Last-Minute Shopping: The Best Toys of All Time

Have kids in your life? Still have no idea what to get them for Christmas or can’t afford those crazy kid electronics? Check out this list from Wired magazine I just have to share. It reviews the most popular and kid-friendly toys of all time.

Be sure to read the comments, they have some really good suggestsions!

I would personally like to add the following to the list:

  • Blankets or sheets. Perfect for making forts, tents, superhero capes, togas, and other outfits. Also good for carrying stuff with a Stick, hobo-style.
  • Paper and pencil. A favorite childhood games (and it’s fun for grown-ups, too) was Scribble. In Scribble, an adult or other person takes a large blank sheet of paper and makes a random scribble on it. The other person is then obliged to make a picture using that scribble. Endless possibilities, endless fun.
  • Water. Swimming, hauling, splashing. Also perfect for turning dirt into playfood such as mud pies and stone soup. In winter, it turns into snow, which is perfect for sledding, making forts, snowmen, snow angels, and having snowball fights.
  • Trees. Originators of sticks. Also perfect for climbing, making tents, harvesting leaves to use for projects or to jump in, bark for plates to eat your mud pie, pinecones for collecting, firestarters, birdfeeders, Christmas ornaments, or for throwing.
  • Dress-up clothes. Old cut-down ’80s prom dresses, old Halloween costumes, kid clothes from the 1970s and ’80s… the possibilities are endless. A good mix of hats, aprons, crazy shoes, and accessories like fake swords, costume jewelry, or purses can make all the difference.

I spent many an hour in childhood playing “Boxcar Children” and making mud pies and stone soup in a little hollow between a wild plum and a lilac bush in our side yard. We also had a hefty dress-up box growing up that later turned into a dress-up armoire. Dressing up was one of my favorite things to do as a child and when our five little cousins stayed with us one year, the little girls spend several quiet hours in the basement and when we finally checked on them, they were all dressed as princesses and the dress-up armoire had exploded all over the room. They looked a little guilty at the mess, but were so cute we didn’t mind. I also remember when we got a new refrigerator and my parents used a box cutter to cut out the door and windows I had drawn on the box. That was a great playhouse for almost a whole year. I think it got beat-up so we cut the top off and turned it into a boat.

What was your favorite toy growing up? Was it a doll or teddy bear, your pet dog or cat, or a metal bucket or a fake sword? Do you have any little kids in your life to give toys to?

3 Responses to “Last-Minute Shopping: The Best Toys of All Time”
  1. Sara says:

    The dollar stores usually have costume ensembles. We have a whole bin full of ‘costumes’. It’s one of our favorite games. 🙂 For whatever reason, I’m always the monster or troll that lives under the bridge. I’d totally be offended if he wasn’t so cute about it.

  2. “Boxcar Children” – ha! Delightful post, Sarah.

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