18 Odd Hobbies from the ‘60s That Only Boomers Will Remember

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By Darryl Henderson

The 1960s was a decade of experimentation, and this extended to the hobbies that people enjoyed. While some hobbies from the ‘60s have remained popular to this day, others are a distant memory. Here are 18 odd hobbies from the ‘60s that only boomers will remember.

Spirograph

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Spirograph was a drawing toy that allowed players to create intricate and mesmerizing patterns. Play Monster says that Spirograph has been inspiring generations of artists for over 50 years. By inserting pens into different holes in gears and wheels, you could easily draw fun geometric designs. 

Tiddlywinks

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Tiddlywinks was a popular tabletop game that was a huge hit throughout the ‘60s. Players used small plastic discs called “winks” to flip larger discs into a cup. The game required skill, precision, and a steady hand.

Sea Monkeys

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Sea Monkeys were cute instant pets that came to life when added to water. These creatures captured the hearts and imaginations of many children in the ‘60s, who couldn’t wait to watch them hatch and grow.

Rock Tumbling

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This creative activity involved polishing rough stones to create smooth, shiny gems. People would place rocks they collected into a tumbler with abrasive grit, then let them rotate for a few weeks, resulting in beautiful, polished rocks.

Model Rockets

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Making model rockets was a hugely popular activity in the 1960s. People would build small rockets out of materials like molded plastic, paper, cardboard, and tubing, and then launch them into the sky. This was a great pastime for children and helped them learn about science and space.

Soap Carving 

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Soap carving was a simple yet incredibly satisfying hobby, where people would sculpt bars of soap into intricate designs using knives or other carving tools. This was a fun creative outlet for many different ages and skill levels and had the added bonus of providing useful and decorative items for the household.

Macramé

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Macramé was the art of knotting cords or rope to create decorative textiles. Hobbyists would create unique designs using a range of different knotting techniques. They would make hangings, plant hangers, and other decorative items that added a bohemian touch to homes.

Sand Art

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Arranging colorful sand into layers or patterns in glass containers was a popular hobby in the 1960s. People could explore their creativity through color, texture, and form. Sand art is still around now, with creations being sold online and in stores. For example, MovingSandArt has a whole collection of unique sand art pieces.

Bottle Cap Collecting

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Bottle cap collecting was a quirky hobby where people accumulated and displayed a collection of bottle caps from many different beverages. According to Lovetoknow, these days, bottle caps can be collected for charity – for example, to help build benches for schools, parks, and community centers. 

Etch-A-Sketch

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Etch-A-Sketch was a toy that challenged people to create art by turning two small knobs to maneuver a stylus that etched lines into aluminum powder on a screen. Even though it was a simple toy, skilled drawers could produce impressive images if they practiced often enough.

Coin Flipping

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Coin flipping was a very simple game that involved throwing a coin into the air and attempting to predict which side would land facing up. Friends would play together and make bets on which side it would land on, or come up with decision-making games together.

Kite Aerial Photography

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This involved attaching a camera to a kite and capturing aerial images from a bird’s-eye view. It was an enjoyable activity that included photography, engineering, and outdoor adventure and offered a unique perspective of the world below.

Shrunken Heads Kits

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Shrunken head kits allowed hobbyists to create their own miniature replicas of shrunken heads. These strange kits came with instructions on how to shrink apples to resemble human heads, adding a touch of the weird and wonderful to the ‘60s hobby scene.

TV Repair

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TV repair was a common activity among boomers. People would make a hobby out of fixing up broken TV sets for others, especially because most people couldn’t afford to just head down to the store and buy a new one if their TV broke.

Polka Dot Plant Care

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Polka dot plants became popular houseplants in the 60s. Gardeners World says they are also known as freckle face plants, and have brightly variegated, or spotted, leaves that look like polka dots. Boomers enjoyed caring for these colorful plants and experimenting with different growing conditions.

Plant Pressing

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Plant pressing involves collecting and pressing plants between sheets of paper to preserve them for scientific study or decoration. This hobby allowed people to explore nature, find new botanical specimens, and create beautiful flower arrangements for their homes or to give as gifts.

Button Stringing

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Button stringing involves arranging and threading buttons onto strings to create patterns. This hobby was popular with children and adults alike because it offered a relaxing and creative way to transform everyday objects into pretty decorations.

Lava Lamp Watching

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Lava lamps were an iconic symbol of the psychedelic 1960s. Many people enjoyed sitting and watching the slow, hypnotic movement of the wax blobs – which provided a calm, meditative experience.