Last week as I spoke with childhood friends we shared many memories. Especially, memories of toys that we used to play with. Toys, which are not so popular anymore. But, nevertheless, we truly enjoyed. Some of these toys are traditional toys from the Dominican Republic, where I am from. Here's a list of them.
Los Calderitos y el Pilon. Translated into English as the little cooking pots and the grinder. Los calderitos were made of aluminum and by the same company that made real cooking pots in D.R., The objective of Los calderitos y el pilon was to teach children how food is traditionally cooked. Also, how El caldero (aluminum cooking pot), el pilon (wooden grinder), and el anafe (the coal stove) were part of the Caribbean cuisine.
Los Muebles de Terciopelo. Translated as the velvety furniture or sofa set. These were handmade toys made out of recycled cans, sea sponges, and velvet scraps. I custom-made a doll house using an empty bookshelf and a set of velvety sofa set. These mini sofas were so elegant as they were really looking. My velvety sofa set had a black ensemble and gold cushions.
Las Mariquitas. Las mariquitas are paper dolls. Although the immediate translation for mariquitas is ladybugs; Dominican little girls call paper dolls, mariquitas. Paper dolls were so much fun. I loved how they came with a variety of outfits. I spent hours playing with paper dolls with my friends. There were occasions in which we used to exchange paper dolls depending on which type they were. For instance, if I got the preteen paper dolls from my mom while my best friend received the baby ones; we made an even trade. I used to trade two sheets of paper dolls from my booklet with my best friend. And I used to get two from her in return. Summer afternoons were meant to play with paper dolls!
Las Canicas. Canicas are marbles. Yes, marbles were not just a toy for boys. When I was a little girl I used to collect different color marbles. Sometimes, if I collected too many I used to sell them to the boys in my neighborhood. Whatever loose change I got from reselling the marbles I put towards buying candy or a snack. At times, I play with them and enjoyed shooting the king marble to undo the whole marble set. Then, my friends and I ran to see which one of use was quicker at picking them up. The one who finished first was the winner.
Jacks Set. The name says it all. I was not so good at playing Jacks. But, I did enjoy twirling them and watching them rotate on the floor. Jacks is an excellent game that helps sharpen the mind. Plus, it may help someone at becoming faster. My friends and I classified our jacks by color and put them to twirl. Whichever Jacks stopped twirling first made the winner.
El mi nene. El mi nene means my baby doll. But, Los mi nenes (plural for El mi nene) was a giant sized baby doll. Mi nenes came in two different colors outfits depending on the sex. Pink if it was a girl and blue if it was a boy. Mi nenes also have different skin tones. These giant baby dolls were made in different skin tones so they would resemble their mommies. They came with a blanket, a baby bottle, a pacifier, and a plate with a spoon.
I hope that you enjoy my childhood memories and much as I did; sharing them with you. Do you have a favorite childhood toy?