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What toys did you play with as a child?

(42 Posts)
Coffee4life Wed 02-May-18 14:05:14

Good afternoon everyone, I was hoping I could get some insight from some of you about what kind of toys you were given by your parents, or you gave to your children? Wether there were any toys you thought were inappropriate for children?

Also I would like to know what the attitude towards gender specific toys was like when you were growing up?

I am a student and I would really appreciate some comments, thank you!


Fennel Wed 02-May-18 14:31:55

There weren't many toys in my young days sad. Only books, and there was a shortage of those too.
One of my clearest memories is moving into a flat (from MGP's house) at the end of WW2 and the last person had left a box of toys in my bedroom - great excitement.
For my own children, my boys' favourite 'toys' were small caskets filled with replica guns, different types.
Probably banned these days.
The girls had dolls, Tiny Tears etc.

Nanabilly Wed 02-May-18 14:44:14

My favourite toys were a post office set with teeny little stamps in it . A petite typewriter and a Tressy doll that had long hair and you pressed a button on her belly and the hair was retracted to make it short. She had tiny hair rollers and a brush .
My sons favourites were Action man , lego , scalextric , micro machines and the hand held games donkey kong etc. They hated the Hornby train set so cut the wires to stop it going round.

goldengirl Wed 02-May-18 14:44:48

I like to given wooden toys to my GC. For my own children we had very little money so toys came from charity shops, jumble sales or made by DH and me. As a child I remember the outside toys being a pedal car, skipping rope, wooden hoop and stick, spinning top. Indoors I had dolls, a dolls house, jigsaws, colouring books and lot and lots of reading books - Ladybird series and Enid Blyton stories being favourites. My overall favourite for a long while was a large rocking horse but sadly he contracted woodworm over time and went to the knackers yard sad

hildajenniJ Wed 02-May-18 15:15:44

I was a child during the '50's and '60's. I had two sisters and we had few toys. I had a couple of dolls, a teddy bear, skipping rope, roller skates, hoolahoop, bicycle, and some toy cars. Most of the time we were outside in the park where there were swings, a slide and plenty of trees to climb. Or we went into the woods and made dens.
My children were born in the early '80's. The toys they asked for at Christmas were usually the big thing of that particular year, as seen advertised on TV. We bought them a Commodore 64 computer and they enjoyed playing the games, Dizzy was a favourite.

Charleygirl Wed 02-May-18 15:18:22

In my day there were very few toys- I had a beautiful doll called Rosebud and she had a very good pram- more substantial than some I have seen with babies in! I had a lovely doll's house and I used to buy miniature furniture for it with my pocket money.

A trike, second hand and then I progressed to a second hand two wheeler and that stayed with me until the carrot on a stick was a brand new bike if I passed my 11+ A grade. I chose a dark green bike.

Skipping ropes and hula hoops and I learned to play tennis at an early age as we had free facilities where I lived.

I learned to read at an early age and we had to pay one penny a book.

I was also interested in magic for years and spent money on buying those tricks. those were the days- we had to entertain ourselves.

Nannarose Wed 02-May-18 15:25:55

I am late 60s and my DGS asked this for a school project recently. On thinking and talking it over, I said I remembered very few toys. I spent a lot of time outdoors, in most weathers. I sat for hours observing animals, and that experience stays with me. I enjoyed card and board games, I read a lot, and I loved chatting with and 'helping' older relatives and neighbours. What I learned from them has stayed with me as well. I learned to sew, to cook, and best of all, how to tell a story! I do remember disliking dolls!

paddyann Wed 02-May-18 15:31:47

As soon as I could read it was books for me ,never had a favourite toy.My children didn't have gender specific toys,my D loved and still loves cars my son had a pram and dolls and a hoover...well several hoovers he had to have every new model that came out.My FIL wasn't impressed about his love of what he called "girly" toys and in fact wasn't happy abouthim even having an are adults and both are into motorsport and my son is a brilliant dad and has been since his daughter was born when he was 21.And he's happy to fix her dolls hair for her and play with her kitchen .

Anniebach Wed 02-May-18 15:40:26

The most treasured toy when a child was a dolls house my father made for me .

My most favourite toy after that was an Amiga I bought for me over twenty years ago, 😀 Wish they were still around

Maggiemaybe Wed 02-May-18 16:33:03

I suppose skipping ropes were gender specific in the 60s, or at least I don't remember boys playing with them, unless they were tying their friends up in a game of cowboys and Indians or swinging round lamp-posts on them, which we girls did too. Apart from that, I had a couple (literally) of dolls, with blinking eyes and hard moulded faces (one black, one white), with various homemade outfits and a doll's cot. I'd say the rest of my toys were non gender specific. A bike, Triang scooter, hula hoop, roller skates, balls, chalks, crayons and colouring books. Bayko - a wonderful house-building toy with potentially eye-gouging thin metal rods to slide bricks on to. When I was around 6 I was given a far from girly metal kitchen set with a working stove powered by methylated spirits - I remember boiling up water in little pans on its hob. shock Dominoes, cards, games such as Happy Families and Kan-u-Go, marbles, jacks. I loved the few books I owned, but went to the local library at least once a week and read everything they had. Most of my spare time was spent playing out, with both boys and girls, so didn't require piles of toys. I only got one main toy at Christmas and on birthdays. I remember asking for Sindy and Tressie and one of those Dalek suits that looked so realistic in the adverts, but never got them. My mother hated the whole concept of "teenage" dolls. I'm not sure what they had against the

My DC all had access to the same toys, whether garages, construction toys, dolls' house, etc. I hate the way shops now seem to divide their toys down gender specific lines, even the ruddy Lego. I don't recall any of my gang being particularly girly, or being stopped from doing any traditionally male activities, but I'm sure most boys at the time were encouraged to be "manly", and their dads wouldn't have let them play with dolls, for instance.

Maggiemaybe Wed 02-May-18 16:35:39

Wow, that was a long post (and a long meander down Memory Lane!).

tanith Wed 02-May-18 16:59:54

My most remembered present was a kaleidoscope my grandad bought me I was fascinated. I also had roller skates, crayons, plasticine and a post office set. We were too poor for bikes and such, we just borrowed other kids bikes.

sodapop Wed 02-May-18 17:02:39

I had a dolls house and pram as well, toys were very gender specific in those days. I also remember a whip and top, marbles and a skipping rope.
My daughters had a dolls pram but they used to wheel the dog round in it. They had a chatty Cathy doll,Wendy house and gokart amongst other things.

Teetime Wed 02-May-18 17:07:54

hi Ben I grew up in the East End of London in the 50s so not much money about. I don't remember having many toys except a rubber giraffe and a doll which I hated still don't like dolls. My brother had meccano and airfix airplane and boat kits. I was into books at an early age and read a lot getting books from the library and school. We played out in the street mainly skipping games. A couple of men would stretch a rope across the road and several of us would skip in and out. Sometimes in summer a hosepipe would come out and we would play water fights. We lived near several parks so went there to play on the swings. At Xmas Aunties would buy paints and colouring books. The thing I loved the best was a Kaleidoscope.

1974cookie Wed 02-May-18 17:18:02

Like many gransnetters on this post, money was short in our Family, so we often made our own toys and games.
A skipping rope was our Mums' washing line
Living in London, it was common to find lumps of natural chalk in the garden, which we used for drawing or numbering the paving stones for playing hopscotch.
The piece de resistance though was the Go Cart that we made. The wheels and chassis came from an old pram. A plank of wood was laid lengthways along the chassis and secured with string. You could get 3 kids on this contraption, the one on the end sat facing backwards, using their legs to push the cart along. If the wheels were well oiled, my goodness, you could get some speed up. As for steering, what steering?? So much fun.

lemongrove Wed 02-May-18 17:22:20

Yes, most toys in the 1950’s were gender specific, thinking about it.
Girls played outside with whip ‘n’ tops, games using an old tennis ball, called ‘two ball’ and skipping ropes,
Boys played outside with jacks or marbles or a football or played street cricket.
Inside the house, girls had dolls, dolls tea sets ( for dolly tea parties) if they were lucky a dolls house.
Depending on age, a teddybear and golliwog.
John Bull printing ( inky!) sets, tiny post office sets, plasticine, colouring books and colouring pencils or crayons.
The only books I had came from the library but did get an Annual every Christmas, Rupert Bear or Film Fun or Beano.
Inside the house boys had meccano building sets, Airfix planes to make, metal cars ( such as the Matchbox ones)
And again jacks or marbles played on the floor which was usually lino ( linoleum) and not fitted carpets.
Not many children then had loads of toys, and what we had fitted in a small bedroom cupboard.

TerriBull Wed 02-May-18 17:26:13

Compared to today, like many of my generation, my toy stash was meagre. I had a few dolls, one lovely one, won in a church raffle, but not as many as the two sisters I played with, their house juxtaposed mine and I was able to get under my garden fence into their garden, invited I might add. Their house was a treasure trove, they had spent time in India and bought so many amazing things back, I did get bought lots of lovely books at birthday and Christmas. I've always loved reading, still do. I remember getting a set of Noddy books when I was about five with a coloured wooden bookshelf. Other books I remember as presents, Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, Wind in the Willows, The Water Babies, all with beautiful illustrations. I also remember getting roller skates, which were quite basic compared to the sophisticated in line skates my children had. My brother got things like Meccano , which he showed very little interest in and plastic plane kits that had to be glued together. I remember a toy box in the living room with coloured bricks in it, because we chucked them at each other when we got into fights. He had a toy wheelbarrow which I particularly remember because he went out into our garden and filled it up with conkers and brought them in and surreptitiously put them on a fire that we had in an open grate, my mother went mad because they exploded all round the room shock We both got jigsaws, and I got a skipping rope or two and fuzzy felt games. We shared a cumbersome looking 3 wheeled trike when we were very young, I remember he got a much better two wheeler than me, at a later stage that upset me at the time and he got a wrist watch that I coveted. My favourite board game was Monopoly which I got for Christmas one year, which didn't always do me a lot of good because I had meltdowns when we played it as a family and I found myself on a losing streak sad I also remember playing endlessly with paper dolls, loved those. When I was in junior school, there was a craze for "scraps" shiny pictures of things like cherubs and angels in packets bought in newsagents. This was very much a girls thing, taken into school in a book or two, placed between pages, we had swapping sessions during lunchtime breaks. When I was a little bit older, say 9, my brother and |I got a record player and my Dad bought me the first two Beatles albums, I was over the moon, one of my sons has them now. I always wanted a tent, but my mum improvised and created tents by arranging an old sheet over the washing line and pegging the ends into the ground.

callgirl1 Wed 02-May-18 17:29:54

My favourite occupation as a child (and now) was reading, but I liked dolls, particularly the cardboard ones that had stacks of paper clothes, I`d spend hours dressing and undressing them. I also loved the "seasons", whip and top season, skipping season, marbles season, etc. We drew lovely patterns in chalk on our wooden tops, and I always replaced the leather thong on the whip with string, it worked better than the leather.
There was a large celluloid baby doll that I think must have belonged to my mother as a child. We weren`t allowed to play with it, just handle it once every blue moon.
I had one of those little red and yellow trikes with a blue set, then progressed to a large 3 wheeler, but was never allowed a 2 wheeled bike "because they`re dangerous", and to this day (I`m nearly 75) I still can`t ride a bike.

Bathsheba Wed 02-May-18 17:35:47

I remember so many outdoor toys: a triang scooter, roller skates, balls, skipping ropes, a kite, a hula hoop, bicycle. We did play outdoors a lot when I was growing up, and when we weren't playing with any of those things, we were building dens, climbing trees, making rope swings, fishing for tiddlers, frogspawn and newts. I was a bit of a tomboy!
Indoor play was things like cut-out 'dressing up' dolls, which I absolutely loved - I cut out and saved all the little paper dolls and outfits from the back of my Bunty comic each week! I remember a post office set, a glitter painting set, a stencil set, recorder, playing cards, dolls. I had a baby doll that a friend of my mother gave me together with a bag of fabric offcuts and I would spend hours sewing dolls clothes. I also remember a little farmyard set that I had, which had green (grass) bases and little drystone walls that fixed together, and fences, lots of animals, a tractor, and the farm buildings and farmer and wife.
There were also my brother's toys, things like meccano and bayko building sets, which I would play with too (though I don't recall that he was particularly interested in playing with my dolls wink)
We didn't own a lot of books, except for those that were bought for us at Christmas and birthdays, but I was an avid reader and visited the library weekly.

Maggiemaybe Wed 02-May-18 17:59:50

I'd forgotten about Airfix kits. My dad and I would get one from Woolworths on our usual Saturday jaunts to town. They were usually ships or planes, but I remember my favourites being Henry VIII and at least one of his six wives.

Panache Wed 02-May-18 18:03:15

Again remembering it was war time and the years just after,plus foster parents whom were elderly and suffered health issues, so money was tight, meaning toys as such were very thin on the ground.
The one item that sticks out in my memory and holds a very special space in my heart to this day is this Teddy Bear, all some 3' tall ........that had been "rescued" from the skip of what was locally known as The Big House in those days.
It was in good state of repair and it was well loved, developing a very soggy black nose from all my kisses!!
Christmas meant some fruit and always a book, as I was such an avid reader . Then there were all manner of small items which fed my love of writing at an early age.
I loved the Rupert Bear books,and Little Women was read through so many times it fell apart!
Whilst at some stage I was given a rather lovely baby doll,though very feminine and pretty, it was the old Teddy that stole my heart!

During school years my friend and I spent hours .......sometimes conversing to one another in our chosen language .....French....not allowing either of us to supplement the chat with anything english .....or welsh,our mother tongue.The other half we loved playing make believe house.This house we created was in the base of a very old oak tree on our front garden hedge.We would tour the area for all oddments such as broken pieces of china,old lamps,oddments of anything that we could turn
into a make believe home.It gave us endless pleasure,cost nothing but played on our imagination.Perhaps this is what has fuelled my love of home decor and comforts!

In later years I did have a bicycle and living in the countryside where my friends lived miles away,this became much loved and a great form of escapism to me.

I look on in absolute awe and wonder at the bedroom stash some children have today,......and often that stash spreads out to every room in the home..... and I have to wonder if it gives them any more pleasure than my teddy for instance.
I have witnessed several instances where these children go on very quickly to abandon said lovely toy, but have great pleasure in turning the box it came in into something that was more useful to them.
With such a vast array on offer today personally I think it wise to buy those things that teach a young child,and broadens the mind..........far more useful than the load of tat that sells under the name of a toy.

But each to their own of course, and if you are thinking of purchasing something for a youngster Coffeeforlife, I would certainly think long and hard about it .......taking the child`s age into account of course.......but buying something that could teach and benefit them in years to come is surely the best way can also add something more trivial alongside,but my guess is the one item that teaches will enthral the child.......and you may then find you have helped in a small way to create a genius!!

Willow500 Wed 02-May-18 18:21:35

As an only child I had quite a lot of toys although nowhere near as many as my own sons and grandchildren. My dad made me a dolls house only it was a bungalow which the roof lifted off - I spent a lot of time playing with that and arranging the furniture which he would take me to buy from the local toyshop. I also had two small dolls which you could buy clothes for - this was before Sindy or Barbie. My dad made me a tiny wardrobe and chest of drawers for the clothes and painted them pink. I still had the drawers many years later when I married and used to put all the bill money in them each week. I also had a Rosebud doll and a Silver Cross pram. I too loved reading and had a lot of books including the Famous Five books. A lot of the time my friends and I made houses out of the clothes horse (a very early form of a clothes airer), sheets or curtains or draped them over chair backs.

Outdoors I had roller skates which had rubber stopper brakes on the front and a two wheeler bike which had stabiliser wheels on the back until I could ride without them.

My son's grew up in the early 70's and had the usual Action Men, 6 million dollar man dolls, and the eldest had a lot of Matchbox cars. He progressed to computers in the early 80's with a Sinclair Z80 which he learned to program with his dad then onto a Commodore 64 - the hours sitting upstairs 'playing' on them have stood him in good stead as he has always been the go to person for IT in his work life. The youngest was the army mad one and as soon as he was old enough didn't play with toys but spent hours with army memorabilia which he spent all his pocket money on at the local market. Fully expected by everyone to go into the Army Cadets he suddenly changed tack at 13 when his brother bought a set of drums for £10 and he took up music which he has made a career of.

midgey Wed 02-May-18 18:25:00

My brother and I played Cowboys and Indians a great deal, I remember I had a Roy Rogers cap gun! Living on a farm in the summer we spent a lot of time playing ‘little house’, moving dolls cot and pretend furniture from one empty building to another.

Bathsheba Wed 02-May-18 19:05:26

I don't think the OP is 'thinking of purchasing something for a youngster' Panache - he has said in his opening post that he's a student, so I imagine he is asking us for our memories of toys we had, and those we bought for our DC, to help him with his research.

Beau Wed 02-May-18 20:58:16

Child in the sixties - very gender specific - I had 19 dolls and not enough proper beds for all of them - this caused me stress every night as I had to get them all undressed and ready for bed! I also had too many children in the dolls house my Dad made - so I pretended it was an orphanage. Lots of cardboard dolls as well with paper clothes to hook over their shoulders, later Sindy and collecting her trendy clothes when I was aged 10 or so. I had a huge old tricycle bought second hand from Petticoat Lane market and a brand new Silver Cross twin pram, the envy of all my friends. Never allowed a bike though - not ladylike. Read a lot, I think the books must have mainly been second hand as I remember not many of them looking very new, although some were bought new by my Nan, like the set of Noddy
books I loved. I had a golliwog I loved but only one teddy, which I gave to my brother the day he was born - he still has it. The thing I loved most was being the teacher to my dolls and my little sister - I was quite bossy but my sister does admit I taught her to read a bit before she started school.
I loved drawing and stationery, playing 'offices' which seemed glamorous as my dad was a policeman and had no stationery for me to play with.
My daughter was a child in the eighties and she never liked dolls as much as I had, although by that time they were drinking bottles and wetting themselves etc. She had an iron and ironing board, a dolls pram but also a garage with cars. Then My Little Pony came along and the house was full of plastic horses plus their castle and other accoutrements supplied by her paternal grandparents. Nothing was considered inappropriate although I doubt the metal cannons that fired real matches which my brother played with in the sixties were still allowed in the eighties! My daughter also had a chemistry set and various other items which would not have been available in the sixties, like the early computer games on cassette etc. Also dozens of books as that was one thing I would never stint on, despite being a single mum. The main thing I would say is that there were a lot more toys for my daughter than were available to me or my siblings. And now I have a grandson who is not even 18 months old but probably has more toys and books than either of us ever had....