The Toys I Will Keep Forever— Mini Reviews

I am 53 years old and all my kids have grown and left my nest. However, I still have toys that I will keep forever.

When my husband and I were young parents, we had the compulsory playroom full of toys.

We had Teddy Ruxpin. Teddy Ruxpin read books aloud. He lost his voice when he was left outside in the rain and after that, he just sat in the corner.

We had Dolly Surprise. You could make her hair grow by twisting her arm. Poor Dolly Surprise got a haircut, and no amount of arm-twisting would make it grow. She lived at the bottom of the toy box until she went to dolly heaven.

I have to mention the noisy toys. One baby doll cried out in a raspy squall, “mama, mama, mama, mama!” and crawled after me screeching. I had three real babies who did that, so I removed the batteries to save my sanity. That dolly was no longer fun, so she disappeared from the top ten rapidly.

The best toys are the toys that inspire long hours of creativity and inspiration. I had to learn by experience which toys were the best, so before you fill up your playroom I will give you my short list.

Tonka Classic Mighty Dump Truck. In our house, we had the Tonka Classic Mighty Dump Truck. It had big black wheels, and a tilt back bed that could be raised up and down for dumping. It was just the right size for a little boy to push around. I like that it didn’t have a motor or a button to push to make the motor sound because Johnny made the motor sound himself while he pushed dirt from one end of the front path to the other. Johnny played with his Tonka Dump Truck every single day! We took his Tonka Truck on vacation with us. He pushed the yellow dump truck around the garden pathways and around the house filled with rocks, dirt, sand, Legos, and once he had a pile of apples in the truck. Tonka toys are durable, kid-tested, timeless, wonderful toys. The Tonka Dump Truck was the go-to toy for our little boy for years, and is still sturdy enough for my grandchildren!

Legos. All my kids loved the Legos! They would play together for hours, first assembling the kits into their prescribed forms, and then tearing them down and rebuilding them into objects of their own great imaginations. I have a large bin of Legos that holds thousands of the little colored blocks, and tiny people who bend at the waist, with click-on hats. Lego Company sells building sets that are extremely challenging and engaging for older kids, too. The larger Duplos are perfect for toddlers.

Image by Dave Catchpole under Creative Commons License

Thomas & Friends Wooden Railway Train Set. I will NEVER get rid of my Thomas train set. My little boy loved these toys, and would build ever-changing tracks that went around chair legs, and under tables. The little trains stick together with magnets, and the tracks are curved and can be flipped over to change the pathway one direction or another. They are the perfect size for little hands, and are made of painted wood.

American Girl Dolls. My oldest daughter Kate was finished with dolls when the American Girl dolls were first produced, but considered re-entering the doll gambit when she saw her younger sister Callie playing with her doll. Callie had (and I still have) “Molly,” and many of her outfits, accessories, and storybooks. Molly went in the car with us, had outfits to match my daughter, and even went to Chicago once to get some new hair! The American Girl Company has historically correct clothing to go with dolls from different eras, and dolls from different countries. They can be made to match the eye and hair color of your child if you desire, and are just superior, ever-lasting and charming dolls.

Image by Jim, the Photographer under Creative Commons License

Breyer Horses. Our girls loved these beautiful horses! They are plastic model horses, which don’t move or make sounds, but they look real. I remember my daughters playing inside the house and outside in the garden with their horses. Their grandparents made them a horse barn and stable, and those horses kept my girls entertained for long happy hours together.

Image by David Blaine under Creative Commons License

BOOKS! Start with the hard board books for the toddlers, and move up to the storybooks. The Caldecott Award books are universally awesome, as are the Newberry Award books. Books fill your children’s heads with stories and inspiration and make their little brains grow exponentially. Parents and kids can cuddle up together with storybooks and make memories that last forever. Get and keep a library of children’s books in your home. I won’t include book titles, but I encourage you to go to the bookstore to explore books that will be meaningful to you and your kids.

Check out the favorite children’s books of some of our MSW kids too: C’s books, TJ’s books, and A’s books.

My attic is stocked with all these great toys and books. I can’t wait to share my toys with my grandchildren!

What are some of your child’s favorite toys? Which toys do you think you’ll hang on to for your grandchildren some day?

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