At my grandma's house I learned to braid daisies. Store-bought toys were few: there was a bare-naked doll having a bad hair day, some pick-up sticks and a tiny china tea set. At the other grandma's house I remember Chinese checkers, a 1,000 piece puzzle, some finger handcuffs made of straw, and a little ball.
Andy-I-Over while the younger cousins played Red Rover, or ran races on the huge front lawn, with Tuffy, Grampa's dog.
the Thimble and played the piano while I danced or sang. She baked cookies which I cut out and frosted. I explored her ancient, musty smelling basement with the hand-wringer and wash tub or searched through the back room which was unheated but filled with broken furniture, clothes and junk.
I had a fort under the quilt she was working on, which always filled the living room, where I listened, fascinated by the old ladies' conversations and their rolled nylon stockings and grandma shoes. If I was quiet, they forgot about me, and I learned some intriguing tidbits about the events in the neighborhood, as well as some of the facts of life.
I rifled through Grama's old sheet music, played dress-up with Aunt Marie's jewelry and purses, dusting myself with a dressing table powder puff. We watched Lawrence Welk and waited anxiously for the Lennon Sisters, or listened to Grandpa recite Little Orphant Annie, Hiawatha and Casey at the Bat. I blew bubbles with empty spools in the dishwater and got my fingernails painted with shiny clear polish. On Thanksgiving we watched The Wizard of Oz on TV after dinner and sang to the tune of a ukulele. I remember making Hollyhock Dolls, climbing the apple tree and rolling down the hill in the backyard.
I'm a grandma now, and I want to give my grandkids memories that will bring them back to the time when they felt secure, confident, curious, safe, creative, resourceful and most of all, adored. By the time I had three grands, I had a whole playroom decked out with easels, kid-sized furniture, stick horses, a stuffed zoo, and at least a hundred books.
Now, with nineteen grandkids between three months and eleven years I've pared down because of space and common sense. But I still want to have some cool stuff that's only at Oma's house. Memory makers.
Gabi wrote a post about Legacy Toys the other day, with a great list of toys kids love. There were even more ideas in the comments she received. For my Oma Legacy Toys I have some challenging parameters. They have to be easy to store, not need a giant space to be played with, adaptable for boys and girls of all ages, and timeless. I want to collect toys that the kids will love, but might not know they want. I'd love your suggestions!
These are a few of the things I have in my Oma toy collection:
- Brio wooden train
- Tea Set
- Pick-up sticks, checkers, chess
- Uno and other card games
- Magnet shapes, letters and figures for the fridge
- Wooden dolls with magnetic clothes
- Flannel board characters and shapes