DemosNews: Fondly Recollected Toys and Pastimes
Fondly Recollected Toys and Pastimes
By: Kate Collins

Some friends and I were reminiscing about what kids played with in our day. In the suburbs during the 40s and 50s, boys had Lionel trains, wooden blocks to build into enormous towers, an erector set, a chemistry set, a bb gun, a bat and mitt for pick-up games, played spud (an impromptu kickball variant) on the street. Girls had Toni dolls and doll houses, played with jacks, played hopscotch on arrays freshly sketched in chalk on playground and sidewalk, jumped a long skipping rope (or two moving simultaneously in dizzying counter directions) swung by two comrades to ditties chanted rhythmically in time. Both played with marbles and pick-up sticks, flew kites, strutted on wooden stilts, played croquet, rivaled at ping pong in their basements, sledded on the golf course in winter, made snowmen, pelted each other with snowballs from behind homemade snow-block forts. Favorite board games were Clue and Monopoly. We watched cartoons threaded into old 8mm projectors at each otherís houses. There were endless card games: fish and war and solitaire, then hearts, black jack and canasta. Of course everyone read comics: Batman and Superman or Archie, or Mad Magazine. Television didnít really penetrate living rooms heavily until the mid fifties. No kid watched the day time stuff unless you were home sick.

By the time our children grew up in the 80s and 90s, there were still blocks and books and cards. Toni morphed to adult-figured Barbie. They read Tin Tin and Asterix in comic format. Some of us were able to steer the kids clear of TV (and TV buy Ďem ads) with old cartoons and vintage Errol Flynn and Danny Kaye and Charley Chaplin movies. But then, in came Tetris and Mario (mostly hooked the boys), and this generation segued right into the computer age.

© 2021 Kate Collins of DemosNews

September 2, 2007 at 7:12am
DemosRating: 4.82
Hits: 1555

Genre: Perspectives (Earnest Views)
Type: Creative
Tags: children

George Sullivan   Donít forget those ingenious wooden puzzles from the fifties...
Herb Poole   How about pinball, the predecessor at resorts or arcades to ...
sakurachan   Do I detect a snide tone to the Mario/computer segue? Aside ...
Raphael   I am one of those Nintendo children and I fiercely defend th...
Sara Hartley   To me, the down side of the computer stuff is that so much o...
M. Brun   Sara, I agree with you one hundred percent. I also understa...
ravimehta   I would add that even if gaming does not involve other playe...
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