These retro toys are just as much fun for mom and dad - maybe even more fun than an iPad.

Tall, Green, and Handsome

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DwellStudio's Giraffe Push Toy is one example of the firm's updating of classics via new animals and fresh colors ($24). Available at velocityartanddesign.com.

Take That, Woody

Made in an Indonesian village using locally harvested wood, these simple Toys for the Soul ($40) - a yo-yo, a top, and a hole-stick - are a true (and fun) model of sustainable design. Available at areaware.com.

Reel Fun

I spy with my little eye the View-Master 3-D Viewer ($6), which is pretty much the same except for the wide variety of reels featuring everyone from Wall-E to Handy Manny. Available at http://www.fisher-price.com/

Chance of Meatballs

Is it a tunnel or the sky? An arch or a cloud? The possibilities are endless with the beautifully basic Wooden Cloud Stacker Toy ($14). Available at etsy.com/shop/Imaginationkids.

Hot Wheels

Playforever's Bruno Roadster ($85) will be the best vintage vehicle in Junior's fleet. Available at the Philadelphia Museum of Art museum store, 26th Street and the Ben Franklin Parkway.

Message in a Pencil

Philadelphia toy designer Melissa Jarrett Cohen just unveiled Unravels ($8.95 for four), colored pencils whose outer layers peel off to reveal secret messages. Available at amazon.com.

Have Chalk, will travel

My Blackboard Roll Mat ($22.95), a portable blackboard that can be rolled up into a neat bundle, is a new take on the old-fashioned schoolhouse slate chalkboard. Available at fatbraintoys.com.

Rock Pile

Wooden scraps from Brooklyn furniture shops provide the materials for these Balancing Blocks ($85), a set of 10 faceted pieces that can be stacked in many variations. Available at stevenalan.com.

Sink or Swim

Local crafter Angela Davidson makes crocheted beasts that are fantastical and sweet, like this Squiddy Long Legs ($80). Available at the Philadelphia Museum of Art store, 26th Street and the Ben Franklin Parkway.

Caroline Tiger is a Philadelphia design writer. Visit her blog at www.designphan.com.