For Christmas 2009, I made an altered art book for my mom and dad, and inside one of the pockets is a list of family members’ favorite vintage childhood toys. You can check out that blog post here to see the entire altered art book.
This series features various favorite childhood toys from three generations, so if you enjoy vintage toys, you’re in for a treat. To read the prior posts, here’s the link to Part 1, Rebel on a Pink Scooter.
Today we’ll cover favorite childhood toys of my oldest brother and family and then youngest sister’s family
Older brother and family:
Gordy – Born in 1954: Favorite toys were army men. He played with them outside and in the house.
Annette (Gordy’s wife): Born in 1956 – Barbies.
Gordie – Born 1981: Big Wheels and Legos.
Sarah – Born 1982: Pound Puppy
Youngest sister and family:
Cindy – Born 1963: “I played with my Barbies on a blanket out in the sun for hours and hours, but I also liked playing with toothbrushes, hair brushes, washrags, and my cactus garden, which was a kingdom.
“Mom had Gordy make wooden furniture for my Barbies, and that was really special, too. I remember playing with it all in the garage in the clubhouse (Mad Clubhouse). I also remember a fuzzy face record holder. It was bright pink and had a face on it, and it held 45s.”
Pretending toothbrushes and hair brushes were people and a cactus garden as a kingdom goes to show how fascinating and adaptable children’s imaginations are.
Some people I know had few, if any, toys when they were children. One friend told me they would use an empty sardine can and pretend it was a car. Rocks/pebbles and sticks were pretend toy people.
Watching my grandchildren engage in imaginative play have been some of my favorite moments. It’s something they can do by themselves and seems to be a necessary phase in their development.
Oops, sorry, got off track here. Back to the toys.
Below is a Midge commercial. She arrived on the scene in 1963, the year Cindy was born.
Check out Mattel’s Barbie site if you want to spend hours looking at Barbies, accessories, and her friends through the years. Wow!
James (Cindy’s husband) – Born 1963: “He played basketball all the time and then played on a traveling team.”
Hmm, I bet he ate Cheerios, too, like the boys in this 1960s commercial:
Kyle – Born 1988: “Favorite toy was Ninja Turtles (which he called Tomais). He got his favorite Tomai when Brent was born for being a big brother. It was a Ninja Turtle van.”
Brent – Born 1991: “Favorite toy was K’Nex (Pronounced Connects). They’re kind of like Legos but they’re long sticks that fit together. He used to sit in his room for hours and hours putting together his K’Nex, then would take them apart and then start all over.”
I’d never heard of K’Nex before, but after watching this commercial and finding images of this toy, I think it’s pretty darn cool, so I can see why my nephew loved it. It’s still around these days, I believe, so I might want to buy this for my grandson one day.
Brooke – Born 1996: Her twin baby that looked just like her when she was a baby. And her kitchen set. The entire kitchen set was in the downstairs closet (under the stairs), and that was her little apartment.
I’m enjoying revisiting toys from the past. It’s interesting to see which vintage toys have stood the test of time and are sure to be around for generations to come.
Do you like vintage toys? Do you have any special memories of some of your favorites or disappointing times when you longed for a certain toy but never got it? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Thanks for stopping by during this busy, busy time of year. I hope you’re taking time to smell (and sip) hot chocolate or cider and find a moment here and there to enjoy the lights and decorations and listen to beautiful holiday music.
I’m not sure if I had any army men.
I feel fortunate that I always had real toys.
Have a blessed Christmas, Lynn!
I feel blessed that my siblings and I always had real toys, too. Our grandparents bought us toys when my parents couldn’t afford much. This will be a very special Christmas. Thank you, Alex. Hope you have a blessed Christmas, too!
Is that picture of the baby doll in the box Brooke? It looks just like her! Did you photoshop her face?
Yes, that’s a picture of Brooke. I didn’t photoshop her face. I added the baby overlays and frame to her picture and said, “Good enough!” Thanks for visiting my blog, Pambelina!
Paper dolls and coloring books would keep me occupied for hours (when I wasn’t playing jacks or jumping rope). But, one of my favorite things, when I got a wee bit older, was making my own Barbie clothes. My mom would keep material scraps for me and she bought a Butterick (I think) pattern for Barbie clothes. I’d sew and sew and sew. My Barbies had more clothes than any other Barbie in the world. I loved those Barbies, but more than that, I loved sewing their own wardrobes.
Perhaps it was the sewing machine that held the most interest, but as a kid that was just a tool to get the new Barbie clothes. I’m surprised my mom let me use the sewing machine when I was that young. I think I started sewing when I was around 8 or 9 years old. That seems pretty young to me, but, of course, I was an advanced kid. (Snicker snort)
Thanks for sharing. Always fun to travel down your memory lane.
w/a Jansen Schmidt
Oh, Patty, those are wonderful, precious memories from your childhood. I enjoy traveling down your memory lane, too. I featured you and a couple other readers in a post last week, about your favorite toys.
That’s very young to start sewing and to work on those tiny clothes is amazing to me, speaking from experience since I never grew to love sewing. I sewed curtains but never liked to sew clothes. And tiny clothes, well, that would drive me nuts, so I admire that you mastered that skill. Hope you have some pictures of your Barbies’ wardrobes. That’s such a special childhood memory. Thanks for sharing!