You can’t beat retro toys, and as we were clearing out my mum’s house to sell, we gradually found more and more old toys that she’d squirrelled away in the roof on our behalf. Well, not really my brother’s because he’d sold his soul and his toys previously (apart from his Technic Lego, and his Britains farm models which N now has).
But as we cleared out the house we found more and more of my old toys.
Firstly, it was books galore.
It’s been a chance to remember all my dancing series of books like:
* Noel Streatfield books
* my Sadlers Wells series by Lorna Hill (I always fancied that Sebastian would be fabulous as a boyfriend)
* Drina Ballerina books by Jean Estoril.
I’ve not been able to give those away to charity yet.
* My big box of Nancy Drew books – I used to ask for the next few in the series each birthday and Christmas and had pretty much all of them. I think those went to the recycling centre.
* Jill pony series by Ruby Ferguson – I always wanted to learn to ride, but my ballet teacher at the time told my mum there was no way I was to get on a horse while learning to dance with her.
* Enid Blyton St Clares school books and Trebizon school books by Anne Digby – I always wanted to have midnight feasts at a boarding school, and although I went to private school for 6th form and boarded in my upper 6th, I don’t think we ever really had midnight feasts.
Care bears and My Little Ponies – the latter being given to a friend’s little girl.
Sindy and Barbie dolls plus lots of clothes for them – all car booted.
The final finds were in the garage. We thought we’d found everything, but I’d wondered when my mum had got rid of some of my toddler toys. Then clearing out the roof in the garage, my brother found a final box of toys. And discovered my a couple of music toys that I used to love.
Yes, the Fisher Price record player and Major Morgan.
Now the Fisher Price record player pops up frequently on social media due to the various Buzzfeed ‘Do you remember’ style quizzes it appears in. N pounced on it straight away. My brother thought it was broken (it seems strange that he doesn’t remember playing with it when he was a child, given that I was the eldest), but really it’s just agonisingly slow even when wound up as far as it’ll go.
Twinkle Twinkle or Clair de Lune on go slow isn’t pretty.
N loves choosing which record to play, and he’s currently got it next to his bed so he can listen before going to bed. Well, that was his reasoning, but it seems to be making a mess as usual, so I might have to put it away again somewhere tidy because his room really is a tip at the moment.
The other toy was Major Morgan. I loved this. It’s a strange toy – the battery doesn’t fit in very well at the back, and it doesn’t fit well in a child’s hand…maybe that’s because they’re all used to slimline smart phones. But it’s a great way for children to pick up basic tunes to follow by reading the order of the shapes or colours. And once you’ve got good at following the colours, you can remove the cards and just play using the musical notes/letters.
I was trying to teach N to play Twinkle Twinkle. I’m determined to get him to play the tune on one instrument before long…I’ve given up on the piano (it’s definitely an instrument he wants to play on his terms, not with me helping him), so Major Morgan it is. I haven’t lost my touch – I can still play On Top of Old Smokey and Old MacDonald, and have N recognise the latter.
My brother isn’t convinced by it as a toy, but I think it’s a great way to get children to learn that different notes and sounds can be played following an order to get a specific tune out.
What retro toys do you have still hanging around or to pass on?