Teachers remember their favorite toys from childhood

As time and technology moves forward, so do they toys that kids play with. Some of the most common toys these days were unheard of a few decades ago. Things like the materials and purpose of toys have evolved the industry. Teachers ate school look back on what they had as children and reflect on their favorite toys. Crystal Roach is a teacher at Harrisonburg High School.

¨My favorite toy was the My Buddy Doll that I got when I was 16. I had never had a male doll before, and he sat on my bed. My mother was afraid of him because he does, indeed, look like Chuckie, so she would shove him into the closet almost daily. I still have him, but don’t tell my mother,¨ Roach said

Different decades saw different toys. Toys in the sixties were usually simple and easy to play with, like French teacher Sally Young’s favorite toys.

¨My favorite games growing up in the sixties were jump rope, climbing trees and playing jacks and marbles. Now I have lost my marbles,¨ Young said.

Some toys have stayed classic over the years, like Barbies and certain kinds of dolls, which were some of HHS staff member Lisa Long’s toys.

¨One of my favorite toys were Matchbox Cars. I used to like to pretend I was driving them to the mall and park them in parking spaces. I also liked my Barbie head. I could put makeup on her and do her hair,¨ Long said.

Another classic back in the day were Cabbage Patch Dolls, which was one of HHS counselor Christina Norment’s favorites.

¨I am a child of the 80s and was about 10 years old when Cabbage Patch Dolls came out. It was one of those toy-crazes where you couldn’t find them in any store and people would fight over getting one off the shelves. My dad, who was living in San Francisco at the time, managed to get one for me, and I received her in the mail while I was sick with the chicken pox. I will never forget how happy I was when I got her that day. Her name was Nessa, and she was a preemie,¨ Norment said.

Along with those classics, there are polly pockets, which kids of the 2000s played with. Heather Hostetter was a fan of Barbie Dolls and Polly Pockets.

¨When I was a kid, my favorite toys were definitely my Barbie Dolls, Polly Pockets and Cabbage Patch kids. I took one or several of them with me wherever I went,¨ Hostetter said.

Not everyone loved Barbies, though. Some despised the idea of them, like teacher Crystal Martinez-Bergey.

¨My favorite toys were my Monchichi dolls. I loathed Barbie. My two older sisters were Barbie fanatics. I actually stole things from them to use with my Monchichis, like Skipper’s skateboard and the dream car. I still have all of my dolls and Skipper’s skateboard. I even have one still in the box-mint condition,¨ Martinez-Bergey said.

The ways that kids play with toys has also changed. With phones and video games, not many kids sit and play with toys for hours like they used to. Assistant Principal Mike Eye remembers simpler times when his favorite toy was a farm animal set. 

¨I had a farm animal set that I could sit on the floor (this is not easily done these days) and play for hours. My dad’s favorite story is one day upon arriving home from work while I was still on the floor playing with the farm set—I was 3 or 4 years old—and he asked how my day [was]. I responded, ‘The old bull got out and I had a helluva time getting him back in the pen.’ I wish I still had the set as those were simpler days, and if my biggest challenge was getting the bull back into the pen, well, I would be content,¨ Eye said.


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