There’s nothing more nostalgic than watching your child unwrap a classic toy that you unwrapped yourself as a child. If you want to connect with your child on that deeper level, have you considered taking a walk down memory lane?
Classic toys are a classic for a reason, and it feels amazing to watch your child light up with the same joy as you did when you were young and discovered a new favorite.
Here, the toy experts at Melissa & Doug have compiled a list of our 5 Best Throwback Toys for the babies, toddlers, preschoolers, and kids in your life, just in time for the upcoming holiday season. Plus, you can find even more gift picks for all ages in our Melissa & Doug 2023 Holiday Gift Guide!
10 Best Throwback & Classic Toys for Kids
This Melissa & Doug toolkit is a great way to help build imaginations! You can give little builders the tools they need for truly constructive play with this sturdy wooden Take-Along Tool Kit. The set is made from high-quality wood painted in bright, bold colors, and includes 24 pieces sized just right for little hands. The play toolbox comes with wooden nails, screws, nuts, and bolts, plus a toy hammer, wrench, and screwdriver. While playing with this classic toy, kids can have hours of creative fun while practicing hand-eye coordination, count, sorting, color recognition, and problem-solving skills.
Play like a kid again: Give your constructive kid a to-do list of “pretend” fix-it jobs around the house and get status reports when the jobs are done.
This favorite collection of 100 wooden blocks comes in four colors and nine shapes. Little builders will find it easy to grasp the approximately 1-inch to 2.25-inch smooth blocks. Kids delight in stacking, building, and knocking them down in countless colorful combinations, while gaining invaluable practice with fine motor skills and dexterity, color and shape recognition, and pre-math skills.
Play like a kid again: Challenge your child to construct certain shapes or structures, and time them for an extra competitive challenge.
Wheel them back to get new skills speeding ahead! The "rev up" mechanism inside each of these four cars and trucks makes it easy for babies and toddlers to get big acceleration with just a little input: Pull back one of the soft vehicles--then release to see it zoom off across the floor! The action of grasping and pulling back is great for fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination; the activity of "driving" and collecting (pull, release, crawl) benefits large muscle groups and coordination, too. Get even more "miles per gallon" with a variety of colors, shapes and sizes, illustrated characters, and everyday themes to inspire conversations, cognitive connections, and imaginative play!
Play like a kid again: Turn your playroom into a race track and pit the pull-back vehicles against each other for fun pretend play driving adventures!
If “Old MacDonald Had a Farm” was your jam, then you’ll get all the feels watching your child play with this Wooden Fold & Go Barn. Melissa & Doug’s fully assembled red wooden barn is stocked with seven realistic plastic farm animals, a wooden ladder, and a folding corral.
Play like a kid again: Give the animals names, discuss their favorite foods, and assign responsibilities when it comes to taking care of the farm!
Kids can take farm animal fun wherever they go with the Take-Along Sorting Barn! Fit the 10 wooden play pieces into shaped holes in the sturdy wooden barn, or stand the pieces up for pretend play. Flip up the barn roof for quick and easy access, and use the handle to take playtime anywhere. A perfect gift for toddlers and preschoolers, the chunky pieces are easy for little hands to grasp and maneuver, and help promote fine motor skills, matching and sorting, and creative play.
Play like a kid again: Have your kiddos make up silly stories about the farmer and his barnyard friends!
Listen to the voices of eight favorite zoo animals when the puzzle pieces are correctly placed in the puzzle board! Each animal piece has a matching full-color picture beneath, while the eye- and ear-catching puzzle enhancements help boost development of matching and listening skills.
Play like a kid again: Challenge your kids to make their own animal noises when they hear the sound puzzle effects.
All aboard for some railroad adventures! Eight wooden train cars, each approximately three inches long, link together with magnetic couplers in endless combinations for lots of imaginative play. Brightly painted and beautifully crafted train cars include a steam engine, caboose, coal car, passenger car, and more. This set is sized to play perfectly with Melissa & Doug activity rugs or on its own. Pieces all store neatly in the compartmentalized wooden tray.
Play like a kid again: Provide some play prompts for your child, and get their imaginations fired up: Who’s the conductor of your train? Where’s it going? Who’s on board? Does it run into any problems? Help them keep the story going!
Our classic Deluxe Pounding Bench comes with a design twist you didn’t have as a kid. Instead of all pegs going down simultaneously, as the pegs go up, the opposite pegs go down in a fun, peekaboo style!
Play like a kid again: Call out the colors and have your child pound the corresponding peg!
Everyone had a Shape Sorting Cube as a child, right? This classic educational toy for toddlers features 12 chunky, vibrantly colored shapes that make a satisfying "clunk" as they drop into the natural-finish hardwood cube.
Play like a kid again: Take turns trying to beat the clock! Put all the blocks into a pile and time yourselves as you put every block into the cube.
This beautifully detailed classic train set comes with 17 wooden play pieces that will keep playtime rolling. The Melissa & Doug Take-Along Railroad features built-in tracks, colorful scenery, four vehicles, and other pieces to enhance imaginative storytelling. Everything stores in the fold-up case with built-in handle for easy cleanup and travel.
Play like a kid again: Engage little ones in storytelling about taking a journey to visit family and special friends.
Looking for more of the best Christmas and holiday gift and toy ideas for kids of all ages? Check out these blog posts: