Friday, September 13, 2019


So the other day, my boss brought some wooden hangers from home, they were doing some Fall cleaning and no longer needed them.  So he had a big bag of those really nice solid wood hangers with the metal hooks like these....

I carefully stacked them, much like the photo above, and put my arm through them to carry them to the car.  I put them in the back seat.  I reached in to move my umbrella out of the way and when I pulled it out, it got caught on them and they all fell out into the parking lot.  Then picking them up was just a jumbled mess.  

I share all this to say that when I got back to the office and related my story, my boss said it was like that old game "Barrel of Monkeys".  I had not thought of that in YEARS.

That broadened into a larger conversation of toys of our youth (those of us of a certain age of course).  These were so much fun.  Do kids even know about these now?  There's probably a "Barrel of Monkeys" app, ha! 

Here are some we came up with...

I grew up with LEGOs and today those are even better than when I was little.  But what about Lincoln Logs?  Oh my I loved building those cabins and buildings.  A friend and I made a whole 'neighborhood' of cabins and then we pretended that a tornado blew through.  Yeah, we were weird like that but my imagination ran wild with possibilities...

And then there were Tinker Toys!  I would create all sorts of weird objects.  Where Lincoln Logs pretty much limited you to creating buildings, Tinker Toys would let you create all sorts of shapes.  Sometimes I just went full on artist and made random "sculptures" that my parents would let me display on top of the TV for a while.

And of course there was the ubiquitous Lite-Brite.  I remember punching the holes in the black paper with those little plastic pegs that lit up like glowing jewels.  It was pure magic when you turned off the room lights and turned on your creation.  Once I made the roosters and rainbows and smiling suns, I started making spaceships and planets.  I think it was Star Trek inspired.

Would kids today know about these?  Do you think they'd be bored with them or would it spark imagination once again?  I find that many kids today don't seem to have the imagination we did when growing up.  Maybe there is too much information available and that takes away some creativity?

Or maybe we're just getting old, ha!


  1. Love them wooden hangers. Great projects you can make with them. The older ones that I find in the Antique Malls, want up to $10.00 just for 1.

    OMG. bringing back memories for sure & really making me feel old; but then again, I Am. We (hubby & myself)still have all them toys; hubby still has his Lincoln logs that are still in original round container since he was a kid, along with them Tinker Toys; along with his Erector set. All the old toys still have all their parts and pieces. Hubby took well care of his toys as well as I did.
    The containers may not be in the best of shape but all the pieces are still there.

    The Lite-Bright; yup still have it since our girls where young, including extra pegs & paper, and still have our complete sets (2) of Barrel Monkeys.
    Needless to say; we both have several of our original toys that we played with when we where young.
    Anyone remember them pop beads? I still have those. I still have the metal tea set dishes that I played with constantly some...………..years ago.

  2. I so enjoy your blog entries like this one which are so imaginative and so nostalgic. Roderick

  3. My mom still has our old Lincoln Log set at her house. MY old tinker toy set did not survive my 3 sons though. Plus I am pretty sure my old blocks were painted with lead paint, because after all these years the colors are still petty vibrant.

  4. The Lincoln logs my daughters played with are now used by granddaughters. So are their legos!

  5. i'm so old we didn't have toys when i was little. seriously though, i loved playing with anything i could build!

  6. Tinker Toys! Those were fun. Remember pickupsticks?

  7. those look like the hangars in hotel rooms. I had tinkertoys, and many board games, and books.

  8. Toys used to be better because you could actually do things with them.


  9. These are all the toys I grew up with. They taught you how to think and create. The children of today only know how to tap icons of cell phones or use them as tools to be stupid and not responsible.

    1. You hit the nail right on the head there Mike. My thoughts exactly.

  10. I remember all of them - Add to that list, pick up sticks, and card games like Old Maid and games like Battleship. Fun memories! :-)

  11. Loved all of these old toys. We used our imagination and creativity, increased our problem solving abilities, and learned to work together. In my years of teaching kindergarten, the kids loved these toys also.

  12. They still have Lite-Brite but they are LED now and not nearly as fun as they used to be.

  13. My daughter loved her LiteBrite. My kids had all these toys, except the Lincoln Logs. My so said his 4-yr-old son love Matchbox Cars. There is still hop for children whose parents put the right tools in their hands.

  14. Ok; all you young ladies; how many of you still have your Red Vintage Metal Hand Weaving Loom, for making Pot Holders? I found mine yesterday when looking for something else along with some of the loops besides.
    I made many a hot pads back in the day.


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