Games We Played When We Were Sick

So, I was under the weather a couple of days this week. It helped me to remember the games I played when I was sick as a child back in the 1970s. In our family, the sick kid was pampered. We were kept home from school and had a sick bed made up for us on the recliner in the living room. There was something nice about being sick as a child. Of course, the first bonus was that you didn’t have to go to school. It also meant that you got served tea and toast (with butter and cinnamon sugar) and Ginger Ale. It also meant that you received a small sicky gifts – some things to help bide time. My mom and older sisters rocked.

Of course, being sick meant that we weren’t able to go outside to play with our friends. This was most difficult if you got sick on a weekend or during the summer because you could hear the other kids playing outside in the neighborhood, having a great time running around while you were bedridden. But being sick didn’t stop us from playing inside.

Here are some of the games I played when I was a sick kid growing up in New York during the 1970s.

The Magic Slate: This was my first computer. The technology was incredible at the time and it was as fun to erase what you drew as it was to draw it — slowly lifting the plastic sheet to remove all trace of your artistry.

Silly Putty: What couldn’t you do with silly putty? And don’t tell me that you never tasted it either! I remember how it cracked when you chewed on it. Of course, the best thing to do with silly putty was to copy comic strips with it by flattening a piece of it and pressing it down on the comic so the print would transfer to the putty.

Comic strips or Funny pages: Of course, when you had silly putty, you usually had the funny pages nearby. The funny pages were always good for a couple of hours – even more when you combined them with some silly putty.

Etch-a-Sketch: Did anyone NOT have an etch-a-sketch? These were so fun that they are still popular today. I usually drew cars and houses with my etch-a-sketch, but the only thing that limited you was your imagination. Well, skill had a part in it too I suppose.

Colorforms: I don’t remember exactly which colorform sets I had, but I have a feeling it was a GI Joe set. Could have been Batman or Spiderman too though. Whichever one it was; it was always fun to create scenes with those reusable vinyl stickers when sitting in the sick chair all day.

Wooly Willy Magnetic Drawing Pad: Wooly Willy provided hours of fun. Hmmm, let me try to give him some hair on the side of his head and a mustache. There was something very cool about dragging the metal shavings with that magnetic wand. Wooly Willy required a slow and steady hand and good attention.

What games did you play when you were sick?

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