I had a lot of great toys when I was a kid. I fondly remember waiting for my dad to come home, so we could eat dinner, light the Hanukkah candles and then rip open our presents.
Every year at Hanukkah was always the same. My sister and I would each get one huge present on the first night (tough to top Hasbro’s awesome Star Wars Millennium Falcon!), and then assorted other toys the other nights. There was usually a gift certificate one night for M&M Comics, the local comic book shop. And the lamest night was always a calendar. (Although I totally loved my Lord of the Rings calendar.)
All kids love toys, whether they’re electronic, stuffed, or made of wood. And beyond just helping to kill some time, toys can build some truly lasting memories.
I have no idea when I got them, but I have very vivid memories of playing with these colorful plastic keys when I was really little. Big thin plastic red, blue and green keys on a white key chain. I’m sure someone (or most likely my mom) got them for me when I was a baby. We’re talking 35+ years ago, and yet I still have memories of these things.
It’s amazing what kind of toys they have these days. And I’m just talking about for babies. Yes there are still the classics like the stacking rings, building blocks, and teddy bears, but you can also find an insane amount of educational baby toys that are teaching kids from the moment they take that first breath.
There are stuffed animals that play music like the Octotunes! I remember having this one for Jason when he was a baby. You squeeze each tentacle and it plays a different note. Plus, the whole thing has a calming vanilla scent.
Not to mention all sorts of animals or stuffed people to help teach basic motor skills with zippers, buttons, snaps, etc. I have vague memories of one of those from my childhood too. This stuffed little boy with a zipper vest, shoelaces on his sneakers and a snap on his jeans. I always wondered why his patchwork shirt had so many colors on it.
Jason’s favorite by far though was a kicking piano. We’d put him in his bouncy seat and put the piano by his legs. He’d start kicking and every key he hit would play a note. It’d eventually play a full-on song, complete with flashing lights and sounds. He’d give off the hugest grin with that one.
Ryan’s favorite toy was easy: it was always his big brother Jason. Whatever Jason was doing, there was Ryan, crawling after him to join in on the fun.
What really cracks me up, though, are all the “pretend you’re an adult” toys they have for kids nowadays. Like a play cell phone or laptop. Certainly a far better option than letting your drool machine play with your Macbook.
No matter what you get your kids for the holidays, though, you just can’t go wrong. Chances are they’ll play for hours and hours with the wrapping paper and box anyways.
What are you favorite toy memories?
This post was brought to you by the fine folks at Indigo. While I was compensated for this post, the thoughts and opinions expressed are solely my own and were in no way influenced by the company.