Sunday, February 9, 2014

Week 6 of 2014 - Games you played as a Kid...

While an earlier post from May, 2012, was titled Family Games, there were enough games to go around...probably enough for several more posts before we exhaust this title.  I marvel today at how few children are seen outside playing.  Even in beautiful weather, the parks, sidewalks and neighborhoods are void of the sound of children playing.  I recently had a dear, elderly friend remark to me some of the same feelings.  He said he missed the sound of the kids walking home from school..and playing along the way.  He said, "Do children play outside at all anymore?"  Kids of today are consumed with technology.  The ability to understand and use today's technology is paramount with our younger generation.  This ability many times comes with the loss of "children's play" time, social interaction and just plain "playing."

Growing up in the 1950-1970 time frame, money was tight and we only received store bought games at Christmas time.  I remember the year that Dad and Mom were determined to find "Mouse Trap"...I'm guessing it would be 1960-1961.  It was all the rage.  For some reason, Mom and Dad felt we needed to have one.  Dad did find one (Mom never left the house with 5 children at that time and no car at her disposal until Dad came home from work.) somewhere at the last minute, paid a premium price but everyone was thrilled.  It had quite an elaborate series of plastic "piping" that you assembled as you rolled the dice.  The mouse would get caught in the trap after the metal ball rolled through the maze in a domino-like set of events.  I think we got our money's was a family favorite.  We had an old parcheesi board, a scrabble game, Dad's chess set...but none of us learned while I was at home.  I thought it was very interesting to see my oldest learn the game pretty easily in his youth.

So many times we occupied our time with "made up" materials needed except your imagination. Our Romeo neighborhood at 29 Mile and Mound Roads...the Fritz Builder's first subdivision, was made up of some 50 kids.  Most days there were groups of 10-12 minimum...with someone always coming up with a game, a squabble...something to do.  Baseball, kickball, kites, bikes (up and down ditches, with cards or foil flippers attached to the wheels with a clothespin for a motor sound.  My husband still says he probably had a Mickey Mantle or Babe Ruth card that got ruined on a bike wheel!)  Many times the boys and girls played together, and then there were times when Mom would make us just come home because the boys weren't being nice at all. We'd play "house" on the porch...and the boys would make fun of us.

Inside we'd play Hide the Button or Hot and Cold with Mom.  I SPY would work in the car as long as we used something in the car and not along the roadside. I'd play BOSS and trick my younger sisters into helping me clean.  Playing House and giving them jobs would work for a while!  Even doing the dishes turned into a game until the water ended up on the floor and/or on us.  When we had a few minutes before the school day was complete, the teacher might quickly put a "Hang Man" game on the board and the whole class would try to figure out the word...letter by letter. A favorite game in Kindergarten was a piece of wood about 12 inches square with holes drilled an inch apart. There was a box of colored pegs...dowels that fit into the holes.  We would spend precious time creating birthday cakes (wood) with candles (pegs).  Making tents...blankets, sheets, towels, afghans...anything that you could spread over the furniture, tables, beds...a rainy day often turned into a pretty messy house as the Smith kids entertained themselves. We were pretty creative, however, and I wonder if the kids of today get the same chance at entertaining themselves.  It seems that they are consumed with being entertained.

1 comment:

  1. Great post I so agree about today's kids and technology...They are missing out on so much imaginative play...They get bored so easily.