Sunday, April 25, 2010

Hula Hoop

I am a child of the 50s and to me the quintessential toy of my childhood was the Hula Hoop. We had lots of other great great toys. I had Tiny Tears and Betsy Wetsy dolls, paper dolls and a Howdy Doody puppet. My brother had Lincoln Logs, an Erector set and cowboy sets.  (Yes, there was a lot of gender identity in toys in those days.)
But for me there was nothing better than the Hula Hoop.

I vividly remember the first time I saw a Hula Hoop. I was probably about 10 years old. My friend's father had been on a trip out of town and brought Hula Hoops home to my friend and her sister. Their's soon became the most popular house in the neighborhood as we all learned to rotate our hips and keep those hoops going round and round. They finally became available in our town and, in my neighborhood at least, the summer I was 10 years old was the summer of the Hula Hoop.

I am still a pretty good Hula Hooper. I like to try to impress my grandkids with my Hula Hooping skills, but they are ususally not as impressed as I think they should be. They mostly just want to know when it will be their turn.

A Hula Hooping self-portrait is pretty hard to take, but Doc would have been laughing too hard to do any better if I had asked him to take a picture of my Hula Hooping skills.

What is the quintessential toy from your childhood?


  1. When I was growing up, we used shovels to dig "all the way to China". We made our own baseball diamond and played ball. When there wasn't anyone around to play with I found rags and leftover pieces of material to dress and undress the cat. When my kids had hula hoops, I was not able to keep the darn thing up. Too bad because the hula hoop would be a nice exercise for me these days.

  2. I remember crayons, paper dolls, an Etch-a-Sketch, and books. My quintessential toy would have to be a couple of baby dolls that I dressed up and pushed around in a lovely wicker doll buggy. My mom made extra clothes for them, and also gave me a couple of baby blankets she no longer needed for my little brothers. Never got into Barbie me, a doll was supposed to be a baby.

  3. I had a Barbie (of course), but my favorite was Penny Bright, who came with several outfits, including a nurse's uniform. I remember sewing her clothes, including a red school uniform with gold letters embroidered on it, for the time I packed her off to boarding school for being so rebellious.

  4. Mine was definitely Barbies. I played with them till I went to 7th grade. :)
    They were just becoming known in Paraguay when we moved here, and me having brought several from Canada, was very popular with my barbies. :)
    You should have had Doc video you doing the hoola hoop! :)

  5. Hi there, I just stopped by after reading about you on another blog and I'm glad I did. I'm here in northern Colorado and have gotten to know two other bloggers from Longmont-it's been great fun. I have nine grandkids and am retired. I related to the post on Hula Hoops-I loved them but generally played with cars and lincoln logs..not baby dolls. Have a wonderful week!

  6. Howdy
    Oh what a delightful post.
    I love the hula hoop.
    I had two passions Horses and
    a pair of roller skates :)
    I remember skating all over the neighborhood the sidewalks were endless hours of fun and adventure for me.
    Back in those days we had metal skates and our very own key to go with them .
    Thank you for this post I had so much fun .
    Until next time
    Happy Trails

  7. Barbies!

    And Slinky.

    And Silly Putty.

    And Trolls with puffy cotton hair.

    And Matel Creepy Crawler maker.

    And Chatty Cathy.

    And Battleship.

    And Rock'em Sock'em Robots.

    And Schwinn bicycles with butterfly handlebars and banana seats.

    Whew! That was a lot of nostalgia.

    Awesome! Thanks for the trip down Memory Lane sweetie!

  8. i think that hula hoop is keeping you mighty trim.
    will have to get one of those babies!

  9. Oh yeah!! Barbies, Tiny Tears, colorforms, Etch a Sketch! My mom had a friend who sewed Barbie dresses, so I was very lucky to have some unique outfits. I had a baby-doll that had a knob in the back. When you wound the knob, her legs and arms would move. I still have that doll, but it doesn't work anymore. It hasn't since my brothers pounded the you-know-what out of it! My Tiny Tears has cracks in her face and body, much like I do!

    I had skates (they were called super skates) without keys, but could change sizes depending upon who was wearing them. I also had hula hoops, many of them, because my brothers kept breaking them!

    I have forgiven my brothers for their trespasses!

  10. Barbie....Tumbalina....Nancy Drew books.....trolls...double dutch...chinese jump rope

  11. sadly, I was hula hoop challenged :( I could never get it to do what it was supposed to do (I wasn't much of a dancer either so perhaps I didn't have it in the hips)

    so glad you did well with it though! love that you can still do it to this day!! WTG!!

    loved silly putty!


  12. i remember the hula hoop in fact a few weeks ago I tried my darn-est to do it again, and no way could I get even close my seven year old grandson Noah was perplexed that I couldn't do it. Thus, I'm still trying to no avail.

    Dorothy from grammology

  13. I'll never be as good a hula-hooper as you are! I guess as a child of the 80's, I was all about Cabbage Patch Kids!

  14. Roller skates! I could never master the hoola hoop!

  15. Hi, dropped by after seeing your comment on Kinz Family News. Always interested in other Colorado bloggers. I am a grandmother to one precious little boy. I am a child of the 50's and loved my Hula Hoop. I also loved jacks and jump rope.

  16. I had to think about that. I can't remember, except I loved to make raspberry jam from berries in my yard on a tiny play stove in Denmark.

  17. I enjoyed hula hoops as well. We used to twirl multiple hoops while walking. Whatever happened to that girl?! :)

    My favorite toys were not the well-known ones. I did enjoy playing jacks and jumping rope in the school yard at recess.

  18. We have something in common! I loved the hula hoop, too. I have not tried it for years but think I could still do it. I once entered a contest in a Frisches Restaurant parking lot and went 4 hrs and 25 minutes. I won a big boy and a malt. The winner went over 8 hrs. and won a radio. I was about 10 years old at the time. Great post.

  19. I don't think I ever quite got the hang of the hula hoop! We didn't have a lot of toys growing up, but we did have great imaginations!

  20. Oh honey, I can still wow the kids in Kid's Church with my hula hoopin' skills. When I was in the second grade I hula hooped a whole homecoming parade droppin' the thing only once. The Hokey Pokey Cotton Candy Machine was one of my faves.

    Have the best day sweetie!!!

  21. I had a tiny tears too
    Home made hula hoop
    Super ball
    roller skates
    I never likes Barbies...but like a little doll some one gave me that we called a genie doll...looked like an Madame Alexandra doll it had a real looking face of a small child (o:

  22. Oh, I LOVED the Hula Hoop when I was a kid! Did you see the First Lady Hula Hooping last year? Brought back fond memories. She was pretty good, too!

  23. You really are the best hula hooper I know!!

  24. You can hula hoop on the Wii computer... that may be of more interest to the grandkids, it seems a lot cooler than a plastic circle ;0)

    You know, for the life of me I cannot remember what I played with as a kid... hmmmm will get back to you!

  25. Barbie, Thumblina, Nancy Drew books, Little House books,volley ball, skates, my bike and of course a hula mind was blank until I read some comments.

  26. I personally miss my Sit N'Spin, and m.u.s.c.l.e. men. It's odd to me that those two stick out in my mind, when I was perfectly happy as a child playing with a few bricks and a piece of wood to make a bike ramp with. I actually only in my adult life have started hula hooping. It's absolutely great exercise, I started doing it after I hear Marisa Tomei talk about how she used one to get in shape for the Wrestler. I'm not half as smooth or sexy when I'm hooping though, I mean she's in her mid forties and look at her: