Some days, I think the best part of being a parent is the excuse to be a kid again! I love that so many nostalgic toys I enjoyed during my 1980’s childhood are still popular today. What I love even more, is that I get to relive the joy of using them with my own kids. Here are five of my favorite nostalgic toys.
1. Easy-Bake Oven
First introduced in 1963, the Easy-Bake Oven was inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame in 2006. But that was hardly enough recognition for such an amazing toy. In 2017, November 4th was declared National Easy-Bake Oven Day. Because why not? Though it morphed and evolved into different models throughout the decades, the Easy-Bake Oven never lost an ounce of its charm. In fact, it just gained more loyal fanfare after gender neutral models were created due to popular demand in the early 2000’s.
A timeless and nostalgic toy for girls and boys alike, I couldn’t wait for my son to be old enough to use one. I could hardly contain my excitement at the prospect of sharing with him a piece of my own childhood! Now that my daughter is almost six, it’ll soon be her turn to let mommy be a kid again.
Another timeless introduction of the early 60’s, the Etch-A-Sketch was named by the Toy Industry Association in 2003 as one of the 100 most memorable and creative toys of the 20th century. With knobs that created lines of art when turned that magically disappeared with just a flip and a shake, the Etch-A-Sketch transcends generation after generation still holding its own with kids (and kids at heart) today.
This portable toy entertained me as a child through seemingly endless car rides and wait times. These days, it’s just as fun to watch my kids being entertained by the same toy.
3. My Little Pony
Launched in 1982, My Little Pony was definitely a favorite when I was a little girl. I could easily pass hours just brushing and styling their manes and tails, while inventing adventurous story lines for them to act out.
Nowadays, they are a favorite of my little girl. My daughter has enjoyed coloring books, clothing, bedding, cups, toothbrushes, and various toys of My Little Pony characters. My daughter and I took a break from styling and inventing with Applejack and her friends last year just to go see the My Little Pony Movie when it was in theaters. I’m not gonna lie – I enjoy it all just as much as my six year old!
4. TOMY Waterful Ring Toss
What is the TOMY Waterful Ring-Toss, you ask? It’s one of the best 80’s nostalgic toys. EVER! The Waterful is a handheld water ring toss game. The object of the game is to land the tiny rings around the pegs. You attempt this feat of skill by pressing little buttons on the front, creating a current in the water and consequently propelling the rings upward above the pegs.
It’s so simple, yet so hard to put down. My kids have had different variations over the years, each one as fun (and challenging) as the last!
5. Scratch and Sniff stickers
Scratch and Sniff stickers aren’t technically toys, I know that. But there was no way I would leave out one of my all time favorite pieces of childhood nostalgia, due to a technicality! I had quite the collection as a child. I’m not even ashamed (ok, maybe I’m a little ashamed) to admit that I still collect vintage Scratch and Sniff stickers as an adult. Yes, I am that obsessed.
None of my kids share my level of passion for the scratching and sniffing of stickers. My six-year-old daughter, however, does enjoy them. So all hope is not lost. Plus, practically everyone I know who grew up in the 80’s gets just as excited as I do at the opportunity to scratch and sniff my awesome collection.
Nostalgic toys live on
I’m super grateful that I have the opportunity to share many of my favorite nostalgic toys with my kids. Rekindling cherished childhood memories with my children has been one of my most treasured experiences as a parent. And no matter what decade you grew up in, you undoubtedly have a few favorite nostalgic toys from your childhood. I hope they evoke fond memories for you like they do for me.