“Red and orange, green and blue, shiny yellow, purple too, all the colors that you know, live up in the rainbow!” This tune from from my kindergarten class plays in my head when I see the enticing object in the corner of the coffee shop.

A child’s abacus sits atop an antique safe, sandwiched among other old-fashioned items. It’s on my “To Do” list. Learn how to do math using an abacus, that is, the centuries-old computer still used in some Eastern cultures.


I anticipate the pure tactile joy of playing with the colorful wooden beads. I’ve always loved the classic toys and still have many in the attic for the hopeful day a new little one will call me “Nana.” There’s the goal, then! Learn the basics of abacus calculation before my grand-babies are old enough to toddle over to me with the colorful little tool I will surely buy for them before they’re ready to use it!

We bought many toys for our boys before they were ready for them, anxious, ourselves, to play with them, to capture something from our youths, or something we never had.