Last year we wrote an article called Restoring Memories to Childhoods where we discussed how some of our fondest childhood memories have died off for a plethora of reasons but with a little creativity and time we can share the same memories we had with our little dudes and dudettes. Due to the popularity of that article we wanted to bring you Part 2 in hopes that we can return a little nostalgia to your day and maybe bring some new experiences to your kids. 

Developing Film and Appreciation

Problem: Cue old person’s voice saying, “In my day, we would take photographs with our camera and have to wait weeks to see them until we finally had the film developed.” Well you don’t have to have too old of a voice since I, at 36 years old, can say that exact sentence. It used to be so much fun to take several rolls of film to the store to finally get developed and then if you spurged a bit you could have them back in an hour but if you didn’t spend the extra money you had to go back the next day. There was something about the anticipation of getting to finally see the pictures that gave you a chance to relive the experience that was now actually in the past. Once you had the photos it was fun to sit down as a family and select which ones you wanted to put into the photo album and which ones you wanted to go in a frame.

Unfortunately nowadays not only do we get instant gratification but most of the pictures we take never see the light of day and instead sit on our hard drives somewhere. This probably explains why we’re always trying to do something photo-worthy because our short-term memories have already deleted the recent memories and are seeking new ones.

Another unfortunate side effect of digital pictures is that kids now immediately want to see the picture right after they’re taken, not giving you any time to take more. Hell, some kids, my son included, want to see the picture while you’re in the middle of taking it.

Solution: Get an old school camera that requires film and use that one for special occasions like vacations, holiday get-togethers, milestones, etc. The reason I say “special occasions” is because to have a roll of 24 exposures, on 35mm film, developed at Walgreens it will run you $13/per roll. The benefit though is that this could help educate kids on how things used to be, restore that sense of anticipation that made photographs feel more special, and it might even be able to help them appreciate what they have now.

Arcades Became Archaic

Problem: The day and age of arcades is nearly a thing of myth and legends, however, some still remain in the form of Dave & Busters and Chuck E. Cheese’s.  The problem with these being the only form of social video gaming is that half the games aren’t even video games and the joy of leaving your initials as the ‘High Score’ has been replaced with how many tickets you can win so that you can purchase some piece of crap ‘toy’ that will either break or be lost before you even step in the front door.

Solution: Believe it or not there are some people who have opened small arcades, as well as ”barcades” (arcade themed bars) that allow children in during specific hours, in the hope of preserving the past time, so look and see if there are any in your local area.  If not, there’s always arcade & pinball conventions that go on all year long around the country and even though they exist primarily for selling equipment, they allow free play to the attendees and believe me, your child will never forget these experiences.  And if that’s not good enough, we have an article on how to Build an Arcade Machine that actually teaches you how to build your own arcade cabinet with all the games you’d ever want.  

Vending That Toy

Problem: I never looked forward to going grocery shopping because there was something cruel and unusual about going to a place with lots of junk food, that was right in front of us yet we couldn’t eat, and then walked out with apples and bananas instead. That said, I always looked forward to being allowed to get a toy from the vending machine at the end of the grocery trip (as long as I had behaved myself of course). Whatever the toy, no matter how cheap and shitty, it became my favorite toy for the rest of the day. So much so I would implement it into my more permanent toy line that I’d play with later on. If I got the sticky, gooey, hand that slapped and stuck items to it, then Boba Fett had a new way to die outside of Jabba’s Palace. If I got a rubber, bouncy ball then I had a new projectile for the Ninja Turtles to take down the Foot Clan with. Unfortunately it’s rare to find these in stores anymore.

Solution: If you go to eBay and search ‘vending toys’ you will see all sorts of items that will rush back memories of yesteryear. Not only that but you can find the plastic bubbles that they came in, too. Purchase a few of these and use them as rewards for your younger kids if they’re behaved during their trip to the store.

Fruit Cocktail Lost Its Cherry

Problem: Fruit cocktail in a tin can was one of my mom’s go-to snacks for us when we were kids.  Of course the cherries were always the best part and it didn’t help that there were less of them than any other fruit in the cocktail.  Fast-forward 30 years and there I am grabbing some off the store shelves only to get home and find that not only were there almost no cherries at all but that they actually don’t include them in some fruit cocktails these days.  I decided to buy some that had cherries but to my surprise they now seem to include even less cherries than they did in the 80’s.

Solution:  If cherries are what you seek then make sure you either buy fruit cocktail with extra cherries (which to me is like buying a BLT that doesn’t’ come with bacon so you have to pay extra for it) or buy a separate bottle of Maraschino cherries and add them yourself.

Any memories that you hold onto dearly that you think your kids won’t get to appreciate? Then let us know in the comments so we can feature it in the next installment of Restoring Memories to Childhoods.