Thursday, December 11, 2008


The other day I was in Walmart looking for toys for my grandson, Thomas Wyatt for Christmas. The more I looked, the more confused I became. I have never seen so many toys in my life and they all run on batteries or electric or have controls. Guess it has been a while since I shopped at Christmas for an 18 month old boy.

I started thinking about some of the toys we used to play with as children and how much more sophisticated they are today than when I was a child.

Here are some toys I remember. I am sure there are many more and you can add a few of your own to this list.

Remember the etch-a sketch? My son, Rob, loved this toy when he was small. I think they still make them today but I bet they are not under many trees. He also loved his Inchworm and I did not see an Inchworm anywhere in Walmart.

Another toy that Rob just loved and wanted so bad from Santa was the Rock-em, Sock-em Robots.

My girls liked puppets and horse stuff.

Now, for some of the stuff I played with when I was a child. When I was in school, we played marbles and jacks all the time. There was always a circle on the playground with a bunch of kids playing marbles and if you won a cat eye that was really something. In the gym, we sat and played jacks during the entire recess period.

Does anyone remember pickup stix? I spent a lot of time playing this game.

How about a slinky and a yo-yo and skates with keys that fastened to your shoes?

Remember the old jack-in-the box?

And last but not least one of my favorite toys when I got a little older was the hula hoop. I once entered a hula hoop contest when I was about eleven or twelve at a Frisches Restaurant in my town. We all lined up in the parking lot and I went for four hours and twenty five minutes without dropping the hoop. I won a Frisches big boy and a malt!! WOW. The girl that won the grand prize (a portable radio) went for eight hours. Can you imagine standing there for eight hours without stopping???

What favorite toys come to mind when you think of your childhood?


One Woman's Journey said...

Judy, all of these toys brought back memories. My children when small loved to build things.
Never tired of blocks, lincoln logs, logos and games. My son loved small cars, trucks. Girls liked Barbie and her clothes and dollhouse.
My little grandchildren, usually a book and clothes. Always felt Santa brought the toys. But I am always looking for something different.
It is difficult. This year my little girls are receiving clothes and coloring books the size of them. Also my 6 year old wants a diary. Good Luck with Your shopping.

One Woman's Journey said...

Judy might add - on a humorous note - my older grandchildren when teens came to visit and we were in Cracker Barrel and they saw Jacks and did not know what they were. I bought some and we had fun playing with them!!!! Grandma could play better then them.


My how your blog brought back memories, I can remember many of the toys. It's a sad time for the UK AS WOOLWORTHS,a similar shop to Walmart is closing down, It was there I had my first job after leaving school. Every town has a Woolworths and I can't imagine not going into there for my cds and dvds.
Well done Judy on an excellent blog.


Amber Star said...

I know they still have slinkys and the etch a sketch...I'm sure they do. I found some extra large plastic jacks at the dollar store one time and ran across them the other day. If I can find them, I may get them out to play with when TJ comes to visit. Gramma probably will need a crane to get me up and down on the floor. 18 months is still too early, imho, for electronics for little boys. My grandson is FINALLY over Darth Vader and now is gung ho on all things military. I found him a camo sleeping bag I think he is going to love...and a little pop up tent. All kids love tents. I got him a Thomas the Train one when he was little. He was still using it until he noticed that it was for "babies". Not cool anymore. It is fun buying for the little ones. We are keeping the spending down for the adults, but he is getting a lot. I knitted some things for gifts this Christmas and have let my kids know they will be getting some. I made my mil a shawl that really is pretty darn cool and bought a fleece lap robe for $3.99, and to round it out some really nice chocolate. Toys for grownups.

Amber Star said...

Oh yes...the cardboard box is still childrens all time favorite toy. Mine loved the pots and lids to them. Those were great fun.

pamwax said...

You do bring back good memories. The toys of my youth. But 4 hours hula hooping...I am impressed.

I think my favorite toy was my Madame Alexander doll collection. I wish they hadn't gotten lost in one of our moves. I would have liked to have given them to my granddaughter.

Time marches on. One of the youngsters who posts on my site asked the other day "what's an Atari". How time flies.

BTW love the music...OOH Dean still my heart.

Beth said...

I really enjoyed this post, Judy--it brought back a lot of memories. Yes, they definitely still make Etch-a-Sketches---my children are only 19 and 20 and they played a lot with their Etch-a-Sketch when they were little. They also really loved their Legos and their cars and trucks. I used to get lots of their toys at yardsales. Some of the older Fisher Price stuff was just amazing and my children often preferred the older stuff to the newer toys.

Also, I used to play marbles at school, too! We'd carry a little pouch of marbles and draw the circle in the dirt just as you did. I was pretty good and loved it when we played for "keeps!" :-)

Jeannie said...

Hi Judy! All of those are great toys, aren't they? I love them all.

I remember playing for hours with my Lite-Bright and waiting anxiously for my mom to pull out the Shrinky Dinks from the oven. But my favorite I guess would have to be my Betsy Wetsy doll.

Thanks for the good memories!

Balisha said...

Hi Judy,
We had an inchworm. My youngest just loved it. He also had a small plastic green horse that he could ride.."Greenie" He still mentions "Greenie" because he blames me for throwing it away. He's 40 yrs old now. :)

Linda said...

It was fun reading your post and remembering the toys our children played with as well as the ones we played with as children.

Thanks for the memories.

Jamie Dawn said...

One thing's for sure... if I hula hooped for eight hours, my bohunkus and waist would surely be smaller.
I loved playing jacks and jumping rope when I was a kid. I also loved Barbies and my Spyrograph. I played Chinese Jump Rope all the time, and I loved hopscotch.
I loved being a kid.
I guess I'm still a kid at heart.
I'm sure Thomas Wyatt will be thrilled with the presents he gets this Christmas. He will be all smiles and very excited to open his gifts.
What FUN it will be!!!!

Lilly's Life said...

What a great post - truly terrific. All your childhood toys I played with too. I loved marbles (even though my brother was annoyed I used to follow him when he played with his friends), there was a doll called a floppy doll which I loved and still have, hoola hoops was a favourite as were the yo yos and pogo stick. My mother used to make a lot of our presents and I remember an Indian suit very fondly. In fact I still have all the dolls she made me too.

I was in a store yesterday trying to decide on a gift for small children and I didnt have a clue. Its all so complicated now. You know Thomas Wyatt will no doubt love the wrapping paper and boxes more than anything. How wonderful to have a little one around at Christmas - there is where the magic is. Thanks again for bringing back some memories.

Charles Lister said...

Rock 'em Sock 'em Robots! Best Toy Ever!
Love you Mom,

anewwayoflife08 said...

magic painting books, where you only needed water and a brush. Paint the page and it changed colour

Kelly said...


Thank you so much for your kind words about my new **** camera! I'm sure that it all has to do with the "camera operator" though!! I'll keep trying a few more days and then go ahead and take it back. I've been studying and have found that I really don't know anything about what is truly important in buying a camera. I just looked for the # of megs and zoom and there is so much more that is really probably more important that just that...Guess I need to get a camera book for "dummies" and read it first!

Thank you again for your kindness and supportive encouragement, I really do appreciate it!!


Grammy said...

Dear Judy,
What a really great spot today! I am familiar with most of the toys you mentioned. Most of them i never played with. The jacks, I did. They didn't cost very much so I played with those. I played marbles, too. Flew a kite. My girls had a hoola hoop and played with it. They had the slinky, and dolls, and the etch-a-sketch. Not much else. I enjoyed reading all about the toys and games.

Tabby ~ Godzchyld said...

They still make them, but I loved my easy bake oven. The toy light bright was awesome. The original Monopoly is my fav not the crap they have now.

Margaret Cloud said...

I remember all the ones you show. One I liked was jump rope, playing baseball, old maids, and I don't know if any one remembers the card game authors and one more, we liked to play mumbly peg.

Tammy said...

From one Kentucky Gal to another!

I just found your blog this afternoon and am looking forward to reading here.☺

Leigh said...

What a great entry! Remember the monkey puppets that we begged and begged and begged for? You and Dad got them for us for our birthday. We were the happiest girls in the world!! They had little squeakys in them and I thought Dad's head was going to explode. He was so sick of listening to us play with them.

Those were the best toys!!

Love you!

Leigh TN said...

Hi Judy, I remember all of those toys. The thing I can remember playing with more than anything when I was a child is...paper dolls. I always got a new book of paper dolls for Christmas and all the rest of the time, we would cut them out of catalogs. If that's all kids got this day and time, they would go bonkers. Thanks for the memories.

Nancy said...

I, too, had all those toys and loved them. I was big into paper dolls and my Tiny Tears. My all-time favorite was a Jon Gnagy "Learn to Draw" kit, which was a predictor of things to come, I guess.

My boys loved Tonka trucks and such, and my daughter loved books and games, especially Trivial Pursuit.

The grandsons like Transformers and action figures and Legos. They are getting to the age where they enjoy games and science and art kits.

What a great post this was!

Margie's Musings said...

Where are you, Judy?/ This a great post but it was made on December 11th.

I remember Jacks. Do any of you know what Jacks were?

June Saville said...

Yoyos and pickup stix! Wow - memories. We're getting older Judy - dig my latest on 70 Plus.
Have you decided to cool it a bit on your blogging? I've had a week off because life got in the way ...
Take care
June in Oz

The Retired One said...

Yup...I remember all of the toys you mentioned, too. I loved it when they came out with the Light-UP yoyo, too. All the games like Monopoly and Mystery Date and Parcheesi also!
I wrote a similar blog yesterday too (I hadn't read yours, honest!). I think nostalga attacks all of us around this time of year....(or life!!)

bobbie said...

Etch a Sketch was the best!

June Saville said...

Hi Judy
I tried to put a link to your page the other day and it created a whole new post on my site, since creating problems with all of my links. I deleted the resulting post but the link still seems to be active in some ways. I'm wondering if you have any way of deleting it at your end? It's from 70 Plus and Still Kicking.
Sorry for the hassle ....

The Muse said...

I love the old vintage toys and the ads...
Those old Christmas wish books and the giant store displays :)

judypatooote said...

Way back when I was a child, Hopalong Cassidy was on TV.... yes we did have a and white and quite small...but all I wanted was a Hopalong Cassidy outfit, guns, and watch....I remember running around the house playing cowboys with my dog Trixie....and I loved dolls, but I didn't have the big fancy doll house like the one my dad made my girls....we used our imagination back then... but ok I guess you could say I was spoiled....I was an only child... and why I like Hopalong Cassidy I can't figure that one out....LOL We played outside all the time, kick ball, red rover, mother may I. This was a cute post and it did bring back memories...but some of those brought back memories of my kids kids have wii and intendo and everything to do with that costs quite alot... I don't know how kids will keep their eyesight, and they will all probably get carpo tunnel (spelling?) at an early age... judy

Mare said...

I had so much fun reading your post about years gone by. I also played with Melody Bells, and had some kind of wooden acrobats that you stacked one on top of the other to see how high you could get them to balance on each other.
And books and records!