Highlights for Children

Highlights for Children magazine

If you paid a visit to any sort of waiting room as a kid (say, the doctor or dentist's office), you are probably familiar with a beloved little publication called Highlights for Children. Filled to the brim with all sorts of kid-friendy information and activities, Highlights entertained and challenged us to think, all while serving as a wonderful distraction for whatever terrors lie beyond the waiting room. Continue reading...

Lemonade Stands

Lemonade Stand

The sweltering summer heat is relentless, and if you only had a little spending money, perhaps you could take refuge in a nice cool place like a movie theater. But, how to raise some quick funds when mom and dad won’t fork out a few bucks? Sure, you could take a summer job, mowing the neighbor’s lawn or delivering newspapers, but why risk heat stroke when it was much simpler to build a nice, shady lemonade stand. Continue reading...

Water Rockets

Water Rockets

Who says that science and summer can't co-exist? Thanks to these nifty spaceship-shaped toys, kids were able to get some firsthand experience of the power of water pressure, and have loads of fun while doing it. A staple on toy store shelves for over 50 years, they are affectionately remembered as water rockets. Continue reading...

Bomb Pops

Bomb Pops

For many a former kid, the arrival of summer coincided with the joyous ringing of faraway bells, ones that signified the approach of a little white truck, filled to the brim with frozen treats. And assuming your parents were generous with their spare change, you would soon come face to face with a vast menu of choices plastered on the side of the truck. With so many items to choose from, a great many gravitated loyally to the most patriotic of Popsicles - the Bomb Pop. Popular for over 50 years now, they have proven that they are as American as apple pie and Chevrolet. Continue reading...

Radio Flyer

Radio Flyer

Kids have their own transportation needs. Sure, they can use a bicycle or Big Wheel to get around the neighborhood, but what if there are items that need to be carried along? Ever try to haul a bunch of toys, a pile of dirt, or your beloved pet on a bike? Chances are, they might not arrive intact at your destination. That is, until the advent of a small red wagon known the world over as a Radio Flyer. Versatile, practically indestructible, these metal workhorses have hauled tons of kid-friendly cargo for almost a century, and show no signs of slowing. Continue reading...

View-Master

View Master

Sure, there have been plenty of technological breakthroughs over the years that make something like a View-Master seem more than a bit antiquated. But there is such a simplistic charm to this little plastic box that allowed the young mind to travel to faraway lands, once visited or never before explored, and see them in all of their three-dimensional splendor. Everyone who has experienced the pleasure of a View-Master distinctly remembers the little lever and the clicking sound it made when advancing to the next frame. And any tourist of earlier decades can remember a time when seemingly every destination, not to mention every department and toy store, displayed racks containing hundreds of little discs. Today, we look at the history of, and our fascination with, the View-Master. Continue reading...

Peter Pan

Peter Pan

Walt Disney long held an affinity for Sir James M. Barrie’s classic children’s book Peter Pan. But even though he acquired the story rights in 1939, it would take until 1953 before his imaginative interpretation would enthrall theater audiences. Some six decades later, audiences of all ages remain hooked on this animated masterpiece. Continue reading...

Play-Doh

Play-Doh

Each of us seems to have a number of scents stored within our brain, just waiting to unleash memories of the past the moment we catch a whiff. Whether it be a freshly cut lawn before a baseball game, an oven full of piping hot-cookies, or simply a can of colored wallpaper paste, these fragrances instantly return us to a better time, a simpler time. Wallpaper paste? Continue reading...

Ovaltine

Ovaltine

Parents tend to sigh in relief whenever their children take a liking to something that also happens to be nutritionally sound. And for many years now (longer than the broadcast of radio in this country), Ovaltine has sold itself as a vitamin-rich beverage with a flavor that every kid loves. Truth be told, maybe not every kid, but enough to sell millions of jars of the powdered drink mix over the years. Continue reading...

Charles Atlas

Charles Atlas

Anyone with a penchant for comic books from yesteryear has encountered the story of the 97-pound weakling. Losing his girl after having sand kicked in his face by a bully, he discovers the miracle of “dynamic tension” and comes back a mountain of muscle, exacting revenge upon his former tormentor. This comic strip advertisement would be enough of an enticement to get millions of males between the ages of 15-25 to send Charles Atlas their money and make him a household name the world over. Continue reading...