Play Time

This week my post will once again be different from those of my fellow bloggers, since I managed to focus on the wrong topic two weeks ago. When I expounded about campfires and bonfires, I was supposed to post about childhood toys still in my possession. So that’s what I’m writing about today.

IMG_7162Until this past summer, I had only a few of my childhood toys. And frankly, they weren’t toys as much as they were treasures meant for displaying and admiring. The first is a doll that my uncle gave me when I was a baby. Uncle Yoshikazu was only eight years old when I was born, but somehow he saved up enough to purchase this lovely doll for me. I remember mom usually kept her in a glass-front cabinet in the living room. Once in awhile I was allowed to take her out and hold her carefully. Somehow, the tip of her nose was broken off and dad glued it back on. Otherwise, she’s still in great shape, since I also keep her in a glass case.

IMG_7159Mom often made beanbags with her fabric scraps. She can juggle three bean bags with one hand – I can’t do it with both hands! But I remember playing lots of games with them. I found these tucked away somewhere in mom’s house. I’ve made several beanbags myself, but mine don’t look quite as nice as the ones mom made. I guess I’m not that patient.

IMG_7161I had Barbie and Ken dolls as a pre-teen. I don’t remember playing with them as much as I remember using them for sewing practice. Maybe it’s because the other dolls in my house weren’t really playthings, but Barbie and Ken were actually models for my first sewing projects. My mom taught me to sew by purchasing patterns and showing me how to use them with scraps of fabric leftover from the dresses she made me. This summer, I found several of the dolls and cases of the clothes I made in my mom’s basement. I took them home and my youngest granddaughter now plays with them when she comes over. The Barbie dolls are in another case, but here’s an example of the clothes mom and I made.

IMG_7163I’ve always loved puzzle challenges, and was delighted when I found these slide puzzles. These were in mom’s house, but I noticed that some of the ones online are called Fifteen Puzzles. But these were from my own past, and it’s been fun working on these again – and watching the kids and grandkids try to solve them.

I mentioned previously that we’ve been clearing out my mom’s house to sell it. And I may have mentioned that my parents didn’t like the idea of throwing anything out. In the basement there was a huge lateral file cabinet with four large drawers. I had the job of emptying that out and it was like a trip back in time. The top drawer had seasonal decorations and knick-knacks, but in the other three I found lots of our old favorite toys and games.. Many went to mom’s great-grandkids, but a lot were donated. Still, it was fun to look at them and remember how much fun we had with them.




What treasures do you remember from your childhood?



About Patricia Kiyono

During her first career, Patricia Kiyono taught elementary music, computer classes, elementary classrooms, and junior high social studies. She now teaches music education at the university level. She lives in southwest Michigan with her husband, not far from her five children, nine grandchildren (so far), and great-granddaughters. Current interests, aside from writing, include sewing, crocheting, scrapbooking, and music. A love of travel and an interest in faraway people inspires her to create stories about different cultures. Check out her sweet historical contemporary romances at her Amazon author page:
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10 Responses to Play Time

  1. kathleenbee says:

    I love all the old toys and games you found. Oh, and that little Japanese doll – she’s adorable. It’s great that having dolls inspired your sewing talent! I remember those slide puzzles. I was always so useless at solving them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Patricia Kiyono says:

      It’s odd how families place different values on things, isn’t it? Dolls in our home weren’t not meant to be played with. We moved to America when I was a year old, so I never really knew my uncle, but I loved him because of his special gift to me. Thanks for stopping in!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. The Japanese doll is so beautiful! Your uncle must have been very proud…with good reason.
    I had forgotten until now that I had made clothes for my nieces’ Barbies when I was a teen. l I have no idea how that had slipped my mind. I enjoyed it very much.
    My mother loved Yatzee! I need to thin out some of the games we have here.Most go unused. The Husband does not like to play games. I gave away the games for very young kids that my grandkids outgrew. When they got past baby games, they usually played chess, Monopoly or cards,(when I got them off the computer/Xbox).


    • Patricia Kiyono says:

      I was the first grandchild and niece, so I guess my arrival was really special for both sides of the family. Yes, sewing clothes for my dolls held much more appeal than playing pretend with them!


  3. Jeff Salter says:

    cool to rediscover those old games.
    I HATED those little “slide” puzzles… but I couldn’t stay away from them either.
    Wonderful that you used Ken & Barbie to do something so creative.

    BTW, the next time you start us out with the wrong post… let’s just stay with that wrong topic for the whole week, so all of us are together. LOL

    Liked by 1 person

    • Patricia Kiyono says:

      Yes, it was fascinating to look back at those old games and toys. And clothes. And school projects. And all the other stuff mom saved.
      I’m going to try very hard to focus on the correct date so that I don’t mess up again!


  4. Elaine Cantrell says:

    That’s the sweetest story about your uncle. I know you treasure that doll.


    • Patricia Kiyono says:

      I certainly do, Elaine! Since we came to America when I was a baby, I’ve only seen my uncle twice in the last 60 years, but he and the doll are very special to me.


  5. What a lovely doll that your uncle got for you!
    I have heard sewing clothes for Barbies is difficult because they’re so little. I have never tried it.
    How fun it must have been to discover all of those old toys and games from your childhood.


    • Patricia Kiyono says:

      Barbie clothes can be a challenge, but we did it by hand, because mom was showing me how to use the patterns, and she didn’t want me using her machine. It was a good way to teach me. Yes, finding the toys was exciting, and I’m glad I took the pictures before sorting through them all.


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