New at the Manse: the children’s corner

toy corner at the Manse

The new (old) toy corner in a sunny spot at the top of the front stairs of the Manse. Note the rocking horse, the vintage Fisher-Price stuff – and in the back, the classic Green Eggs and Ham.

If you’re a semi-regular follower of the adventures of Raymond and me at the Manse in Queensborough, you might recall that I’ve mentioned how excited I’ve been to find some vintage Fisher-Price toys (the parking garage, the schoolhouse, etc. – think back to your childhood and you’ll totally know what I mean) at the yard and auction sales that we love to frequent on our weekends in Hastings County. And I’ve also written about the midcentury board games and other toys that I get a kick out of adding to the collection. Well, I am happy to report that all those things now have their own place at the Manse, a nice little corner where any kids who happen by can amuse themselves to their heart’s content.

I suppose precisely no one will be surprised to learn that this toy corner is exactly where the toy corner was in the long-ago years when I was growing up at the Manse: a sunlit space at the top of the front stairs (not to be confused with the back stairs, of course), outside the bedroom that once upon a time my two younger brothers shared.

The star of our collection of toys and games is the rocking horse I discovered a few days ago at the Stratford (Ont.) Antique Warehouse that I swear is identical to one I myself had when I was small enough to fit into it. It was a little on the pricey side, but I knew I’d be immersed in non-buyer’s remorse if I drove away from Stratford without making it mine. And besides, Raymond’s new grandson, Henry, will, I think, have a great old time rocking in it once he’s big enough.

But there’s other good stuff in the toy corner (or, as Raymond calls it, Henry’s Corner) too: not just the aforementioned vintage Fisher-Price stuff, but a cedar chest full of those vintage games:

vintage games in the toybox

Monopoly, Ker-Plunk, Clue, Scrabble, Rack-O, Pit, Diplomacy, Masterpiece – we’ve got ’em all. Plus a Slinky for good measure.

Fisher-Price toys and Tinkertoys

Check out my find at the rear of this photo: a vintage box of Tinkertoys!

And there’s also another treasure that I found in Stratford (and paid too much for, but after a lot of agonizing I decided that I just had to have it): look past the Fisher-Price toys in this photo and you’ll spy something else that might take you back to your childhood. See the tall cylindrical box? Yes, it’s good old Tinkertoys! Remember the sound as you dumped out the wooden contents onto the kitchen floor of your childhood home and commenced to building something? Of course you do!

And finally, the books. Over the years I’ve managed to acquire a lot of nifty old kids’ books, of which the ones you can see in the photo at the top of this post are only a small fraction. But I want you to note the absolute classic in front, because what kids’ library is complete without Dr. Seuss‘s Green Eggs and Ham?

Which reminds me of something highly amusing that Saturday Night Live did a long time ago. Remember The Rev. Jesse Jackson reading Green Eggs and Ham? Well here he is again, bad TV quality and all. “I do not like them, Sam I Am! I do not like green eggs and ham!”

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