Did I really have a favorite toy?

Sawmill made out of en:Lincoln Logs.
This is an example of the sweat lodges I used to build from Lincoln Logs, and I would pretend they were full of little kids making imitation Gucci bags. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Do you remember all the toys you had as a kid?

I had plenty of toys as a kid, and for the most part you could say that they fit into these broad categories; there were building toys, action figures, stuffed animals, plastic vehicles, remote-controlled vehicles, and books. I count books because they were significant part of my life, especially when I was a kid. However, discounting books as toys since they would win hands down considering how much I read as a kid, do I really remember what my favorite toy was?

I can tell you with absolute confidence that the one toy that I miss most, and the one that I would have back if I could, was my stuffed buffalo. I could get another stuffed buffalo, but I have never seen one like the one I had when I was a kid. And I’m really not sure I could describe it, but I know it when I see it. That being said, I don’t think the buffalo would qualify as my favorite toy per se.

You see, as a kid I was really preoccupied with building toys. Now when I say building toys, I’m talking about the kind of toys you use to build things; I had Lincoln Logs, I had Legos, I had Construx; then there were various models that I mangled; but I really liked to make stuff. It made me feel creative, it have me purpose in my play, it helped to build my imagination. So if there’s a favorite that I had it was a building toy. When I was younger it was Legos, but when I was older, I began to get into Construx, which if you have never seen it, is like a plastic snap-together erector set. Speaking of erector sets – I’ve seen them, I’ve heard others say they had them, but I never did. It might have to do with all the little pieces. As it was, my Dad threatened to throw away my Legos if he ever stepped on one when they were given to me, and for what it’s worth that still makes me laugh to think of it, I don’t know why.

LEGO Indiana Jones in 2008
LEGO Rob Ross (Photo credit: Dunechaser)

As an adult, I still enjoy creating, crafting, and building things, and the building toys taught me that it was possible: that piece by piece things can still be created from scratch; and this is important in a world that is largely manufactured by machines. This is where hand-making renegades get their courage: through this confidence that everything is made not by magic, but by discrete processes that can still be done to some extent by hand. I’ve made hand bound journals, knitted and crocheted articles of clothing, and cobbled together structures of wood. Nothing is beyond my reach if I only have the materials and the know-how plus time.

And sometimes I still fool around with my Legos.

This post was prompted by today’s Daily Post prompt.



  1. Actually using ones hands to create as children is a hugely important process. It is not only about logic and learning handling skills …. it’s also about spatial development and imagination. Sadly today far too many children aren’t offered these possibilities. How many kids today would know what to do with a let’s say, bits of string …. do you remember ‘cat’s cradle’? …. Sure it’s all very fine and well to know how to use a computer, tablet, x-box or whatever gadgetry …. but there is life beyond pushing a button.

    Thanks for sharing your story 🙂

    • I agree 100%, and actually not only do I remember the cat’s cradle (not to be confused with the Kurt Vonnegut novel, which is awesome,) but also the “cootie catchers” we used to make out of looseleaf for some fortune-telling fun. I really thrive on spatial reasoning, and I can’t imagine people being able to cope without it, maybe because that’s just how I am, but I buy Legos with the intent to pass (some of) them on to my kids, because I want them to be creators as well – I have this deep feeling that that is what our purpose in life is: to create.

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

  2. This has helped me understand my 9-year old grandson better;The Lego mania is not just playing — it’s the figuring out of things, and the building of things — indeed important!

    Thank you! 🙂

  3. I remember Legos and really enjoyed building as well (I also loved building model cars), but unfortunately it didn’t follow me to adulthood. One thing I am not is a builder or crafter. Still enjoy playing with the Legos though if I get a chance.

  4. Those building blocks I also had …… in my times in my country most imported items were out of reach of commoners so we had to do with imitations but it was great learning experience to put things together, making newer things, giving shape to our ideas …………. Thank you for sharing

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