If I was to ask you to describe your favourite classic toys from the 80’s what would it be? Nobody reading this is allowed to answer they weren’t born yet for the simple reason it will make me feel old! I have some good memories of my old childhood toys – before the electronic era kicked in. So this is my 80s toy list with some of the best 80s toys and games and what I think are the classic toys from the 1980s.
- Sindy! Forget Barbie, the best doll from the 80s was Sindy. I have all my old Sindy furniture up in the attic ready to pass on to my daughter (son would have a fit if I suggested him) in a couple of years time. Admittedly the grey horse has 3 out of 4 legs super glued on but the rest is in pretty good nick.
- Teddy Ruckspin. He didn’t irritate me, I know he irritated my parents. He is still a classic 80s toy.
- Pound Puppy. My Pound Puppy Patch is still being loved today. My kids aren’t quite as gentle with him and some stitches have unravelled but he’s still going strong. I don’t have the paper bones I made him or the kennel anymore admittedly.
- Downfall. I have a love-hate relationship with this game. It was one of the most frustrating games when the person the other side ruined your set-up. The new version just isn’t the same.
- Monopoly. Or family argument time. Everything was about Mayfair and Park Lane, and the sulking if you didn’t get both and refusal to sell if you had one (and any sense at all).
- Lego. I had the equivalent of today’s classic Lego sets, a mish mash of pieces and my imagination. My next door neighbour had the space set – with space base plates. The best Lego set ever I still think.
So those are some of my favourite nostalgic toys from the eighties. You can tell the toys with class because although updated, they are still around today. So do you agree with my list? What would be on your list of classic toys from the 80s?
Sometimes toys don’t cut it. They get bored quickly and then you need a new game plan, especially if you are in the middle of something important, or more interesting than playing Play-Doh. These were my quick fixes that might be useful entertainment for your toddler.
Entertainment for your Toddler
- First of all! Dry pasta. No joke honest. Any type, style, colour, whatever you have in the cupboard. Obviously you have to be very careful that your child isn’t still in the ‘I’m going to put everything in my mouth and try and choke on it’ stage but after you are passed that, dry pasta is a great toy. Couple of bowls, they fill one bowl piece by piece. Then start all over again. Same principle for rice and lentils, they give better pincer practice too.
- The good old saucepan and wooden spoon. Only if you do not currently have a headache or the result is the opposite of what you want – a lot of stress!
- Washing up bowl with soapy water. This can get quite messy but my two loved pretending to clean their toy kitchen equipment. Just make sure you’re nearby to make sure nobody does anything stupid like dunk their head in it. An extension of the washing up bowl and water is that what floats and what sinks game? Definitely keep an eye on this game, I nearly sacrificed my phone unwittingly!
- Pieces of fabric. Now I’m a bit of a sewing addict when the time allows, so I always have off-cuts of fabric around the place. I don’t think I could entertain myself with a pile of fabric bits but my two always seemed to make some fun with them.
- My rainy day kitchen roll colouring post is always a winner – see my Rainy Day Activity blog post.
- Dusting or cleaning windows. Child labour is free right? Clean cloth maybe some water (if you’re feeling brave) and off they go.
- Colour sorting. Anything plastic or non-breakable. The baby spoons and bowls always came in handy for this game, so did the pile of fabric offcuts! Match the colours. It’s learning and good entertainment for your toddler.
- The Tupperware cupboard! We all have millions of plastic pots with mis-matched lids. Make use of them. Let your toddler go wild filling them with objects (or dry pasta lol). They’re unbreakable and you’ve lost half the lids anyway. If you do have matching lids, fill them with noisy food like uncooked rice or lentils and there you have a shaker for them to irritate you with for the next twenty minutes.
- Those mini Kellogg’s cereal boxes. Fill them with toys like Duplo blocks, seal the top and watch them spend twenty minutes trying to get into it; as a result of their concentration you might get to finish your cuppa.
- Finally! All those clean socks that need matching. They do the matching for you! Can you put them into pairs? You can! You are so clever (and so is Mum, that’s saved me twenty minutes).
I hope you like some of these ideas. Unfortunately my children are too old to be distracted by most of them although the clean socks matching is still a popular activity, closely followed by putting clothes in drawers. Result!! I’m going to enjoy that treat for as long as it lasts.
If you have any ideas of entertainment for your toddlers then let other readers know by leaving a comment below.
Lego Ideas by Daniel Lipkowitz
The Lego Ideas book by Daniel Lipkowitz is written by experts in Lego building. It helps parents look like we know what we’re doing, and children develop their creative Lego building. You need to try and think from the 2D pictures, how can you build the 3D shapes. Easier said than done!
So What is the Lego Ideas Book Like?
There is only one problem with the Lego Ideas book. If your stash of Lego doesn’t include the fancy blocks, you are never going to be able to make anything that looks as good. This doesn’t usually bother my children, who still have an active imagination, but it bothers me!
There are over 500 ideas from animals to buildings and vehicles. We’ve had hours of fun with this book trying to recreate (and usually failing) with our Lego blocks. It is suitable for ages 7 and over. Mind you, it isn’t a gender-orientated book so will appeal to both boys and girls.
It has some really cool ideas like picture frames, 3D mosaics and mini figure display cabinets. Each Lego idea has little tips or block use ideas alongside the pictures for inspiration.
There are no step-by-step instructions! It isn’t a Lego building manual. It is solely a book to inspire you with what the Lego experts can build. So if you are after detailed instructions this will not be the book for you. Some of the Lego idea are very complicated and you will flick straight past them and onto the next page. However, I do like how they encourage you to look at everyday items to get inspiration for your Lego building.
Do shop around for it! It is expensive on Amazon but only £3 at the Book People (although it is currently out of stock. It might be worth checking back every now and again).
If you are after Lego building ideas for kids and adults, there are worse places to start than this book. Happy Lego building, and follow the advice on page 7 of the Lego Ideas book and play with your models.
My Favourite Childhood Films
I grew up in the age of no Sky, four channels and video recorders (now I sound old) so we had to watch what was on or resort to something our Mum had taped. These are the childhood films that we wore out our VHS tapes watching over and over. yes video tapes. Not DVD’s, not Blu-Ray and certainly not streamed on the internet; which actually didn’t exist then. Now doesn’t that blow the mind of the children of today!
I have some great memories of some great films, and they really were great films because my children love some of them today. So here is my list of all time favourite childhood film memories. The technology may have moved on at lightning speed but film quality outlasts all of that.
Mary Poppins! I love this film as much today as I did then. Julie Andrews is amazing, and even now it looks a classic film, not an old film.
Jungle Book! The new version just didn’t do it for me. It has to be the Disney version. And I have to sing along with The Bear Necessities, much to the annoyance of everyone else.
Gerald of Wales! Now you may not have heard of Gerald of Wales the cartoon film, and you might certainly not collapse into giggles at the phrase “in the Middle East” like me but it was one of my favourite cartoons. It turned a history lesson into a cartoon I watched over and over again.
An Elephant Called Slowly! Or Pole Pole to give him his African name. This elephant inspired the creation of the Born Free Foundation and it is one film that I wish I still had a copy of. It is such a lovely, lovely film.
Cinderella! For an adult that hates housework I loved this film. I think it’s the being swept off your feet by Prince Charming romantic in me that still lives. I watched this for hours.
So there are the films that I immediately think of when I remember TV from the eighties. There is one more. A Japanese animation that I used to be obsessed with but I can’t remember the name of it, and Google isn’t much use without a title! If you haven’t seen some of them, give them a try, maybe you and your children will enjoy them too. Here are my favourite childhood toys too.
The Disney shop has five new Star Wars Rogue One Lego sets available to buy currently (online), and they are really detailed looking sets with a good range of mini figures and accessories like blaster guns. We all know the blaster pieces will be lost within a week lol.
Rogue One Lego Sets
Lego AT-ST walker set (75153) £39.99 with 449 pieces and a recommended age range 8-14 years. It comes with three mini figures.
Lego Tie striker set (75154) £59.99 with 543 pieces and a recommended age range of 8-14 years. This set comes with four min figures.
Lego Imperial assault hover tank (set 75152) £29.99 with 385 pieces and three mini figures. This set is suitable for children aged between 7-12 years.
Lego rebel U-wing fighter set (75155) £69.99 and 659 pieces. Five mini figures and included and the recommended age is 8-14 years.
Lego Krennic’s imperial shuttle (75156) £79.99. 863 pieces and six mini figures this is an impressive looking set. The retail price is £79.99 and the age range recommended is 9-14 years.
Have a look at www.disneystore.co.uk for more Star Wars Rogue One toys and more Disney merchandise.
I’m looking forward to seeing the next batch of new releases as we get closer to December’s film release date. So, Lego is living up to it’s reputation as one of the best children’s toys by extending it’s range of Lego Rogue One Star Wars sets. All hail Lego!
Lego Party Bags and Fillers
Party bags are let’s face it, the bane of our lives when organising a party. This post is just to give a little inspiration or a few ideas of things I like on a particular theme. So let’s explore Lego party bags.
What Lego themed ideas for a good party bag that doesn’t cost a fortune, because who wants to spend a lot of money on 30 party bags.
Block party loot bags http://amzn.to/2dNJvY0. Not officially Lego but at £1.46 for 8 they are affordable and they look like Lego bricks.
Pack of 12 Lego block shaped rubbers http://amzn.to/2dGtbEs these have an extra 99p delivery charge on them. At the current price they work out at 33p each (including the delivery cost).
12 Lego notebooks for £5.52 (or 46p each) http://amzn.to/2dGtIWM. A little bit more expensive but it depends on your budget per bag.
9 pin badges with Lego movie characters on them http://amzn.to/2dNKpUy, for 30p each at the current price.
12 Lego block pencils with rubbers on the end. There is a lot of Lego-themed stationary party bag gifts! http://amzn.to/2dNKkzV. They work out at 33p each at the current price.
Alternatively one of these building block racing car kits and a piece of cake would make an easy party bag http://amzn.to/2dNKI1m. At 78p each they are good value. Postage is free too.
You can get a 20 piece set of random men Lego figures http://amzn.to/2dGuHXa. They work out at 23p each at the current price of £4.70 with free postage.
If you are going the whole hog with a themed party layout you can get a Lego block party pack for 16 place settings (plates, cups, napkins, balloons and a table cover) for £14.99 (but there is quite an expensive £4 delivery charge on top of that price!) http://amzn.to/2dsaHsx.
I hope this post has given you some ideas for your Lego party bags. As always shop around, compare prices and make sure you get the best value for your party bag.
If you have any brilliant Lego themed buys, please leave a comment (with link if possible) for other readers of Toy Infinity.
The Twilight Sparkles Rainbow Kingdom was a Christmas present last year – a not very successful present. It has been put in the toy cupboard and has not seen the light of day since.
It takes ages to put together. I mean ages. There are small numbers on the pieces that you need to match up to make the slide, and the different levels of the palace. Snapping them together is quite fiddly, which is what takes the time.
But, once you have put it together it is pretty flimsy. My daughter kept knocking bits off or breaking the slide off, or the pony got stuck sliding down the slide in the little car where I hadn’t quite snapped it together right. She isn’t a particularly rough child, but like most children she isn’t particularly careful with things either. Princess Twilight Sparkle still gets played with regularly although she no longer has four shoes!
It does come with some nice play features. The swing, the cloud car for the slide, the lockable treasure box and the throne. These weren’t enough to keep our little girls attention.
We paid £25 for it last year, and I think that is expensive. I have seen it currently on sale for £49.99 in some retailers. It is currently selling for £32 on Amazon UK (October 2016). It is suitable for children over the age of 3 and due to the small parts like the removable shoes it is a toy you will have to keep an eye on if younger children are near it.
So did we love it?
I’d love to say it was a brilliant toy because it looks so great but it hasn’t been for us. I would still buy a My Little Pony play set in the future but make sure it is one that needs less putting together. If you are interested in it, try and see one made so you know what you’re getting. But for Twilight Sparkles Rainbow Kingdom, it is in the charity shop pile and hopefully someone else’s child will enjoy it more.
I started this in 2014 after sitting with a glass of Prosecco with my husband and realising how much of the year we have forgotten. I wanted some way of keeping the small memories alive so that we could all remember them.
All you need is a clean jam jar or some other jar with a lid, some paper to write your memories on and a pen.
It is lovely to look back at the good things, but I did forget I also put the less wonderful things in the jar. Picking out the memory of saying goodbye to my lovely Gran did reduce me to tears. Picking out the ‘three is the magic number’ memory when I miscarried that much wanted little one, as the next memory, nearly finished me off.
I’m looking forward to reading this years memories. Both of my children have had big firsts – starting juniors and reception, new clubs, new sports, new achievements. I have started this blog and that features in there. As for the rest; thank goodness I wrote it all down – my memory is dreadful!