[Week 1 Activity] Childhood objects


My childhood object was a collection of Fairy Tale Books. I remember spending a lot of time flipping the books of this collection up to the time I could really read them all.
I still have all the books!


Took me a while to remember but finally …Spirograph and a Pantograph. I spent hours drawing shapes with Spirograph, sitting at the table trying out different combinations of wheels. I also had a Pantograph which I loved. I’d search out drawings and then recreate them either larger or smaller, depending on how the Pantograph was set up. I actually used it for my children when they were young and obsessed with Super Ted. I took the simple drawings from our Super Ted books and using the Pantograph turned them into giant posters for their walls - which also meant I got to do another of my favourite things…colouring in! Just recently my dad was having a turn out and returned to me my Spirograph box!! Very old and held together with string, inside are many of my creations and each sheet is dated and the wheels used are noted. I must have been a very organised child.


Colorforms was my gateway drug in elementary school. It led me to paper dolls which led me to making my own paper dolls and then stories about my paperdolls. My children find these stories highly amusing and ridiculous, which of course they are. I loved how the colorforms stuck to each other and the cold slickness of them. They were very simple and you could play with them over and over as long as you kept them flat. Maybe this is where I learned to take proper care of materials.
Eventually, paper dolls led to real dolls and a need for clothes for these dolls. My mom sewed and so I gradually taught myself by watching her and examining seams and hems and experimenting with her needles and threads. I still have a passion for pincushions and spools! I spent years making professional dance costumes and though I now teach coding K-4, I stitch for my own pleasure and write ridiculous stories.


when were legos invented? I don’t think they existed until well after my formative years! What did we have instead… maybe Lincoln Logs? Erector sets? I love that you made mammals with your legos!!!



I just had a quick google! Very interesting

The Lego Group began in the workshop of Ole Kirk Christiansen (1891–1958), a carpenter from Billund, Denmark, who began making wooden toys in 1932. In 1934, his company came to be called “Lego”, derived from the Danish phrase leg godt, which means “play well”. In 1947, Lego expanded to begin producing plastic toys.


When I was four years old, I found this “The Family of Man”, featuring “503 pictures from 68 countries” in my parents’ small library. Published in 1955, it depicted the famous Steichen Exhibit for MoMA. That book became my friend for life. I never stopped looking at the photos of people from around the world, experiencing events and feelings common to all of us.

I was a lonely and isolated kid, and the book provided real company to me. In addition to the photographs, there are verses of poetry and some wisdom from the great traditions of the East and West hemispheres. The older I became, the more I could understand. At the same time, I came to understand that mysteries would always exist, the greatest of which were we, ourselves, as individuals and as cultures.


LEGO bricks here, too! To start, they helped me learn to express ideas. I’m told I was a bad drawer in Kindergarten but could work with bricks. My most memorable projects were done with peers; other children and I would build our own characters, vehicles, etc., then go some adventure (or battle :).


My grandfather worked for the US State Dept. and Dept. of Commerce back in the 1960’s. He managed USA exhibits at international trade fairs. He would bring us dolls and toys from each country he visited. My sister and I played with the dolls…they rode horses, drove cars, and were attached to parachutes and dropped off bunk beds. We really used them. Now our older sister didn’t play with her toys but put them on the shelf. Today, over 40 years later…the dolls are in collector’s shape. Not so for my dolls…if they still exist, they are missing, shoes, eyes, arms, and sequins. The picture I posted is of a Romanian doll…she looks intact except for her hair–it had been silky braids. Luckily for her, I didn’t cut her hair as I did others.
As an adult I believe in using resources to the fullest, and if I can’t use them, I want someone else to use them. I used those toys for hours of fun and entertainment–no waste. Some things haven’t changed!


I never liked Scrabble as a child but I love it now.


I loved to make paper airplanes as a child, and I still do sometimes today. For me, paper airplanes were an insprational toy because I was in love with the idea of flying. It seemed so beautiful and magical. And once I learned the physics behind what had seemed so magical, I was even more deeply inspired, for what had before been magical and out-of-reach now became tangible and workable. I loved being able to tinker with the design of my airplanes and change the way that they flew through the air. Just like Froebel’s gifts, they offered a simple basic structure that could be manipulated in endless variations.


I recall asking Santa for a typewriter when I was 10 years old. It was the mid 1980s and the idea of owning a personal computer never crossed my mind. I loved to write but struggled with penmanship. My mom was a proficient typist and I loved listening to the click of the keys and she worked.

Christmas morning the typewriter was waiting for me. It was very similar to the one in the picture posted here. It gave me a sense of adulthood, freedom of expression and the power to share my thinking. It also represented the year I questioned the existence of Santa as I noticed the “Made in China” labelling on the bottom. I learned that all magic was not as real as I believed but that I could use my own creativity to share magical ideas with others.



I find this first task surprisingly hard.

When I think about my childhood, no particular object comes to mind. Sure, like many others I played with Lego, and jigsaws, and simplified musical instruments, as well as cats and hamsters. But I cannot pinpoint a particular object that really affected me. The closest match to this request is books. I read avidly, I would rather read than sleep. I read mostly fiction, mostly fantasy, but the point is, I read all the time. I guess that identified me as a bit weird, the typical bookworm who also happened to be chubby and a bit asocial.

It definitely fostered a love of learning and a curiosity that is not focused on one particular thing, rather on the simple fascination of knowing.


I completely forgot about the spirograph but it was so cool!!! Thanks for bringing back this memory!!


The modular origami that I’m doing uses units called sonobes. They are inserted into each other to create the figure. I’ve made cubes and octahedrons so far.


My childhood object/ obsession was dolls of any kind. I loved playing with dolls and nurturing them as if they were my own children. Playing with dolls fostered my love for small children. I not only played house with my dolls, but I would teach them in my makeshift classroom. This also fostered my love for teaching. Through playing with dolls, I realized my passion was teaching children.


My favorite childhood toys were polly pockets! I used to carry them around with me everywhere I went. I would use the little people to create stories and take them on all kinds of different adventures. There were so many different types of polly pocket houses to use and endless possibilities. I would create neighborhoods where the people would socialize and make new friends. I feel as if these toys helped me build an imagination that eventually helped me become a creative individual.


I was always very curious. I always found something interesting in father’s cupboards. I wanted to explore and disassemble everything, but very often I couldn’t assemble the thing/machine/product back again. I learn a lot by experiments and errors and I was known as the main destroyer in our street.


Nowadays I am still curious, but I try very hard not to destroy the subject of my interest.


I learnt how to play chess around 5-6 years old. I believe the chess table has helped me to think more powerful in other areas like maths, programming and even to take decisitions in my life.


Some of my favorite creative outlets were plastic model cars and planes. I probably built a few hundred of these things growing up. Planes from a wide range of eras hung from on fishing line attached to my ceiling, some reenacting important dogfights in World War II or Vietnam. I would often construct elaborate scenes for my cars, painting roads on pieces of cardboard or plywood. Occasionally, I would use a lighter to melt parts of the car models to stage small fender-benders. I don’t know that these models did much in terms of making me who I am today, but they were fun, gave me time to engage in quiet, focused concentration, and were a great creative outlet.