My Top 5 Favorite Toys
Treasured Toys of Childhood...Some Now Antiques
Most children have toys. Toys are very useful, not only for fun and entertainment for the child, but to stimulate their imagination, enhance creative reasoning skills, help children learn basic math and word recognition, and work out various scenarios of life through dramatic play. Most children don't think of those things when they drag out their favorite doll or set up a game. The only thing on a child's mind is to play, have some fun. What's truly lovely, however, is through that activitiy a toy becomes very special to the individual owner. Therefore, when an adult begins thinking back on childhood and the hours spent creating a make believe world with a few treasured "partners of play" spring to mind, it almost always brings a smile to their lips, and a few fond memories.
When I think of the toys I played with as a child certain ones always spring to mind. The Easy Bake Oven is first and foremost on the list, and I have devoted an entire article to it's honor. This is a fond remembrance of the four additional favorite toys that comprise my Best Five list. These are the toys I would go to nearly every day to entertain my hours in the afternoon.
The Crissy Doll
Crissy...Stylin Girl of the Sixties and Seventies
I loved my Crissy doll. First of all, she was a Christmas present, so that made her extra special. Second, we shared a similar name, even if she didn't spell hers correctly. Third and most importantly you could make her hair grow short or long by turning a knob in her back! You could style her hair based on the length, it was wonderful for any girl who fancied herself a hair stylist. And the clothes the girl could wear were fabulous. Very chic. My best friend also happened to own a Velvet doll...Crissy's cousin, so it worked out really well for both of us.
The Colorforms Set
When I was a child and my mother wanted to buy me a special "treat" for being good at the doctor's office, when I'd been sick and stuck home in bed, or if we were going on a long road trip to visit my grandparents, she always bought me a set of Colorforms.
I loved them! Over the years I probably had over thirty different sets of Colorforms, playing with them until the little pieces had lost the design on the front, or simply stopped sticking to the included board from wear and tear.
Colorforms were a very simple toy. Paper thin, vinyl cut images you would stick to a smooth cardboard surface which had some kind of "scene" on it. It was like playing with paper dolls. The boxes generally had two colors of vinyl pieces and I would literally spend hours creating stories in my mind with the characters. Inexpensive, creative, and hours of fun. They were introduced in the fifties and were mostly shapes and designs. By the time my mother began buying them for me, many of the sets were built around a particular cartoon, book, or movie character. Some of the sets I remember, and some of which are still available today, were Holly Hobby, Miss Weather, Silly Faces, Bert and Ernie.
Barbie ~ A Classic
What can I say I loved my Barbies...and I had a lot of them. I also had the Barbie Camper, the Barbie Townhouse, and three Barbie Cases (one of which was the Barbie Trunk) to hold all of the accessories.
My friend and I would get together with our barbies and set up elaborate stories and game play that would literally last for weeks. We created Barbie Town out of record albums (you know, the old fashioned LP's), and give them individual houses, stores, parks. It was awesome! I was never so disheartened than at the age of twelve when told by some peers we were now too old to play with Barbies. I sadly put my dolls away, eventually giving them to younger children who didn't have a lot of toys. I held out hope, though, that one day Barbie would be in my life again.
One of the best days in my adult life as a mother was when my oldest daughter turned three and I bought her very first Barbie. It was like handing down a precious legacy of girlish fun. She didn't quite pick up my enthusiasm for Barbie, but my younger daughter eventually became part of the Barbie fan legion. Who knows what the future, and a granddaughter, could bring?
Coloring with Crayola
I'm going to go out on a limb right now and say Crayola makes the best crayons. Bar none, hands down. I've tried other crayons and they simply aren't up to the standard that Crayola creates in it's multi-colored box experience. Any other crayons are cheap imitations that don't provide good coloring.
I loved to color. In coloring books, on plain sheets of paper, lined paper, in books I owned and didn't particularly like to read. Coloring was the bomb diggity, as my husband would say. Even in the past, when I was a preschool teacher, one of my favorite things to do was sit down at a table and color with my students.
Coloring. It's awesome.
The Top Five
So there you have it...my favorite toys as a child.
There were certainly other things I enjoyed, stuffed animals, slinky, yo-yo's. However when I think of my childhood these toys always spring to mind...and make me smile.