What toys, games, books, or activities did you like best as a child?
I don’t remember too much about my toys, games, books and activities as a young child. But amazingly enough, I have quite a few of them, still. I have a favorite rag doll, baby doll, teddy bear, and a few other dolls and stuffies, all of which must have been favorites, as they are all well worn.
I also have quite a few well-worn books. My parents read to us a lot. We had “The Bible Story” series of 10 books, and dad read them to us over and over, right through, for family worship, for many years. We had quite a few “Little Golden Books” which were favorites as well. I particularly have fond memories of one that had a collection of children’s prayers. And we all loved the story of “little Wiggletail.” Our parents also read books like “Tom Sawyer” and lots of kind of old-fashioned stories with good morals.
I did get a new doll each Christmas, and some of them were quite beautiful, but mostly they just sat on my bed looking pretty. When I was seven, there was a little girl in my class who came from a family of 14, who lived in two one-room cabins side-by-side, and she had never had a Christmas or birthday present. So I generously gave her my two most beautiful dolls. She was thrilled of course, but my mom told me I should have asked permission first. I didn’t mind giving them away, as I would far rather play “dinkie cars” out in the sandbox with the boys, or dig tunnels and crawl through them, or jump off the shed or climb trees. It seemed that everywhere we lived, the neighborhood would be full of little boys, and myself the only girl, so I liked to play boy games. I remember vaguely having tricycles, and later scooters. In Revelstoke, we lived in the upstairs of an old house, and the downstairs people didn’t like us running around, so we rode our trikes all the time in the house!
I did have one doll that I really loved. She was a life-size “baby doll” whom I named “Kathy.” I got her for my fifth birthday, and she had a crib, blankets, pillow, and lots of clothes. I think my Wright grandparents gave her to me. I had her for years and years, but she disappeared when we moved from Masset to Keremeos in 1999. I really still kind of miss her! When she was new, the neighborhood boys put her in the “manger” that was left over from the Christmas concert. They were playing “shepherds and wisemen” and were using tent poles for staffs. They kind of got their Christmas and Easter stories mixed up, and decided they were Roman soldiers, and used the poles to poke holes in her hands, feet, and tummy. I was broken-hearted!
I loved to play outdoors, and of course it was expected of children in those days. We often went for long walks, sometimes without any adults, to the park, up the hills by the house, along the steep clay cliffs near our grandparents’ home, and so on. Nobody seemed to worry much about those kinds of childhood adventures back then. We didn’t have TV or any other electronics other than the radio. We did like to play table games, and of course all kinds of “made up” games like dress-up, cops and robbers, cowboys and Indians, and so on. We mostly just used sticks and such, or would hammer together boats and things out of pieces of wood. We didn’t have a lot of toys, but we were happy with what we had. Most of my memories are actually from after I started school, but I’ve seen lots of pictures from before, and I know what my younger brothers and sisters did, so I imagine my childhood wasn’t that much different than theirs.
Written: Dec 26, 2007