I know this one is a little late, but that’s what happens when you work night shift and then your computer decides to delete your post just as you try to publish, forcing you to retype the whole thing!
So, at first I couldn’t recall any specific toy that stood out to me, because I used my imagination to make just about any toy entertaining! My childhood was a swirl of baby dolls, dress up clothes, coloring books and crayons, and toy animals. After a bit of thought, there were three favorite standouts:
First, my collection of Barbie dolls. I had a big plastic box filled with my dolls and their many clothes. I know that some people nowadays complain that Barbies give little girls an unrealistic body image, but I honestly just loved dressing them up and having them act out the stories that I would make up for them. Many a sunny day was spent outside with the neighbor girl, Emily, where we would both bring out our boxes of Barbies and spend hours dressing them up and acting out stories. We would often share dolls and their outfits, though to this day I am convinced that she stole some of my favorites before we moved! The only two dolls I have left are two of the Princesses of the World dolls (does anyone else remember these?) Of course I took them out of the box as soon as I got them so I could play with them properly!
Second, my toy horses. My favorites were these six miniatures made by Schleich, which can still be bought in stores today. There were three adult horses and three baby ones, and I loved to take them outside on adventures – pretty sure I used a disposable camera once to take pictures of them, getting the camera close to the ground so it looked more realistic. Yes, I know I was quite the innovative child photographer! My favorites were three horses that resembled the three horses in Black Beauty – Ginger, Merrylegs, and of course Black Beauty himself. I still have these little horses today, because I am a very sentimental person who has a hard time letting go of things that are special to me. I see these Schleich figurines in stores all the time, and the temptation to buy more is very strong!
Third, my Kirsten doll. Those who are familiar with the American Girl dolls and stories might remember Kirsten, a Swedish girl who emigrates to America. The genuine American Girl dolls aren’t cheap, so when I was eight years old my parents bought a generic 18-inch doll that looked like Kirsten, hand made her clothes that looked like Kirsten’s, and gave this treasure to me for Christmas – along with a matching outfit for myself! I couldn’t have been happier with this sweet doll because even at that young age, I knew that my parents had put a lot of work into this gift, which made it all the more special to me! Over the years this doll became very worn out and eventually broke, but I still have the original doll outfit in a treasure box in my closet, along with the bonnet that my mom made for me. (Thanks Mom and Dad!)
Nowadays, I have a dresser drawer full of small toys, knickknacks, and fidgets that I like to play with after a stressful day at work. I don’t know why, but they kind of help me relax and unwind. Yes, I am still a child at heart!