Americana: GI Joes, Tonka Trucks, Marbles and Hot Wheels

Growing up in the 1960’s and 70’s we played with 12 inch GI joes, Big Jim, Hot Wheels, Tonka Trucks and even sticks. Give me a set of hot wheels or Tonka trucks and a dirt pile and I would play for hours. When I see kids playing with them it makes me smile and think back on easier times when I was a kid and just liked to play with toys. Some toys never go out of style and the ones listed above are for sure classic toys that you can still buy today for your kids. My girl cousins had Barbie’s and I remember them playing right along with us boys and our GI Joes. Barbie loves a tough guy and who is tougher than Eagle Eye GI Joe or a Big Jim doll.

This past weekend I went to a birthday party for my great niece and over in the corner sat four little kids maybe 3-5 years old and they had a pile of WWE wrestling figures, Barbie Dolls and trucks and were playing hard. It was good to see kids just being kids and playing with toys. Those toys make memories for us as we grow up and take us back to our childhood. I wish more kids would get outside, find a mud hole, dirt pile or creek and just play. I hardly ever see kids on bikes anymore and growing up if you went somewhere it was on your bike.

We would jump on our bikes and ride for hours, getting chased by every dog down the road. We knew those dogs were coming at us and it was the thrill and challenge to see how fast you could go before it took off after you and eventually gave up at the end of their yard. The dog didn’t want to bite nobody, it just wanted to run and growl and scare you to death. I wrecked more than once, wiped out over the handle bars and ended up in the ditch a time or two and survived it. Getting your kids outside doing activity will eventually result in bumps, bruises, cuts and an occasional break.

But is will also teach them to be tough, live life, experience things and take on challenges like that old barking dog with vigor. Playing with cars, dolls, trucks, toys and other items teaches kids social skill interaction. It teaches them to share, play nice, get along with others and use their imaginations. Those things will come in handy when they become an adult. So go buy your kids some trucks, toys, action figures, games, a bike and other stuff you will end up stepping on in the kitchen floor. Hold your tongue and know that it is good for them and the temporary pain and frustration of stepping on the Hot Wheel or Lego block will quickly go away.


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