Many children’s books and characters made an impact on me as a child. Over the years I collected bits and pieces to remind me of my childhood loves. The bits and pieces are now a memory shelf I share with my own children.
I guess it’s my way of still clinging to a bit of me amongst the demands of motherhood. It’s also reminds me how important books are, powerful even. When it really comes down to it, it’s about memories: remembering them, loving them, sharing them.
Below are characters I loved, and still love, and where I got my memory markers for the bookcase shelf.
Noddy by Enid Blyton
Why I love it: I loved the world of colour in the Noddy books. The simple message of friendship was warm and true.
Where From: I found a retro Noddy wooden block puzzle at a garage sale.
Grug by Ted Prior
Why I love it: Grug and his clumsy ways reminded me of myself and importance of mistakes in the learning process.
Where From: As soon as the Grug plush came into stores, I bought it. You can read more about it here: Grug
Wembley from Fraggle Rock (created by Jim Henson)
Why: Wembley was awkward and unsure. Both were feelings I identified with.
Where from: My sister found the stuffed toy and gave it to me for my birthday.
Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy by Johnny Gruelle
Why I love it: There’s something about a rag doll that’s especially appealing. I adored the look of the characters and even had a Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy pillowcase when I was a girl. Guess who is using my pillow case now? My daughter. I had a Raggedy Ann doll too, but it was lost over the years.
Where From: I found a collectible Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy set at the Australia Post Office.
Cookie Monster from Sesame Street
Why I love it: My absolute favourite Sesame Street character was Cookie Monster. Don’t know why, just because. It’s all in the eyes I believe.
Where from: When I was pregnant with my son, my sister bought me the CUTEST little Cookie Monster rattle. It may, or may not have been given to the child.
My Memory Shelf
The children are quite in awe of my memory shelf and enjoy playing with the toys sometimes. It’s an interesting way to place value on literacy, books and the power of stories.
How to create a memory shelf
- Think back to the children’s books, characters or even places that appealed to you and for what reason.
- Be on the lookout for items representing these loves. I call them memory markers. You can try garage sales, eBay, Gumtree or even new itens they bring out from time to time. If you’re looking for old books from your childhood, here is a guide to how to find them: How to Find Old Books.
- Share why the items are special to you and weave a story behind each object.
- Read the book attached to the item (if there is one).
- Keep the shelf special. I allow my kids to play with the toys sometimes but they have to ask me first because it’s a special shelf.
I love the memory shelf. It makes me happy. It places importance on reading and stories. It’s a beautiful way to share memories with my children! And it reminds me, that I’m still me.
Books are special. Memories are precious. Combining the two is all kinds of wonderful.
BookChookMay 8, 2012 at 6:23 am
What a beautiful way to link literacy with happy memories!
PennyMay 8, 2012 at 6:49 am
It looks VERY similar to the bookshelf full of vintage from-my-childhood goodies I collected for Miss Possum. Ebay was my best friend for finding those past loves.
I have one ballarina picture book that I adored. I couldn’t read while I had it but the illustrations were just stunning. I read it to Miss Possum for the first time the other night and it was rubbish! I think I’ll let her just admire the pictures in this one too!
ellieMay 8, 2012 at 7:23 am
Cookie Monster was one of my favourites growing up too. And now my kids love him too – thanks to the DVDs I ordered because I wanted to see the old classic Sesame Street again.
Fee @ oh gorgeous babyMay 8, 2012 at 7:55 am
This is a really gorgeous idea! Thanks so much for sharing.
LyndallMay 8, 2012 at 10:06 am
Terrific! I am relishing reading through old Noddy books with my 4 year old – her first ‘chapter’ books! And our Beatrix Potter collection too. Some of my favourite books from my childhood were thrown out over time – I have bought a few back through ‘Abe Books’ and ‘Better World Books’ so my kids can enjoy these treasures too! I can’t wait to rediscover the adventures with my daughters 🙂
MelissaMay 8, 2012 at 11:50 am
What a lovely idea! I loved Raggedy Ann and Noddy. One of my mum’s friends made me a Raggedy Ann doll for me when I was a child and a few years back my sister in-law knitted a Noddy for my daughter. I still have the Noddy book I loved to read as a child and my daughter is currently reading from my Enid Blyton collection that I too had kept from my childhood.
Jennifer AquinoMay 14, 2012 at 8:23 pm
Awww I loved Grug. What a great idea, might have to do for when I give birth!
Playroom MakeoverAugust 4, 2013 at 8:41 pm
[…] storing small books and cute knick-knacks. I use them as a mini bookshelf storing small books and story-book related toys, like my favourite childhood story books, Grug by Ted […]