So, in a sense, this part of the museum became a community project.
We were able to explore not only memories of our childhood toys but also those of long-past and recent generations: dolls, stuffed animals, trains, pedal cars, airplanes, games, soldiers and more. Individual stories were attached in many displays. Even poor kids like Wayne managed to get some toys that added to the joys of his childhood.
The Buck Rogers pistol brought Wayne memories of playing interplanetary war games long before the arrival of “Star Wars” films or “Star Trek” TV shows.
The videos and written commentary throughout the museum stressed how toys give children the opportunity to learn adult skills and behavior.
Jimmy Stewart, narrating a film about pedal cars, explained how schools were using the cars to teach children how to obey motorist and pedestrian traffic rules.
Other displays illustrated how dolls and doll houses allowed girls to try out the roles and responsibilities they eventually would assume as adults.
Looking at the older Victorian home, we could see the servants, the fancy dress of the home owners and the military uniforms of the visitors along with the overstuffed furniture and lack of modern appliances.
Comfort dolls such as Teddy bears are on display alongside Barbie and G.I. Joe.
Science kits allowed children to solve complicated problems and learn new skills while having fun. Nowadays, iPads and iPhones allow kids to play a wide variety of games.