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Thursday, March 30, 2017

Come On Let's Play!

Posted Thursday, April 21, 2011, at 6:12 PM

Children do not play like we used to. Sadly, it is a pretty dangerous world out there and even your front yard is not safe.

New York is trying to ban some childhood games; Tag, Dodge ball, Red Rover, etc.

What!!! Tag promotes running and competition. Dodge ball and Red Rover are character building games. Why? Because they help a child make choices, accept adversity and find out who their friends truly are.

It is true that sometimes a child or two might get too carried away and use more force than is necessary. Many things can be discerned from children and their thoughts by how they play with others. Some of this can raise a red-flag for a parent to nip an attitude in the bud before it grows into a major problem.

We played hide and seek in the dark; Red-Light Green Light, Mother May I or Simon says. This helped our motor skills and listening skills not to mentioned increasing our heart rate if you were discovered in the dark!

It is true that children on the school playgrounds have their own hierarchy with games. They can be very selective as to who they want on their teams and the rules that they want to impose. It prepares children for adult life filled with expectations and disappointments.

We didn't have a lot of fancy things to play with at our house but there was always something to keep us amused. My brothers were pretty inventive on horses and playing Cowboys and Indians. The Indians didn't have the horses, they were the ones running to find cover in the sagebrush! We slid down the hill at the back of our house on old pieces of metal. None of us got cut or broke any bones, but our clothes got pretty dirty and made my mom mad.

I don't know one friend of mine that didn't make a mud pie or two. A few of them would eat them too. We used an old washing machine agitator wheel to spin us around, now you can buy the plastic version for $20.00 or more.

My sister Bev and I had a different playhouse every summer. We used an old shed for a while, and a couple horse pens and our best playhouse was a horse-shoe shaped group of sagebrush.

Indoor play included tea parties, dress-up and playing house. Boys had marbles, cars and trucks and building materials. The TV was rarely on

Today, Playtime is carefully scheduled and controlled with T-Ball; Soccer, Softball, Volleyball, Football, Gymnastics, and Dance Lessons. It is rare that children are encouraged to be spontaneous in their playtime.

Most of us who grew up the country and small towns were granted a certain freedom that most city kids have never experience.

Protective services was not called when children were running loose and unsupervised. Our mothers had a secret union with spies on every corner or authority figures who had permission to spank a child who misbehaved. Special equipment granted to a mom was an extra set of eyes affixed to the back of their heads!!

Your misdeeds were not caught on tape but reported dutifully by another mother via the party-line on the telephone. There wasn't a fear that someone would kidnap or injure a child back then because everyone watched out for each other.

There will never be an electronic or battery-operated game or toy that can equal playing hide and seek or tag. Role-playing games pale in comparison to a tea party and dressing up or playing house. Being in a marble tournament yields far more pleasure and rewards than a score-based TV or computer game.

Is the world too far gone to have those free times back? Probably not. Do not despair though!!! Simply dust off your board games or get out the old badminton or croquet set. If you live on a farm, the stock tank makes a great swimming pool. If you live in the city, a water sprinkler is just as fun.

We can still play albeit more carefully. You still need a union of mothers or responsible adults And having a set of eyes on the back of your head wouldn't hurt either.

As for me, I plan on a tea party or two with my granddaughter or a game of chase with my grandsons. Life should be enjoyed by treasuring the simple things and spending time with your loved ones.

Showing comments in chronological order
[Show most recent comments first]

Great one Bonnie, but I'm on my phone so will look later when I can see it better.


-- Posted by jessiemiller on Thu, Apr 21, 2011, at 7:30 PM

I agree Bazookaman. We need to make a clean sweep with our voting. Or at the very least, continually remind them that they are not on tenure with us.

We need to teach our grandchildren how to play like we used to.

-- Posted by KH Gal on Fri, Apr 22, 2011, at 8:40 AM

I didn't live in that perfect world you grew up in, my world was a lot different.

I started out in life living in welfare housing with my single mother and brother, yes and back then they had hand outs. We got not only housing we got money.

Why did we live there? We had to move there because my Dad up and left when I was 2 yrs old and never returned. Back then Moms were stay at home Moms at least 95% of them.

I lived near sex offenders who didn't have to register, my Mom told us who they were and to stay away from them while we were out all day playing kick the can, hide and seek and etc.

We lived near the train tracks and the train depot was our favorite place, because we could go there and beg from passengers on their stop.

sometimes for fun we would get to climb in the box cars if a door was open. Oh and sometimes we would check the tracks for dead animals or see if we could out run a train or cross the tracks by going under a train that was stopped. What our Mother didn't know !!

We live in a much safer world for kids and its up to the parents to turn the tv off and get out a board game and play it with their kids. It is not up to our congress to babysit us or our kids.

Another one of our favorite places to play was where the hobo's camped at. We enjoyed checking their camp and seeing what they left behind.

On Saturdays we were each given a nickle to go see a Movie, but that didn't leave us any money for candy so we stopped a long the way. We first stopped at a bakery and got a donut for free while they were going through an assembly line. Next stop gas station to get money from a man that worked there, next the creamery where they were always making something delicious. We usually got a Popsicle there. Once we got to the movies there was an older girl who always had a stash of money and we could easily get some from her... lol !

I raised my kids entirely different. They had to let me know at all times where they were, if they didn't come home on time, I was out looking for them.

-- Posted by MsMarylin on Fri, Apr 22, 2011, at 9:31 AM

Sorry MsMarylin

I didn't always live in a perfect world, we didn't have much spending money, but lots of imagination. I had hand-me-down clothes most of my life or my mother made them. My mom was a farm wife and worked along side of my dad and brothers.

My sister and I learned to cook when I was 9 and she was 8 and we were responsible for lunches and dinners plus housekeeping. I won't say that the first year was more than fish sticks and easy stuff, but we learned to follow a cookbook and my mother left a list of duties. We worked hard and our afternoons were free.

Bev and I could put together a dinner for 30 people by the time we were in our teens. In fact, I had a hard time cooking for just two people when I got married.

I always wanted to know where my kids were at all times, but GF and KH was a different place growing up and you could trust your children at a young age to be by themselves or stay within a set perimeter.

I know that my parents came from families that were not well-to-do. And they both worked at a young age to help out.

I have been a single mom and know what it is like to be on the bottom of the scale financially.

There are two generations that have not really done without much in their short lifetimes. And they don't realize that life isn't always fair or fun. But to use your imagination and to feel the freedom of play and exploring has been severely curtailed by fear (Valid Fear) and lawsuits.

-- Posted by KH Gal on Fri, Apr 22, 2011, at 10:06 AM

My Grandma was my Mom, without her I don't know how I would of survived.... My Grandma would ride the bus from one side of town to the Other side where I lived every Friday afternoon. She would be waiting for me outside the school and wisk me away to her side of life, which was a nice 2 story house. Friday after Supper she would take me to the corner store and let me pick out snacks I wanted for the weekend.

Snacks Ha we didn't get those on Welfare !!

Saturdays we walked down town, and I owe my Grandma starting me on that walking thing, because I've been a walker all my life. Anyways she would take me to department stores and buy me what ever it was she thought I needed. Usually it was shoes or school clothes. And she always bought me something like paper dolls or puzzles. :)

When I was 15 she had a stroke could no longer walk or talk anymore. My Grandpa was blind. I loved my Grandma so much and like I said I don't know what I would of done without her growing up. I moved into their house and took care of them. I hired house keepers to take care of them while I was at school. Soon as school was out I went back home to them. I did the cooking, cleaning, dressing my Grandma and everything else that went with her care. I took care of her up until I was 19. Then my life changed again !

-- Posted by MsMarylin on Fri, Apr 22, 2011, at 10:22 AM

Ms Marilyn, you've had quite the life I'd say. It only shows more the fortitude you have, that you are the person you are, coming from where you came.

"Where" you come from is not always a 'geological' place. It can be mental, moral, emotional Places just as well. And I believe that those places have a higher percentage of shaping us into the people that we are.

I also loved this blog. It's so true that so many kids don't know how to "Play" not really.

All those games we played, kick the can, Red Rover, Tag, and more.... and building forts out of lawn chairs and blankets, making bow and arrows out of sticks and willows....

I wish more kids had those experiences

It's true without doubt that Red Rover and such games could wind up being a pretty rough sport, and some kids took it too far. Bullying was alive and well then, just as it is now. It was just physical then, where now it's "virtual". It will always be, and parents need to be watchful of their children in either circumstance, as the parents of the bullied, and the bullier.

The topic of the Rec Building here has driven me crazy! I've mentioned a few times that we don't NEED it. Because being physical doesn't require "set up equipment". It only involves imagination whether indoors or out. The world is your PLAYGROUND! Use it!

Someone mentioned earlier, that a neighbor might call and let ya know that they saw your kid doing "so and so" THAT is what friends/neighbors/communities can do to help! I've said before "It takes a community to raise a child" And Mike, you've disagreed with me. I never came back to make a point, but my point in part was stuff like this. Caring. I do NOT mean that everyone in the community should contribute money or whatever other stuff is needed. But if you're walking down the street and see my kid smoking.... I'd much rather you let me know, than think to yourself "It's not my business" We are all responsible to a degree. THAT is a safety issue. If you are in town and see my kid run over by a car and laying bleeding on the asphalt, I bet you'd call. While different, it's the same. tada! I think I won!

My son (21) and I were watching a grand daughter playing in my back yard last night. With dogs, sticks, hay bales, whatever. I believe that if given a chance, most kids would prefer homesy fun. My son said "she's not normal for these days is she?" No, unfortunately, she's not. But kids that come to my house, find fun outside, like my own kids did over the decades. And how I did .... and my Mom and Dad. They don't have a choice with me. They go on cattle drives, fix fences, bottle feed bummer calves, and have given shots to animals, ..... among other things. This is real life, and I want them to have it. And yes, sometimes, they are tired, scared, and cry for the loss of life. But the next time they are asked ...they jump at the opportunity.

I realize I kind of rambled here, but this blog brought so many thoughts to mind.

Have a great weekend, and Happy Easter!


-- Posted by jessiemiller on Fri, Apr 22, 2011, at 11:18 AM

I certainly have had a very colorful life, not much has escaped me. People have said that God never gives you more then you can handle..... I guess he figured I could handle a lot. lol !

I bet more kids will be outside playing when all those cuts are set in place. Some will have to get rid of cable and satellite TV.

Everything is going sky high....Gas, Food, interest rates and everything else.

Anybody want to buy a house? lol ! I got one I would love to sell....

-- Posted by MsMarylin on Fri, Apr 22, 2011, at 11:33 AM

Ms Marilyn:

I know that you are of age where it was rare to have a single mom. There are no perfect families. I used to rage against that with my own children.

What we do have in common is that we have overcome some tremendous challenges in our lives and thankfully, we survived!

I appreciate all of your comments and hope that you will have a great weekend.

Jessie you too!

-- Posted by KH Gal on Fri, Apr 22, 2011, at 11:33 AM

Yes it was rare to have a single Mom back then.

She had to wait 7 years I think that's what it was to get a divorce or declare him dead. My mind is a little foggy about those details because it was so long ago...

I did see my Dad when I was around 15 years old.

He had been living in Michigan and passed away. They sent his body back to my home town (that's where he had a sister) and I went to the funeral home alone to see him. Very sad because they only had 2 rooms and both rooms had a man in it. I went from one room to the other trying to figure out which one he was.... I went out in the hallway and cried, and a man that worked there came over to me put his arm around me and asked if he could help me. I told him what my problem was and told him my Dad's name. He took me into the first room and up to the coffin and put his hand out and said this is your Dad......

-- Posted by MsMarylin on Fri, Apr 22, 2011, at 12:17 PM

Plain Talk About Spanking

by Jordan Riak

-- Posted by PDeverit on Fri, Apr 22, 2011, at 4:41 PM

Well. Not going to give that too much dignity. There's a HUGE difference between anger/violence & loving discipline. IMHO the punishment needs to "fit the offence" & it needs to be now/right now. Not after a consultation with others. And it can't be done in anger. Huge difference. But I'm not an "educated psychologist" (been told that) I've just had a part in raising some awesome kids who are now awesome parents of my awesome grandchildren.

No, I'm not looking for your approval.

Difference is also that those looking for approved probably WERE violently abused & are passing it along. If you were that person, I'm sorry, genuinely sorry that happened. It's not how it is for everyone who was /does spank.


-- Posted by jessiemiller on Fri, Apr 22, 2011, at 5:57 PM

When I was in a store with my little kids, if they misbehaved while shopping, I would take them outside and have a little talk with them. Then I would take them back in and they were as good as gold from then on. All I had to do is tell them if they didn't behave like little angels I would not buy them the cereal they were wanting or what ever else thing they had their eye on and that always worked. My kids called it black mail... I called it teaching good behavior. lol !

And my kids were never allowed to run around in a store or leave my side...

-- Posted by MsMarylin on Sat, Apr 23, 2011, at 9:57 AM

Being born and raised in bklyn N.Y. I am surprised to hear what you are saying they are trying to do.

We played the same games as any of you played just different,stick ball....rubber ball and an old broomstick in the school yard made you feel like you were in ebbets fld,hand ball.......rubber ball and a wall and your in bussiness. .......THEY CALL IT RACQUETBALL TODAY........marbles,hide and seek,dodge ball,basketball,go to the community centers for swimming meets,drum and bugle corp,the boy scouts,dont fool yourselfes there is a lot to do in those cities, you have to make yourself avalable to it.and most of this was free,we stayed busy and it seemed like mom had eyes in the back of her head,because mrs jones sure would tell it after she got through with you.(smile)

On the lighter side i had a back yard full of grans and some adopted grans,,,,,,they ate they climbed trees,played badmenton,catch (SOFTBALL PLAYERS) they ran and jumped and just plain played. IT is a sight to see and enjoy, and we didnt have to teach them how.they range from 18 mmonths to 13yrs. it is good to see.WE should all give thanks that we can provide a place such as we have to let our children be children.A GOOD MIXTURE OF STRUCTURE AND UNSTRUCTURED GOES A LONG WAY.........EVERY LITTLE BIT HELPS TO MAKE THEM BETTER PEOPLE...........BUT WE MUST PLAY WITH THEM TO FILL THE WHOLE PICTURE.BESIDES THAT IT IS GOOD FOR THE SOUL(smile)..........HAPPY EASTER ALL

-- Posted by lamont on Sun, Apr 24, 2011, at 9:27 PM

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Bonnie Bird
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Fixing fence is the one of the hardest jobs on a ranch. I no longer live on a ranch, but I do know what hard work is. Fences are everyone's concern, but nowadays,the "hole" is always your neighbor's side not your own. It used to be that you would respect your neighbor and mend the fence together. If their cows got in your field, a simple phone call resolved the problem. You might even saddle up your own horse and help them gather them up. We need more people who are willing to roll their sleeves up and fix the fence regardless of who your neighbor is. There are people in this country who need to be reminded that a fence is like the way you should conduct your life. Your posts should be straight and neat. The wire needs to be stretched tight and your gate might be closed, but can still be easily opened. And most of all, we can all saddle up together and ride the range, it won't matter if you have an Appaloosa, Quarter Horse or Thoroughbred. The cows still have to be gathered, fences have to be fixed, and the range is a wide open space of opportunity for us all.
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