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A fun little blend of folk art and kitsch, sock monkeys are simple and delightful toys that represent a bygone era. The ideal representation of repurposing and hand-crafting, sock monkeys offer a fun and silly reason to celebrate – National Sock Monkey Day! 

History of National Sock Monkey Day

The traditional sock monkey is made from a specific type of sock with a red heel. When fashioned properly, the heel becomes the monkey’s mouth and offers a fun little detail. When Red Heel Socks were introduced in the US in 1890, just a couple of decades after the sock knitting machine was patented, no one could have guessed how much delight children would get from these socks in future years.

Some stories say that the sock monkey was a product of the Great Depression in the 1930s, but more reliable sources show that they didn’t appear until a couple of decades later, sometime in the 1950s. In fact, a patent for the sock monkey pattern seems to have been granted in 1953.

In any case, for many decades, sock monkeys have provided a delightful distraction and joyful play time to children all over North America. Though not as common now as they once were, some toy boxes can still offer the floppy and silly fun that comes from a sock monkey.

By 1995, clothing designer, Paul Frank, started using a sock monkey named Julius in his fashion styles and it didn’t take long for this trend to break into mainstream. This brought the classic sock monkey back into the forefront for kids and adults alike.

National Sock Monkey Day is here to celebrate and show appreciation for the nostalgia and creativity that the sock monkey stands for. Re-fashioning a toy from a simple sock is a clever and sustainable way to make the best of everything – even an old sock!

How to Celebrate National Sock Monkey Day

Take some time to enjoy and celebrate National Sock Monkey Day with some of these clever and timely ideas:

Make a Sock Monkey at Home

This classic toy used to be a super basic item that moms and grandmas could easily make for the kids in their lives from items lying around the house. Today, it might be a bit more challenging to get the items needed to make it, but it will be totally worth it once it’s finished!

Give a Sock Monkey as a Gift

Kids and adults alike can get excited about National Sock Monkey Day! In fact, for those who are collectors, or just simply enjoyers of sock monkeys, this is the perfect day to get them a gift. Purchase one from a gift shop, a toy store, or an online supplier.

Maybe the gift would not be an actual sock monkey, but an item with a sock monkey theme, as all sorts of items with sock monkeys can be sourced. This includes socks, pajamas, hats, oven mitts and even bed sheets. Have some fun shopping for sock monkey gifts in honor of the day!

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