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By Corinne Burgermeister
This winter, Madison Children’s Museum is introducing a new way for kids to learn through play with a vintage toys exhibit called, “Play, Back in the Day.”
Each month through June, a “new” vintage toy collection will be featured for visitors to enjoy while lounging in the Window to the Past space—an area setup to resemble a living room.
December’s collection is all about books.
Children can page through a variety of works written in the thirties, including the Rudolph story, early Dr. Seuss, and books from Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House on the Prairie series.
A collection of Nancy Drew mysteries is also on display in a bookcase, a childhood favorite on loan from MCM Local Treasures Manager, Erin Hoag.
“Nancy Drew is adventurous and spunky. I loved reading her books, and so did my grandma,” Erin says. “I received these books from her and she received them from her sister, who was much older and purchased them for her on pay days.”
By showcasing toys from the past kids will recognize play as something that is not only universal, but as something all people have in common.
“We’re hoping kids and adults will have a shared experience of play and be able to connect in a way that perhaps they hadn’t before,” Erin says.
Visitors can also explore the vintage living room styled with vintage chairs, a radio playing Louis Armstrong, Bing Crosby and Benny Goodman tunes, and a vintage View-master with Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer card.
We are still seeking toy donations!
Each month we’ll showcase a “new” vintage item, but we need your help! Do you have some awesome vintage toys? Know someone who’d like to loan us their collection? Grandparents, community members and friends are encouraged to share their toy collections and stories with Madison Children’s Museum. Contact Nadia Niggli to learn how to get involved.