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I was born as WWII started, not the depression but some very lean times. I made clothes for my paper dolls and loved it , talk about imagination. We also used the oatmeal box for several things, doll cribs , trains etc. Don't remember what we did for wheels but it kept us busy making things so we could play with them. We also played battleship with paper and pencil and hangman even on the school chalkboard. the TV game show Wheel of Fortune is very much like hangman without the spinner.
Part of the fun of childhood is to re-invent old objects to fanciful ideas. I used a neighbor's hayrick in an overgrown vacant lot as my sea-going pirate ship.
Back in the 50's, my brother, cousin, and I would play in the woods on my great aunts and uncles farm. We outlined a house shape with old bricks we found and nailed pieces of wood to the trees for shelves and that was our playhouse.
Bet they had the best time in their little tent. At least they were able to use their imagination while playing. It was a hard time for them do anything that takes your mind off of the depression.
My dad said when he was growing up the only toys they got were broken toys they got from the dump ! When I was little , I don't remember having a lot of toys ,but we sure could use our imagination , and we were happy !!
My parents made me a playhouse in a plum thicket. Cleared out the trees. Placed an old table and chair inside and I was good to go. Ot was so nice and cool during the hot months of the late 30s and early 40s.
When I was a kid in the fifties we had to use frozen piggy doo doos for hockey pucks and oh, yes that is Bobby Hull behind me..ahh little Jimmy Young..55 years ago.
In the mid 50s, Mom and MawMaw would sendme and my 2 younger sisters out to the yard with a large cardboard box and a pencil or pen. I would draw doors, windows with curtains, tables and chairs, sometimes I would draw lamps on the tables. We spent lots of busy time in our cardboard house in the yard :)
I used to pretend a block of wood was a car, and it made great dirt roads too.! And no I'm not old enough to have been around during the depression. We had a good imagination in the late 1950s and early 1960s.life was so simple then.
Born in '59 and we built forts like this in the woods all the time,.... It's called "IMAGINATION" ~ that's what needs to be fostered in young children today,..... Not cell phones, iPads, etc,.....