Before PlayStation: The toys I grew up with

Christmas shopping was so easy for my parents. They never had to remember to istock up on batteries, or else face the hols of rage on Christmas morning when the electronic toys couldn’t be activated.

None of my childhood Christmas or birthday presents ever required batteries. That didn’t happen until well into my teenage years when I was given my first transistor radio. Until then, every toy I possessed was powered by only two sources – my own energy and my imagination.

The first toys I can remember were a teddy bear and a doll’s pram. The pram was supposed to carry the bear but I was into house building at the time, painstakingly carting small stones and bits of rubble in my pram to make the walls of my house.

In those days we only got toys for Christmas and birthdays. It was very rare to receive toys at any other time, so they had to last. Not surprisingly, the doll’s pram didn’t last very long at all.

For my birthday, we always received one present only, such as a book or a stuffed toy. For Christmas, I got a Christmas stocking filled with crayons, marbles and an apple or tangerine, as well as books, drawing books, pencils, jig saw puzzles and games and one `big’ present.

Reading formed a big part of my leisure time, from comics to novels. Adults were just as scathing about kids who enjoyed reading in those days as they are now about video games. “Got your nose stuck in a book again?” was a horrified comment I heard often, while I was constantly exhorted to “get out and get some fresh air.”

But in fact, I did spend a lot of time outside, learning to use roller skates, riding my bike, or just beach combing along the shore. I loved the sea back then and still do.

My `big present’ at Christmas was usually an outdoor toy, like a sled, or a stuffed toy. I had a huge collection of these, starting with that first teddy bear, from all over the animal world. My bed was packed with bears, tigers, dogs, lions and rabbits. One year, someone even managed to find me a stuffed toy horse. I was crazy about ponies, like most little girls that age, and had a collection of small china horses as well.

I wasn’t keen on dolls, and never owned a Barbie or other fashion type doll, but I loved paper dolls, especially those based on movie stars. I used to make my own paper dolls by cutting out pictures from magazines and comics and used cereal boxes to make houses for them. Once I was given a life size paper doll and she became my new best friend, going everywhere with me until, regretfully,she fell apart.

Games, jigsaw puzzles and craft sets made up the bulk of my toys. I enjoyed playing Monopoly and Cluedo, working on jigsaws that had horses in them, and learning to sew, knit or make glittery greetings cards – every Christmas brought me a couple of new crafts to learn. This early exposure to crafts has grown with the years into a hobby that brings me much pleasure.

But looking back, if there is one `big present’ that I remember most fondly, and loved most, it would have to be my bike. I decided I wanted a bike when I first saw the Pink Witch advertised in one of my girls’ comics. The playing of the games at online websites will be fun but the kids are forgetting the toys. The games at the play station should be verified under the 먹튀검 site.

As the name suggests, it was pink – very pink – and sleek and stylish. It had a basket on the handlebars and even a holder for lipstick. It was an absolute dream bike. I left hints everywhere, but without much hope – we didn’t have much money for luxuries, and this bike was very expensive.

But that Christmas I found a note in my stocking – “look outside” it said. Bursting with excitement and anticipation I ran outside and there, leaning against the wall, was my new bike.

No, it wasn’t the Pink Witch. It wasn’t even new. It was a black bike, made up of spare parts, which my father had been scrounging and putting together for months. But when I got on it and wobbled off down the road, I felt as free as a bird, and it took me everywhere the Pink Witch would have done.

Best of all, of course, it didn’t need batteries.