Old School Childhood vs. New School Childhood

Why Most Children Don't Play Outdoors as Much Anymore?

Back in the day, many children were "playing outdoors" as much as they could. Children in the 90's, 80's, 70's and before couldn't get enough of playing outside. During the "old school childhood," we would play from early morning all the way until the street lights came on. Some of you know what I'm saying, if you are from the same time frame. In the summer we would go swimming, and to recreational parks, we even climbed fruit from trees. We called it fruit hunting, of course we asked the house owners first before we got the fruit from their trees. Children back in the day, played outdoors for many hours; skating, biking, hopscotch, skate-boarding, spin the bottle, kick ball, singing nursery rhyme games, and other outdoor games. Kids during that old school child hood, seemed to have had a lot of fun playing outdoors, they really enjoyed their childhood.


Singing Nursery Rhymes

The "nursery rhymes" were taught by some of our parents and aunties. Songs such as: Ol Mary Mat, Your Mother My Mother Live Across the Street, and Down Down Baby, Down Down A Roller Coaster. You may know some of these "nursery rhymes" I've just mentioned and more. There are still some kids that like to play outdoors, but those are not added to the majority. Many children today are not into the style of playing outdoor games, or singing outdoor nursery rhymes such as Hokey-Pokey. The electronics and technology gadgets have many children's attention these days. Having computerized gadgets and video games such as Wii games, may be one reason why some children don't play outdoors as much anymore.

We know long hours of playing video games, and watching television, are not good for the health of any child. Being outdoors helps children to explore their imaginations and creativity, and helps proper cardiovascular function. Not only that, but children sleep better when they have participation in outdoor activities.


Play Jacks, Oldschool Game
Play Jacks, Oldschool Game

Tips - Play Safe Outdoors

Set a time each day for your child to play outside before dark. You could give them a mobile phone or walkie talkie to call them a couple of times. You could set up a "buddy system" to ensure that your child is always with another child. Ask a big sister, brother, or older child to help watch for risky areas.


Benefits of Children Playing Outdoors

Some parents agreed that on a nice day, their children would prefer to go to the park than watch television. We as parents have to initiate these outside activities, if the child won't go out to play. Children naturally like being physically active; and using their imaginations. Outside activities for children will also improve: stronger bones and muscles, lung function, risk of diabetes, risk heart disease, risk of stroke, and risk of high blood pressure.


Chinese Jacks, Old School Games
Chinese Jacks, Old School Games

Child and Parent Interact Together

One of the ways I get my children to play outdoors is; I take them to one of our local recreational parks while I do my exercise (walking around the park). They are playing with their razor scooters, playing on the swings and slide, etc. This way I can watch them as we are in the same vicinity. ♥ You can never be too care these days; children that are kidnapped is more common in this generation. ♥ Children being at risk of a kidnapping, is another reason why kids might not play outdoors as much anymore.

Furthermore, kids would use their outdoor toys more often, when an adult would interact with them. Parent and child can do many activities together. My father would play frisbee, and marbles, when we were younger. And my mom would play jump rope, and jacks with us outside. Personally, I think it’s therapeutic to interact with our children in outside games and activities. It benefits both the parent and child, plus it gives us a better bond with our children.


Old School Childhood Games

♦ Double Dutch

♦ Hide and Seek

♦ Dodge Ball

♦ Red light Green light

♦ Hop Scotch

♦ Hoola Hoop

♦ Chinese Jacks

♦ Practice Dance Steps

♦ Back-yard Drill Team

There were many more outside games, maybe you remember some of them as well. Feel free to leave your comment. Thanks!

© Sabrina A. K.


Double Dutch Jump Roping - watch this video

Old School Childhood
Old School Childhood

More by this Author


Comments 15 comments

DON BALDERAS profile image

DON BALDERAS 5 years ago

Thanks for sharing this. It was nice reading experiences I have had in my childhood days.


WannaB Writer profile image

WannaB Writer 5 years ago from Templeton, CA

I grew up in the 40's and 50's, but my childhood was similar, and so was that of my own kids in the 80's. We used to play hide and seek, tag, and kick the can outside until dark. We also went from yard to yard walking on the tops of block fences, rode bikes, roller skated on the sidewalks, walked over to the park to use their play equipment, played pick-up softball, and more. And we climbed trees. I also loved playing jacks. We played with yo-yos, too.


Helena Mason profile image

Helena Mason 5 years ago from Cornwall, England

Hi, I really enjoyed reading this. I've recently moved from the city to the country so that my children can have a more outdoor lifestyle, so this really struck a chord. Thanks x


katiem2 profile image

katiem2 5 years ago from I'm outta here

All these old games are really cool and spark so much in the human body mind and body building good practical skills. Much enjoyed your old school childhood. :) Katie


Susieq42 5 years ago

Great story! Yes, my siblings and I played outside a lot too. In the winter we made snow forts, ice skated and slid downhill on our sleds. In the summer we played softball, practiced our hand stands and cart wheels and rode bikes. I always thought that we had the best childhood ever because we were raised on a dairy farm.


zanin profile image

zanin 5 years ago from London, England

Thanks for sharing. You had a fun childhood. I take my children to the park and exercise, walk, around the perimeter as they play. I put on headphones and listen to music. As I have a large garden, I have numerous activities for the children to do outside, so when I don't want to go to the park I just open the back door!


nicole 5 years ago

How fun - my favorite toy as a kid was my trusty, rusty pogo stick!!!


drpastorcarlotta profile image

drpastorcarlotta 5 years ago from BREAKOUT MINISTRIES, INC. KC

You truly brought back memories! GREAT HUB!!! Voted-up!


Scosgrove profile image

Scosgrove 5 years ago from Tampa, Florida

When I was young, I used to go to the park with my dad and play basketball or kick a soccer ball around. The park was almost always full back then. Now every time I drive past it, it's empty!

The times have changed.


bbqsmokersite profile image

bbqsmokersite 5 years ago from Winter Haven, Florida

Great hub! I still remember making and jumping tons of cool bike ramps when I was a kid. Good stuff!


Brinafr3sh profile image

Brinafr3sh 5 years ago from West Coast, United States Author

@ Don Balderas, WannaB Writer, Helena Mason, KatieM2, SusieQ42, Zanin, Nicole, DrPastorCarlotta, Scosgrove, and BBQsmokersite, thank you all for your comments. Your welcomed to comment again. :)


LOis 4 years ago

Thanks...searching for games we used to play to use at a celebration honoring seniors at our chuch...thanks


Apostle Jack profile image

Apostle Jack 4 years ago from Atlanta Ga

Old school is the best school.Some things will never change.


Brinafr3sh profile image

Brinafr3sh 4 years ago from West Coast, United States Author

@ Apostle Jack, old school childhood is the best. Thanks


ElleBee 3 years ago

Growing up in the 90s I was in that generation that was 50-50 trapped between outdoor play and sitting home in front of the video games. My family was definitely more for outdoors - we had a big neighborhood with lots of kids nad lots of hills, luckily the flat part of the street was right in front of my house so we congregated there or in my driveway a lot for bike riding, basketball, "roller ball" (aka basketball on rollerblades) and "helmet jumping competitions" (we would take all the helmets out from our garages and then put them in either long rows or high stacks and see how many we could jump over on roller blades.... we were strange children).

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working