Frontline Mom

The Toys of Childhood

February 11, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

My kids have been enjoying all the great gifts they got from their relatives and from Santa. Enjoying with them all the last Christmas loot to arrive in the house got me thinking about all those fun holiday gifts I remember I was lucky enough to get as a kid,

Legos, Lincoln Logs, TinkerToys and simple wooden blocks made for countless hours of city and building building outside my apartment building with my neighborhood friends. I also loved the the Little People, particularly the School, the Castle and the Garage. By the time the city with all its Little People was through it looped around a big bush, down the stairs and around the corner. Talk about imagination gone wild.

My first Atari set, while certain to be continued a prehistoric instrument by five year old, was the absolute best. Asteroids, Space Invaders, Pac Mac and Donkey Kong let to countless hours of fun and an occasional fight with my brother who often wanted to play his favorite games first.

The arrival of my Big Wheels finally made me one of the cool kids on the block. I loved braking it as it raced down the hill near my Grandma’s home. WIth the right level of braking at the right time, it made an amazing turn that was the envy of my neighbors (not that I always made the turn…)

I don’t think anyone forgets their first tricycle or bicycle. Even President Obama has released a now-famous picture of him riding one as a child. My favorite bicycle was by far my yellow, banana seat bike although my red Ten Speed I got at age 12 was also a top memory. Lots of toys are fun but as kids, what we often play with the most is what stays in our minds whether its the dollhouse, the skateboard, the very first baseball mitt, or maybe the swing set.

Playing board games with my kids has given me a great excuse to buy the games I loved as a kid – Hungry Hungry Hippos, Candy Land, Chutes and Ladders, many make the list. I’m looking forward to Battleship, Trivial Pursuit, Monopoly and Clue when they get a little older.

Growing up, I suppose that to this list of toy treasures, my first Valentine’s heart candy should be added; the first time I received flowers from a special someone, and the first time I bought myself my own album (Billy Joel’s Glasshouses)with my own spending money.

What toys or games do you remember most from childhood? What makes them special?