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  • 11 Fun Toys From Your Childhood to Introduce to Your Kids Today

    Do you agree that these toys made your childhood? Time to pass it on!
    by Tina Tanjuatco .
11 Fun Toys From Your Childhood to Introduce to Your Kids Today
To read this story in Tagalog, click here.
  • Toys are powerful learning tools too that shape a child’s critical thinking, aids in brain and physical development, and determines a child’s interest and talents. Nowadays, many kids see gadgets as toys, and we've all heard of the dangers of excessive screen time. So, if you're trying for a 'no-gadget-day" one of these days, this list of classic toys from the '80s and '90s may be what you need to add to your Christmas shopping.

    1. Tamagotchi

    Who doesn’t remember the famous Tamagotchi, the handheld digital pet created in Japan by Bandai that was released to the world in 1997? You can own a pet without the extra effort -- bathe, groom, and walk them or clean up their poo just by pressing some buttons. The downside is you can't physically touch them. Nothing beats owning the real thing, and this year, Bandai re-released the classic Tamagotchi for children to enjoy today.

    Why you should buy it: If you want to wean your child from gadgets slowly, then this toy may be able to help. It teaches kids to have a sense of responsibility and ownership by keeping track of feeding times, bath times, and other features that you can do with the digital pet. It will also help your children learn to follow instructions from you. The millennial version is an app called Tamagotchi Friends, available on Android and iOS. 

    Ideal for: Kids 3 years old and up

    Where to buy: Amazon. If you're traveling to Japan or know someone there, you can ask them to buy it for you. Or get it from Lazada from different sellers at varying prizes.


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    2. Velcro Catch

    This classic toy comes with two paddles and a baseball-sized furry ball. The ball grips to the velcro side of the paddle. It’s actually like playing catch but with a twist. 

    Why you should buy it: It's a fun catch game to improve hand-and-eye coordination skills. It can be a good family game where you can even make your rules. Try: Challenge the winner!

    Ideal for: Kids 2 years old and up

    Where to buy: Toy Kingdom and Toys R Us in shopping malls nationwide. You may buy them online here.

    3. Slinky

    Remember the cute little rainbow-colored ones or those that glow in the dark? It was so fun watching them go down the stairs without stopping. Invented and developed by naval enginer Richard James in 1943, slinkies were originally made of steel. It was also used in radio antennas and as a teaching aid to simulate the properties of waves before it was popularized as a plastic toy.

    Why you should buy it: This iconic toy can certainly entertain your child and help improve her creativity. Some even use it as a décor or as part of their pretend-play with other toy figures. Just remind your child to be careful and not entangle them or it will test your patience.

    Ideal for: Kids 4 years old and up

    Where to buy: Toy Kingdom and Toys R Us in shopping malls nationwide. You may buy the steel one online here, the glow in the dark rainbow-colored here, and the mini colourful ones here. You can also purchase more affordable ones from Regina’s Gift Shop in Shoppesville Greenhills and from National Book Store’s toy sections.

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    4. Paper dolls

    Paper dolls are figures cut out of paper or cardboard with separate clothes that are made with the same material. The figures "wear" the clothes by folding tabs around each cut out.

    Why you should buy it: Little girls will enjoy this. Unlike playing dress up through an app, paper dolls will help your child be more patient and teach her how to take care of the fragile dolls and not tear them apart. It will help develop your child's imagination and creativity as she mixes and matches the clothes and accessories. It's also very affordable. Make some at home using folders and papers!

    Ideal for: Kids 5 years old and up

    Where to buy: Leading book stores nationwide like National Book Store, Fully Booked, and Power Books. You may also buy modern magnetic paper dolls from Melissa and Dough here. Or make your own dolls with some of these free templates online.

    5. Jackstones

    Jackstone is a traditional Korean game that was originally played with stones. You can only play it using one hand. A stone is thrown upward and before it falls, the player needs to get another stone from the ground and catch the stone that is falling. From stones, it has evolved into bouncing a small rubber ball and picking up a "star" in varying numbers (from 1 to 10).

    Why you should buy it: It looks easy and just pure fun, but children will learn the value of patience (when they miss or fail a stage in the game), perseverance (as they keep trying to reach the goal or to win), and sportsmanship (when they lose a game). It's also great at developing hand-eye coordination and flexibility. 

    Ideal for: Kids 5 years old and up

    Where to buy: Your neighborhood toy shop or the wet and dry palengke/market might have this. Buy it online at Lazada, or shop at Toy Kingdom and Toys R Us in shopping malls nationwide.


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    6. Mr. Potato Head

    Apart from being a character in Toy Story movies, Mr. Potato Head actually dates back to the 1940s. It was invented by George Lerner and was patented and sold to Hasbro in 1952. The idea was to stick and mix and match the detachable hands, feet, ears, eyes, nose, and accessories to the potato "body."

    Why you should buy it: It may look simple, but it's not just all about mixing and matching the body parts and making funny faces. With this toy, you can teach your child about the five senses and the different body parts.

    Ideal for: Kids 1-year-old and up. Make sure to monitor the child during play since the toy comes with several small pieces.

    Where to buy: Toy Kingdom and Toys R Us in shopping malls nationwide. Or buy them online here.


    7. Play tents

    The printed colorful tents back in the '90s were big (and so cool) that even my parents fit inside. Those were rectangular tents -- not like the triangular and smaller ones available today. I remembered sleeping inside the tent that was on top of my bed once -- it was so much fun!

    Why you should buy it: Your child's creativity and resourcefulness will be developed. Pretend-play and making up stories for play are some of the things you can do with the tent. I remember imagining my tent to be a school, office, church, and many others. My brother and I truly enjoyed playing with the tents and engaging in our make-believe adventures.

    Ideal for: 4 years old and above.

    Where to buy: Toy Kingdom and Toys R Us in shopping malls nationwide. Or buy them online here.

    8. Roller skates and roller blades

    These kept the kids busy and physically fit back in the day. It's a fun activity and can double as a sport.

    Why you should buy it: Kids will learn discipline and self-control. They'll learn balance and become braver with every fall. It is a way to let them know that life isn't easy -- even the good ones fall if you don't concentrate and skate with care.

    Ideal for: Kids 5 years old and up. Make sure to also buy them helmets, elbow, and knee pads for extra protection.

    Where to buy:
    Bike and skateboard shops may sell these. Or buy from Toy Kingdom and Toys R Us in shopping malls nationwide. Or find them online here.

    9. Lego

    This is a toy that's still enjoyed by many kids today. The interlocking bricks can be assembled and connected in various ways, and can be taken apart again to build new objects.

    Why you should buy it: It strengthens a child's fine motor skills -- coordination of the small muscles, usually the synchronization of hands and fingers with the eyes. It develops creative thinking and problem solving, trains one to plan, organize, and execute. It also trains the child (even adults) to be patient with what she wants to build and to strive and work hard to attain a cetain goal. The simple blocks teach values and attitudes that are hard to impart in children.

    Ideal for:
    Kids 1 year old and up.

    Where to buy: Toy Kingdom and Toys R Us in shopping malls nationwide. Buy them online here.

    10. Sipa

    This is a classic Filipino game. It is simple but it provides a lot of fun while keeping children fit. It's also affordable—you can even make one for your child.

    Why you should buy it: 
    Playing this requires good balance and agility. The person who can keep the shuttle-cock up in the air by kicking it upwards (by using your ankle and thrusting it upward), wins. Children will know the value of teamwork (if it's played in groups) and sportsmanship.

    Ideal for: 
    5 years old and up

    Where to buy: 
    Toy stores would usually have this in their party favor sections. Or make your own using washers and colorful straws.

    11. Brick Game

    Do you remember how almost everyone owned one? Before the advent of PS Vita and Nintendo 3Ds us folks had these handheld devices to satisfy their gaming needs.

    Why you should buy it: It helps improve focus, patience, quick thinking and problem solving skills. A little caution: It can get addictive.

    Ideal for: Kids 5 years old and up.

    Where to buy: You can still play this now by downloading the free mobile apps available in the App Store and Google Play. 

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