Toys are an integral part of childhood. The right toy can change your outlook on life, give you comfort when you need it, and be cherished forever. When you reach adulthood you will be left with fond memories of those toys, and you may even keep them hidden away so that you always have them close by. Here are my favourite childhood toys, and the toys from my childhood that my own children still play with to this day:
Perfect Peter Rabbit
During the 1980s, just as today, Peter Rabbit was incredibly popular, particularly as a theme for Christening celebrations and birthday parties. I used to love hearing the tales of the cheeky Peter Rabbit and his friends and my First Peter Rabbit soft toy (find him here: https://www.gund.co.uk/collections/peter-rabbit) was one that I carried everywhere with me. A gift from my Godfather on the day of my christening, this was my favourite soft toy and he remains with me (hidden in the wardrobe) long into adulthood.
When it was time to organise my youngest son’s christening there could be only one theme: Peter Rabbit. He now has a Peter Rabbit soft toy of his one, and carries it around the house with him. The perfect toy for boys and girls of any age.
Lego Pirate Ship
Lego is a timeless toy, and one that can be kept forever. These magic bricks never warp, fade, or lose their shape. In fact, the bricks that you buy today are still compatible with the original bricks that were first created more than fifty years ago. My favourite Lego set from my childhood was an oversized pirate ship, complete with yellow-faced pirates and a tiny Lego monkey.
When my own son turned five I pulled that pirate ship out of the attic, and he has played with it constantly since. Lego really doesn’t ever age!
Tiny Tears Doll
I was amazed to discover that you can still purchase a Tiny Tears Doll, which seems so distinctly 80s in style and concept to me. For the uninitiated, Tiny Tears is a doll that can actually cry real tears, be bottle fed, and pee. Making the doll use the bathroom was one of my favourite parts!
One of the main drawbacks of Tiny Tears was that when she cried (and peed) she got her clothes wet, your clothes wet, and often the sofa you were sitting her on too. I’m sure this doll was the bane of the lives of many 80s mums, but in my heart she remains the greatest doll I ever owned!
Last, but not least, if you were a child that loved drawing, colouring and creating cool things then you definitely needed a Spirograph! This nifty device enabled you to create cool looking patterns using just a pencil and a flimsy piece of plastic. You could then spend the rest of the day colouring it in, and challenging yourself to create patterns without letting the same colour touch more than once.
It might not sound exciting to modern kids, but in a world before computer games and multi-channel TV, this was what passed as an amazing afternoon