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grade school toys

Maister

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This past weekend my 7 and 8 yr old nephews showed me their rather large Playstation 2, Sega, Xbox, Nintendo, Super Nintendo, PC (is there some other game platform I am missing?) game collection. It was impressive, but at the same time I was struck by the lack of other types of toys the kids had. I mean, my brother has dutifully provided them with baseball gloves, hockey sticks and other sports related acoutrements so they don't turn into total little butterballs, but I didn't see yo yos or other 'portable' toys. I remember when I was a kid it was a big deal to bring certain toys to school that you could play with before/after school or at recess. I remember there were several fads - there was a big yo yo craze and I don't know if anyone remembers 'Klackers' - two plastic balls connected at either end of a string that you would knock together to make a 'klacking' sound - it looked cool too. I also remember these top-like things called 'wizzers' were a big deal at one point (I think in my parents day marbles were all the rage). I wonder if maybe my nephews are just wierd or do kids nowadays just not play with non-electronic toys?
 

Gedunker

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My seven year old son is addicted to his Gameboy, but he also is a fiend at soccer and he absolutely loves this cool wooden airplane on a string (kind of similar to the motorized planes many of us had as kids --mine was a 4-engine B-17). So, at least my son is a bit of both. If we let him, though, I have no doubt he'd totally blob on the Gameboy.

Klackers were outlawed from my school as a kid 8-!
 

jestes

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Sure my kids have the full range of electronic toys including nintendos and playstations. The one toy that they seem to have the most fun with is their collection of Legos. They have a huge plastic bin with literally thousands of pieces that they love to spread out in the playroom floor and build all sorts of things with. It could be that I have a couple of budding engineers/architects/planners on my hands.
 
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The only cartoon still on my refrigerator is a a "foxtrot" strip. First frame, he is flying a kite. Second frame he is unenthusiastically tossing a frisbee. Third frame, he is standing in swim trunks in a sprinkler (not playing, just standing there). Fourth frame, his mom is holding a ball and she is saying "Now, this thing kids called a ball..." and he is waving arms and obviously irritated saying "Mom, sheesh! Enough with the historical re-enactments! Will you just let me ply my video games?!"

Do they sell any toys other than video games anymore? B-)
 

SlaveToTheGrind

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The Itza Football. Still have it, too. Played many football games in grade school and at home in the late 70's with it. Even got it caught on the school roof a time or two. Too bad the valve leaks so it won't hold air.
 

Zoning Goddess

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My 11 year old loves his video games, but he'd still rather be outside playing any kind of sport/game, riding his bike, working on his "treehouse", etc. As for non-video toys, he's starting to get into car models and other kits (make your own clock, volcano, and the like), likes to draw, and of course collects gazillions of Yu-Gi-Oh cards.
 

PlannerByDay

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I think kids these days are becoming dependant on other external elements (playstation, x-box, gameboy) for stimulation. It seems like when you take a kid away from these external stimulants and give them something like Legos, a Rector Set, a YO-YO or something that requires you to think, they instantly get bored. They get bored because they aren't getting stimulation back.

This is going to lead to a bunch of intraverted, fat and IMO "ugly" (not in the physical/attractive sense) humans. People who are not creative or able to function without instant feedback or stimulation.

I'm 29, and growing up never had a Nintendo, didn't have cable and had dinner with my parents at the kitchen table everynight. When people I know ask me if I watched TV shows like "Fact of Life" "Different Strokes" or other 80's programs I say NO. I was outside playing, climbing in trees, frying bugs with my magnifying glass and other kids stuff.

Many kids these days don't know what to do with a YO-YO, and IMO are missing out on what it really means to be a kid and get dirty and have fun.

The classic grade school toys are disapearing, and that is to bad.
 

Floridays

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We used to kick around a "Hackey Sack..." remember those? At school we played a lot of softball and kickball and just all around "fun outdoor games" that didn't require a lot of gear.

One of my friends works part-time at a Mother's Day Out program, and she's amazed at how kids have no idea how to just "play."
 

Duke Of Dystopia

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PlannerByDay said:
I think kids these days are becoming dependant on other external elements (playstation, x-box, gameboy) for stimulation. It seems like when you take a kid away from these external stimulants and give them something like Legos, a Rector Set, a YO-YO or something that requires you to think, they instantly get bored. They get bored because they aren't getting stimulation back.
.......
I disagree. I have rarely ever seen a kid get bored with legos. I can't remember the last time I saw it happen. I also believe the video games aren't the issue, its parents allowing the substitution of the electronic toys when they should be outside doing things with the kids.

There are appropriate times to gives kids choices and others when you just tell them what to do. For instance:

Ok guys, I am working on the house this weekend, if you don't leave for the park with your friends, I will put you to work.

Hey guys, were going to play catch, go get the gloves (notice its a command)

Hey guys, would you rather sit around here and play video games all day, OR, we could take the boat out to the islands where all the chicks hang out in the bakinies by the hundreds? (notice the psychological twisting that occuring).

Kids choices need to be geared toward both thier entertainment and getting them to do what you want them to do. Just as long as you do it WITH them. Time is more important than the any other factor.
 
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As a child, I loved playing jacks, jumping rope (for fun, not for fitness), pick-up sticks - where you use one stick to lift the other sticks off the floor without touching another one, and classic board games.
 

Dragon

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When I was a kid I received a Nintendo for one of my birthdays. Nintendo is fun and all, I’ve upgraded to a PS2 since then, recall many games that encourage problem solving to advance in the game. Though, I still found time to (help) build a tree house, get shot with BB guns, play with my Ninja Turtles, collect garbage pal kids, wreck my bike, play on trampolines, feed matchbox cars to my dog, legos, etc.

My 9-year-old brother does like Video games, but he plays with Dragon Ball Z toys, throws a football with me (when I’m visit home), and chases other kids around with sticks.

I think Video games are useful in teaching hand-eye coordination, and problem solving skills, but like anything else can be over done.

Floridays said:
We used to kick around a "Hackey Sack..." remember those?
Ahhh...still quick on my feet. :-D

Planderella said:
and classic board games.
Candyland anyone? :p
 

Repo Man

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I don't have kids but it does seem that any kid over the age of 6 or 7 has a videogame system and that is their prized possesion. At Christmas and birthdays they get more games.

When I was a kid we had Atari 2600 but it never seemed to be the number one entertainment option. We rode around on dirtbikes, made go-karts, went fishing, took inner-tubes down the river near our house, etc. We had yo-yos, scooters, hackey sacks, etc. When it was raining we played with legos or sorted through comic books and baseball cards (which were 25 cents a pack, not the 3-5 dollars that they are today!). We had a model train set and a ton of hot-wheels/matchbox cars to play with too.
 

ludes98

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Planderella said:
and classic board games.
My wife and I still duke it out on Connect Four, Sorry, and Chutes and Ladders.

PlannerByDay said:
I'm 29, and growing up never had a Nintendo, didn't have cable and had dinner with my parents at the kitchen table everynight. When people I know ask me if I watched TV shows like "Fact of Life" "Different Strokes" or other 80's programs I say NO. I was outside playing, climbing in trees, frying bugs with my magnifying glass and other kids stuff.
That pretty well describes me, but don't forget our generation had Atari and the Commodore 64 man!! I didn't watch much TV unless it was Dukes of Hazzard or cartoons. I still don't like TV much, but I do love movies. I was a lego addict. I still own my entire collection, and I can't wait to have kids so I claim I build because my kids like it. ;-)

I think that TV and VG's are supplanting time that used to be spent on interaction between parents and their children. I too had dinner every night with my parents. I plan on doing the same with my kids. I've said the same thing in another thread, but what about the in-car DVD/VG systems? What ever happened to playing in-car games and looking out the window? I guess watching a DVD on headphones while mommy and daddy talk on cellies is better. NOT. :-b
 
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Planderella said:
classic board games.
Only one game seems to have stood the test of time - MONOPOLY!!! This is the game that started many feuds in my family. Everyone wanted to be the banker, but no one trusted each other to play the role.

What does everyone think of the many versions/editions of Monopoly nowadays? It seems like after the special 25th anniversary edition, I noticed that all kinds starting popping up like the Star Wars edition, the Simpsons edition, major cities have their own editions (New Orleans has one), and I've seen various university editions.
 

plankton

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Dice games.

My brother & I had all kinds of sports leagues based on the roll of dice. Our longlasting favorite was the simplest: An even roll (2,4,6) = win & odd roll (1,3,5) = loss. We'd set up a full NFL or MLB season & let the dice fly.

Careers was my all time favorite board game until Stop Thief! came along. That game rocked!
 

JNA

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What about making the transition from a
single speed to a 3-, then to 5-speed bicycle. :)
 
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Star Wars action figures 24/7/365. I remember crying the day that Boba Fett was searching for Solo and fell in the heating vent and never came back. Budget permitting, I still try to collect some of the newer figures and some of the vehicles that I couldn't afford as a child. (Boba Fett is now worth more money than I can ever afford for a toy.)

My mother made sure we had all the sports equipment we could ever wanted. I guess because she was and still is active in sports, especially in her company slow-pitch softball and bowling leagues.
 

otterpop

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My son is not quite three years old. He don't play video games, of course. He has a kiddie computer that he fiddles with, mostly for the noises it makes. Yesterday he was fascinated for most of the day with a motorized mouse (actually a cat toy that scares the hell out of the cat). Mostly, though, he is very happy playing with a ball, leggos, his 30+ Hot Wheels and Hot Wheel knockoffs, and our dollar store water pistols. He also has long conversations with our cat, though the cat doesn't seem to pay much attention.

As a kid, playing army or cowboys were our games. So we just needed cap guns and helmets or hats. Out the door by 7 a.m. and not back til dinner in the summer.

As he gets older, I am sure he will want the video games and other electronic marvels. I'll cross that bridge when I get to it.
 

NHPlanner

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the north omaha star said:
Star Wars action figures 24/7/365. I remember crying the day that Boba Fett was searching for Solo and fell in the heating vent and never came back. Budget permitting, I still try to collect some of the newer figures and some of the vehicles that I couldn't afford as a child. (Boba Fett is now worth more money than I can ever afford for a toy.)

My mother made sure we had all the sports equipment we could ever wanted. I guess because she was and still is active in sports, especially in her company slow-pitch softball and bowling leagues.
I had the action figures too. (GEEK COMMENT: Boba Fett is still, IMHO the best Star Wars character ever).

I was mostly a sports guy growing up. Wiffleball/baseball, football, basketball, street hockey with the neighbor's kids in the yard or at the parks.
 

Duke Of Dystopia

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Planderella said:
Only one game seems to have stood the test of time - MONOPOLY!!! This is the game that started many feuds in my family. Everyone wanted to be the banker, but no one trusted each other to play the role........

your forgetting the ultimate fight starter that is still around!


RISK


:-D
 

Dragon

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Duke Of Dystopia said:
your forgetting the ultimate fight starter that is still around!

RISK

:-D
You are right about that. My brother, friends, and I still have scars.

Numerous times have I played that game, and started out being triple teamed. :-c Not much you can do with enemies coming at you from 3 directions. I know how Germany felt. :p
 

Gedunker

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Planderella said:
Only one game seems to have stood the test of time - MONOPOLY!!!
Outstanding game, to be sure. But my favorite is SCRABBLE. Now there's a game that will start some fights ;-)
 

JNL

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Maister said:
I remember when I was a kid it was a big deal to bring certain toys to school that you could play with before/after school or at recess. I remember there were several fads - there was a big yo-yo craze and I don't know if anyone remembers 'Klackers'
Yep I remember those days! Yoyos, klackers, marbles... they seemed to stick around for about 2 weeks then it was on to something new.
 

Big Easy King

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It seemed as if I was always riding my bike in the neighborhood. Besides that, I enjoyed Star Wars action figures and Hot Wheels cars. I also enjoyed collecting comic books and football and baseball trading cards, as well as playing Monopoly and Scrabble.
 

Tom R

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pg ball

Here is a variation on stick ball we used to play where I grew up in the Pittsburgh area. It was called PG Ball. The PG stands for Practice Golf. You take the standard practice golf ball (Must be perforated, the ones that were dimpled were the best. lasted longer) and wrap it with electrictian's tape (friction tape works best) in two directions. Two layers in both directions is enough. Then you scrounge for a broom or sponge mop handle and there's your game. It can be slow pitch for newbies or fast pitch with curve balls and an occasional knuckler baller for the big kids. You can play with bases or if there isn't enough room or players you set up distance markers..past the pitcher- single, past second- base a double. The ball has to hit the ground. Anything caught in the air is an out. There is also the version that borrows rules from kick ball. You play with bases but if the fielder hits a runner with the ball, he's out. Sound familiar to anyone?
 

jmello

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Gedunker said:
My seven year old son is addicted to his Gameboy, but he also is a fiend at soccer and he absolutely loves this cool wooden airplane on a string ...
You just reminded me of the balsa wood planes with elastic-driven propellors. Those were the best!

Floridays said:
We used to kick around a "Hackey Sack..." remember those?
Yes, we all used to "hack" before school and at lunch. Do you remember the Koosh ball that was around for a little bit? We used to hack with those.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Hceux

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Duke Of Dystopia said:
I have rarely ever seen a kid get bored with legos. I can't remember the last time I saw it happen. I also believe the video games aren't the issue, its parents allowing the substitution of the electronic toys when they should be outside doing things with the kids.
Actually, I am one of those who never really enjoyed playing with legos. I never saw the thrill in it. Yet, I wasn't spoiled with electronic toys and I didn't play these electronic toys (Nintendo and Super Nintendo for Sim City, and a lil' computer game that lets me do hangman, math, etc.) more often than non-electronic toys. But, strangely, I cannot really think of a particular toy that was my favourite.

I liked the box set of 64 crayons, making crafts, doing hairstyles, playing with caterpillars, playing in huge cardboard boxes, skipping, playing with skip-bo and pogo-ball, doing cartwheels, playing Monopoly and Rummoli, etc.

Jmello, I can remember wanting to have a Koosh ball, but never got one. Are they being sold in the marketplace anymore? I looked in a local Toys'R'Us recently and didn't have any luck finding any.

I wonder if only-child plays differently than children with siblings or with neighbour kids. I was the only child and the only kid in my neighbourhood.
 

Duke Of Dystopia

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Hceux said:
Actually, I am one of those who never really enjoyed playing with legos. I never saw the thrill in it. Yet, I wasn't spoiled with electronic toys and I didn't play these electronic toys (Nintendo and Super Nintendo for Sim City, and a lil' computer game that lets me do hangman, math, etc.) more often than non-electronic toys. But, strangely, I cannot really think of a particular toy that was my favourite.

I liked the box set of 64 crayons, making crafts, doing hairstyles, playing with caterpillars, playing in huge cardboard boxes, skipping, playing with skip-bo and pogo-ball, doing cartwheels, playing Monopoly and Rummoli, etc.
Good, the point is that you were not sitting at all times in front of a stationary game system. Your mind was active in a very interactive way with your environment. Which was my point about parental responsibility of forcing kids away from the computer monitor and into other socially interactive activities. Don't like lego's thats fine, but you make the point that not sitting in front of the computer screen at all hours is healthy. Now, back to DJ'ing more industrial music in the pub! :-D
 

natski

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I think the best memories of my childhood were those of running around outside with my siblings and the neighbourhood kids playing.

We would play comandoes around my best mates place and the game would last for hours. Many afternoons were spent playing tennis and cricket on the road and if we were lucky dad would take us for a walk up the mountains.

Monopoly in my house ruled as well- a game could go on for days and days.

ah the memories.....
 

Bear Up North

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We were the typical 1950's kids.....Monopoly, Life, Chutes & Ladders, other board games of the time. I have previously mentioned a board game we played called Park & Shop.....a downtown grid with stores and parking lots. That game probably helped jump-start my fake city ideas. :)

My younger brother spent a lot of time indoors, a bit of a geek (ham radio type stuff). I was outside all of the time.....baseball, girls, basketball, girls, football, girls, playing on the river, girls, building forts in the woods, girls. Oh yeah, girls, too. ;)

I always loved the dice games that involved developing leagues, statistics, etc. We would be outside, at a portable card table in the driveway, playing dice baseball games forever. We also had the little tabletop basketball game that used the spring-loaded "twangers" that shot a ping-pong ball into a basketball net. We had leagues based on that game, too.

About the closest we came to technology was Etch-A-Sketch (manufactured by a company just down the road a piece) or the viewer device you looked into to see color pictures from a round disc that registered into a new location as you pulled the lever.

Good story about those viewer thingys.....when I was in my 20's I was in Canada on a fishing trip with a pal. We stopped at a little old gas station for some liters of petrol and the attendent said, "You boys want to see something?" He had a viewer, with porno pics on the disc. We looked and laughed and left. Then noticed the joke on us.....there was black gook on the viewer's eyepiece that left big black marks around our eyes. We talked about going back and kicking his butt.....but we were laughing too hard. :-$

My son (in the 1970's) played with some trucks and bikes, but even then he was in to that first generation of popular electric toys. I tried to encourage his interest in model railroading, since at that time I had a big model railroad layout in my basement, but he wasn't interested.

Both of my grand-daughters loved their dolls, but both are of a generation that is in tune with electronics.....computers, Game Boys, etc.

BTW.....for baseball you use 2 dice.....1 & 1, 2 & 2, 3 & 3, 6 & 1, 4 & 3 - all singles. 4 & 4 is a double. 5 & 5 is a triple. 6 & 6 is a home run.
_____

In later years, when Katie and I pack up the tent and head for the Upper Peninsula, we take along Yahtze, for campfire fun. She always kicks my butt. :-c

Bear
 

kjel

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My 12 year old has a gameboy that she received while Mom was constantly flying across the country for work one year so she wouldn't be bored on the plane. She still only ever uses it on the plane. We don't have a PlayState, Cube, etc and will probably never get one. She is somewhat of a 'net junkie and has a cell phone although the time she spends on both are limited. I wish she would go outside more but she always comes back and says there's nobody outside which is sad given there are a lot of kids in the neighborhood.

As a only child I was always outside running around with neighborhood kids because I was bored. We were always swimming, shooting hoops, playing hide & seek, going to the park, riding bikes, playing kickball or dodgeball. If it was raining too hard out we usually watched movies or played games like Monopoly, Risk, Uno, Yahtzee.
 
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Since this thread has been reactivated, it gives me an opportunity to post about my latest purchase - Strolling Bowling. It's nothing but a little wind-up bowling ball and a fake bowling alley, but I used to have hours of fun with this toy. When I saw it at Barnes & Noble a couple of months ago, I bought it without a second thought. :)

Strolling_Bowling.jpg
 

Richmond Jake

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Mom got these out when we were in California over New Years. It's a set of miniature Revere Ware pots, pans, coffee pot and tea kettle that mom and dad gave to me when I was young. She sent them to me and they arrived today. For comparison, the knife and fork on the left are regular size utensils.

DSC01139_2_.jpg
 

cch

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My daughter is only 3. But she loves playing with blocks, crayons, her huge collection of toy dinosaurs and her toy kitchen. But, some older boys at daycare were regularly bringing their Leapsters, and now she's started picking up any of her little buzzing, button toys and calling it her Leapster. And she got a Smart Cycle for christmas, that she plays with for about 10 minutes almost every day, until she wants to move on to something else. At least she gets some exercise with that. It is actually a great thing, as far as preschooler video games go.
 

TOFB

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I was into Skittle Bowl big time. . . graduated to Skittle Pool.
 

craines

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Remember those cheezy electric football things where the players would just randomly vibrate all over the place and only occassionlly go down field. Also howabout GI Joes, and cap guns and other military toys.

My youngest daughter loves pollies and loves to play resturant and school and loves to go to the park!!

We have not purhcased any gaming console but are thinking about a wii cause at least you move but if you ask me it is stupid as are video games.
 

Hceux

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There was this toy that I always wanted: Brite Lite.

I still haven't played with it. Is it worth my time to play with it?
 

jsk1983

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There was this toy that I always wanted: Brite Lite.

I still haven't played with it. Is it worth my time to play with it?
Do you mean lite brite, the thing with the little colored pegs and the back lit peg board? It was amusing as a small child. Not sure if it would be the same for an adult. We had these black sheets of paper that you could buy with patterns on them, although I'm sure you could design your own as well.
 

kjel

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We have not purhcased any gaming console but are thinking about a wii cause at least you move but if you ask me it is stupid as are video games.
We are a video game console free household and none the worse for it. The kiddo has a Pogo.com subscription but they are mostly puzzle and card type games.

Do you mean lite brite, the thing with the little colored pegs and the back lit peg board? It was amusing as a small child. Not sure if it would be the same for an adult. We had these black sheets of paper that you could buy with patterns on them, although I'm sure you could design your own as well.
Hehe....I had one of those when I was little, I thought it was cool. It was even in the movie Elf in the scene where Buddy decorates the store for Santa's arrival.
 

Jen

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Mom got these out when we were in California over New Years. It's a set of miniature Revere Ware pots, pans, coffee pot and tea kettle that mom and dad gave to me when I was young. She sent them to me and they arrived today. For comparison, the knife and fork on the left are regular size utensils.
that is a collectors itme! A coffee pot too, what a great set! Did you also have the junior sommelier set? :D

THinking of outdoor games, I remember pickup games of baseball, kickball and .500 You bat your own ball the outfielders catch and then roll the ball to hit the bat o n the ground?.

There are a lot games my kids dont play, the structured hours after school have snuck in, then there is winter. W/O a an area go to place for indoor sports, life can get sedentary.

I do allow and encourage indoor jump roping, and would love to talk the DH into a table tennis arena. We have the room and the ceiling heights.

No game consoles here, just one sony DS they share. And internet access to some preapproved sites.
 

kjel

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THinking of outdoor games, I remember pickup games of baseball, kickball and .500 You bat your own ball the outfielders catch and then roll the ball to hit the bat o n the ground?.

There are a lot games my kids dont play, the structured hours after school have snuck in, then there is winter. W/O a an area go to place for indoor sports, life can get sedentary.

I do allow and encourage indoor jump roping, and would love to talk the DH into a table tennis arena. We have the room and the ceiling heights.
We used to spend a lot of time outside between homework and dinner time running around, playing kickball, football, .500, tag, and any other game we used to invent. I rarely see kids outside playing en masse like we used to which is unfortunate in a number of ways. We had a ping pong table in our garage which was a pretty popular spot on the block when I was little.
 

Jen

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ping pong in the garage! now theres an ultimatum i cann use!He can park his pet autos outside or put up with indoor ping pong1
 

Brocktoon

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I am suprised no references to GI Joe, He-Man or Transformers. With GI Joe being my favorite. Growing up in a military family it was not GI Joe vs. Cobra but GI Joe vs the communist insurgents in a small Central America country.

For outdoor activies it was baseball in the cul-de-sac with aluminum bats and tennis balls or three on three football. Capture the flag, building forts in the desert with whatever we could find, driving RC cars and just riding our bikes.

Maybe I live in the wong part of town but I rarely see kids on bikes anymore.
 

johnelsden1

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Baseball

Stickball

Football

Guns (Yes real plastic)

Yo-yo

Spin Top

Pop-Za-Ball

Civil War Set

Race Car set up

Train set (HO Scale)

Jacks

Catch

Tag

Hide and Seek

Up-Against (throw a ball at the steps and hope for a home-run)

Kenner Girder and Panel Building Set

Erector Set

Army men

Dinosaurs

Guess I was spoiled....................
 

vagaplanner

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Did anyone else ever have a Big Trak? It was an electronic tank that you could program (via a key pad) to make it move around. I've never known anyone else that ever had one.

I also had a hand held Pac-Man game that I still have and it still works.
 

Captain Worley

Cyburbian
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My sister and I shared a Merlin. It looked like a telephone handset, but played something like 9 or 10 games.

A good friend of mine had a Simon...looked like a flying saucer.
 

illinoisplanner

Cyburbian
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5,335
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Some things that kept me busy for hours as a child included: Legos, Playmobil, Micro-machines, Hotwheels and the plastic mats you laid out on the floor that resembled cities, Brio (train set), G-I Joes, Wooden blocks, Basketball, Wiffle-ball/Baseball in the cul-de-sac, Football, Soccer, Street hockey, Tag, Playing in the fort, Riding my bike, Nerf products, Nintendo, Super Nintendo, Nintendo 64, Sim City 2000, Going to the library, Board games, and of course creating my own fake cities on paper.
 
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