Rachael Rachael, a mom of two daughters, is a freelance editor and writer who enjoys gardening and dreams of keeping chickens in her suburban St. Louis backyard. In her spare time, she helps to edit her husband’s science fiction books. Read more of Rachael's work at www.rachaelsjohnston.com or contact her by emailing rachael@mumblingmommy.com.

Last week I shared some of my favorite childhood books that I’m excited to reread with my daughters. To continue the retro theme, this week I present three toys from my childhood that I’m eager to bring back out for my own girls. No Disney princesses here.

1.       Barbies. Barbie can be a bit controversial, with her generous bosom and numerous skimpy outfits. Still, I spent more time playing with Barbies than any other toy as a kid. For me, Barbie wasn’t about dating and fashion. My best friend and I organized the dolls into families with babies, little kids, and teenagers. My Barbie Dream Cottage was transformed into a duplex for the doll families, or sometimes a school, church, or theatre. I had a Barbie mall (yes, a mall!) and a van, and I had several pieces from the 1980s Heart Family collection, including a swing set and a pop-up camper. It was Barbie heaven and kept me occupied for hours. My 4-year-old is just starting to play with Barbies. Don’t tell her, but I’ve been looking at Barbie houses and may arrange for Santa to bring one this Christmas.

2.      American Girl dolls. Yes, these dolls are expensive, but my sister and I each received a historical doll, books, and accessories when we were kids, and we learned volumes about history. I have pioneer era Kirsten,
who has sadly been discontinued, and my sister has World War II era Molly. The dolls are well made, and Kirsten and her furniture and accessories currently have a special spot on display on the dresser in our spare bedroom. My sister and I spent hours dressing our dolls, braiding their hair, arranging their belongings, and reading the books. Christmases and birthdays were special times when we got a few American Girl items to add to our collections, and our grandmother is a handy seamstress who sewed new clothes for our dolls. My oldest daughter is too young for American Girl dolls, which are recommended for ages 8 and older, but we enjoy browsing the catalogue and looking around the store that recently opened near our home. She will get her own doll someday, and I’ll also pass my own Kirsten doll along to my daughters.

3.      Board games. Back in the day, when my grandparents came to visit, my siblings and I could count on grandma to get down on the floor and play board games with us. She never got tired of playing games and truly enjoyed the time spent with her grandkids. Our favorites were Candy Land and a vintage edition of Disney Sorry. When we went to my grandparents’ house, it was always a unique treat to play with their Chinese Checkers set. We’re building our game collection for our own daughters, and I’m proud to say we own Candy Land!

All right, readers. It’s your turn. What are your favorite toys from your own childhood?

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Category: Kids

Tags: American Girl