Brian Sutton-Smith Library and Archives of Play at The Strong
The beloved sock monkey is easily recognizable, cute, silly, and soft, but where did it originate?
“I’m running away to Australia!” This tearful statement greeted me as I entered my son’s room. He pointed to his duffel bag, packed with everything a seven-year-old boy needs to survive the wilds of the outback: his WWE wrestling figures and his well-worn Don’t Know Much About Space book. Clearly, John Cena and Pluto are higher priorities than clean underwear.
The 1980s produced some totally radical slang terms. If prompted, almost anyone in Generations X or Y can spout off their own concoction of half-surfer dude, half-valley girl lingo. (No duh! That’s gnarly!
It's time to play the music It's time to light the lights It's time to meet the Muppets on the Muppet Show tonight
It's time to put on makeup It's time to dress up right It's time to raise the curtain on the Muppet Show tonight
Why do we always come here? I guess we'll never know It's like a kind of torture To have to watch the show
My family was cutting-edge back in the 1980s. We had a TRS-80. My father subscribed to 80 Micro. He dabbled in BASIC programming.
Let’s face it: When you’re a grown-up, getting real mail can be terrible. (Look, another bill. Great, a reminder to get my teeth cleaned.) Occasionally you receive a nice letter-pressed wedding invitation or glossy gossip magazine. But when you were a kid? Getting mail was awesome. (Invitations to classmates’ parties!
I met some naughty kids when I worked as a babysitter and camp counselor. But after five years with the National Museum of Play at The Strong, I’ve observed enough children to know the good ones far outnumber the brats and that misbehavior, when it occurs, isn’t limited to one gender. So why do little boys get a bad rap? Look at the way cartoonists have portrayed them over the years. If I may paraphrase a line from Jessica Rabbit: the kids aren’t bad—they’re just drawn that way.