Friday, May 27, 2011

Suzy Homemaker

This vintage toy washer/dryer resides with Douglas' grandmother, where it has delighted children, grandchildren, and now great-grandchildren. The top lid is missing, but a child can still spin the interior and push buttons to his or her heart's content. (My husband remembers doing so as a boy!)

Suzy Homemaker

I've looked for small toy versions of certain domestic tasks so that Edmund and any future children can learn to be helpful around the house. My discovery has been that "homemaking" toys are hard to find these days. My mom found a wooden toy iron at a specialty store in Ohio, and I recently bought a tot-sized push-broom (at Jo-Ann Fabrics, of all places!).

I was intrigued by the brand name "Suzy Homemaker" -- a small glimpse into a time when little girls aspired to be like their mommies and keep house!

Do you recollect any favorite homemaking toys you played with as a child?


  1. Oh that is so cute! I think we had a toy kitchen with plastic pots and pans and fruit and veg, and also I vaguely remember a toy sewing machine. My brothers definitely had a toy lawn-mower as there is a really sweet photograph of my brother trying to mow the lawn whilst Dad actually mowed it!

    I'm the youngest of five with three brothers spanning the ten years between me and my eldest sister so I ended up playing with a real hotch-potch of toys - Sindy dolls one minute and Star wars the next! A favourite with all of us though, was a toy post office - I think it was the ink stamp that we liked so much!

  2. Did you know Suzy Homemaker was in the dictionary?

    Definition: a housewife who manages a household, esp. with enthusiasm; also, the sterotype of any woman who chooses a traditional female role
    Etymology: fr a doll of the 1960s's 21st Century Lexicon
    Copyright © 2003-2011, LLC

    Example of use:
    Why, aren't you the Suzy Homemaker! You are even wearing an apron.

  3. We had a little toy stovetop, and my brother was actually the one who got the most playtime out of it.. UNTIL the day he put it on the real stovetop in the kitchen and it caught fire and melted. Luckily no one was hurt, and us kids learned a important fire safety lesson that day! (And that homemaking is terribly dangerous. LOL)

  4. That is adorable! My little sisters would love it!

    I don't remember playing with homemaking toys. I played with dolls all the time and I remember having toy food and playing store. Fun times!

  5. Oh! I just searched "Suzy Homemaker" on Etsy and came up with an oven that matches the washer in your picture. Here is the link to the search:

  6. My parents bought me a child's broom at the Indiana State Fair when I was a pre-schooler. I bet I swept miles with that thing. I set up a little house on the front porch, rocked my babies in the cradle my dad made and swept and swept and swept.

    If you Google "Waldorf Toys" you will find lots and lots of beautiful (usually expensive, it's true) homemaking toys.

  7. Rachel, a post office toy does sound like fun! I know what you mean -- with just one brother and no sisters my toys were a mixture, too. I often played legos and cars with him, but once in a while he'd play "Heart Family" dolls with me.

    Mom, just call me Suzy Homemaker. ;-)

    Indiana Rose, oh dear! I'm glad no one was hurt and you lived to tell about it!

    standinthesun, the oven is so sweet, and it does match the washer/dryer really well! I found a few on eBay, too, for slightly better prices... maybe I'll get one for our household one of these days. Vintage toys are hard to resist. :-)

    Rebecca, I'll bet your mother loved having such a clean porch. ;-) I did Google "Waldorf toys" and they are awfully cute! I am a fan of wooden toys!

  8. The only one I remember was an easy bake oven ... and I still love to bake! :)

  9. My mom had a Suzy Homemaker oven when she was young. Aren't they sweet little toys? I love the vintage aqua color.

    My sisters and I grew up with baby dolls, a kitchen set, vacuum cleaners, and mini-sewing boxes and "sewing cards". Mom loved the idea that what a child plays is preparing her for her future, so our toys were provided accordingly. As ardent Little House fans, we also loved our sunbonnets and slates.

    I imagine it's a little more difficult to find boy-appropriate things. A good friend of mine recently complained that while she wanted to buy her son a toy vacuum cleaner to use while she tidied the house, her husband was adamant that their son was not going to push a pink and purple vacuum! :)

  10. Lynda, how appropriate! I never had an easy-bake oven, but my mom was kind enough to let me experiment in the kitchen from time to time -- with supervision, of course.

    Kiri, my mom has a bright pink and purple toy broom at her house -- it was the only one she could find. Hey, it works! ;-) Your toys sound like fun -- I admire your mom's insight.

  11. Topper produced Suzy Homemaker from 1966-71.The company went out of business in 1971 due to shady book keeping.There were almost 100 items produced for Suzy Homemaker.The very first was the Washer catalog # 2000 Then came the stove ,iron/board,dishwasher in 1967.sales were sluggish for the dishwasher.I believe it was produced for 1 was downsized the next year as was most of the toy line.Then in 1970 The Super Oven was introduced back to a full size oven from (1966)this time with a heating element 280 watts. Talk about a fire hazard huh?? LOL no more light bulbs.Sadly the company is just a memory now.Topper also had a factory in the UK.And I believe Rhode island.But the original factory was in Elizabeth NJ.Hope this info helps ANON