My favourite childhood toys, Just how old is this hubber

Classic Comics such as The Beano and The Dandy

Childhood Memories

You know you are getting old when........ There are so many things that make you realise your age. Doctors, wanting to examine you, who look as if they should still be wearing a school uniform. Police officers who look as if they should still be active members of a school gang. Memories of toys, that children today have either never heard of or think belong in the Ark.

Well I now fall into this category and can relate to all of the above. I may have no children but, with a barrel load of nieces and nephews, I do buy toys as gifts. The choice these days is vast and usually expensive.

When I was growing up we had no shortage of toys but they were hardly sophisticated and definitely were not technological.

So here are some of favourite childhood toys, interspersed with a few memories. Some games may still be enjoyed today but offers will make you think that I am as old as Methuselah.

Dominoes
Dominoes
Snap
Snap
Snakes and Ladders
Snakes and Ladders
50's doll
50's doll
Toy submarine
Toy submarine
Child's bogey cart
Child's bogey cart

Childhood toys and the memories they recall

When I was a child in the fifties money was tight. Retailers were still getting over the stock shortages that the War had brought upon them. Toys were still a luxury item and there was still an air of make do and mend.

Hand-made Wooden Toys

My Dad was quite a handy sort of guy and made plenty of things. Where our coal house had once been, Dad had made a small workshop. He had an old foot treadle, fret saw machine in here and he made wondrous items with off cuts of wood. Toys, such as a monkey which climbed up and down its own ladder were easy peazy for him to make. This meant that our Christmas stockings always had an array of quirky wooden toys.

When he wanted to make larger items he would purchase Hobby's Annual, which would result in him making a toy Fort, Garage or a Doll's House. All of this was done when the kids were asleep in bed and so we had no idea. The toys arrived from Santa and that was all we needed to know. Poor Dad would have had weeks, though. toiling away in his workshop getting everything ready.

Dominoes

To this day I still enjoy the occasional game of Dominoes. As a child this game was played as there was much less choice than these days. Our childhood Domino set was brilliant though, as the spots were coloured. I can still remember the colours, these were:-

  • Red for a 6
  • Yellow for a 5
  • Blue for a 4
  • Green for a three
  • Orange for a two
  • White for a one.

I still have this set of Dominoes, in an old trunk, still with their original box. Obviously the beauty of these was the age of those playing the game was less important. For those would could not yet count , Dominoes was as easy as matching the colours.

Cards

My early card games then have also moved to my adult years. Although I do not play cards as much as I used to, I still occasionally enjoy a game of cards. As children, Snap, Happy Families or Concentration were my favourites. A gang of us children also used to play gambling card games such as New-Market, Brag and Black-Jack. Yes we used to bet but for strange stakes. The Father of one of my friends had a stock, at home, of formica tile samples. These were just a little larger than an actual playing card. So this was our betting chip and boy did we have fun. We took it so seriously you would have though that we were actually playing for money.

Board Games

With no computers, and the like, board games were popular. They may sound fairly basic these days but many are still enjoyed. However these days they are often played on computers.

Snakes and Ladders was a firm favourite when I was a child. The game could seem endless if you kept sliding down the snakes and offer hours of entertainment. Other favourites were Draughts and Ludo.

Dolls

What would a little girly be without her dolly?. Of course there were no Cindy or Barbie dolls when I was young. My favourite doll was called Diana. As one of the first walkie talkie type of dolls she must have cost my parents an arm and a leg. I loved Diana to bits She was a lot like the doll in the images of this Hub. However she was doomed for a terrible fate.

Our home was small and Diana was resting in her small pram in our tiny kitchen one day. My Mum reached up to take a pan from the shelf above and disaster struck. She dropped the pan and smashed Diana's pot head. Diana was taken to the Doll's Hospital, which yes did actually exist back then, but she was never quite the same again. Her replacement head just did not look quite right. Poor Diana.

Free Toys

In the fifties and sixties there were many Free toys. Well they were not really free but they were given away with products such as breakfast cereals. My brother's favourite freebie was a plastic submarine that was powered by baking powder. This toy was a prize possession for many years.

Children's comics such as the Beano and Dandy also gave away gifts. All of these were actually with the product. You did not have to send away for any, or the like. The toy boat, or what ever, was in your packet of cereal, for example. My personal favourite was a triangular shaped piece of card which,when waved through the air, made a loud crack. Great for making adults jump/ Cheap and cheerful I know but a great favourite with kids.

Overall.

Of course there were lots more toys. Money may have been tight but, as they say, necessity is the mother of invention. Hand made toys were rife and we were never short of games to play. Street skipping and ball games were played daily. With less street crime parents felt able to let their children get outside and have some fun.

Most boys from that era had home made Bogey carts, which were wheeled vehicles, made from old crates with old pram wheels attached. These carts were anything from the sublime to the ridiculous. Races were held up and down the streets, and the boys involved were revered as some type of hero.

Happy Days.

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Comments 27 comments

Lynn Savitsky profile image

Lynn Savitsky 18 months ago from New Jersey

I may have had wooden dominoes as a kid! I definitely had a Jacob's Ladder, too, and dolls were my bread and butter.


ethel smith profile image

ethel smith 5 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull Author

Chris lucky you. Most of those type of comic gifts were thrown away years ago.

Lita yes no Barbie dolls, thankfully. Memories :)

Thanks for the visits guys


chris 5 years ago

Im 14 and i've got a cap gun from the original dandy comics in the 60's


Lita C. Malicdem profile image

Lita C. Malicdem 5 years ago from Philippines

This is very nostalgic of my childhood days with my own rag dolls. The scraps of cloth around my Mom while she was at work with her sewing machine were treasures to me. I made my own dolls, big and small. Then I used to tie cradles under chairs to sing my dolls to sleep. There were no Barbie dolls during those days! Lovely post, Ethel. Thank you!


ethel smith profile image

ethel smith 6 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull Author

Thanks SR. We all need harmless fun


saddlerider1 profile image

saddlerider1 6 years ago

A great hub of nostalgia for sure. I grew up in the 50's and 60's and even back then we had so many different types of toys. Mini-bricks, cap guns, yo-yo, slinky, snakes and ladders as you showed in your illustration. Pick Up Sticks, pogo, moon rings, building sets, so so many more. Today toys are very expensive your right. I loved this hub brought back great memories of my childhood. Peace


ethel smith profile image

ethel smith 6 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull Author

Well said Tim. We all need to act like kids some times :)


Simple Tim profile image

Simple Tim 6 years ago

What a wonderful hub! ethel! I see you share my passion for toys.Kids these days are just spoilt for choice..it's probably why I am still exciteable over them too at my age:)...well we should never give up the things that bring us joy!..toys are just that!


ethel smith profile image

ethel smith 6 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull Author

Yes Dolores. It shows that expense is not necessary :)


Dolores Monet profile image

Dolores Monet 6 years ago from East Coast, United States

ethel - say what you want about favorite toys, my favorite toys were the same favorites that my own children loved best - sticks, rocks, and junk!


ethel smith profile image

ethel smith 6 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull Author

Thanks solarpower


solar.power profile image

solar.power 6 years ago from Brisbane

thanks for the memories. Great Hub. Consider hub voted up!


ethel smith profile image

ethel smith 6 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull Author

Thanks Pat. Times have changed for kids I know. Old toys can still be fun though


2patricias profile image

2patricias 6 years ago from Sussex by the Sea

Pat writes: Sometimes my friends young boys come here for the day, and I get out old toys that my kids liked. The boys are very good at those hand-held video games, but I had to explain to them how to do a jigsaw puzzle, and when they were younger I had to help them to assemble the wooden toy train set. Now they love it when I sit down with them and play cards. These electric games are fun, but not the same as time with a caring adult.

Thanks for an interesting hub.


Kim 7 years ago

Does anyone remember a toy from the 50's called a whirly- something-or-other? Can't remember the name.

It was a metal red base with a pencil holder and a crank that drew many combinations of circular designs. It was my favorit toy when I was little. If you find one for sale will you email me: blondie7@cox.net Thank you!


Kim 7 years ago

Does anyone remember a toy from the 50's called a whirly- something-or-other? Can't remember the name.

It was a metal red base with a pencil holder and a crank that drew many combinations of circular designs. It was my favorit toy when I was little. If you find one for sale will you email me: blondie7@cox.net Thank you!


ethel smith profile image

ethel smith 7 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull Author

It is Mom. They can be such fun. I think these days board games are played more by adults. You know Monopoly, Risk and Scrabble.


AllMomNeeds2know profile image

AllMomNeeds2know 7 years ago

It's a shame that card and board games arent' played as much these days.


ethel smith profile image

ethel smith 7 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull Author

Lol, I know what you mean though Peggy. Did not play jacks though. Check out my Christmas in the fities hub when you have a minute as you get a mention Peggy. I look forward to reading your memories :)


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

And did you play jacks? Bounce a little rubber ball and try to pick up as many jacks as possible with one hand?

And how is this for inexpensive passing of time...lying on the grass and looking up at the passing clouds and saying what images they looked like. Guess this is getting a bit off point since this hub is about childhood toys.


ethel smith profile image

ethel smith 7 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull Author

THanks Peggy. Yes there were so many more when I started thinking about it. I remember almost dancing on my poor Dad's head to show him what Santa had brought when the poor man had been up late every night making lots of these toys. Happy days eh?

PS I loved those paper dolls that you dressed and making paper mache anything.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

Paper doll cutouts and paper dress apparel that one would crimp the paper tabs to keep the outfit on the "model." Remember those?

Crayons and coloring books are still here today as well as in the past. Loved the smell of a new box of crayons!

Hula Hoops! Pogo sticks! The game of Parcheesi. Jumping rope. Hopskotch.

So many good memories. Like you, growing up as a child in the 50's...the times were safer for kids playing outside. Too bad the kids of today (and their parents) cannot have that sense of freedom and safety.

Good hub bringing back lots of memories.


ethel smith profile image

ethel smith 7 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull Author

Yes it is Jaspal


Jaspal profile image

Jaspal 7 years ago from New Delhi, India

Great hub! Nice to go down memory lane!


ethel smith profile image

ethel smith 7 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull Author

THanks Big Brother and Moneyglitch. Yes its strange to think such nostalgic toys are available again. There was many I could have included of course, thinking about it. I loved my Yo-Yo also :)


Money Glitch profile image

Money Glitch 7 years ago from Texas

Interesting nostalgia! I'm really surprise to see how many 50's and 60's toys are being reproduced now-a-days. Thanks for sharing.


Big Brother profile image

Big Brother 7 years ago from Earth

You remind us our childhood. Great hub, Thanks Ethel

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