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Classic Toys for Today's Kids

12 Classic Toys That Are Still Great Gifts for Children

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Some classic toys are timeless gifts for today's kids. They're also a good excuse for you to play with toys from your own childhood. Blast to the past with these classic toys that will give your children their own treasured memories.

Chatter Telephone

Fisher Price's Chatter Telephone is a classic toy from the sixties
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Today's version of a toy telephone is usually something that requires AA batteries and belts out constant noise. Return to a classic Chatter Telephone from 1962. The fun of a rotary dial and moving eyes when pulled rivals any high-tech toy phone.

Why the Chatter Telephone is still cool: Although it's been modernized, the update is cosmetic. The telephone's body is different but the rotary dial and moving eyes remain. You can get your hands on a brand new Chatter Telephone that looks like one from the '60s too, giving parents a choice on the style.

Ages 1 and up.
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Corn Popper Push Along

The Corn Popper Push Along is a classic toy that's been around since 1957
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The pop, pop, popping of the Corn Popper Push Along has been pleasing little eyes and ears since 1957. The original's base, handle, wheels and multicolored balls were all made of wood and motivated many toddlers to get up and walk just to see it in action.

Why the Corn Popper Push Along is still cool: It's been more than 50 years and Fisher-Price is still producing the Corn Popper Push Along today. While the wooden pieces have been replaced with plastic, this toy still comes with a blue handle but there's also a pink-handled version for girls and a battery-operated corn popper that helps children learn to count.

Ages 1 and up.
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Mr. Potato Head

Mr. Potato Head is one of the original classic toys for kids
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The most famous spud in the world has been making goofy faces since 1952. Mr. Potato Head is also the first toy advertised on TV. Over the years, this tater has been baked into a variety of well-known characters, such as Indiana Jones Mr. Potato Head and Darth Tater Mr. Potato Head.

Why Mr. Potato Head is still cool: Although the original was a package of pronged body and face pieces you stuck into fruit, Mr. Potato Head has evolved over the years into the plastic-bodied potato kids know today. There are many different versions to collect now, including a suitcase of 40 types of face and body parts, accessory packs to add to your potato collection and spud buds that are mini versions of Mr. Potato Head and his friends.

Ages 2 and up.
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Silly Putty

Silly Putty is one of those classic toys that hasn't changed much
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When we were kids, one of the first things you did when you opened an egg of Silly Putty was to find a comic strip, lift off the image and then stretch it to distort the transfer. Not much has changed since the rubbery compound was accidentally discovered during World War II. It took from 1943 until 1949 for Silly Putty to become a commercial product.

Why Silly Putty is still cool: Unlike some of the other classics on the list, Silly Putty is basically the same invention it was in the '40s. It still comes in an egg-shaped container. It still transfers pages, rolls into a perfect ball and bounces off the walls. It hasn't been altered much since its beginning, yet it's still popular.

Ages 3 and up.
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Lincoln Logs

A classic toys list isn't complete without Lincoln Logs
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Splinters in fingers are a common memory for kids who played with early sets of Lincoln Logs. Building log cabins, farms and anything else your imagination could come up with made the splinters worth it. John Lloyd Wright, son of architect Frank Lloyd Wright, invented Lincoln Logs in 1916, making this the oldest of the classic toys on this list.

Why Lincoln Logs are still cool: There's no right or wrong way to build with Lincoln Logs, which is why kids play with them for years. Today's options for Lincoln Logs include accessories so your beautiful ranch can have cowboys and horses or your fort can have doors and windows to extend playtime even longer.

Ages 3 and up.
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Baby Alive

A modern Baby Alive now speaks and uses the potty
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Feeding a baby so she'll wet? Changing her messy diaper? Oh, the things that sound fun to a child. This 1973 doll topped many kids' I want that! lists. Now that some of us are parents, we realize babies don't require batteries and you work on their clock, not when you want to play with them.

Why Baby Alive is still cool: Today's Baby Alive has changed a lot since the '70s. She looks different, talks and can be potty trained. There's even a Baby Alive that pees and poos. Hispanic and African American versions have also been added to the collection.

Ages 3 and up.
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Etch A Sketch

The Etch-a-Sketch is still available in classic red
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The magic of the Etch A Sketch has given kids an addictive doodling pad since it hit the market in 1960. We all remember the fun and frustration of trying to draw something with two knobs and then erasing our less-than-perfect picture with a few freeing shakes of the Etch A Sketch.

Why Etch A Sketch is still cool: The classic red Etch A Sketch is still on the market but an entirely new product line makes your choice difficult. You can choose a pink color, small version for traveling, one with a stylus or go digital with an Etch a Sketch that requires your TV.

Ages 3 and up.
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Play-Doh

Play-Doh containers
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Open a can of Play-Doh and the smell takes you back to your childhood right away. Millions of kids around the world have created Play-Doh food, cut Play-Doh hair and squished Play-Doh under their fingers just because they can. Off-white was the only color available when this former wallpaper cleaner was turned into a toy in 1956. For Play-Doh's 50th birthday, a special 50-color pack was released.

Why Play-Doh is still cool: Play-Doh is continually reinvented. From burger building to making sea creatures, new play sets keep children coming back to see what else they can mold and destroy, mold and destroy over and over again.

Ages 3 and up.
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Snoopy Sno-Cone Machine

A Snoopy Sno-Cone Machine
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Only Snoopy could make children want to turn a crank until their arm gets sore trying to grind an ice cube into a snow cone. When the Snoopy Sno-Cone Machine came out in 1979, budding kidpreneurs dreamed of big bucks selling their snow cones to their friends. All they needed was some ice, the included flavor packs and a beefy bicep to turn the ice into slush.

Why the Snoopy Sno-Cone is still cool: While many Peanuts gang items have disappeared from the market, today's Snoopy Sno-Cone Machine looks just like the original. Children are still fascinated with watching ice turn into snow and then getting to scoop it out with a red plastic shovel.

Ages 4 and up.
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Lite Brite

The Lite Brite is a much smaller version of itself than the original
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Kids have been poking colored pegs into a backlit black piece of paper since 1967. Once you got over the awe of spelling your name in various colors across the screen, you moved on to the color by number style to create Lite Brite classics, such as a wizard or a clown. And when you were finished, who can forget taking the black page off to be blinded by the Lite Brite's 25-watt light bulb?

Why the Lite Brite is still cool: Lite Brite's basic premise is still the same as it was over 40 years ago. However, Lite Brites are now pink, white, blue and flatscreen. Refill pages and replacement pegs are also sold now. Pretty convenient for those of us who were always a few red pegs short of a masterpiece.

Ages 4 and up.
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Spirograph

The spirograph makes everyone an artist
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The Spirograph started turned bedroom walls into art galleries in 1965. This perfect blend of art and science has led to many decades of children believing they would be the next Vincent van Gogh.

Why the Spirograph is still cool: The Spirograph makes every child an instant artist. There's no other contraption for kids that looks like a bunch of mechanical gears but turns out beautiful works of art in a matter of seconds. Today's Spirograph includes unique shapes so kids can create more interesting designs.

Ages 5 and up.
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Slinky

The Slinky is a coiled toy that is made of plastic or metal today
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A Slinky wasn't that exciting when we were growing up, especially if you lived in a one-story house. You had to find creative ways to make Slinky slink. But this 1945 coiled-spring invention mesmerized children with its wiggly movement and ability to get down the stairs faster than baby brother could.

Why the Slinky is still cool: More than 60 years later, the original Slinky still doesn't do much but kids have always found it intriguing. Metal versions like the original are available but so are plastic, multi-colored versions. If you want Slinky to come to life, add batteries to the light-up version and watch it change colors as it makes its way down the stairs.

Ages 5 and up.
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