Top 5 Favorite Toys from Childhood

This turned out to be a mildly challenging list to come up with because during much of my childhood I enjoyed many make believe game. I tried to pick props from some make believe games so I can say I had a favorite toy.
So here are my top five favorite toys in no particular order:

image dog image source

When I wasn’t running around on all fours as a dog, I was pulling around my own pet dog. I think I enjoyed the doggy cluck noise and flopping ears the most. I had no clue, until Googling, that this toy was so old! Around the middle 1960s apparently; even my husband had one when he was a boy. I am pleased to report that my nephew drags around my old pull-dog when he visits grandma.

image
Tree image source
Just like link source, my family always piled our stuffies (stuffed animals) under the Christmas tree. My stuffed anims were more than tree ornaments, they were snuggly bedfellows, confidants and actors.

I have tons of fond memories of my brother and I reading a story from our kids picture bible then acting it out with our stuffies for the family.
I have to say, I thought our bible plays were pretty cool. We acted out fairy tales too from time to time. As an adult, I wish for a rainy day with my brother and a pile of actors.
image
soup image source

Another game that I have a fondness for was playing kitchen. This blogger Happy Hooligans has the right idea in keeping her day care kids entertained. My mom wasn’t exactly pleased with this game because it always ended in her having to wash weeks of plant materials out of her favorite soup pots.

Almost any container that could hold a large amount of fluids would work for this game. I even used a sea shell once….and got grounded forever.

The best games I recall were when I had a lid with a pot so I could make a hot stew over a period of several days of play. The other ideal weather were rainy days, I remember making chickory and grass seed coffee one time during a rain. Not just stirring, building a “fire”, but especially the adventring for magical or rare ingredients.

Love this game. Probably where my love of real cooking has come from. I still feel adventurous when I go to the garden for herbs to add to the soup pot.

image
blanket image source
There are so many possibilities for blankets. My all time favorite game–that I still play as an adult–is the holcher globber. Perhaps other families would call this the blanket monster.

The rules are simple. Find a large blanket and crawl around until you can attack and absorb another person. It is wise to pick a large blanket if you intend on absorbing a lot of players.

The monster cannot extend limbs beyond the blanket, so no reaching out and grabbing ankles. Mostly, there is little talking unless under blanket communications for directions are necessary. Mostly growling or grumbling the words ‘holcher globber’.
Much like sardines, when everyone in the house is eaten the game is over.

image
lego image source

My brothers were the real kings of Legos, but I did get my build on as a kid. My brothers collected and made awesome castles, ships and worlds from their legos. I was lucky to get a four walled building most days.
I played with Legos much the same way that my older sisters created and executed elaborate doll house adventures. Just another medium for imagination. Of course I loved creating female characters with horses and dragons atop barns.

Do you harbour warm memories for particular toys from your youth?

Advertisements

Stay-In Valentine’s Day Plans for Playful Couples

image

I designed this stay-in date night for my sister-in-law and have decided the plans are too good to keep to myself.
This is a Valentine’s Day date designed for the broke-college students, kids at heart, vegetarians and those wishing to break the stiff candle-lit dinner traditions.
If this is you, read on.

Keep in mind these are plans for adults and they often do adult things together. If you are offended by couples with healthy/happy relationships both physical and emotional then this is your warning to get outta Dodge.

Set the TableMake a blanket fort

image

I know it may have been years since you last made one. Just get started and your inner child will fill in the blanks. If you’re timid to try, here is a link to help get you started: School of How To.

Fill your fort with blankets and pillows to lounge on. Then put a string of Xmas lights or a small night light inside instead of a candle–a touch light or battery flameless battery operated candle.
Eat dinner then push the dishes out of the fort and get to snuggling.

Make Dinner

image

All Recipes has a fantastic recipe for Black Bean Stuffed Bell Peppers. This is a vegetarian recipe but you can easily modify it. Fry up some bacon til crispy. Cool and crumble it into your mix. Also, this is a special dinner so if you have fresh onions then dice and saute half an onion (at least).

Cook dinner together. If you don’t think cooking as a couple is romantic then try this: Turn off the phones, turn on music you both love, lock the doors, draw the blinds and get naked. If you’re a little weird about cooking in the buff, then keep on your underwear and apron.

Dessert for Chocolate Lovers

image

Fun desserts are messy. I’m working the mathematical correlation now. I recommend fondue or a s’mores lab.
Contrary to popular belief you DO NOT need a fancy fondue pot nor double boiler to make fondue. Just be careful to melt slowly and stir often. Crock pots come in handy if you have one.

This is the same Groovy Fondue recipe I used for my birthday party. It was a HUGE hit. Pro-tip: You can make truffles out of the chilled leftovers. You’ll thank me later.

The tasty alternate dessert is to create a s’mores experimentation lab. Grab plates, ingredients and get ready to create a franken-S’more. A Lot On Your Plate blog has Ten S’mores Recipes that should inspire you to get creative. Marshmallows in the microwave are just hysterical anyway.

Games/Activities

image

The first two activities are more passive, but as you will soon find that they are awesome to add to the list.

The Couples Q&A. There are literally tons of these questionnaires on the interwebz and a quick Google search will turn up plenty of results. This list is just to get you started. Keep in mind–Some lists are designed for deep emotional probing that is probably inappropriate on a fun night.

The second activity is for dreamers. Kit and I love making lists like these. Here is an example of a Couple’s Bucket List to get your creative juices flowing. Grab a notebook and dream big!

Minute to Win it Games.These are fun and can be adapted for two instead of a group party. Most of the materials are super cheap–to save even more money, do these games the day after V-Day and buy the sale candies.

The games from that blog that I chose are: Heart-a-stack, Marshmallow Toss, Love Spot (use paper cut outs instead of expensive craft pom poms), and Heart Pick Up. I have seen the Face Cookie on every M2W party blog and am exhausted with its overuse.

How to Get Your Spouse to Play Along
If your partner isn’t the playful sort then I don’t have much hope for you. However, if you’re gamer sweetheart is just a little shy then this is a great date.

Kit doesn’t do well with surprises so I typically spill ALL my surprises. Some guys or gals are like that. They need to be mentally prepared for fun so they can be excited instead of reluctant. Give them really obvious hints. Tell your partner that you will be playing some mini-games similar to Mario Party and that you’ll be making supper together. If you want to keep it a guessing game, tell them some of the ingredients to dinner or dessert.

If you use any of my date night ideas please let me know how your night went!
(You don’t have to share the gritty details).