At Roosterbank we always get to check out the latest books, toys and games that kids want. Some of them are really cool and some not so great. Completing collections, buying the whole, getting an upgrade set etc. can be unaffordable for most parents.
With that in mind, we decided to go back to our youth to dig up our favourite toys and games that are cost effective fun for children.
Every item in this list has been through the strict Roosterbank pocket money value test and passed, so will be suitable for any budget. We have also checked stock levels and each toy can be found in abundance now and in the future, so no worries about sorting it out on Christmas morning.
The humble stick has come through the ages as a favoured toy. It comes in a variety of shapes and sizes and is abundant in well forested areas, however can also be located in tree lined suburbs and even inner city parks. Supersize versions (often too large to carry) are also available and known as logs, however harder to find and often impractical.
Things you can do with sticks include a game of pooh sticks, magic wand imitation, sword wielding, quidditch, and pick up sticks. You can upgrade sticks as they are compatible with things such as string. Stick was introduced into the Toy hall of fame in 2008, we were aboxsking what took them so long?
Once again, something that comes in many shapes and sizes. The ball has a strong commercial appeal, acting as the foundation for many of the World’s greatest sports such as football, tennis, cricket and golf. Balls can sometimes be expensive, however with some imagination they can also be very cheap: Take for example the paper ball, made simply by scrunching a piece of A4 paper into a ball shape. This can then be launched across a classroom to gain the attention of fellow classmates.
The classic tale of a child playing more with the box than the actual contents is one which baffles those unfamiliar with the wonderful way children see the world. A box can very easily be a ship, helmet, armour, castle or house. Boxes can also be combined with each other to make a whole world of adventure.
Boxes are abundant; however the cooler and much larger versions sadly come filled with useless things like microwaves, TVs and computers. If you are keen to find a box and aren’t in the market for white goods it might be worth checking out local recycling centres or supermarkets.
Growing up by the sea enabled me to have a whale of a time playing with sand. Classic structures such as sand castles were often developed in record breaking time with the use of an upturned bucket. If building up isn’t your thing no problem, you can also dig into sand with your hands and create a hole. Holes are also the starting point when burying someone, they can simply sit in the hole as you dump the sand in on top of them.
Sand is found at the beach however some local parks have taken the initiative to add sand pits to the swings and seesaws on offer. You can also create a sandpit in your garden by visiting your local B&Q and picking up a few bags.
Magical things cushions are. They exponentially increase comfort when lounging around but are best used as stepping stones for small children crossing a living room with a floor of lava.
Cushions come in all shapes and sizes. The two main types however are the smaller square cushions which are great for the previously mentioned stepping stones and the larger cushions which make up the bulk of a sofa. Not to be confused with pillows.
6 Cardboard Tube
The legendary cardboard tube can morph from telescope, to sword, to megaphone in seconds. It ranges in length from a small tube that you get after a loo role to the longer tube which comes after finishing a roll of wrapping paper. Children love the in-built sound effects these tubes have, speak down it and you sound 20 years older or hit two together for a satisfying reverberation.
It can also be noted that cardboard tubes are hamster and rat compatible, just add the small animal to one end of the tube and it will scurry to the other side.
7 Bubble wrap
As an adult I find it difficult when handling the stuff to restrain myself from popping a few bubbles. Give it to any child and without words they accept the challenge to pop every sing e one. The beauty of bubble wrap is that each individual pop gives such a satisfying sound. An iPad app has been developed to recreate that satisfaction; unsurprisingly it doesn’t even come close.
We hope you enjoyed reading this list as much as we enjoyed writing it. It would be great to hear of your favourite childhood toys, you can join the conversation with other Roosterbank parents on our Facebook page.