We grown-ups love to look back on our childhoods and think they were “better,” amirite? After all, we had the carefree walks down the street, awesome cartoons on weekends and, best of all, an assortment of interesting toys that made creative play possible with our sister or brother when we were on Saturday house arrest (for punching them in the arm, the irony).
Well, here is some news: Many of our generation’s favorite toys are still around, and they’ve even been slightly souped up for the new millennium! It’s like the best of both worlds — perfect for giving the tiny humans in your life a glimpse of what the “days of old” were kinda like.
Here are the five currently sitting in our online shopping cart.
Barbie Dreamhouse (Mattel)
Barbie’s enduring magic is even more fabulous with this tech update of her lavish Dreamhouse. The Hello Dreamhouse app for smartphones and tablets allows your little one to customize household sounds, such as a crackling fireplace. Plus, voice recognition means the house can “respond” to more than 100 commands!
And did we mention all the cool accessories, like barstools and hip light fixtures? You’ll likely want to move right in — and pretending you did is easier with this version.
Teddy Ruxpin (Wicked Cool Toys)
Who didn’t love Teddy Ruxpin in the 1980s? With heartwarming lessons on those old cassette tapes, he was an unforgettable and cuddly pal. Now revamped by the company Wicked Cool Toys, Teddy is back with an interactive free app that lets your child follow along to stories and songs.
But what if you’re stuck with no Wi-Fi access and an irritable kid? No problem — this bear has three free stories already programmed inside. Whew!
NES Classic Mini (Nintendo)
Oh, the long afternoons we spent playing Super Mario Bros. on our original Nintendo Entertainment System! With this sweet new miniature version, you can finally say “so long” to blowing out those pesky cartridges.
The system comes with an HDMI cable to hook right up to your smart TV, and is pre-loaded with 30 iconic games that you can play right along with the kids. Just think how impressed they’ll be when you know where the warp whistle is.
With the help of a smartphone app on either an iPhone or Android device, they can become totally immersed in a virtual world. Of course, they still have to be back in your world before it’s time for dinner and homework.
Easy Animation Studio (Crayola)
In decades past, we had to work hard to imagine pages from our coloring book taking on a life and story of their own. Now, thanks to Crayola’s Easy Animation Studio, today’s kids can watch their art spring to life.
Using a design booklet and a free app, your youngsters will love watching a variety of pictures with custom colors and backgrounds transform into an animated masterpiece. Bonus? They might even figure out what to be when they grow up.