Saturday, June 28, 2008

Favorite Toys

As a mother of four, I've watched my children latch onto favorite toys. Each one so far has had definite preferences from the time they were very tiny.

Naive mom that I was, I assumed that because A-- was a boy, he would like cars. Not so. He ignored every car and truck I put in front of him. A-- loved fans. I mean he really loved fans. And extension cords. He was the only 2-year-old I knew who had his own fan and his own extension cord. One of his favorite games to play was to hook together as many extension cords as possible, plug his fan into the very last one, and then plug into the wall. For some reason, he found it fascinating to get the fan as far as he possibly could from the outlet and then turn it on. He would do this at my parents house for hours. (They have a huge lawn and lots of power cords, so he could get the fan pretty far away.) He also had a baby doll ("Baby Gus") that he played with a lot. Unusual toys for an unusual kid.

S-- was the Matchbox/Hot Wheels car kid. He would spend hours when he was just tiny "parking" every tiny car he could lay his hands on. At first I was worried that he might try to put the cars in his mouth (choking hazard), but he was too consumed with lining them up. We found some books that came with little cars that quickly became his favorites, especially the "Wash Me" book. It came with a tiny VW bug car. In our house, to this day, VW bugs are referred to as "Wash Me Cars." S-- was obsessed with Wash Me Cars. Eventually, he outgrew little cars and moved on to Legos. Good for him, not so good for my bare feet. Have you ever stepped on one of those pieces with your bare feet? Ouchymama, that hurts.

T-- came along and picked up S--'s cars, but his preferences were on a slightly larger scale. We found Little Tykes to be a good resource for him, until he decided that forklifts (pronounced "fork-fifts") were where it's at. (Have you ever tried to find a toy forklift? Yikes.) Luckily, I found a really nice wood one last year for Christmas that he absolutely loves.

As for little J--, who knows? Will it be cars? dolls? power tools? I can't wait to find out.

So why blog about favorite toys? Well, because I, too, have a favorite toy. I've had it for as long as I can remember, and I still have it. And it's still my favorite.

I have a thing with marbles and marble runs. I remember being fascinated by them when I was very tiny. There's a picture somewhere of me and my younger brother at Christmas with these marble toys (his was blue, mine was pink). They were plastic columns with sections that had marbles inside. You could move the marbles from compartment to compartment, as I recall. I loved it. Sadly, it no longer exists. But I still have my Tumble Tower. I still play with it.

So how about you? What was your favorite toy as a kid?


Gerb said...

It's a toss up between my "Whoopsie" doll (her ponytails flew up and she squeaked when I pushed her tummy) and my life-sized Raggedy Ann doll my mom made me. We could wear each other's clothes.

Mrs. Organic said...

A- would've loved this book

My favorite toy would've been my Little People dollhouse or the "tv" we made with the scrolling pictures.

Mrs. Organic said...

Oops, wrong link. Here's the right one

Katie said...

I'm so glad you posted a new blog! I'm missed reading them! So for me my favorite toys were babies. I had one that you could put in realy baby clothes and even smelled like a baby. I still have her, Allison, but she is back home with my parents. I just got one (well kinda like the one I had) for Kallie, and she loves it...and it has to go EVERYWHERE with us! I hope she lasts!

wendysue said...

Total nostalgia! I had that tumbler marble thing too! I do remember some toys but most of all I remember riding bikes/roller skates/playing in the mud with my siblings. I think my mom sent us outside a LOT.

Kengo Biddles said...

I have to say my first love was my Tonka Truck Grader, Dump Truck and Semi-Tow Truck; but the toy that I have to this day is my set of Micro Machines.

Julie said...

Gerb: My mom made me a Raggedy Ann doll too! Awesome. I still have it somewhere.

Mrs. Organic: I laughed out loud over the hockey stick book. A-- would so have loved that. He probably would have tried to build a similar contraption.

Katie: Better a smelly doll than that creepy one you have that opens and closes her eyes. ;-)

Wendysue: See--I knew we were sisters in another life. I didn't get to do the mud thing, but my younger brother and I went EVERYWHERE on our roller skates and bikes.

Kengo: My little T-- would love playing with your toys. Besides a "fork fift," he also wants a grader and a tow truck.

Physcokity said...

My favorite toy was the Sesame Street Little People play stuff. We also had the really old school barn.

Mostly we would play dress up with old dance costumes that my mom had made. We also danced quite a lot to MJs Thriller album...on cassette of course. Fun stuff!

I still like to dress up.

compulsive writer said...

I loved the little people garage and the little people farm.

~j. said...

I had a teddy bear named Radar (a la Sesame Street, not M*A*S*H). He now lives on li'l ~j.'s bed. Also a book I loved as a child -- I am a Puppy -- I bought on ebay a few years ago for . . . well, too much money, but I'm glad to have it.

I miss when Little People were choking-hazzard sized and you could put them on your fingertips.

cari said...

It would have to be my Drowsy doll. (This will probably date me.) I played with it so much that the pull-string to make her talk broke and was so worn out that it hardly stayed together anymore. My mom felt bad and bought me another one. I wore that one out too. I still have them in a box somewhere.


Mine was the psychedically swirled Sit-N-Spin. I used to sit on that thing and turn the wheel faster and faster until I wanted to vomit.

In retrospect, that's probably why I'm so dizzy and off-balance today.

Julie said...

ewb: My A-- used to be famous for spinning in Nursery at church. The nursery leaders didn't know just what to do with him. We used to have what we called a spin stick. It was the handle of a plastic spoon--the bowl part was broken off and the handle was the perfect shape of round for him to grab onto. We'd stir it like you would a pot with his little hand on the end and he'd spin forever. He'd have loved a Sit-N-Spin.

Ahhh...the Little People stuff. I still have my school bus and school house. My brother had the farm. He now collects old FP Little People things (people included). I wonder what he'll do with all those little choking hazards now that he's got a little one of his own?

Mrs. McGee said...

I was attached to my little red wagon for years! Even when the older kids begun riding bikes, I was content to bump along in my simple wagon. I’d try to pull anyone who would hope inside. I would also beg my older siblings and friends to pull me around the block, just one more time :)

Christine said...

I had a collection of little plastic smurfs. I just loved those little blue guys (and girl). You swore during testimony meeting at girl's camp! That is halarious! (first time visitor)

Julie said...

Mrs. McGee and Christine: Welcome!

My family used to have a red wagon too, but some kid in the neighborhood stole it and wouldn't give it back. My brother is still bitter about it.

Smurfs!! that brings back memories. I used to have one--but only one. I can still sing the theme song, though. (La, la, la la la la...)