About this topic: A toy from your childhood
“A toy from your childhood” has been a topic in Part 2 of the IELTS Speaking test for such a long time now! I remember many years ago when I first started tutoring the test, many of my students at the time found it difficult. That being said, it is an enjoyable topic to talk about, and you should feel lucky if this is your topic!
Many of the more experienced examiners will choose this topic, as it gives them a sound judgement of your abilities (they have had many previous candidates (speak about this topic) to compare you against) – this is “common practice” & another reason why the “human aspect” of the IELTS Speaking test is so prominent, compared to other English Language Testing Systems.
So, “a toy from your childhood” differs from other “object” / “thing” type topics, as you probably didn’t buy the toy yourself, someone else would have bought it for you. You were probably too young to remember the quality of the toy, too. So what can you focus on? Well, speaking at length about your “frequency of use” is definitely key to doing well with this topic! Most children have a favourite toy, and they often take it with them everywhere they go. It’s hard to tell a child to put down their favourite toy or stop playing with it.
Really show off your use of “expressions of frequency” and “adverbs of frequency“, too.
Go into great detail about your feelings for this toy. Did you love it? Probably…
Did you take it to school with you? Did you take it to bed with you? Talking about all these things will really set you up to do well with this topic.
Anyway, enough from me, let’s begin by looking at some useful language to use.
Childhood -> Back in the day, Way back when, My youth, Early years, My salad days, Infancy, Early life, My golden years
Remember -> Recall, Reminisce (about), If my memory serves me well, As clear as day (I recall it as clear as day),
Toy -> Plaything, Model, Action Figure, Doll, Teddy, Trinket, Knickknack, (trinket & knickknack are things that were not designed to be a toy, but you used them as a toy or something to play with)
Informal / Phrasal verbs:
Mess around/about (with) – (phrasal verb, to behave in a playful way with something)
Monkey around (with) – (phrasal verb, same as “mess around”)
Muck around (with) – (phrasal verb, same as mess around/monkey around)
Play around (with) – (phrasal verb, similar to mess around, but more like “be silly or playful” with something)
Have fun (with) – (verb, to have fun doing something + interjection, to wish someone a pleasant time)
Make up (stories, etc) – (phrasal verb, to invent something fictional, not true)
Expressions of frequency:
I’d mess around with it all day every day
I just couldn’t leave it alone
It was almost as if it was glued to my hand + all day every day
It went with me everywhere
We were inseparable
I’d have fun with it whenever I could
I’d monkey around with it for most of my waking hours
All the time
I’d be playing around with it at any given moment
I couldn’t help but have fun with it
Phrases, Expressions, Collocations, Idioms:
My most treasured possession – “It was my most treasured possession in the world” (expression, to cherish something above all other things you own)
Live without – “I was so attached to it I couldn’t live without it” (phrase, something is so important to you, you couldn’t continue living without it)
Here, there & everywhere – “I took it with me here, there and everywhere” (collocation, we say this whenever you take something with you everywhere you go, like your phone, etc)
Go-to +noun – “it was my go-to toy among the many I had” (informal adj, something/somewhere/someone you go to for a reliable purpose, in this context, go-to meaning “it was always fun to play with”)
A dog with a bone – “I was like a dog with a bone” (expression, to behave like a dog does when it has a bone to chew on)
Example in use:
Believe it or not, I didn’t have many toys back in the day, however, if I had to talk about one I liked, it would have to be my Son Goku action figure!
Like most kids growing up in the early 90s, I was totally obsessed with a cartoon called Dragonball Z, actually, I’m still a massive fan of the series even to this day. There’s just something about it that does it for me, y’know?
So yeah, anyway… I recall it as clear as day. I got it back on Christmas eve of 1994 and my father kept on telling me that “Santa Clause is on his way with something extra special” because I was such a good boy. Basically, I had been begging him to buy me this action figure for months on end. As most parents do, he gave in eventually and bought it for me as a Christmas present.
The toy was nothing special, actually, it was pretty poorly made and couldn’t move into many different positions like toys can do nowadays. That didn’t matter to me though, I was just so happy to be able to carry Son Goku around with me here, there and everywhere I went. Seriously, this toy was glued to my hand! We were inseparable. I’d take it to school with me every day and to bed every night. I’d be playing with it at any given moment, and it was difficult for me to put it down because I loved it so much.
My mother would always say that I couldn’t leave it alone, and I spent more time monkeying around with it than I did talking to her. To be perfectly honest with you, I did. I’m sure you know how it is with kids & their toys, right? It was my most valuable possession in the world, and I wanted to show it off to everyone!
For more Part 2 topics, please check it out here.
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