As I was shopping this Christmas season for my various nieces and nephews and wandering through the toy aisles or glancing over the Christmas ads in the paper, I was amazed by the toys that kids have today. I remember when I was a kid that girls had dolls and tea sets and boys had trucks and guns. We didn't have video games, rock guitar and drum sets, mind numbing DVDs. We had good old fashioned toys and games.
Remember playing Jacks? I loved to play jacks, especially with my mom who would always win! I think it's because she had huge hands...well not really huge, but when I was little they seemed huge to me. I remember you were really one of the cool kids if you had a golf ball to play jacks with instead of the little rubber ball they usually came with. We would sit on the cold or hot sidewalk, depending on the time of year, for hours playing jacks. Remember how mad your mom or dad would get when they would accidentally step on a jack! Wowee!
Remember coloring books and crayons? I remember every year my Tia Nico would give each of us a color book and a small box of crayons, the one that had only like 8 crayons in it. It would entertain us for hours. I can remember coloring pages in so many different ways, outlining the drawings, coloring them in very lightly making them almost pastel, coloring them super hard with the crayon so the color would be rich and deep and crayon crumbs would be all over the place. I especially loved the dot-to-dot pictures that you had to connect before you could color them. And the smell, mmmmm, the smell of crayons, that's the smell of childhood to me.
Remember Pick-up Sticks? I loved that game and again loved playing with my mom, even though she always won. She had very steady hands and lots of patience.
Remember Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head? We played with them for hours, putting the ears where the nose goes and vice versa.
Remember jumping rope? You could single rope jump, or jump rope as a group with friends, you could double rope jump. I remember, "Cinderella, dressed in yella, went upstair to kiss her fella, made a mistake and kissed a snake, how many doctors did it take? One, Two, Three, etc til you were too tired to jump.
Remember Hopscotch? We would play this every recess for months. Always drawing a new hopscotch board. And you always wanted to have your special item that you used to throw. It had to be something that was heavy enough to stick where it landed and not slide. I liked throwing small chains, like bracelets that you could get in the gumball machines.
Remember marbles? Again a recess favorite. My mom would sew little marble bags for us to store our marbles in. And we always had favorites, the cats-eye and the steelies and the big one, don't remember what we called that one.
Remember tiddly winks? My sister and I were talking about that game the other day, she didn't really remember it, but I sure did. I loved that game, even though I wasn't very good at it.
Remember Etch a Sketch and Twister? The Hula Hoop and Frisbees? GI Joe and Barbie? Silly Putty and Slinky's? Clackers and Yo-yos? Remember Tops and Checkers?
I wonder if our kids now even know what these toys are, and would they be bored to death by them? Ask your kids, see if they know, let me know what they say.