7 Traditional Toys You Had While Growing Up

by RobertKeith

Toys from my childhood have some kind of magic hold over me.

Hand me a silver metal Slinky and I can't help myself, I have to make it slink. While my hands rhythmically move up and down, my mind is carried decades back to the little red house on State Street and the stairs that my Slinky skillfully descended so many times. It never ceased to amaze and entertain me.

One Brick at a Time


Wooden blocks and building toys provided countless hours of inventive fun. A good set of wooden blocks could be used to build a castle, a highway for cars, or an igloo. The best part was knocking it down when I was done.


Legos were built into anything. Seriously! Anything. I would make houses, people, spaceships, monsters, boats, and anything else my imagination could think of. A tub of Legos is all a kid needs on a rainy afternoon. Unlike the wooden blocks, however, there was always at least one masterpiece that could not be disassembled and would have to be stored out of the reach of my little brother.

My Imaginary Friends

Mine was a childhood of great adventure. The Raggedy Ann doll my Aunt Emma made for me was a willing accomplice. When I was sad or sick, my stuffed lion, Leo, was always there to protect and comfort. He taught me to be brave during thunder and lightening storms.

Wheels of Freedom

Do you remember what it felt like the first time you pedaled your bicycle without someone holding on? I do. I loved the freedom of being able to ride to my friend's house around the block. I still love the freedom of a bicycle.

Take It Outside

Part of childhood is playing with complete abandon. A hula hoop can be used for a lot more than just orbiting around your waist, believe me. It can substitute as a jump rope or corral a bunch of kids while playing tag. A Pogo stick is the perfect illustration of abandon. Just don't jump it up the steps like my crazy brother.

Picasso Please

If anything can be considered the "tools" of childhood it would have to be art supplies. Crayons, markers, and clay were in nearly constant use in my house. From Etch-A-Sketch to a kid-sized easel, creating art was a daily activity.

You Rock

Put a little metal xylophone in front of a child and you will soon hear music ringing from its rainbow bars. Add drums, shakers, and a toy guitar and you have a kid band. And a houseful of noisy fun.

Simply Wood

Some of the best toys from my childhood were the traditional wooden toys that have been played with for generations. The little wooden workbench with its wooden hammer and pegs, the pull toys in the shape of animals or cars with wooden wheels and a string for pulling, and Noah's Ark and all the animals. There is something soothing about the feel and smell of wooden toys. Even more fun than remembering playing with these toys myself is watching my two-year-old grandson play with them now.


I had a great childhood. I hope the tradition continues.

Updated: 02/17/2016, RobertKeith
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