How to Play

When I was a child in Texas, there was no cable, no video games and no internet. While this generation might sit around all day bored out of their minds without these things, my generation of kids were involved in a far more exciting activity--we called it....Play.

As the song goes, there was a little bit of everything in Texas--creeks, trees, crawdads, clay-consistency mud, thundershowers in the middle of a sunny day and fields of wild berries, plums, pecans and grapes. We could build castles out of mud and clay, go on adventures in a forest, ride our bikes anywhere we wanted, shoot (dare I say it) BB guns and marbles, spend the day in a treehouse, forage for wild dewberries and swing off of a rope into a creek.

Today, play is not anywhere close to that experience. If you google the word play you will most likely find a reference to a video game. Play has become virtual and the "players" find themselves often in roles where they act out scenarios in a virtual world with other "players" while mom or dad vainly tries to entice them into the real world to experience the lost art of playing.

If you are an adult, play might involve virtual worlds, but increasingly adults are finding less and less opportunities for play of any kind. In fact, you might find yourself feeling awkward or out of practice if the opportunity did arise.

I believe that one of the most important and undervalued gifts we are given in infancy is the ability and desire to play. In my hub A Giraffe is a Horse that Ran Out of Grass--How to Think Creatively I talk about the need to find your inner child as a way to think more creatively and I quote this finding: While 90% of children are found to have a high creativity level, only 2% of adults do. This is a horrifying statistic. Ninety percent of children start out with a high creativity level and by the time they reach adulthood, only 2% have retained it. What happened to it?

Recent studies are beginning to show that by structuring and controlling the play environment, we seriously hamper the God-given wonderful ability to think creatively. In our zeal to bring order out of seeming disorder, we may have cheated eighty eight per cent of adults out of their creative inheritance by corrupting the natural, instinctive desire to play.

When adults plan the play activity and structure the outcome of playtime it is far less effective than if children have the freedom to form their own ideas, practice skills and use playthings at their own speed. ~ PBS The Whole Child

"free and unstructured play is healthy and - in fact - essential for helping children reach important social, emotional, and cognitive developmental milestones as well as helping them manage stress and become resilient" ~ American Academy of Pediatrics

For adults, we often trade in play for work or career. The irony is that often we sacrifice the one thing that we are working so hard to attain.  I don't have time for play because I need to work very hard for a very long time so I will have enough money to stop working and have more time to play.

The theory and practice of playwork recognizes that children's play must be "Freely chosen, personally driven and intrinsically motivated." Children's playing must not be "Adulterated" (corrupted) by any adult or external agendas.

An example of a playwork type of environment is Adventure Playgrounds in Berkeley and Huntington Beach. Adventure Playgrounds originated in Europe after World War II, when C. Th. Sørensen, a Danish landscape architect, noticed that children preferred to play everywhere but in the playgrounds that he built. In 1931, he imagined "A junk playground in which children could create and shape, dream and imagine a reality." Why not give children in the city the same chances for play as those in the country? There are over 1000 AP's in Europe and while there are only two in the U.S., a new Adventure Playground is opening this summer in New York.

In the city where I live there is an impressive effort to supply a play/learning environment which encourages kids of all ages to recreate that spontaneity that is often missing in urban living. Called Kidspace, it features world-class exhibitry and over four acres of gardens and indoor exhibits and climbing towers "designed to encourage children to discover the excitement of learning, while engaging in the creativity of play." When the designers of the museum asked children what they wanted they said they wanted places high up where the parents couldn't go. In the extremely well done video below about some kid named Ryan's day at Kidspace, you can see the climbing structures that accomplished just that--self directed activity beyond an adult's control.

When play takes on rules and goals, often supplied by adults, the play is called a game. While manipulating play into a game may have proved effective to teach math and reading skills, we may have paid too high a price. Structuring and harnessing a child's instinctive desire to play into an institutional agenda is like killing the goose that lays the golden eggs--you may get a temporary rise in school test scores, but the long term effect may be to decrease the child's societal and problem solving skills.

During a typical day at 268 kindergartens in Los Angeles and New York, children spent two to three hours learning or being tested on literacy and math skills, but 30 minutes or less in imaginative play.

Young children work hard at play. They invent scenes and stories, solve problems, and negotiate their way through social roadblocks. They know what they want to do and work diligently to do it. Because their motivation comes from within, they learn the powerful lesson of pursuing their own ideas to a successful conclusion.Research shows that children who engage in complex forms of socio-dramatic play have greater language skills than nonplayers, better social skills, more empathy, more imagination, and more of the subtle capacity to know what others mean. They are less aggressive and show more self-control and higher levels of thinking. Animal research suggests that they have larger brains with more complex neurological structures than nonplayers.~Alliance for Childhood

Research in Germany comparing classes concentrating on early test skills with those based on play learning found that by age ten the children who had played excelled over the others in a host of ways. They were more advanced in reading and mathematics and they were better adjusted socially and emotionally in school. They excelled in creativity and intelligence, oral expression, and “industry.” ~ Linda Darling-Hammond and Jon Snyder

How to play

Everyone has their own definition of play. The Alliance for Childhood defines play as a set of behaviors that are freely chosen, personally directed, and intrinsically motivated. The one who started the Adventure Playgrounds described it as creating, shaping, dreaming and imagining a reality of your own choosing from whatever materials you have at hand.Others add that it is imaginative and not "serious", non-stressful, and the means are more important than the ends. One even said that play involves a "magic circle" that includes secrecy and exclusion. My favorite is the idea that if you don't like the way group play is going, you can stop.

Personally Directed--If the activity you are engaging in does not allow you to leave if you are having a bad time, it is probably not play. When others control or direct you, there is no incentive for personally motivated creativity. Pick a time that is not controlled by others or your commitments. This may be harder than you think and you may have to question your priorities and perhaps even change your way of life dramatically. Many times I get ready for the day early and choose to either ride into the mountains on my bike or piddle around in my woodshop or sit in Panera to write and read and comment on the writings of others. (The restaurant chain Panera is growing 31% annually because they encourage personal choices such as Wi-Fi internet or discussion use along with chef quality food.)

Some people feel that if they ever stop pushing that everything around them will collapse. There is a story of a minister who disappeared every afternoon at the same time. His secretary finally just had to ask. "Where do you go every afternoon?" He replied: "I go down to the train crossing and watch the 2:30 train go by." "Why do you do that?" she asked. "Well at least once a day I need to see something that goes without me pushing it."

Freely Chosen--When your recreational activity begins to take on too much structure and discipline, with rigid rules about how, where and what you do, maybe it's time to pick a different activity or group. Make a list of the things that bring a smile to your face or give you satisfaction and choose one of these. I particularly enjoy going to yard sales in my area to hunt for treasures or merely to find components that form the basis for play. Sometimes I like to take furniture that people have discarded because they were broken or not in a useful form and transform it into something very desirable. One time I picked up a door and stripped down the wood and made it into a Stickley (Mission Style) end table.

Intrinsically Motivated--The Spice Girls made a hit out of the words "Tell me what you want, what you really really really want." When the worries of the world are quiet, when you don't have to be anywhere, when you don't have to please anyone--that is the time when you know if your "play" ability is working correctly. Can you? Can you rejoice in the freedom because you have so much inside that you want to do or are you a bit uncomfortable with the unstructured time? In my perfect world, there would be an element of play in every commercial and governmental enterprise. Many family oriented enterprises such as McDonalds have play areas included to attract families to eat there.

In this perfect world, places like the DMV would have play areas for all ages while you wait for your number to be called. It could be a library on the automobile or an interactive computer to generate your own personalized license plate and of course transportation museum for the kids to climb on and pretend.

Means more valued than ends--Play is one area of life where the means justify the ends. It is like the quote "Life is a journey, not a destination." When you are in play mode, you may change your goals and the rules many times because the play itself is the point, not the outcome. Our institutions, families and jobs have programmed us to have a point to our activity, to have goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely.

Play is rarely realistic and time usually does not matter--even attaining or measuring the goal may be far less important than the activity preceding it. When the pressure of the goal is removed, play becomes more enjoyable. When you are not a slave to the goal or the grade, play becomes more pleasurable and creative and rewarding. It is like playing poker with pennies and when the game is over, the pennies go back in the jar for the next time.

Creating, dreaming, shaping and imagining--Do you have a place in your home for creativity? Is there a table on which you can draw or construct things? Are there materials or references to aid you? I believe every home should have a creativity incubater. A drawer or a box full of all kinds of materials and components can be far more stimulating than a drawer full of toys. When I was ten, my Dad who was a mechanical electrician working on military jets, left me a tackle box full of every sort of electrical and mechanical parts. Since then, whenever I was fixing or constructing something and was missing a part, I would go to this magic box and almost always find what I needed.

Paper suppliers will sell a wide roll of paper which you can mount on a tent type easel with a tray below to hold markers and stencils etc. Keeping fresh batches of clay around or lego's or building pieces allows creativity to blossom. Musical instruments of every kind attract experimentation.



Comments 102 comments

saddlerider1 profile image

saddlerider1 6 years ago

Man I can remember when I was a kid, playing meant outdoors until our parents yelled for us to come in and even then we didn't want to leave our friends to go indoors. On the streets we played hide n seek, kick the can, street hockey, riding our bikes all over. I can go on and on.

Like you said today it's all virtual, less activities. Our kids brains are geared for technology and mastering video games. My son is so active with World of Warcraft and other very time consuming in your face video games.

I have to pry him away from his laptop to get him outdoors for fresh air(polluted) actually. Times have changed since I was a boy, but then again why not. Our world doesn't remain static. Every generation had their ways of entertaining themselves:0) Nice post, enjoyed it very much.


JBeadle profile image

JBeadle 6 years ago from Midwest

It is sad that the kids just don't play outside anymore unless it is the SIMMS in a virtual playground. My son, now 26, played video games through most of his childhood but now is out playing kickball, wiffleball and frisbee ultimate. Better late than never! Hopefully, some of that rubs off on his sister. Great hub Winsome.


JBeadle profile image

JBeadle 6 years ago from Midwest

The young kids never play in the sandbox anymore either. I wrote a wildly unsuccessful hub about that awhile ago!


LillyGrillzit profile image

LillyGrillzit 6 years ago from The River Valley, Arkansas

In the olden days our schools were always meeting the Presidential Physical Fitness Award. We had 2 - 3 Recesses per day, plus lunch. No child was hyper active, we may have had some skinned knees and bumps on our noggin, by no meds required. Thank you for the Timely Hub!


rebekahELLE profile image

rebekahELLE 6 years ago from Tampa Bay

nice hub winsome! we have memories from a generation which is gone, in that sense of freedom and exploration.

I think the only time I played indoors was (sometimes) during the winter or if it was raining too hard to go outside. even during the winter, we were out sledding, hiking through the woods walking on the frozen brooks and streams for miles.. play was an integral part of childhood and still should remain so.

much of your hub reminds me of the studies and research from the great early childhood psychologist, Jean Piaget. He emphasized that the young child develops cognitively more from unstructured play than passive instruction. Many early childhood curriculums are based on his research, including the great programs that have come from the Reggio, Emilia area of Italy. Open ended play with an emphasis on creativity and arts are the core of the program. I better stop. I could go on and on. this is a wonderful hub, and you've given us all some very good tips on implementing play into our adult lives. [we are really not too different than we were as a child.] :]


Winsome profile image

Winsome 6 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

Hey Saddlerider, thank you for the great comment. I played all those games too and thanks to you I am going to encourage readers to include other ones they played. I remember one where we threw something over the roof to the other team. I don't remember the rules exactly but I do remember it was the most fun in the dark. I suppose we could kick the kids outside and see what they come up with. =:)


Winsome profile image

Winsome 6 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

Hey John, good to see you, sorry to hear about the sandbox, but if they had a creek with tadpoles I bet they would play there. Good to hear about your son--that's the positive side to all the research, that Kidspace place is incredible. I still think the outdoors trumps virtual, but you may have to put them in outdoor rehab first. =:)


Winsome profile image

Winsome 6 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

Hi Lilly (I have to stop myself from saying the rest--Hi Lilly Hi Lo) I remember the presidential fitness and the recesses--unfortunately our president has the challenge of pulling up test scores without the proper coaching from playworker experts. What it means is fewer and fewer play oriented times and more and more drill. I hope he reads this hub, maybe he will get that play is the quick track to improved scholastic and social performance. I originally wanted to write this for adults who need to learn how to play, but after reading the intriguing story of the lost art of play I had to feature the kids. Maybe a follow up will be about us. =:)


Winsome profile image

Winsome 6 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

What a sweet and helpful addition to the hub Rebekah, it sounds like you had a delightful childhood too. I agree about the adults being not much different than the kids in the need to break free and experience pure spontaneity and creative play. One of the fonder memories that my kids have is the time we started off in the car for a mystery outing with me flipping a coin to see whether I turned right or left. We went for miles and ended up at JPL (Jet Propulsion Laboratory) in the mountains. There's time for play at any age. Feel free to come back and drop some more ideas and research. =:)


Winsome profile image

Winsome 6 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

I remembered the game we played--it was called "Annie Annie Over" and when a player on the other side caught the ball he or she would run around to the other side and try to hit one of the other team's players who would then have to join the other side.


Sage Williams profile image

Sage Williams 6 years ago

A truly dynamic and outstanding hub on a really terrific, important topic. You covered every aspect in and out. I'm with you and saddlerider on the games.

Kick the can, Ring-a-levea, Dodge ball, Marbles or keepsies, Jump rope, Freeze tag, Hit the bat.

Great Job,

Sage


Winsome profile image

Winsome 6 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

And don't forget Capture the Flag. =:) Thank you Sage. I still have goosebumps from Eric's virtual choir--he was having fun with that one. Eric took off the controls and traditional structure and just had fun.

I read a post in a thread where some mom's child complained that there was nothing to do outside and so she made him go out. He had a blast. I think if we declared one day a week "Technology Free Day" and just explored the possibilities we just might rediscover our childhood. =:)


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States

Winsome, An awesome hub. I used to play with my children just like that but now they are grown. Your children are adorable. I love the pictures.


Duchess OBlunt 6 years ago

What a great hub. It brings back many memories and shows how important it is that children play. The best possible school ground is the playground. They learn so much there - especially the interactive face-to-face social skills.

It's also important - necessary actually - for us as adults to play too. Be creative and every once in a while do something spontaneous or out of our own "norm".


Uninvited Writer profile image

Uninvited Writer 6 years ago from Kitchener, Ontario

I agree, kids lives are far too structured today. Not enough time for them to be kids. I guess I should be happy that the kids in my apartment building do get out and play...but after 7pm usually...


SilverGenes 6 years ago

Awesome hub! You are absolutely right - where else does any young being learn except through play? There's no imagination involved in structured games. I remember walking to school (only a mile) with older kids and having time to catch grasshoppers along the way. Summers, we were outdoors all day long and constructed some pretty complex things now that I think about it - we made restaurants, had food prep areas (granite slabs make a pretty mean steak), made pottery out of clay, had pirate games from cove to cove. Gee, now I want to be a kid again :))


Winsome profile image

Winsome 6 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

Hi Pamela, thank you--these are images from the net but I will add some--good suggestion!

Duchess you are so right--we used to say when asked what was our favorite class--recess! Now it's probably computer class. The fact that kids are so able to invent and imagine and initiate group play should give us a clue as to what they should be doing. Thank you for your thoughtful comment.


Winsome profile image

Winsome 6 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

Hi UW, apartments are a challenge because of the limited yard space and supervision needs. Many cities are requiring more and more green space and parks with construction permits which should help. We have some very successful neighborhood associations in our "at risk" areas where the parents and friends pool resources, get grants and donations and create wonderful play and learning areas. Thank you for stopping by. =:)


Winsome profile image

Winsome 6 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

Silvergenes, what a great childhood, sounds like my summers. I got to spend some summers on my uncles dairy farm and had bass ponds, forests and "mustang" grape tea. I remember going with my cousin through the storage sheds adding whatever we could find into our chemical experiment. When we added the last ingredient it burst into flame. You would think we would abandon such play after that but--you guessed it--we tried many times in vain to recreate the process with no success. It will always be a wonder day in my memories. Thank you for a great comment. =:)


mysterylady 89 profile image

mysterylady 89 6 years ago from Florida

Your hub brings back memories. I am lucky we did not have even a t.v. when I was growing up. We did have a radio, and I hated "Lorenzo Jones and his Wife Bell," my grandmother's favorite soap.

Much of the time I lived in an imaginary world. I had a pet lion and a panther and a tiger. I was a florist making corsages out of dandelions and violets and making necklaces out of clover. I played with paperdolls and made up stories about their lives.

And I read a lot -biographies (Kit Carson was my favorite). the Bobbsey Twins, Nancy Drew, the Hardy Boys, etc.

I so agree that adults still need to play. I never want to become a grown up!


Green Lotus profile image

Green Lotus 6 years ago from Atlanta, GA

Winsome - Beginning my read here, I too started dreaming of the wonderful, creative games I used to play with friends..outdoors, of course! Just being outdoors was a challenge because I lived in a busy concrete city. If it wasn't raining, playing indoors wasn't an option. The many games we played often involved a pink Spaulding rubber ball or a jump rope or we created mentally stimulating quiz games. Many were made up on the spot. I sometimes wonder where I'd be today without those independent, childhood challenges.


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 6 years ago from Central Oklahoma

What a wonderful hub, Winsome! Besides today's kids' "free" time being over-structured and over-scheduled, they're only allowed to "play" in environments from which every chance for harm has been removed. Meaning every chance to learn certain actions have painful consequences. For instance, jumping off a garage *will* result in at least one broken bone (in my case, a foot). On the other hand, falling out of a tree will be painful, but probably won't require a trip to the ER. Skinned knees *will* heal without professional medical intervention...getting stung by a wasp isn't the end of the world (unless you stick your hand into the nest like I did at 5 - both hands, no less - which did require a trip to the ER)...poison ivy *will* stop itching after a week or so.

But then, when I was a child, kids could roam all day without worrying about being snatched by a pervert, mostly because moms were home and kept an eye out for strangers. The Mom Grapevine also kept tabs on all the kids on the block. We only thought they didn't know where we were or what we were doing, but they knew - every minute and without arming us with cell phones or a GPS device. Amazing! Also, every skinned knee or broken bone taught us a little more about keeping ourselves out of harm's way. We had a "clubhouse" under a neighbor's porch, and another neighbor had a tall, gnarly tree in the backyard when we needed a "jungle". We all survived eating mud pies...and this was when neighborhoods were sprayed regularly in summer with DDT to keep the mosquito population down.

We caught grasshoppers and other creepy crawlers and put them in clean mayonnaise jars with holes in the lid to take to school for show and tell. Fireflies too, but only to watch them "blink" for awhile and then we let them go. We built tree houses out of scrap lumber without any help from grown ups and then took them apart and made soap box racers using discarded lawn mower wheels. (Did I mention I was the only girl on the block?) It was a rare day that we couldn't find (or think of) something to do, even if "something" was just lying in the grass watching clouds float by. When it rained, we'd play board games like Parcheesi or a marble game called Makala , or I'd have my nose in a book (usually a Nancy Drew).

Play dates? What a contradiction in terms! As the studies you mention show, real play can't be scheduled.


Winsome profile image

Winsome 6 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

M'Lady, Peter Pan would be so proud--a pet lion, panther and tiger! Your florist shop sounds very creative and I hope you still remember some of the stories. It would be fun to read some of them in a hub. I read a lot too, but no self-respecting boy would be caught reading Nancy Drew and so I was mortified when I learned that my Hardy Boys books were written by the same lady who wrote Nancy Drew. Thank you for the visit. Here's a track that captures a little of childhood play:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rNwP1z4ri3I


Winsome profile image

Winsome 6 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

Hey GL, it's amazing what we used to do with a ball or rope or even boxes. I think congress should declare an annual "play" week where all modern stuff is forbidden so we could all get back a little of that creativity. I'm glad this took you back to some fun memories. Like the hub illustrates, I think we draw a lot of our adult inspiration from those magical times when colors were brighter, smells more enticing, friends more exciting and free time was a ticket to fantasy land. Here's one of my favorite versions of a children's song:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oNw2UShKQfk


Winsome profile image

Winsome 6 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

Hey JG, you sound like a fun neighborhood playmate--did the guys have a sign on the treehouse like Calvin and Hobbes saying no girls allowed? If you go to a construction site and take the kids to the pile and give them hammers and nails it would be amazing what they would create. I know there is an element of risk but come onnnnn! =:)

I used to ride my bike into the town to read comic books, walk into the forest, play outside in the dark. I used to buy a big RC Cola bottle and some planter's peanuts and put them in and drink the soda and eat the nuts at the same time. I took dares and jumped off the shed roof, drank some kerosene and miraculously I'm still here. I recommend this movie for revisiting the play spirit:

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xcmt3c_ramona-and...


Winsome profile image

Winsome 6 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

I guess people are wondering why I stuck links into those last three comments--well three of my favorite people showing up all at once just called for a party. Everyone feel free to click on them too. =:)


mysterylady 89 profile image

mysterylady 89 6 years ago from Florida

Thank you, Winsome, and thank you, too, for recommending my metaphor hub on your web site.

After reading all the other comments filled with childhood memories, I realize I must have spent much of my childhood alone. But I also see I did my best to create "the best of all possible worlds." Thank you for a great, memory-inducing hub.


Joni Douglas profile image

Joni Douglas 6 years ago

What a great hub! I played all of those games and TAG! Remember kickball? Dodge-ball? The whole neighborhood and even some of the parents would get involved. We had freedom to run around and go to the neighborhood park all by ourselves. The street lights would tell us when it was time to go home.


sunflowerbucky profile image

sunflowerbucky 6 years ago from Small Town, USA

Thank you so much for writing this hub! We just recently removed the television from our kids' rooms and are encouraging much more actual play time. They think I'm an old bag because I'm always saying "When I was a kid, I was outside PLAYING all day." My 6 year old is absolutely exhausted when she gets home from kindergarten and I doubt she gets any playing done. When she gets home, she's too tired to play. More educators and parents should read your hub and embrace this ideology! Well done!


bayoulady profile image

bayoulady 6 years ago from Northern Louisiana,USA

This should have been a health hubmob. Play is one of the healthiest things we can encourage a child to do, It stimulates awareness,hand/eye coordination, vocabulary,communication, digestion,endomorphines, and the list goes on.I think every yard should have a tree to climb!I was Tarzan. (Never mind that I was agirl!HA!)


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 6 years ago from Central Oklahoma

Winsome, your manhood is intact. The Hardy Boys series was written by the husband of Carolyn Keene, the woman who wrote the Nancy Drews. As I understand it, after a few years of marriage, they knew each other's writing style well enough that they could start or finish the other's books, or help each other when stuck on a plot.


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 6 years ago from Central Oklahoma

A "No Girls Allowed" sign on the tree house? Are you kidding? Alienate the designated guinea pig...uh, test driver... for those soap box racers?

There were four of us. We all moved out of town or out of state long ago, but a couple of years ago one of the guys drove up and down our old street and the alley behind our childhood homes, snapped pix of each and every house on the block, and posted them on his Flickr account. Amazing how many "lost" memories came back on seeing the "scenes of our crimes". ;D

Oh, and thanx sooo much for the Ramona and Beezus trailer! Now I have to find the movie. I'd only ever seen the books.


lightning john profile image

lightning john 6 years ago from Florida

Hi there Winsome, Very well written hub!

It's true, why would a child want to go outside to play where it is Hot,Humid,Dirty, and oh yes heaven forbid they might get a scratch or an insect bite, when they can play Football,Hockey,Crosscountry Ski, right in their bedrooms where they never come out, but only to get more CheeseyPuffs, Icecream,ChickenMcnuts, or to scream at their mothers for not buying them the right newest video game.

P.s. I don't know why I haven't gotten updates from your writing lately, I guess I will just have to hunt you down like I did on this one.

Or perhaps you only share with the pretty ladies here now.


Winsome profile image

Winsome 6 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

M'Lady the pleasure is all mine. =:)


Winsome profile image

Winsome 6 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

Hi Joni, yes I do remember TAG--there is a fun version called Japanese Tag where you have to put your hand on the place you were touched when you were tagged as you try to tag someone else. If you pick a place like the foot it can look really funny with them trying to hold their foot while they try to tag you. Thank you for stopping by. =:)


Winsome profile image

Winsome 6 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

Hey Bucky, good for you. Your daughter will thank you later.(When she's an "old bag" too)It's incredible to me that parents have to tell kids to go outside, when I was a kid they had to drag me inside. Sometimes I think that technology like video games and tv is like "candy"--because it is pleasurable but empty "calories" and the mind needs more nutrition than that. Try getting one of those boxes that a refrigerator or stove comes in and watch her fantasy module kick in. Thanks for the encouragement. =:)


Winsome profile image

Winsome 6 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

Ahhhhhhheoahhheoahhhh! (my Tarzan yell) Hey BayouLady, good to know you climbed trees too. You are right about the health benefits--after climbing trees, jumping over rocks in a creek or building sandcastles no child will have to be coaxed to sleep--they will conk right out. Thanks for visiting. =:)


Winsome profile image

Winsome 6 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

Whew! What a relief JG. ha ha I'm glad you liked the Ramona trailer, I thought you would. It's worth finding--those who get past the embarrassment of the "G" rating will be absolutely delighted.


Winsome profile image

Winsome 6 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

Hey LJ, no, although I admit it is a great pleasure to share with the beautiful (inside and out) ladies on HP, I was a little bogged down with a sci-fi short story and finally decided to get back to things that flow more readily. When you write about things you are passionate about, it sort of writes itself. Just to show I'm not partial, here's a grown man playing with a guitar and a bucket: (You have to watch more than the beginning because it gets more and more intense.)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8akmP6Sjv2o


Winsome profile image

Winsome 6 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

Oh Bucky, there's a funny episode of SpongeBob called "The Idiot Box" where he orders a giant TV and then he and Patrick throw away the TV and play in the box it came in. =:)


lightning john profile image

lightning john 6 years ago from Florida

O.k. I watched the vid. If you like that, then I have some progressions and riffs you will love. I plan on having some video of me paying soon.

I do not use effects. That delay gets really mundane.

Thanks for the vid!


Winsome profile image

Winsome 6 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

Can't wait. You are right about the delay, I watched another of his and it was better. I just think it's funny he plays with a KFC bucket on his head. =:)


Lita C. Malicdem 6 years ago

I love this, "When play takes on rules and goals, often supplied by adults, the play is called a game".

So after all those 40 years in my active teaching service, I taught games, and never had the children play. LOL! Well, that was school and I was always on the look out for any accident that might happen when I let them go by their own.

Today, as I watch neighborhood children play in our wide yard(which from now on I will call "creativity space") I'll certainly remember the added wisdom I learned from this hub. We have a small nipa hut called "bahay-kubo" in Filipino dialect, built in our spacious backyard where children play. I really enjoy their company because I live alone managing two houses inside our residential area. The laughs, shouts, yells, from

squeaking little brats make my day! Thank you for giving me this chance again!


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Winsome 6 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

Lita, the nipa hut sounds perfect. You would be surprised what would happen if you told some yard sale neighbor that you would take everything they had left over, clothes and all and just put it in or by the hut. The kids would find a play use for everything. It is gracious of you to let them play there. So nice to meet you Lita, welcome to the neighborhub. =:)


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Shalini Kagal 6 years ago from India

Winsome - what a great hub! I so agree - it's so important for us not to put playtime into a straight jacket. When we were young, we did everything that kids today are told not to - got dirty, probed, found a use for every stick and stone, got bitten, stung, hurt - and kissed OK again by parents who knew better. We try and do that with our daughter - it helps when you live in a smaller city and there's space to work through childhood's dreams. Wonderful hub, thank you!


Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

We were vewry poor like most of the people but us children had the best of time. We played with lots of imagination and free of any danger.


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Winsome 6 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

Shalini, that would make a great slogan for the Adventure Playgrounds: "Space to work through childhood's dreams"

There is a list circulating around of reasons why people over 30 should be dead because of all the risks we were subjected to--no seat belts, no helmets, we drank out of water hoses, shared the same coke bottle with friends and when we got to ride in the back of a pick-up truck with the dog that was the most fun ever. I guess that's why the boomer generation has had so many innovations and new ideas because of play that involved taking risks and the freedom to fail or succeed and having to bear the responsibility for it all. Thanks for sharing.


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Winsome 6 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

Hello my friend, Hello--people have to pay a fortune now for the same safety you had as a child and for the toys that don't even come close to the ones you made with your imagination. I guess that means you were wealthier than you thought. =:)

Thank you for coming by.


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Scribenet 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

I have to add Hopscotch, Red Rover,Tag and every pretend game we could come up with usually involving the good guys and the bad guys (we took turns...boys and girls allowed)...dolls who lost their hair from excessive washing(hair was glued on back then)and improvised diapers from hankies for baby dolls with squished grapes for soiled diapers. Oh yes, I set a dolly to sail once and caused a ruckus because she became adrift and the old bachelor living downstairs set off in a rickety rowboat and rescued her for me! I could go on...I do feel sorry for children not having that freedom to just be children. Like everyone else posting, you had to drag me in because being outside was the place to be! Thanks for a great Hub!


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lalesu 6 years ago from south of the Mason-Dixon

Such a wonderful hub, Winsome... I never even knew I was playing, just thought I lived way out in the country with lots of trees to climb and creeks to swim in and nothing better to do! ~ Laura ;D


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Winsome 6 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

Hey SN, I agree with you, we who were "born free" to do what came naturally have an obligation to let all the kids out of their over-civilized cocoons like free willy--let's start a "right to play" movement with placards and everything--can't you just see us all waving placards outside urban windows "Let the children out!" ha ha

Thank you for stopping by. =:)


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Winsome 6 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

Hey Laura, I knew the barefoot girl couldn't stay away from a hub called "How to Play" =:)

That is the beauty of it isn't it--when play is done right you don't even know you're doing it. Thanks for helping keep play alive--it's a talent we pass on.


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kimh039 6 years ago

I get the idea you haven't forgetten how to play Winsome. I think balance is the key. While there are some kids who have no free, unstructured play time, there are kids who have too much of that and not enough structure and supervision. I got in trouble last month for playing with a toy in our staff meeting!


faithfulpen 6 years ago

I loved this hub, as it is a great reminder to all to allow our kids to be just that...'kids'! Not force them to grow up too fast and then be allowed the chance to use their imaginations at play, whether inside or out. I depended on my imagination to entertain myself growing up. Through books, or in play with the neigborhood kids, schoolmates or with siblings. There is nothing else like a game of tag, swinging, hide-n-seek or playing dodge ball together. Even board games inside or out on the front porch. Riding bikes, etc. All fond memories for me. Now what do kids have? Memories of a video game they won, or how many texts they'd sent? Hmm! What's wrong with that picture? Your hub is a great example of what 'could be' and maybe still 'should be' in our culture with kids.


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Winsome 6 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

Ha ha Kim, you know if you had bought one of the plane or lego or Darth Vader hub connectors from my "Ten Way Cool Hubs" they wouldn't even know you were playing. =:)

You are right about the still knowing how, but you would be surprised at how hard I have worked in my life--I just knew that dreams and imagination and a propensity for play was who I really am and I try to let it out as much as I can. Thank you for stopping by, I always enjoy your comments.


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Winsome 6 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

Hi FP, nice to see you--I'm glad you had those opportunities to "play well with others" I am so glad that we live ten minutes from a canyon with rocks and trees and a waterfall within easy hiking distance--it is a wonderful diversion from texting and computer games. Imagination and friends and a lot of spare time leads to marvelous play and social skill building. Thank you for the great comment. =:)


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Mekenzie 6 years ago from Michigan

Winsome, I'm so glad I got over to read this hub. I remember keenly playing outside all day long. I lived by a lake so swimming .. playing king of the castle on the RAFT was a daily game for the neighborhood gang. We played red rover, kickball, baseball etc. all day long.

My daughters have chosen to keep t.v. computers and video games at bay .. very little time is given to technology with their kids. Therefore, I have watched them develop keen imaginations. An imaginary friend to play house with and to teach important life lessons to, performing and putting on plays (all of the grandkids participate in) for the family, pictures that cover my fridge .. all treasures capturing their creatively and lovingly gifted to me! :0)

You made me think today .. I don't play much anymore .. I used to love to create pictures with oil paint .. used to pour myself into it and get lost in a picture .. I think it's time to pull out the paints and get back to creative playing.

I consider a Hub to be GREAT when it challenges you to do something. Congratulations my friend on writing a GREAT HUB!

Blessings!

Mekenzie


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Green Lotus 6 years ago from Atlanta, GA

Hey Winsome..thanks for the blueberry gift :) made me bounce!


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Winsome 6 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

Hey Mekenzie, great to see you, the raft sounds like just the ticket and kudos to your daughters for allowing their children to develop their instinctive needs to create and play. Do any of them write on HP? Speaking of HP, I would be happy to see you post a painting on a hub talking about your experience in painting it or a favorite painter. Hmmm? Thank your for visiting and the kind words. =:)


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Winsome 6 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

Ha ha GL, call me crazy but I'm listening to it while I'm writing this. I was listening to it while I wrote the whole thing--it takes at least ten years off your age and you see the world with a smile on your face. This song was on a Disney record that I can't find anymore that has a few others just as fun. I think we all need a bunch of kids songs--hopefully done by a great artist--that we can pull out when we need to lose a few years. =:)


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trish1048 6 years ago

Wow Winsome! I am literally blown away with this hub. I agree with one commenter, you covered all the bases in this.

What extraordinary memories this stirred up. Like many others, we only stayed in if the weather was not cooperating. Otherwise, we were out from morning till the street lights came on at night.

I have many memories, so I'll just list them, otherwise, this would be a hub of my own. Tag, jumprope, ice skating, sleighing, hide 'n seek, hopscotch, Chinese jumprope, dodge ball, wiffle ball, baseball, and the list goes on and on.

I was fortunate to live with a field behind my house, and woods complete with a stream and pond and canyon at the end of the block. I spent many days in both places. There was a drainage ditch in the field, and the hill of dirt going down to it was filled with that marvelous clay! We'd conjure up cookies that we pretended to bake, made small animals, whatever, it was such fun. In the woods, we were explorers. I so loved catching tadpoles! And fool's gold! Rocks of all shapes, colors and sizes.

When indoors, there was no such thing as cartoons on 24/7. It was once a week on Saturday mornings. We'd do jigsaw puzzles, play cards, boardgames, paint, draw, and sometimes, had to clean :) I grew up watching shows like Howdy Doody, Winky Dink, The Mousekateers (sp?), Tom & Jerry, Lassie and others that I don't recall at the moment. My best friend used to sleep over, and one night we stayed up all night, making dolls out of old mis-matched socks, which I wrote a hub about. We'd make doll clothes and do crafts. My mom let us make the invitations for her annual Halloween party. We used to take dancing lessons, and would put on shows for our families out in the backyard. I also remember putting on puppet shows. Wonderful stuff!

I better stop here lol.

This is an extremely good hub which I've enjoyed very much. Bravo! Well done :)


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Winsome 6 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

Trish it was fun reliving these highlights of your childhood with you. As I read the comments I realize that a lot of our writing abilities come from the broad opportunities for play and experimentation we enjoyed as children. You can see why I have laughingly advocated banning technology for our kids and locking them outside to give them the opportunity to learn the full range of play. I also believe that everyone, no matter how small an area they have, can create "adventure playgrounds" and stock it with "play" materials from yard sales or your own attic or garage. It sounds like you took advantage of your natural surroundings with the water and clay and rocks as well as paper and paint and imagination. Thank you so much for sharing your bright memories with us. =:)


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Shadesbreath 6 years ago from California

This is so true on so many levels. I had a writing professor who assigned us to watch children playing and come back and write what they did. Not write a story about it, just report back what they did, in an effort to teach us how to be truly create outside of "the rules" that society has placed on us killing creativity.

One of the things I noticed was these two kids, maybe 8 or 9 ish or so, found a fisbee lying on the edge of the grass right where the sand began that served as the soft-place for the swings and stuff. I was pretty sure it wasnt' theirs, for starters, so I noted that they weren't afraid to pick up something lying around like that. The next thing was that they didn't "play frisbee" properly or even try. The one kid ended up flipping it over, scooping up sand into half of it and then flicking it like a catapult at his friend. The sand arced through the air and dusted the other kid who ducked and ran laughing, and a game of chase and sand throwing began that went for about three minutes before one of their mother's ruined it.

So there you have it. I think that says exactly what's wrong with us these days. First off, it's rare enough to get a kid outside. Then, when you do, you get this adult adulteration of play where parents are worried about... what? Getting sand in your hair? Your eyes? What, maybe a crying kid because of the eyes thing? Is it the laundry? Or is it just because frisbees are supposed to go top side up and be used as a device to be thrown back and forth only... and sand is for walking on or mixing into cement and only that.

(sigh)

Great hub. I'm going to stop now because you got me started. LOL


wilderness profile image

wilderness 6 years ago from Boise, Idaho

Like you, my own childhood was spent outside until called in and I think it shows. My own children do not understand that kind of treatment of my grandchildren - my own fault as I did not "push" them out of the controlled environment.

Adult non-structured play. Probably our most enjoyable vacation ever was one year when we drove to Pennsylvania and met up with my parents. From there we were to meet my brother in Massachusetts to go camping and we had to be home 10 days later for work. No other plans, although we all had things we wanted to do nothing was set in stone. We camped until we decided to leave and found another campsite. We stopped and got brochures in little bitty towns all over the northwest and investigated the local curiosities.

No stress, no strain, just unstructured free time to do with as we please. We've never done it again, but I don't know why...

A great hub and I intend to show it to my grown children.

On a side note, Shadesbreath (above) left me a comment on my own hub about learning from children and felt your hub fits very well with it. I agree with him and have linked to you - I hope you don't mind.


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Sally's Trove 6 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

A number of years ago, when my daughter was six or so, I got a rude awakening about my reluctance to engage in play with my child. A friend came to visit, my kid was cranky, I got frustrated, and then my friend opened play doors for herself and for my child. I watched them in amazement as the adult got to the level of the child, which was to the level of play.

To this day, so many years later, my friend and I along with my grown daughter talk about that day. It was a huge window to letting go of my adult needs and reaching down into my own needs as a child.

I'm still not adept at it without thought and calling myself to task, but I can say the addition of my daughter's dog into the family has helped a lot. I can be goofy with him.

My friend re-taught me the elements of play many years ago, and my daughter's dog reinforces my ability to play every day.

So sad for us adults when we forget what being a child was like. So happy for us when we have good teachers in our friends, children, and dogs.

Awesome Hub.


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Winsome 6 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

Hi SB, sounds like a smart professor you had there. Thanks for a great example--the people who invented a frisbee probably had the same comments: "That is a plate, meant to hold things, why are you trying to throw a plate? Are you Greek? The kids you observed noticed its flexibility, its scooping potential and container potential and used them all in the course of the play--maybe we should go on outings more often without anything and just see how we could improvise for recreation. =:)


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Winsome 6 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

Hey Wilderness, pleased to meet you and of course link away. I'll read yours soon as well. Your trip sounds a lot like one I "planned" for my family--from LA to the north rim of the Grand Canyon up into Yellowstone, Tetons, Glacier, Banf, Vancouver, Seattle coast, Oregon coast, California coast camping every night without reservations during August. The kids had tents and we had one bigger one which we put up and took down every day. The adventures we had will I know be the brightest memories of my children's life--they will protest but once they are there--they just blossom. Thank you for the visit. =:)


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Winsome 6 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

Hey Sally and I bet that same friend is one with whom you made puppets out of "Orphan Socks." =:)

One of the most wonderful benefits of play is the discovering of deeper and deeper ways to relate to people. I'm glad you can be "goofy" with the dog--if you saw my "Everything I Need to Know about Relationships I Learned from my Dog," they have no trouble making play toys out of everything. The guy that said chimps were like people because they make tools did a disservice to dogs--they don't need no stinkin' tools when they can make "toys!" Thank you for coming by and for the great example of "doors to play." =:)


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akirchner 6 years ago from Central Oregon

Good points to make about playing - and I tend to always be at play somehow or another. Since I think I am pretty young at heart, it is inevitable! But this is good....we can only take ourselves as seriously as we allow ourselves to and I believe completely in the power of fun and having a light heart. It is what keeps us going.

Thanks so much for stopping by my hubs - I shall look forward to reading more of yours! It is true, too - watching my pup Griffin, I've learned many things or relearned them. His pure 'zest' for life is the best thing to see every single day and something to look forward to!


Sa`ge profile image

Sa`ge 6 years ago from Barefoot Island

playing is great, even talking story using our imagination is a great thing. We make stories up and sit around telling it to each other. :D


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Winsome 6 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

Hi Audrey, thank you so much for the visit. Those who have a young and fun-loving heart always create the kind of atmosphere that makes it easy for kids (and grownups) to play. Thanks for coming to play in our neighborhub. =:)


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Winsome 6 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

You are right Sa'ge, stories are a vital part of play and allowing kids to participate is great practice for thinking creatively. I used to sing "The Cat Came Back" to my kids at bedtime and make up all sorts of fantastic scenarios for getting rid of the cat with it always coming back. They got used to me stopping right where the new lines would be and nodding to one who would make up the lines--including the rhyme and then we all sang the chorus. I think they still would like to play that game even though they are all grownup now--including me. =:)


cosette 6 years ago

it is actually kind of disturbing that play has become so metered and monitored by grownups, even playground play. they do that in schools now to avoid lawsuits, and even segregate little boys from little girls, which is ridiculous. when i was little, once we got to the playground, we were off...running and screaming and playing for all we were worth. of course the girls just naturally congregated together to talk about girl stuff or play jacks or jump rope and the boys went off and played on the monkey bars or tether ball...many times we would come together at the swings or teeter-totters, or range as far away as the bleachers across the playing fields. now, children are restricted to small, cordoned-off areas like free-range chickens or something, which is sad. then they get home and are not allowed out for fear of stranger danger. when my son was little i didn't do play groups, although the other mothers were really into it. my son played with his friends or other neighborhood children at his whim, outdoors, and when he got older he would go to the driving range with his friends and knock golf balls around or shoot hoops or play tennis. kids LOVE being outdoors! and when we got back from Summer break, we were all thin and tanned..you never saw a chubby kid ever. and if we had difficulties with other children, we worked it out among ourselves instead of some adult interveing and making it worse.

and on rainy days at home, we never sat idle...we would play charades or dig around in my parent's closet and have fashion shows, or hide objects and go 'you're getting warmer...warmer...OH, cold, colder, ICE COLD...or play 'animal, vegetable or mineral?' or we would write a famous person's name on a piece of paper and tape it to one person's forehead and he or she would have to guess who it was by asking 20 questions, that sort of thing.

as far as dramatic play goes, that is crucial to children's development. my son loved doing that and making up stories and scenarios involving his teddy bear, his transformers and some legos and one of my barbies which became a fortress and an evil army of robots from which the bear had to rescue the Space princess.

wow you made me want to write my own hub about this. thanks for a great hub!


Winsome profile image

Winsome 6 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

Hey Cos, so nice to see you. Thank you for the wonderful narrative of yours and your son's play experiences. I had never really understood the absolute necessity of play until I did a little research and thought about it for awhile. I'm now an unashamed advocate of play as one of our kids (and our)"unalienable rights."

You can tell by the way a writer writes what kind of childhood play they were allowed. I'm happy to see so many of my HP friends show up and share their story--I think just hearing them will convince many to become more proactive in traditional unstructured play for their kids and for themselves as well.

In the South, you don't get to know a person until you know "their people." For me that means what sort of upbringing and childhood you had and what your relatives were like. Hearing all the stories makes me want to construct (as if I didn't already) a hub where people can show up to play.

Thanks again Cos, "free range chickens" ha ha I love it. =:)


De Greek profile image

De Greek 6 years ago from UK

Wonderful hub with a wonderful spirit behind it :-)


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Winsome 6 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

Thank you Mr. D. I think of you often in regards to your project and I hope that you can retain your marvelous ability to "play" while you do it. If it turns into drudgery, maybe you can leave it for a while and "come out and play" with us. =:)


raisingme profile image

raisingme 6 years ago from Fraser Valley, British Columbia

A marvelous hub and a much needed reminder of how important it is to play, regardless of our age. I will be passing this one on several times over. Absolutely super job on this hub! And I'm going to link to it too - great information - a real quality hub.


Winsome profile image

Winsome 6 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

You are so kind RM, thank you for the thumbs up and the links. Who would have guessed that something as simple as unstructured play would unlock so many abilities in children and free up an adults creativity--play, like exercise, keeps the mind flexible and the body tuned. I can just see the bumperstickers now: GOT PLAY? =:)


dawnM profile image

dawnM 6 years ago from THOUSAND OAKS

Great article and I could not agree more, play helps children in so many ways. Think that free play helps children to greatly think and use their imagination, which gets lost in television and video games. Great information!


raisingme profile image

raisingme 6 years ago from Fraser Valley, British Columbia

Linked it on my Puppet Play Hub - yours is too great a hub to pass up. Like the bumper sticker idea.


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Winsome 6 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

Thank you Dawn for the read and kind words. I think that couples can benefit also by playing together. When couples have a problem with intimacy perhaps a little tickling session or an airplane ride like the one in "Grosse Point Blank" may just open up some connections. =:)


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Winsome 6 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

Thank you RM, puppets are a natural stimulant to creativity, imagination and social skills. Appreciate the links. =:)


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago

Playing is what kids are for. Every child should be as happy as the video shows. Great stuff!


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Winsome 6 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

Thank you Micky, I agree with you about the purpose of kids. I think there must be a direct relationship between true play and being happy--remember how happy we were when we played. I get close to that world occasionally, but I could use a closer look. =:)


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prasetio30 6 years ago from malang-indonesia

Nice information. Good to remind us about old memories when we were kid. I am glad you want to share this game and I really enjoy the video. Good work, my friend. ~prasetio


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Winsome 6 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

Sometimes the oldest memories are the most fun. I'm glad you enjoyed this look at the benefits of play. Thank you for stopping by. =:)


Frieda Babbley profile image

Frieda Babbley 6 years ago from Saint Louis, MO

Even in our schools, the statistics are sad when it come to amount of creative play a child gets. It's more than sad. They also don't get enough time to eat, but that's another story. I absolutely love your introduction. Yes, whatever happened to "play"? Your take on this subject and the info you provided is excellent. Interesting bits of history. A definite share. So glad you wrote this.


Winsome profile image

Winsome 6 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

Hi Michelle, I'm so glad you liked it--I knew you would by your wonderful hub on natural toys to which I linked below. I was talking to a young mother today who was complaining about all the homework her kindergarten child had to do every week. The bureaucracy's take on this is like the old adage--when the only tool you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. They are trying to hammer scores on tests into the teachers who hammer it into the kids when all they need to do is turn them loose in a learning friendly play lab and their natural instincts of play/learning will propel them far ahead of the rote autocrats. I wish someone would start a kindergarten through third grade school with strategically planned ample play periods and challenge the toddler "prep" schools to an ability and performance evaluation showdown after three years. I wager they would blow them away with both social skills and academic performance.

Sorry, I get carried away, we get all upset about child labor in third world countries and then subject our own children to an even worse work schedule--with no pay!

Thank you for your gracious comments. I'd love to hear about your current projects, send me an email sometime. =:)


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cindyvine 6 years ago from Kyiv, Ukraine

I have to say, that's why I am pleased I am living in an under-developed place like Tanzania, where the kids still get to play!


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Winsome 6 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

Awww now that's just not fair. Ok your assignment is to observe your surroundings and plan an adventure playground that we can construct in our boxy cities. =:) Just kidding. Thank you for coming all this way to comment.


Frieda Babbley profile image

Frieda Babbley 6 years ago from Saint Louis, MO

Makes me mad too. I have so many issues. I want to trust that my kids are getting a good education. I go in a lot. I teach my kids to not accept everything. I can't say I'm too liked by everyone over at the schools, lol. But I curse about it all a lot in my head. That helps. =]


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Winsome 6 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

Hi Michelle, you have to be careful, I could swear that my 2nd grade teacher could pick up on my thoughts. lol. I don't know why they don't take advantage of retired teachers for the extra-curricular subjects their budget doesn't cover--with 60 being the new 40, a lot of great talent is just waiting to be tapped. Good to see you. =:)


Polly C profile image

Polly C 6 years ago from UK

Winsome, I loved this hub - play is such an important element in life and it is definitely true that by and large children have less opportunities for outside play now. I can remember so many outdoors games we used to play, and we would be out for hours just running around or cycling. I think it's true that children who have the chance to run off all their energy outside in the fresh air are less hyperactive - it's good for the soul.

I really hate the way children, especially boys, are so hooked on computer games these days, they really kill imagination. After all, when you play a game you are not using your own creativity but the ideas of someone else. Children these days often seem less able to 'make something out of nothing' - they are always searching for ready-made entertainment, which is not a good thing. I think I am quite lucky however, as even though I live in a city we live near to an excellent and very safe park which has many trees with low branches for climbing and areas thick with bushes large enough to hide in and play 'dens'. All the local children play here with a relative lack of supervision, and it's great for them - they mostly prefer the shrubbery and trees to the purpose built playground at the top, which goes to prove your point about the importance of adventure playgrounds.

'Life is a journey, not a destination' - I really love that quote, it is so accurate. Somehow most of us end up forgetting that too often, but if we forget about the journey then we are in danger of forgetting to properly live. Thanks Winsome for a great read :)


Winsome profile image

Winsome 6 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

Polly you can play in my adventure playground anytime. What a thoughtful and interactive comment. I am glad you enjoyed it. I was blown away with that creativity statistic and I made a little promise to myself to help every reader to regain some of that with everything I write. I hope it tickled some of your "play" brain cells. Thank you for stopping by and for the great response. =:)


attemptedhumour profile image

attemptedhumour 6 years ago from Australia

Hi winsome, i did very similar things to you and my daughters were encouraged to use their imaginations whenever possible. We used to go on a horse drawn carriage holiday twice yearly so our kids knew how to find fun with sticks, stones, swimming in the river, swinging into the river via a rope swing and all the natural things most kids sadly miss out on. We had a gas strike in Melbourne some years back and you would think it was the end of the world having no hot water or working cooker. We coasted through it without a worry. I would be right in there with my kids at the pool instead of drinking cappuchino's and watching. Great hub my friend.

PS Hello Marylou, goodbye heart. Classic comment. I keep laughing over that one.


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Winsome 6 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

Hey AH, thanks for making it over this way and for the fun comment. Horse drawn would make a fine holiday--instead of a walk it was a "rideabout" Your children will look back at those times as the best of their lives. Kudos to Dad. =:)


Ben Zoltak profile image

Ben Zoltak 5 years ago from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA

Bravo! Also, great bravado, well written, bold and to the point. For me, bar none, Ghost in the Graveyard and Kick The Can helped make me a better person. How shamfully dull my childhood would have been if it didn't have outdoor play in them.

Kudos,

Ben Zoltak


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Winsome 5 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

Hi Ben, thank you for your generous praise of what was for me one of the most fun times I've had writing. I just love the concept of play--in fact, given the choice between playing someone else's game or creating one of my own, I would choose the latter every time.

You intrigue me with your examples, I will have to look up the "bar none" and "Ghost in the Graveyard."

Thank you again for stopping by and for the kind words. =:)


Ben Zoltak profile image

Ben Zoltak 5 years ago from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA

I gotta giggle from your "bar none" comment, haha, I don't mean to laugh amigo, I meant: without exception! Anyway, Ghost in the Graveyard is a good one, a sort of hide and seek with a growing group of ghosts, you'd love it. A few times, as adults, I've been able to convince my brothers and sisters to play along with our kids, man it's tough to get adults to play though.

Again, well done Winsome.


Winsome profile image

Winsome 5 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

Aww and I thought I was going to learn a new one besides Ghost in the Graveyard. You'd have no trouble having adults play games with you at Bar None in East Village NY. It is famous for it's drinking games. Not much exercise and rather than stimulate the little gray cells, they're likely to kill a bunch. Thanks for the clarification. =:)


WD Curry 111 profile image

WD Curry 111 4 years ago from Space Coast

I'm part Texan. I did my playing in South West Texas. I always had a box of “horny toads” and a canteen full of water or Kool-Aid.

My kids (two sets) only play(ed) video games at friends houses. We live in Florida for crying out loud. If you can't find anything to do outside, you are a zilch. They all play music and do artwork all the time. They watch TV, but not when there is still light.

Do me a favor and drop a link to the dog story on a comment by itself. I will delete it. Personally, I would be glad to leave it up. No one monitors that stuff. This hotrod runs on auto while Big Brother is out playing golf.

Never mind, I found it!


Winsome profile image

Winsome 4 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas Author

Hey WD, I should have known you were part Texan--so many good hearts are developed there. I'm glad to hear your kids enjoyed playing, I bet they are happily industrious now. Every one of my four kids has a posse around them that thinks they are the most fun. I think their ability to play when they were younger has a lot to do with that.

Thank you for the great visit and a least Big Brother is out playing. =:)

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