Salty Sam’s Fun Blog for Children

Number 312



Hello Everyone



Welcome to the sixth anniversary of my blog!!!

Do you have a favourite toy?


Maybe it is a teddy bear that you have had from when you were a baby.


Maybe it is your computer or iPad.  Maybe you just love playing football all the time.


For some of you it might be a Barbie doll.  She certainly is very popular, very famous and you might like to know actually quite an old toy; maybe older than your parents even.


She was born on 19th March 1959 – well, that is the day she was officially launched at the American lnternational Toy Fair anyway.


A toy fair is where business people gather together to show each other toys they have to sell.  Some people are selling toys and some people are buying toys to sell in their shops and warehouses to customers.


The idea of Barbie was created by a business woman called Ruth Handler.  Her idea was to show little girls that they could be anything they wanted to be.  She wanted to teach them that ‘a woman has choices’.


You have to understand that throughout history, women were very often classed as second-class citizens compared to men.


They could not own property and so had to get married to put a roof over their head.  They rarely had jobs once they got married.  They worked in the house and sometimes maybe on a farm, then after the lndustrial Revolution in factories. 


Until the Second World War it was considered shameful for a man to have his wife work, because it meant he was failing to earn enough to keep her.


Women did not hold high office unless they were born into the aristocracy.


They weren’t even allowed to vote until 1918.


But the Second World War – and the First World War as well, changed society a lot.


So many men went away to other countries to fight, that jobs that needed doing back at home had to be done by women.  They were jobs that women had never done before.  And they proved themselves capable of doing them.


They drove lorries, tractors and ambulances.  Queen Elizabeth ll was a lorry mechanic as a young woman.


They worked for long hours on farms, even sometimes when the weather was very cold.


They built things.  Waterloo Bridge in London was built by women.


They did grimy and dangerous jobs in factories, like making bombs.


When the men came back from fighting in the war, they wanted their jobs back, and not all women wanted to give up the new roles that they had found for themselves in society.


During the 1950s – the decade after the Second World War, women were encouraged to be good wives and mothers and dedicate their lives to being home-makers and pleasing their husbands in everything they did.  You only have to read women’s magazines of the time to notice this attitude.


But as the 1960s approached, a new generation of people were having other ideas.


When Barbie was launched she became popular world-wide very quickly. 


ln the first year, well over 300,000 were sold.


And over the decades since, she has been reinvented again and again to keep up with social changes and fashion trends.


But she has not been without her critics.  Some people say that her stylised body-shape gives girls an inaccurate picture of what a woman’s body looks like, and can make them feel inadequate and downright fat!


ln fact, scientists have calculated that any woman who had a body shaped like Barbie with her size of feet would not even be able to walk!


Barbie was introduced as a teenage fashion model.  Her full name was Barbara Millicent Roberts from the town of Willows in Wisconsin, USA.  She was a foot long and this type of doll has also been called a 12” doll.


She was supposed to be glamorous and beautiful and living an exciting life.  A girl’s imagination could take her anywhere.


Before this, dolls were mostly babies or toddlers that a girl would look after as though they were a real baby.  Dress-up dolls were made of card and their clothes were sheets of paper.


This doll was a new concept where a child could create a world of make-believe with dolls that lived an adult life.


The 1950s doll had lots of make-up and red lips; she came in blonde and brunette.


ln the early 1960s, Barbie grew her hair and started going steady with her boyfriend.  His name was Ken.  He was called Ken after Ruth Handler’s son.


She also had a new home, and a best friend and little sister appeared on the scene.


ln the late 1960s, an African-American doll was introduced as another friend for Barbie. 


ln the 1970s, a surfer Barbie was launched.  She had a make-up-free face and a sun-tanned complexion.  She was called Malibu Barbie.


ln the 1980s, a lot more women entered the workforce.  They fought for equal pay and equal rights to men and Barbie was given outfits to become a doctor, a pilot and even an astronaut.  Over the years, Barbie has been encouraged into over 125 different careers.  She has had over 40 pets and owned many types of car.  She is obviously very busy.


Her career of the year, for example, in 2019 was to become a judge – with a black gown with white lace collar.


Nowadays, there are Barbie dolls in a greater range of body shapes in response to criticism that her body shape was always an unrealistic one.  They come in different ethnic groups and have a range of hair colours.


The sales of Barbie dolls have gone up and down, but, nevertheless, Barbie is still one of the biggest selling toys in the world.  The best selling Barbie was Totally Hair Barbie created in the early 1990s.  She had hair down to her feet.


Over one billion Barbies have been sold over the years.


There are women and men who have huge collections of them.  Some people go to Barbie conventions to meet each other.


Some rare dolls can be worth quite a lot of money – thousands of pounds.


A series of fictional novels published in the 1960s gave more information about Barbie’s life in Willows and many books have been published since.


There is a Barbie themed restaurant in Taipei in Taiwan.


And now Barbie has her own You Tube Channel.


So it looks like Barbie goes from strength to strength.



Bye bye everyone – don’t forget to subscribe to my blog!


lf you like my blog, please support it by telling all your friends and followers about it.


Thank you!


And see you again next Fun Friday!


Love and kisses

Salty Sam






Bill and Bob’s Joke of the Weekjokejoke


Bob:  What kind of clothes does a house wear?


Bill:  l don’t know.  What kind of clothes does a house wear?


Bob:  A dress!



Salty Sam © Christina Sinclair 2015

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So after all her discussions with Captain Jack last week, Auntie Alice has been very busy putting her mega plans into action.

When the children heard about all the exciting things that were going on in Auntie Alice’s garden, they were desperate to come round and help.

Captain Jack and I have been busy building a chicken coop.  Luckily, we are both very good at woodwork.

Chickens need to tuck up somewhere safe for the night.  You never know, there might be a wily fox around somewhere!

But the chickens will have a large run to walk about in during the day.

If they had the run of the whole garden, they might wander off completely!

Besides that, they could do quite a lot of damage in the vegetable garden.

They will be able to scratch about and find insects to eat in their run.  They will be able to swallow grit which will help their digestion.

Auntie Alice talked to her contacts at the Rocky Bay Animal Rescue Centre during the week and they said that they could get her some battery chickens.

Some of them might not lay too many eggs but they would be animals in desperate need of a lovely home to go to.  It was urgent that they found a new home in order to save their lives.

Well Auntie Alice’s heart is so soft she couldn’t say ‘no’.

When the chickens arrived, Auntie Alice was horrified.  A few of the poor things were thin and scruffy and seemed very short of feathers.  The chickens weren’t very old but didn’t look very well at all.

The man from the animal rescue centre, Mr. Parkinson, said that she shouldn’t worry.

He said the chickens would grow more feathers as the weeks went on.  In about two months they would look healthy and plump.

The children wanted to come round that evening and see the chickens but Auntie Alice said it would be cold and getting dark by the time they came out of school and they could meet the chickens at the weekend.

The truth was that she didn’t want them to see how upset she was.

The chickens looked very tired from their journey and she put them to bed in their coop straight away.

Some of the chickens looked better than others.

The next morning she went out to make sure they had food and fresh water. 

This was a new routine she would have to get used to. 

She put the food and water inside the chicken house at first because she knew the chickens were not used to going very far to get their food.

The chickens had never been outside before.  Everything would be very strange to them. 

They had never before experienced sunshine, the grass beneath their feet or lots of space to walk around in.

In time, they will get used to walking around and scratching in the ground.

Auntie Alice kept all her pets away from the chickens.  She didn’t want the chickens to be spooked by anything.  She wanted to create a peaceful environment so that they could settle in quickly.  They were already stressed at being in a strange environment – she didn’t want anything to make it worse for them.

Mr. Parkinson had said that Auntie Alice should take at least three or four hens because chickens are sociable creatures.  That means they like living with each other.  (He called the chickens ex-batts.  This is a joke – it sounds like expats.  These are people who have gone to live in another country.)

She took in twenty ‘ex-batts’ in the end. 



We had to build a house that was big enough for them.  They will require enough space each to get on a perch.  They each need about the length of a 30cm ruler to perch in.

But we haven’t put any perches in the coop yet because apparently the chickens will have been used to sleeping on the floor and if they jump off the perches at the moment they may damage their bones.

Auntie Alice is giving her hens ground-up oyster shells.  This should strengthen both their bones and the shells of their eggs.

She is also giving them dried cat food to help grow their feathers and some vitamins and apple cider vinegar in their drinking water.

Then she hung a cabbage up for them to peck at.  I think they will have to learn to do that.

The hens have already started laying eggs.

The children are coming round at the weekend with some apples and grapes to give them a special treat.

All the chickens have different-coloured markings so the children want to draw their pictures on a chart and give them all names.

I think it will take them all day.

And I also think the chickens will be very happy living with Auntie Alice.



If you want to take in some retired chickens, you can get in touch with an organization like Fresh Start for Hens.

Please take two or more chickens because they are social creatures and will not want to live alone.

If you have chickens in your garden, they will scratch the ground a lot. 

This is not good if you have just planted some little vegetable seedlings.  But chickens can help with their scratching habits too.

They eat bugs and slugs, turn compost and piles of leaves and till the soil.

They covert food waste into eggs and produce good manure for the garden.

You may need to build a structure to protect them if you have foxes in your area.  

You will need to learn how to look after your chickens’ health.







Quick Quiz



The lion represents a lot of countries but which animals represent these countries?


  1. Mauritius
  2. Papua New Guinea
  3. Australia
  4. New Zealand
  5. Congo

New Zealand





lt’s the Weekend!




This dress is knitted in sparkly yarn to make it look extra special.

It goes well with the shawl from Blog Post 308.




Using 4mm knitting needles and purple dk yarn cast on 31 stitches


Slip 1 (knit 1, purl 1) repeat the last 2 stitches to the end of the row

Slip 1 (purl 1, knit 1) repeat the last 2 stitches to the end of the row

Slip 1 (purl 1, knit 1) repeat the last 2 stitches to the end of the row

Slip 1 (knit 1, purl 1) repeat the last 2 stitches to the end of the row


Repeat the last 4 rows 6 times


Knit in stocking stitch for 2 rows decreasing 1 stitch at the beginning of each row


Knit 8 rows of stocking stitch


Knit 8 rows of garter stitch

Cast off



  1. Sew up the back seam with right sides together using over-sew stitch
  2. Turn the dress the right way out



Please note that the material on this blog is for personal use and for use in classrooms only.

It is a copyright infringement and, therefore, illegal under international law to sell items made with these patterns.

Use of the toys and projects is at your own risk.

©Christina Sinclair Designs 2015sand



Quick Quiz Answers


  1. Mauritius – dodo bird
  2. Papua New Guinea – manatee
  3. Australia – emu
  4. New Zealand – Kiwi
  5. Congo – okapi




Chicken house

  • WWW says:

    So informative site! Big thanks! Thanks for a great time visiting your site. Its really a pleasure knowing a site like this packed with great information. Thank you!

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