PBA free and the primary colors are suitable for girls and boys (I can testify that boys eat and drink tea, too!) So let your kiddos gather ’round their dolls or ninja turtles and serve them up some “tea” and play-doh cakes.


To play with some classic toys, you need a friend. And that’s a good thing because kids need face-to-face interaction with peers to develop social skills and grace when there’s a game with a winner and loser. Battleship gives a child this kind of opportunity for social development. Plus, it’s fun.


Your kid needs a game they can play with an adult (Grandpa or Grandma) who can help them add to their vocabulary. Scrabble fits the bill! The board I recommend is the modern tile-lock version. It’s only 15 cents more than the classic that lets the tiles move around willy-nilly. Hey, sanity-saving improvements aren’t frowned upon here.


This is one of the few classic toys that promote dexterity and is said to help with dyslexia. Finger Strings: A Book of Cat’s Cradles and String Figures contains over 80 inventive and imaginative string games and stories, all clearly illustrated with step-by-step color diagrams. The book is particularly designed to require as little page-turning as possible in the middle of making a string shape.

STREET RHYMES (for jump roping)

Miss Mary Mack And Other Children’s Street Rhymes is a resource book for kids to learn old school jump roping rhymes. Complete disclosure here: some of the rhymes were written in a time where political correctness wasn’t a thing and nobody was really thinking about what they were singing anyway. (Remember “when the bough breaks, the cradle will fall and down will come baby…”?!) Maybe your child will be inspired to write some rhymes of their own.


First, there were jump ropes. Then there was Skip It – the ball you swung from a plastic rope around your ankle. You sang street rhymes while you jumped or else counted the number of consecutive jumps you could do – always trying to break your previous record. You didn’t even know you were getting an aerobic workout. Introduce your kiddos to Skip It and show ’em how it’s done.


Mouse Trap is the original STEM/Rube Goldberg machine game. Build the machine as turns are taken and try not to get your mouse caught by it. Kids are exposed to elements of mechanical engineering, but they just think they’re having fun.


No classic toys gift guide would be complete without a doll. Kids learn nurturing skills taking care of beloved dolls or stuffed pets. This American girl doll is just the right size for smaller kids and comes in a variety of styles. You’re sure to find one your child will love and relate to.


Boost your child’s artistic confidence with a paint by number kit. A great project for exercising stick-to-it-iveness. This lion picture, once completed, is sure to make it into your child’s memory box of childhood treasures. Hours of concentration and fun.

classic toys