Toys that Cross Over Generations

Parents magazine ran a blurb on the birthdays of popular kids’ toys. For example, Dora the Explorer is 10 years old, the Rubik’s Cube is 30, Etch A Sketch is 50, Thomas the Tank Engine is 65 (!), Curious George is 70, Monopoly is 75, and Tinkertoys is 95(!!).

I put exclamation points by the toys my kids played that I had no idea were that old.

All this talk about toys that have crossed over generations, and movies such as the Karate Kid and Toy Story 3, made me think of all the games I have passed onto my children just because I loved them as a kid.

For me, those games or toys include Barbie, who is only 51-years-old, by the way, the board game Sorry (76-years-old), and of course, Monopoly — which, by the way, has all these new game pieces like a battleship, canon and purse. Actually, I looked up when these pieces were introduced, and as it turns out, they are older pieces from World War II — I just didn’t have them in my game in the 1980s. Here is an interesting piece on the Monopoly pieces in The Straight Dope.

Other favorites are Hungry, Hungry Hippos (32-years-old), UNO (39), and Go Fish, for which its origins I could not find online.

What are some of your favorite childhood toys or games that you have passed onto your children?


A Different Generation

I jumped on the Mad Men bandwagon a little later than everyone else. After reading such great reviews and speaking to a lot of my friends that were big fans, I had to tune in for myself.

The show did not disappoint. I am amazed at how different life was just a few short decades ago. The racism. The sexism. The discrimination. It’s hard to wrap my head around the fact that this was how people lived less than 50 years ago. And yet, a lot of it was uncomfortably familiar. Too familiar.

I am from the generation of children that was “seen and not heard.” We “didn’t speak unless we were spoken to,” and were more of a possession than an individual. Our opinions didn’t matter, and more often than not, we were sent out of the room so that the adults can talk. The mothers were always “numb” with either alcohol or some form of prescribed sedative, such as Valium, and the fathers were never home because they commutted to work and left before you woke up and got home after you went to bed. It’s a wonder families managed to stay together!

When I was a kid, I hated not knowing what was going on and promised myself that I would treat my children differently. I would get to know them and their budding personalities as they were forming. I am constantly working to assure that my children know that their opinions matter. That they matter. If they have questions about anything, no matter how uncomfortable it might be, I want them to know that they can come to me for the answer. I want them to know and to believe that they are the most important people in my life. I want them to feel validated.  

What about you? How does the way you were raised compare with the way you are raising your children? What do you remember about your parent’s generation? How does it differ from our generation?

Mad Men is like an onion and I can’t wait to get to the next layer! Season four is scheduled to premier on July 25th, and I for one can’t wait. Will you tune in?