Modern day children’s toys are full of techno-gadgetry, often needing batteries or access to a power point. No such things were available when I was growing up. I had a train set when I was five years old, but the train was clockwork and had to be wound up to make it go. Most of my toys were made of wood or tin, like the train set, and were made in the UK. Imports from China were an exotic, unheard-of commodity.
There are a few toys I really liked. They gave me hours of pleasure and encouraged me to be creative, so I kept them. Maybe I hung on to them for sentimental reasons, maybe because I thought they might one day be worth something if I wanted to sell them, but mostly because I realised that they would be useful when grandchildren came to stay.
My doll’s house, built entirely of wood and made especially for me, was and is one thing I don’t intend to part with; it’s already offered creative play to granddaughter who is fascinated by its old fashioned, hand-crafted furniture. The coloured wooden shapes puzzle shown above gave me hours of enjoyment as I learned about making patterns and discovered creative possibilities by combining the shapes in different ways. This is one of the designs granddaughter created, doing the same.
My grandchildren now enjoy this particular wooden puzzle which has lasted well, has not broken or faded, and still manages to hit the spot – as well knock spots off newer plastic gadgetry and imports.
They do say the old ones are the best….