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Retro toys making a comeback

Elaina is a Phoenix-based freelance writer, blogger and co-founder of the Kidlee baby book app. Check out her blog, Fun Finds For Mom, for product reviews, recipes and fun activities for moms and kids.

10 Classic toys your preschooler will love

Moms nostalgic for the toys of their youth will be happy to know the classics are making a big comeback. Here are our top picks for retro toys you'll love to bring home for your own kids.


1

Toy record player

record player

Your kids may never encounter a real record player in today's digital world, but they'll sure enjoy this tiny turntable. This classic toy is made to the same specifications as the original 1971 model, except for product safety updates. Preschoolers can wind the knob, pop on one of the five two-sided discs, drop the needle and rock out the "music box" version of 10 timeless tunes. (Fat Brain Toys, $40)
2

Wooden train set

wooden train

There's a reason countless generations of preschoolers have enjoyed the creative wonder of playing with train sets. Kids absolutely love digging into a big bin of wooden train tracks, setting them up and chugging their trains around the track. Start with a basic train set and add pieces over time, so your child's train collection can grow with them. (Amazon.com, $80)


3

Toy camera

Toy Camera

Maybe it's the fact that smartphones are fast replacing traditional cameras that makes us so nostalgic for this super hip-looking retro toy camera. This one's an exact replica of the original 1968 version (other than safety updates). Insert a picture disk, and with the click of a button, toddlers can advance the story to the next picture. (Fat Brain Toys, $20)
4

Slinky Dog original

Slinky dog

Thanks to the Toy Story movies, the beloved Slinky Dog has experienced a surge in popularity. We love the retro packaging on this original Slinky Dog, and just like the 1950s version, this collector's item has a 16-inch metal slinky body that lets him wiggle his way across the floor while your child pulls the string and takes him for a walk. (Old Time Candy, $22)

5

Etch A Sketch

Etch-a-Sketch

Give your little ones the experience of learning how to twist the Etch A Sketch knobs to doodle out a picture, then shake, shake, shake — and the slate is clean for more drawing pleasure. This classic Etch A Sketch features the same red plastic frame design and horizontal and vertical knobs as the original. (Toys R Us, $15)

6

Sea monkeys

Sea Monkeys

Remember how magical those mysterious Sea Monkeys seemed? Maybe it was because we thought the eggs would hatch into those human-looking cartoon figures pictured on the box. Yes, we now know they're brine shrimp eggs, but it's still a fun experience for kids to hatch and care for these tiny creatures. (Amazon.com, $9)


7

Teaching clock

Teaching Clock

Every child needs to learn to tell time — why not teach yours on the same clock used to teach generations of children? This teaching clock, made by Fisher Price, features the same little red schoolhouse design first introduced in 1968. (Amazon.com, $17)
8

Chatter phone

Chatter Phone

Two words — rotary dial! Your kids won't believe how much work you had to go through just to make a phone call. This adorable retro phone has eyes that roll up and down, a mouth that chatters and a ringing rotary dial that sounds the same as when you were a kid. Bring on the memories! (Amazon.com, $13)

9

Mr. Potato Head

Mr. Potato Head

Today, Mr. Potato Head is a man of many looks — you can now find him sporting superhero costumes, wearing the jersey of your favorite football team or decked out as your favorite Star Wars character. Darth Tater, anyone? That said, we'll always be partial to the classic potato dude, who comes with the original essential parts (eyes, ears, nose, mouth, hands, hat, mustache, tongue, glasses and that groovy blue pants/shoes garment) — all stored conveniently in his "tater tush." (Amazon.com, $9)
10

Bozo Big Bop Bag

Bozo Big Bop Bag

If your preschooler is bursting with energy, the Bozo Big Bop Bag just might become his favorite toy (and yours). Just like the original, this 46-inch inflatable vinyl clown sports a bright red nose that squeaks when you bop it. After a boisterous bop session, treat your little one to a calmer Bozo activity by playing the classic Bozo Under the Sea album, available for free download at kiddierecords.com. (Tin Toy Arcade, $20)

Quick Tip:

If you love retro toys, you'll love this Vintage Toys Birthday Party featured on the popular party blog Hostess with the Mostess.

More preschooler fun

Activities to encourage quiet time
Plan a messy art day for your preschooler
5 Fun afternoon games with your preschooler

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