December 01, 2006

Favorite Toys Meme

These were my favorite toys when I was a kid.

1. Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls. I loved these dolls dearly. They slept with me every night and came with me when I went to college.

2. Red plastic toboggans. In my childhood, I think they had just been invented. They were so much faster than the old sleds with metal runners. They've been replaced, for the most part, with the inflatable tubes that you see on hills nowadays, but some loyalists still hold out for the plastic toboggan.

3. Wooden blocks. No household with young children is complete without wooden blocks. I can spend hours playing with wooden blocks. You can tell a lot about a person by handing her a box of wooden blocks and seeing what she builds.

4. Train tracks and trains. I know these are still around because I've read about them on blogs, although for some mysterious reason the trains now have people names. In my day, trains did not have names. They were just the "yellow train" or the "red train" or "that's the train I always use and don't you dare take it." The train tracks of my childhood were grey plastic ones, but by the time I had my own kids, wooden train tracks had become popular. We live near the Famous Timber Company that makes wooden train tracks and trains, and I used to buy them wholesale (you could fill a bag with tracks and buy them by the pound) so we have a huge train track collection. I fully intend to play trains with my grandchildren.

5. The game that you put together so that marbles run down ramps. I don't know what it was called but it was so much fun to watch the marbles zoom around.

6. Trucks, the kind that can move and dig dirt. When I was a kid, the trucks were metal and could dig far more effectively than the safe plastic ones you see today. My parents had an entire truckload of sand dumped into our back yard so we had the biggest sandpile of any kid I knew. My brother and I spent long summer mornings playing trucks. Our truck driver names were Jo and Joe.

7. Spirograph. I loved the colored pens, the cool designs.

8. Candy Land, Chutes and Ladders. We played board games all the time when I was a kid. The excitement of picking up a card and seeing that you had just gotten the ice cream float! I loved these games because they required no skill. I still like that kind of game. It's the only way I can win anything.

9. Jigsaw puzzles. My mother would set up a card table against the picture window, and we would spend a winter afternoon putting the puzzle together. I would look up to watch the snow coming down and hope for a snow day so that we could stay home and work on the puzzle the next day.

10. Modeling clay. I was pretty old before I knew that clay came in different colors. The clay we had was lumpy and brown-grey, and we kept it in an old coffee can. But we would spend whole afternoons sitting at the kitchen table making things. Snakes were my specialty. I was never really good at anything else. But I loved it just the same.

21 comments:

Sara said...

This is a great post, Jo(e). You write about these toys with such affection that the reader can't help but love them, too. Your future grandkids will be lucky little sprogs.

ppb said...

snakes were my specialty, too!

Cheeky Prof said...

Oooh, this is such a warm fuzzy meme. I think I'll have to do it to cheer myself up a bit! I loved the spirograph and Candyland game, too. :)

Queen of West Procrastination said...

Good meme, jo(e).

Anonymous said...

This is a great meme, but what I'm struck by most are that your answers are the same ones that I would give (with the slight exception that the wooden train tracks were the norm for me). And the marble games, which used to be wooden, soon turned to plastic.

Anyway, you have good taste in toys.

purple_kangaroo said...

I'm totally going to do this meme. Several of my answers will be the same as yours. :)

I had Raggedy Ann and my sister had Andy. And my kids have trains without names. I built my lifetime masterpiece train track with the kids this afternoon, in fact--but we're ONE curvy piece short of making the last loop connect.

Anonymous said...

Like the Cheeky Prof, I loved my spirograph and Candyland, too! I remember loving to make up my room into a haunted house and using blankets to make tents. You've got me thinking about things I should write about . . .

Anonymous said...

I loved my Spirograph. I also loved trains, too. Still do. If I had a spare room I'd buy a 9 gauge model train and build a village for it to run through. This is great. I might have to do it later myself.

Anonymous said...

Lego, tinker toy, anything Fisher Price, my record player and Dr Seuss books...just to name a few.

jar said...

I loved Candy Land. The picures on the cards were so magical looking. Spirograph was hours of entertainment. I also had a huge doll house for my barbies. That was fun.

Pilgrim/Heretic said...

Loved loved loved the Spirograph. I'm half tempted to go out and get myself one now; that would be the greatest break-from-grading toy. Do they still make them?

Connie said...

Thanks--this really is a great meme, and I can use it for ammunition in the battle about what toys are appropriate for kids and are appreciated over time. My MIL likes to buy DS whatever is "new" in the world of cheap (but not inexpensive) plastic crap. DS rejoices for the first six days and then it gets tossed in the corner.

whymommy said...

Oh, yeah. All wonderful wonderful toys. My little one is just 2 and we're just (re)discovering some of these, but others he's so totally into. We play trains, blocks, legos, and a whole lot of pretend every day, and I have to say it is wonderful. Your grandkids are going to be so lucky to play with you!

Angry Pregnant Lawyer said...

Dude, I loved my Spirograph. I "played" with that even when I was in high school. I would dig it out of the closet when I was stressed. It was very calming.

landismom said...

Good meme, I'm going to have to do this one too. Loved sledding as a kid.

Sue said...

I adored my Spirograph. It made me feel like I could make something beautiful even though my skills did not include creating Great Works of Art.

I also liked Raggedy Ann and Andy, but my favourite dolls EVER were Oggie Doggie and Doggie Daddy. They rocked.

cloudscome said...

I love all those toys too. My boys love the blocks and wooden trains. Other toys I loved: legos, card games, slinky, kites, jacks, jump rope and kick balls. And tree climbing, of course.

Psycho Kitty said...

Was the marble toy the one with the metal musical bars, like the ones on a xylophone? I had that...and you could arrange it so the marbles would play songs as they fell. I loved that dang thing.

Anonymous said...

Ooo, another great post! At least three of the classic toys on your list will be under the tree for my boys (or is that actually for me??) this year: the marble run, Chutes and Ladders and trains and tracks. If I have my way, also a toboggan!

Anonymous said...

oh yea you forgot light brite. :)

adirondack58 said...

5. The game that you put together so that marbles run down ramps. I don't know what it was called but it was so much fun to watch the marbles zoom around.

OMG i remember this game.. all i can think of .. is the haunted house, purple.. somehow i remember these claw hands you held to catch the marbles in? Or am i wrong. Well. Email @ adirondack6@yahoo.com