Saturday, April 08, 2006

Do Kids Still Play Outside?

When I was a little girl, we played outside most of the time, if the weather was pretty. After all, there was no TV to keep us entertained inside, and reading, paper dolls, and coloring were good rainy day and night time pastimes. So all of us in the neighborhood would get together and play all kinds of games together. I've tried to make as long a list as I can remember, and I hope you can add to it.

Hopscotch, jump rope rhymes, drawing rooms on the sidewalk and playing with doll furniture, Mother May I, Hide and Seek, Freeze Tag, Red Rover, Dodge Ball, Simon Says, Rhythm/Category, Marbles, Cowboys and Indians, playing grownup, playing school, Stick Ball, Kite Flying, skipping rocks, playing with roly polies, making mud pies, telling Bloody Bones scary stories, telling Ghost Stories, singing 99 bottles of beer on the wall, chanting Mary Mack, talking Pig Latin, Kick Ball, Jacks, Musical Chairs, Drop the Handkerchief, Pin the Tail on the Donkey, roller skates, homemade scooters, yo yo, tops, hula hoops

Whew! Did I forget your favorite? Are there some on the list you don't recognize? Is your favorite childhood playtime memory there?

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8 comments:

Chana said...

Times will not allow, unfortunately, the freedom and joys of the outside. Their is so much evil and danger now a days and it seems to grow from one generation to another. Even i had much more outside fun without fears that overwhelm that mother in me now. I send my kids out but to the back yard, where it's safe. Checking often on them. They go to the park but with me to supervise. They walk our neighbours but with I right there keeping an eye on them.....Sad really. 'New and latest'isn't always better. I wish they could roam about and enjoy fulfilling their curiosity. I wish for them a world where we could trust each other to look after our kids instead of ....

Dirty Butter said...

Of course you're right, Chana. My mother was about as over-protective as they came, but she gave me free reign of our block, and that gave me plenty of space to roam and explore. The 40's and 50's were a much safer time to grow up in.

Our own children were lucky, too, as they grew up in a small rural town, where we felt they were safe. Our grandchildren, on the other hand, don't play outside without being watched.

Mike said...

Even in the country and in small, safe communities, you don't often see kids playing outside. The only exception that I can think of is when we visit our daughter and her husband at base housing at Shepard Air Force Base. However, when you consider that most of the people in those houses probably have kids at home, the number of kids that you actually see outside playing is very small, even there in a gated community where the man at the gate carries a weapon -- and knows how to use it.

My belief is that most kids are inside watching TV, doing whatever kids do on the internet, playing video games, texting each other, and whatever other inside things kids do. They're inside getting fat, instead of outside getting exercise.

Ironically, a comment I made earlier today on the Mommy Needs Coffee blog mentioned kids not playing outside. My comment is #9. (Her post is a open letter to the creators of an online game about her plight as mother and wife of online gaming addicts.)

Martin Tiller said...

In my town house complex they do play outside. But they play in the street, and play by throwing rocks at each other.

And man do I wish I was kidding.

Dirty Butter said...

Mike, I'm afraid you are absolutely correct. Even where it would be safe for children to play outside, they choose to be inside doing something electronic, and getting fatter for it.

Dirty Butter said...

Martin, I'm glad I don't live where you live!

ashleymclure said...

Around here it's hard to get out due to the mosquito issues. But I remember playing crack the whip and skateboarding!

Dirty Butter said...

Ashley, I remember Crack the Whip, a dangerous game if you're on the end!

There weren't any skate boards when I was little - but we made home made skooters out of broken clamp on skates and scraps of wood and drink boxes.