Thursday, July 21, 2011

Childhood Toys And Imagination

Pretend Cowboy
Bicycles and roller skates were pretty much the most desirable toys when I was a kid. I also recall my parents getting us a play kitchen, too. Mind you, that was long before the days of electric kids stoves, and ovens that really baked little cakes with the heat of a lightbulb. 

I don't recall there actually being fad toys like today.  Of course we never even got a television until 1955, so maybe we just weren't aware of those things.  If I saw a toy I liked, my parents might buy it, or might not, depending on whether or not they could afford it, or thought it was a good idea or not.

Children actually used their imagination in those days. For example,  I remember gently swatting flies, just hard enough to kill them, yet leaving them intact, and removing their wings, adding in some grass, and weeds, and pretending I had cooked chicken with veggies. 
When I was six years old, I was very ill, and spent the greater part of a year in bed. My aunt and uncle sent me a really large "Magic Slate," from Ohio, so I would have something to play with in bed.  It was almost as big as I was.  It even had a rolling/scrolling sheet of many pictures for me to draw on the magic slate. Even today, I have never seen another magic slate like that one. 


My first grade teacher was nice enough to stop and visit me, and always brought me a new Golden Book, at every visit, as she knew how much I loved to read. Yes, I could read at age six.  I found it easy to learn, and it opened up a new world of imagination for my mind, stuck in bed, and not expected to live to see age nine. 

Toy Cars and Trucks
I also had lots of those tiny pot metal cars. I pulled moss off of a huge Oak tree in front of a neighbor's house, and use that for grass that was on each side of my pretend roads.  I also planted grass seeds in areas that were bare, and grass actually grew there.  No one had told me about planting grass seeds when I was six, it just sounded reasonable to me, that grass should grow from grass seeds.

When we wanted to play cowboys and indians, we used sticks for horses, and either a toy cap gun, or our hand and fingers as out six-shooter. I always pretended to be Roy Rogers.  I loved playing cowboys, I was always Roy Rogers, and my stick horse was Trigger, of course.
Chasin' Rustlers
Herding Cattle
I also had a doll which had a sun suit, and hat, and could drink from a bottle, and wet her pants, too. Now that doll would be worth quite a bit, as it was a Madam Alexander doll, with movable arms and legs. I kept that doll for many years, until it was finally stolen while we were away from our home for about a month. Someone actually removed all our possessions. 
Paper Doll Fun

It's really too bad that kids today have way too many toys that actually stifle their imaginations.

1 comment:

  1. I love this piece and hope to write one of my own about specific play times that I enjoyed!
    My cousin had Cystic Fibrosis. He spent all of his short life developing his mental capacity, (died at age 19),As his physical ability was hampered.
    He was my best pal and dreamer buddy. We loved sci-fi and had a similar wit.I was 3 years his senior and still miss him. He would have been Bill Gates if he'd had the chance. We should all have a hampered experience, at least once, in order to specialize our skills!