5 Classic Holiday Gifts that Never Go Out of Style

December 8, 2012 at 10:00 am Leave a comment

From planes to wooden trains and other classic toys, there are certain holiday gifts that never go out of style. This week at Melissa & Doug, we’re celebrating these classic holiday gifts—and featuring a few new favorites as well! But first, we wanted to share our thoughts on what makes a toy truly a “classic.”

A classic toy is built on a few core values: hands-on interaction, open-ended opportunities for imagination, beautiful design, and top-quality wooden construction that stands the test of time. Designed to engage children in the kind of play that comes most naturally to them, these beloved wooden toys build key developmental skills such as hand-eye coordination, fine motor skills, counting, sorting, and shape recognition, and social skills at exactly the right rate for every child.

If you’re looking to give a classic toy this holiday season, here are some of our favorites, modeled by our wonderful fans from Instagram!

Wooden Play Sets

A “wooden play set” is a wonderful world, designed to spark a child’s imagination and inspire hours of creative play. Traditionally, these classic toys, such as our Whittle World line, have been popular due to their durability and simple styles. Made with sturdy wooden play pieces, the toys can withstand hours of play without missing a beat. Plus, different wooden sets can mix and match with one another as a different world of creative play unfolds every day.

Whittle World

Via fan @a_c_brownMD

Trains & Vehicles

Trains and trucks are some of the most popular classic toys.  The playtime possibilities are truly endless, and for generations children have embraced the imaginative scenarios that result from playing with these vehicle toys.  Some standard favorites are trains, race cars, rescue vehicles (what child doesn’t love to make the whirling siren sound?), trucks, and construction vehicles.

Via fan @Cahillmax

Via fan @Cahillmax

A newer version of this classic favorite is our Big Rig Building Truck Play Set, which combines two timeless playtime activities: vehicle play and building! The tough, two-piece tractor-trailer comes packed with wooden construction pieces and pre-drilled with holes for the wooden nails and bolts. Kids can use the tools to connect the pieces in stand-alone structures, or build right onto the truck itself.


A great classic toy is one that involves “tools” for your little one to bang away and have a blast! Tool toys also help build important skills such as hand-eye coordination, counting, color identification, and fine motor skills as kids work with screws, saws, hammers, nuts and bolts, and more!

Via fan @arlenyme10

Via fan @arlenyme10

Gear Toys

Via fan @_ayraerey

Via fan @_ayraerey

Little hands love to practice spinning! Gear toys are a classic favorite because they allow children to practice their motor skills in a unique, playful way. Interlocking pieces provide hours of hands-on fun, with shapes that are bulky enough to easily rearrange among a variety of pegs. With our new Switch & Spin Magnetic Gear Board, kids can practice making their own gear machines based on different picture templates for a new “spin” on a classic favorite.

Stacking Toys

Via @chelleann2417

Via @chelleann2417

Kids love to stack things . . . almost as much as they love knocking things over! That’s why sturdy stacking toys are high on our list of classic favorites.  With bright colors and smooth wood finishes, stacking toys have traditionally helped children with a number of developmental skills, including color identification, size recognition, grasping skills, and counting.  Plus, there’s no “right” or “wrong” way to play with a stacking toy, so your child’s imagination can truly run wild!

For more classic toy ideas, visit our Classic Toys shop.

P.S. Want to share your own photos of our toys in action? Share them on Facebook or Instagram (@MelissaAndDougtoys, hashtag #MelissaAndDoug).

Entry filed under: Blocks & Construction Play, Cars, Trains & Vehicles, Facebook Fan Page, family activities, Play Ideas, pretend play, Pretend Play, Toys, Whittle World. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

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