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What are Heirloom Toys?

23/07/2013 | Fun | by Catherine Godiva

Heirloom toys are toys that are strong and durable enough to be passed down from one generation to the next.  Many of us parents may be lucky enough to have books and some toys that our own parents have lovingly hoarded in an attic while we were growing up.  I have several childhood books that I passed on to my daughter who has now passed them on to my granddaughter. 

When my youngest daughter was a toddler a friend’s husband made her a wooden push along brick trolley and a small wooden trike.  My friend, who was a great decorative painter, painted both toys with pictures and my daughter’s name.  The trike in particular was very well used, as transport and as a handy portable step for reaching stuff.  As my youngest daughter grew older, both toys made their way to the attic, along with a fab wooden abacus that both my daughters had used to learn counting skills. 

When my granddaughter was on the way I raided my attic looking for stuff that used to belong to me or my daughters.  The trike and brick trolley came down and were given a good clean, as was the abacus.  I found a great little piano/xylophone suitable for babies from 6 months onwards.  I found books, favourites from both my daughters and some that had been mine. 

I also found clothes – the babygrow and snowsuit my youngest had worn to come home from the hospital at one day old and some beautiful tiny dresses that an aunt bought in Harrods more than 30 years ago.  I found some cot blankets and a coat my mum bought my oldest daughter when she was two.  It had since been used by my sister’s kids, a neighbours two kids and my youngest.  It’s a Marks and Sparks coat and still looks like new, even the snap on hood is still intact!

Heirloom toys (and items of nursery furniture) usually cost quite a bit more than your average toy, but you do have the pleasure of knowing that they can be stored safely away in the attic.  They’re durable and well made and worth every penny of the price paid – once the grandchildren come along, there they just need a quick wipe over with a cloth, ready to deliver hours of fun to the next generation.

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