Childhood Toys June 24, 2011Posted by Lauren Cooke in Life, Chatter & Politics.
Tags: childhood, childhood toys, Lego, my little pony, nostaliga, Polly pocket, puppy in my pocket, toys
The ever-lovely Domestic Sluts got me thinking the other day about what toys I played with as a kid. I’ve had a bit of a reminiscing week or two, thinking about favourite books and thumbing through well-loved family photos, so the moment I read this article I starting rolling on that nostalgia train right back into my childhood play.
In the Sluts’ article, the common players are rife. The same toys pop up in so many people’s childhoods. The same lumps of plastic or hunks of fur had the ability to generate endless universes, so many imaginary plateaus and worlds that were unique to each and every child who laid their sticky and enthusiastic hands on them. No two imaginings were ever the same, and again it reminds me of the brilliance of young minds, and of just how much shining creativity we have as youngsters, unaffected by the daily rigours of the adult world.
So, what did I play with? The short answer is anything that allowed me to use my imagination, but the long answer is.
It all started with cardboard boxes. They were houses, spaceships, they were the stuff that dreams were made of. In a big enough box I could transport myself anywhere in the world. As I got bigger, so my imaginary world expanded, as it got harder to squeeze myself (both physically and mentally) into a box, and so developed the pirate ships and the dens, built from planks and bits of old furniture and cushions. Endless cushions.
As for the real toys. Well, I never was one for the dolls – I preferred animals. I loved my shorn-headed punk My Little Ponys, with their wings and their magical powers. The animal obsession continued through to Puppy in my Pocket, especially the hospital versions with their tiny injuries that could be rubbed away if your hands were warm enough. The folds and mounds of my duvet served as mountains for forward thinking puppies who wanted to explore the world, shoe boxes became the domain of many an exiled puppy community with little else to do but plot their revenge on the poodles and the King Charles’ that have banished them so furiously.
Outside of the animals, Lego was by far my favourite toy. It helps that this was (and no doubt still is) my dad’s favourite too. We’d all buckle down with a vast spread of coloured blocks, and we’d make anything our imagination could conjure. We had the sets, of course, but really the best was building huge multi-room mansions for little toupee-haired Lego men to march around it, where the walls changed colour halfway up as the blue bricks ran out. Secret headquarters with garages for Lego ambulances, my much treasured toy cars or the occasional stray Thunderbirds rocket.
You know what? I’m not really broody (well, I biologically am, but I don’t want kids yet thank you very much!), but if there is one thing that can encourage me to make little Lauren shaped offspring it would have to be the temptation of endless Lego building days!