In the 1970s, Whitman released Lace-Ups, a line of educational toys designed to help young children, ages four to eight, develop fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination.
Each Lace-Up was a thick cardboard card depicting an ordinary object or classic children’s character. Interspersed throughout the illustration was a series of punched holes. Children weaved laces made of tipped yarn through the holes using a simple threader to create patterns or images. Whitman provided stands for each card, allowing kids to display their final works of art.
The popularity and simplicity of Lace-Ups allowed Whitman to release several different sets featuring characters from Mother Goose and other nursery rhymes. The company also released Things That Go Up ‘n’ Down and Circus Parade sets. Finally, a Big ‘n’ Easy set hit the marker, featuring super-sized cards and additional pieces of yarn.