Sunday, February 19, 2012

Silly things from my childhood

a child with a Hula hoop

It's been a  funny kind of day today for thoughts have been all over the place, and I have found that my emotions have been too.  I started out the day, feeling at loss over how far my children and I have drifted apart over the last few years...something that I hoped would never happen.

Then, it was thoughts about the progress I have made since my breakdown in 2001, and how I have to learn to let go...and let what will be take it's is out of my control. (I am a worrier and tend to take too much to heart sometimes.)

Tonight, I can't tell you what brought the thoughts on, but I have sat here for the past hour or so, thinking about all the other toys that I had as a child. Wow...finding the images sure brought back some very fond memories and fun times!

So here we go as I take you down memory lane...

One of the earliest memories I have is of poppit beads...mine were strictly all white, but I had a lot of them and made necklaces and bracelets all the time...back and forth...popping the beads apart and remaking what ever I wanted to make for me or my dolls.

bracelet made of poppit beads

colored poppit beads as you can buy them today

As a treat whenever we went to the store or when my mom went grocery shopping while I was in school, she would bring me home these candy cigarettes. To a child of about 5-6-7, I thought they were just the thing...although I can't ever remember liking the taste of them all that well! I guess that I equated them with being "grown up" like my dad who smoked back then!

candy cigarettes

the various "brands"

as they look in a bowl

Then came the beloved Easy Bake oven. The photo looks exactly like the one I had...same color and all. The thing I can remember most was that it got mighty hot...and I would get burned every time I used it...yet that still didn't keep me from baking cakes, brownies and cookies!

Easy Bake Oven...1960s

I can't remember how old I was when I got my View-Master...but it was another toy that captivated me to no end. Before my eyes, cartoons characters played out their stories, princesses danced and far-away places held me spell-bound by their beauty.


photo disc 

As I grew, so too did my wish  list. I received a Spirograph one Christmas and you'd have thought it was worth a million dollars!  I had that thing for years...well into my teens. I probably wasted a few reams of paper went the trees for my past time!


Last but not least, was the Fun Flower maker. I don't know how many people remember this specific kit, but maybe they better remember the boy's version: Creepy Crawlers (A photos down shows the inside of a Creepy Crawlers kit). 

Fun Flower Kit

I can remember making my mother bouquets of flowers...and having random flowers stuffed into houseplants and in anything that would hold the flower upright on its wire stem! 

The liquid goop

the metal trays that the goop went into to bake/make the flower pieces

Creepy Crawler kit with oven--bugs galore

And remember the Hula Hoop? Hours and hours I spent trying to get hoop to stay on my waist! When I finally got the hang of it, then I wasn't so interested in it anymore!  Same thing held true with the Klackers...bruised and battered until I could work them for several minutes non-stop!


I haven't thought about these things in a good 20+ years...yet they all came back to me tonight, as I thought about the differences between the toys from my youth compared to those we see now for today's children. Today's children see a whole big world of high tech toys, computers, and the list goes on.

It saddens me because I find that the children now don't use their imagination near as much as I (and anyone who is considered a boomer) did growing up. I know with a certainty that is where most of my creative talents came from...from a childhood well spent using my mind "creatively"!

Thanks for reading!


  1. Well, this was a fun one! Loved reading & remembering too...


    1. How many of these did you have, L?

    2. Actually I didn't have many of them! I remember the candy cigarrettes though! LOL It was cool to "smoke" them! haha
      I'd buy them at the corner store with my allowance money sometimes.
      I had a hula hoop, but quickly lost interest in it since I never could get the hang of it.

    3. I'm sorry that you don't have memories like mine...I guess I am really fortunate, huh? Makes me really sad for you!


  2. I remember the candy cigarettes and some of the others my children had.

    1. And to think that they now believe that those candy cigarettes led to many of us smoking later in life! Remember the article that I wrote back when?

  3. Even though I was in Belgium when I was that age, I do recognise a few. The candy cigarettes, for example. We also had -for lack of a better word- chewable cigars. They had some type of powder between the candy and the wrapper. You could blow on them and "real" smoke came out. Lots of fun.

    I don't recognize the Easy Bake, but I had something similar -though less "sophisticated" for a while until my parents took it away because it wasn't "manly" enough.

    I do recognise the viewmaster. Unfortunately, we only had the -rather expensive, I understand- projector. As a result, I could only see the stereoscopic pictures when we went to visit people who had the viewer. To my enormous chagrin. It may well be that, that has motivated me decades later to include a chapter on stereoscopic viewing in my book on ActiveX programming.

    I had the spirograph too. That was good for hours and hours of fun. Whomever claims that math is cold an heartless should get a spirograph.

    I had the klackers too, but I was never all that good at them.

    We also had a Jokari:

    Nice post, Skyangel!

    1. Thanks, Bart!

      Jokari is a lot like the paddles that kids have today, but the string is like a rubber band and not only not long but attached to the paddle itself! Interesting!

      I loved my spirograph! My Etch-A-Sketch too! They were probably my most favorite toys!

  4. Reminiscing about my childhood always makes me smile. I remember most of the things you posted so I could relate so much with you. The toys and arts and crafts stuff are my favorite! I loved my spirograph and fun flowers maker and especially the view finder! I had a bucket of the paper disks which mostly featured Disney stories. I wish they would reproduce these stuff again.

    Francesca Slone

    1. Good morning, Francesca! I couldn't agree with you more...if only our children/grandchildren could know the fun they would have had amusing themselves in a non-technology way!

      Thanks for stopping by!