Barbie and LEGO among top nostalgic childhood toys stashed in lofts

Young children try out classic toys from the 1980s

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Other popular items stored away also include Fisher-Price telephones, Slinkys, and Rubik’s Cubes.

And favourites from the 1990s, like Gameboys and Etch-a-Sketch, can still be found in many homes.

The research also found 57 percent of those who have kept their treasured toys since they were a child have done so because they hold special memories for them.

And 59 percent of these believe their children or grandchildren will get the same levels of enjoyment from them that they had in their youth.

The research was commissioned by Busy Bees, to celebrate the 40th anniversary of its first nursery in 1983, and explore how toys, and the way children play with them, have changed throughout this period.

Marg Randles, co-founder of the early years childcare provider, said: “It is heart-warming to learn so many people have saved their precious childhood toys in order to pass them down through the generations.

“It really is a reminder that while toys may have changed over the years, the pleasure they provide and the important role they play in a child’s development remains the same.

“Over the last 40 years, there have been huge changes in toys and the patterns of play – from the characters and materials used, to the introduction of technology.

“To mark our 40th anniversary, we wanted to celebrate play, and showcase just how important it is to a child’s formative years.

“We champion play and the vital role it plays in a child’s learning and development – and we are proud that this remains fundamental to everything we do.”

The study also found 74 percent of those who kept their collection feel it is precious to them, while 79 percent said dusting them off from time to time makes them feel nostalgic.

And 13 percent have even managed to preserve them in mint condition, with 43 percent keeping them in a good state.

More than one in four (28 percent) think they could be sitting on a goldmine with their playthings, estimating their collection to be worth an average of £300.

However, 47 percent love their toys so much they have no intention of selling.

Thinking back to their childhoods, 38 percent preferred the toys they could play with alongside their friends, while 37 percent were drawn to those which sparked their imagination.

Half of adults believe their traditional toys encouraged them to be more active, while 45 percent felt like they stimulated cognitive development.

But two-thirds feel they don’t make toys like they used to – and 59 percent wish the ones they cherished were still being produced today.

It also emerged that, of the parents and grandparents polled, via OnePoll, they believe their little ones still get the most joy from the toys which they can use with their friends.

And 94 percent think toys are an important part of their children’s and grandchildren’s upbringing.

Marg Randles added: “Parents and grandparents understand the vital role that toys play in a child’s development during their formative years.

“Learning through play in the early years is so important to a child’s future, because it lays down educational foundations for years to come.

“It helps children develop curious minds and a love of learning, to be creative, independent, and caring and considerate to each other and the world around them.

“No matter how drastically toys may have changed in the past 40 years, it’s the values of play that remain the same – and that’s why so many parents and grandparents want to pass on the beloved toys from their childhood, to share in their joy with future generations.”

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