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25 Classic Toys and Games Everyone Should Own or Play

classic toys, playing cards, creative uses for playing cards

Classic toys allow you to be endlessly creative!

There are certain classic toys everyone buys or receives when their first child is born. A rattle, a stack of rings, a few books, maybe some blocks. But by the time your kids are 3 and certainly by the time they’re 6, how many of their toys bleep incessantly? Would your elementary-aged child rather play on the computer and watch TV than look at his toys? Are you looking for games the whole family can enjoy? Or are you someone without kids who wants to relive the simplicity of your youth, before electronics ruled the day?

This slideshow of classic toys and games will not only have you feeling nostalgic for a bygone era, but it will also remind you of all the cool, basic toys and games you can offer your own children. Not only will they be fascinated, but these playthings and activities will have your little ones engaging with the world around them in creative and exciting ways:


  • Jacks 1 of 25
    Jacks
    These were such a curiosity to me when I was little. I never knew how to play properly but loved looking at the intricate pieces. If you want to know the rules, click here.
    Photo via Flickr
  • Jump Rope 2 of 25
    Jump Rope
    When my daughter told me jumping rope in gym made her tired, I knew she wasn't getting enough exercise. That was the impetus for this slideshow, actually. It made me realize that the games and toys we enjoyed as kids now feel like they're obsolete!
    Photo via Flickr
  • Lincoln Logs 3 of 25
    Lincoln Logs
    I have fond memories of these from my childhood. Did you know Lincoln Logs were invented in 1916?! If you don't have Lincoln Logs (we don't), Jenga pieces can be just as fun.
    Photo via Flickr
  • Hula Hoop 4 of 25
    Hula Hoop
    Another gym classic, hula hooping provides a fun challenge for kids — and can be a great workout for adults!
    Photo via Flickr
  • Checkers 5 of 25
    Checkers
    Or if you're really adventurous, chess. Both games help develop cognitive skills.
    Photo via Flickr
  • Jacob’s Ladder 6 of 25
    Jacob's Ladder
    Remember this? Click-clack-click-clack!
    Photo via Flickr
  • Balls 7 of 25
    Balls
    Help with hand-eye coordination, get kids outside and are tons of fun!
    Photo via Flickr
  • Sidewalk Chalk 8 of 25
    Sidewalk Chalk
    Chalk is great for hopscotch or making an outdoor masterpiece! I love playing with it as much as my daughter does.
    Photo via Flickr
  • Blocks 9 of 25
    Blocks
    Lots of people still buy or receive blocks as a baby gift, for obvious reasons. Not only do they help babies develop coordination, they're a creative tool for kids of any age. And they can be quite beautiful, too.
    Photo via Flickr
  • Baby Doll 10 of 25
    Baby Doll
    Good for boys, girls and grown-ups who need a snuggle. Just a plain, old-fashioned doll, not a collector's item or fancy American Girl. One that can be well-loved without fearing a financial loss.
    Photo via Flickr
  • Kites 11 of 25
    Kites
    Kite-flying is such a great family activity! It's the sort of play that can be done alone or together, which can mean less fighting among siblings.
    Photo via Flickr
  • Tag 12 of 25
    Tag
    Regular tag, freeze tag, but not rape tag, thank you very much.
    Photo via Flickr
  • Magic 8 Ball 13 of 25
    Magic 8 Ball
    My daughter and I regularly consult our Magic 8 Ball. Did you know this guy has been around since the '40s? Good, clean fun. And you can even make your own if you prefer.
    Photo via Fat Brain Toys
  • Cards 14 of 25
    Cards
    For games like Go Fish and Old Maid, as well as just shuffling, counting, stacking ...
    Photo via Wikipedia
  • String 15 of 25
    String
    Kids can do a lot of things with string, including play Cat's Cradle! For directions, click the photo link below.
    Photo via If You Love to Read
  • Marbles 16 of 25
    Marbles
    Even if just to look at. But if you want to know how to play, here you go!
    Photo via Wikipedia
  • Rocks, Sticks and Dirt 17 of 25
    Rocks, Sticks and Dirt
    Such important playthings! I tell my daughter to stick her face in the ground every chance she gets. She also loves more proper gardening, as well.
    Photo via Flickr
  • Slinky 18 of 25
    Slinky
    Like the Magic 8 Ball, the Slinky has been with us since the '40s. You probably still have the one you got when you applied for a credit card back in college, right?
    Photo via Fat Brain Toys
  • Crayons 19 of 25
    Crayons
    An old standby found in most homes, but if you're an adult without kids and you don't have crayons, you're robbing yourself of hours of peaceful creativity and enjoyment.
    Photo via Flickr
  • Etch-A-Sketch 20 of 25
    Etch-A-Sketch
    The Etch-A-Sketch was invented in 1960 and was a huge part of my childhood. My daughter doesn't have one but I know she'd love it. Next on the list of toys to buy!
    Photo via Amazon
  • Play Dough 21 of 25
    Play Dough
    Yes, you can buy Play-Doh, or the even cooler (read: mess-free) Model Magic, but you can also make your own dough.
    Photo via Prepared Pantry
  • Jigsaw Puzzles 22 of 25
    Jigsaw Puzzles
    Little kids are obsessed with the Melissa and Doug variety. Grown-ups should be trying the harder kind.
    Photo via Vanilla Joy
  • Pick-Up Sticks 23 of 25
    Pick-Up Sticks
  • Cardboard Box 24 of 25
    Cardboard Box
    Kids love these more than anything that comes in them.
    Photo via Wikipedia
  • Teddy Bear 25 of 25
    Teddy Bear
    I'm sure everyone reading this has at least one stuffed animal, be it an Ugly Doll or something won at a fair or amusement park. But there's nothing like a classic teddy bear. Especially if its arms and legs move. My daughter has two like this and she adores them.
    Photo via Wikipedia

Main photo via Flickr

More on Babble:
50 toy fads we can’t believe we fell for!
10 tech relics I’ll have to explain to my kids
35 vintage toys we know and love

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