So, one day I was sitting on the couch watching television and had a thought. I missed the days of playing with my sisters and friends as a child. We’d be out all day, 10am until the street lights came on, only going in our houses for drinks (if we couldn’t find a water hose), food (if we couldn’t bum something from a friend’s mom), and bathroom breaks (if you weren’t the squatting in the woods type). Seeing our parents in fleeting moments when we checked in, avoiding their questions about if we knew if Ms. So and So was home for fear we’d have to run an errand or giving one word answer so not to be drawn into a long conversation.
I remember having loads of fun outside. Playing Hop Scotch, Red Light-Green Light, Jaxs (Jacks), Bat and Ball… Coming inside and seeing my mom scrunch up her nose and saying “Jeez, you smell like outside.” I would smell my shirt and give her a confused look because…I was confused. What the hell did “Outside” smell like? Now I know.
Those were the days but as I reflect, I realize that my little ones are missing out. Gone are the days that your children can go out in the neighborhood and have free rein. One can argue that the world has gotten worse or is it that the crime is just on display for all to see. My point, in this careful climate we parents who keep a protective grip on our children will notice that outside play or playtime in general has moved inside.
Yes, my children go outside. They have bikes, scooters, bubbles, and we go to the playground. But if I am being honest, my little ones have all the luxury toys money can buy and those are usually electronic in some way or another. So what I’ve decided to do is teach them the way I played….for the most part. No, my neighborhood isn’t like the one I grew up in. There aren’t hundreds of kids littering the streets and knocking on our door to play like when I was a child but I can share some of the fun I used to have.
I set out to find the toys of old. The games we once loved. Now, beside the television with every electronic you could imagine, I have Jaxs, Pickup Sticks, Marbles, Bat and Ball.. Whatever I can find, I purchased to give the new generation some old school flavor. My children are actually enjoying the games of my youth. Those games require a different kind of skill but they are loving them. Go out…get some Jaxs and teach those techies some tricks.