Anyone who was cool in the 70s will remember these:
Wacky Packages! This is an uncut sheet I got off ebay way back in 1998 when Ebay was new and I had lots of time to scour it for random bits of nostalgia. I laid it over some swirly wrapping paper, framed it, and it's hung in every house we've lived in since Savannah. Inevitably, when someone from our generation sees it they say, "Oh my god, I had those!" and then they spend a while standing there reading them all and laughing.
When we moved to this house I hung it over Sage's bed and now that he can read he's really interested in them. A few months ago he started a tradition where we had to read a new one every night. He'll pick one out and read it and then ask me what it means. Some people may think the humor and subject matter are a little too mature for a kid his age, but I've turned it into a teaching tool. It's helped him learn not only new words and their definitions, but also about history, irony, the power of advertising, and pop culture. A typical conversation goes like this:
Haha, that says girl. It's supposed to be BOY-ar-dee
FEE. . . Fem. . . What's that word mom?
Sage: What's a feminist?
Me: Someone who stands up for the rights of women so that women and men will be treated the same when they do the same job.
Sage: Oh, O.K. Chef-Girl-Ar-Dee Feminist Spaghetti That's funny. She wants her spaghetti to be treated the same. And here it says Ahh...pproooo...ved by Women's Lib.
What's a Lib?
Me: Lib is short for Liberation. It means freedom.
Sage: Like the Statue of Liberty?
Sage: Was she a feminist?
Me: Yeah, I guess she was.
Also, it's taught him about cigarettes:
They say, "Take a Lucky Stride Away from these Cigarettes" and "Vicejoy - Fungus Tipped Cigarettes" and "Camals Jerkish Blend."
Sage has come to the conclusion that he's not going to smoke when he grows up.
Sometimes I have to explain certain products that he doesn't know about, like this:
Sage: Koduck Film for Ducks. What's film?
. . . says the boy from the digital generation.