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Children Playing: A Lost Art?

Updated on April 20, 2015

It is sad that in our day and time children seem to have lost the art of playing. I grew up in Michigan and we would stay out until the street lights came on. In the summer the neighborhood kids would get together and play kick-the-can, baseball, or just see how many daddy long leg spiders we could accumulate. In the winter it was snow forts, ice skating on a pond, or sledding. I had so much fun playing outside I hated to come in, even to use the bathroom. When the weather wasn’t conducive to playing outside then we played board games, school, house, or read books. I also I spent many hours trying to find the tunnel my older siblings had told me they dug that went all the way to Florida. Oh the joys of older siblings.

Then I raised my own three children. Yes, there was TV and Xbox, but I limited their use which made my children use their imaginations and play. They would make up shows, and I would be their audience. They would make up little routines to songs and perform them for family (check out the hilarious video of my girls performing Father Abraham). One time the girls dressed up their brother in disguise, and they had him knock on the front door. I didn’t even recognize my own son. They were always coming up with something creative to do.

I believe that children today feel entitled to be entertained. Gone are the long summer days of catching fire flies, playing kickball in the yard, or just simply trying to find that four leaf clover. Of course, safety factors play a role too. Parents don’t always have the time to sit outside to keep an eye on their children, so they relinquish them to the TV, computer, or video games to keep them entertained, and to not have to hear the words, “I’m bored,”

I can’t help but wonder what kind of impact this is having on the minds of our children. Will the art of playing become a thing of the past as our society becomes more of a dangerous place and more technologically driven?

What are your thoughts?


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    • heartexpressions profile image

      heartexpressions 5 years ago

      Thanks teaches12345 for the comments - I agree those were the days.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      I remember when my sisters and I would play for hours outdoors as children. We never had a problem sleeping and we were healthy. Our toys were simple: a ball, chalk and jump rope. I hate to say it but, those were the days. Thanks for the memory and the reminder of what child's play should be like.

    • heartexpressions profile image

      heartexpressions 5 years ago

      I agree Sunshine625; I'm the same way with my grandkids. My one granddaughter loves to act out princess stories that she makes up. I am princess Azalea and she is princess Olivia. It's tons of fun.

      Thanks for the comments.

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 5 years ago from Orlando, FL

      I thinkthat think that children should use their imagination more and depend on battery operated toys less. That's what I do with my grandchildren. I'm still old school with hopscotch, musical chairs, jumprope and checkers. Excellent hub!

    • heartexpressions profile image

      heartexpressions 5 years ago

      Thanks jenbeach21 - I think they are super cute too! I was in tears remembering all of the shows they put on and the fun things they did- they always made me smile! I'm one blessed Mom.

    • jenbeach21 profile image

      jenbeach21 5 years ago from Orlando, FL

      I totally agree and your children are really cute!