Sunday, January 23, 2011

My Connections to Play

Play was so much simpler when I was a child. I used to go outside and climb trees, make mud pies, jump rope, play hopscotch—well you get my point. Play was our time to explore the world outside and inside, as well as figuring out our boundaries. For example, when my friend’s and I would go outside to play we knew, without being told, we could not go beyond my next neighbors’ neighbor’s house, nor could we cross the street without an adult. Naturally, our parents would always remind us as we ran out the door.
As we got older, for my friends at least, the boundaries became broader and they had more access to the other side of the street and friends’ houses around the corner. My mother was very strict and did not allow me to go much further than the two doors down even into my teens, so I began to stay inside more. I watched lots of television and read many, many books. But when I went to my friends’ houses, we were able to explore further away from the house, which gave me a sense of freedom and responsibility because I knew if I managed to get myself into trouble, the repercussions from my mother would have be very harsh.
In contrast, play today has many boundaries and obstacles. While there were fears of abduction for our parents while we played, we were able to play without fear of being killed in a crossfire. Children’s playtime has been reduced to video games, gadgets, and television whether the reasons be the parent works and the child has to stay inside, or the parents just do not have or make the time to allow their children to explore outdoors.

Quotes regarding play:

I remember wanting to play chess with the older kids was I was very young.

Play is our brain's favorite way of learning.
Diane Ackerman
Contemporary American author

I think blocks were a part of most children's early years.

Play gives children a chance to practice what they are learning.
Fred Rogers
American television personality

I used to love climbing trees! My six year old daughter has taken over!
Necessity may be the mother of invention, but play is certainly the father.
Roger von Oech
Contemporary American creativity guru



  1. Love your quotes! I agree with you that today's children need more unsupervised time to explore their world. I believe this started changing when more mothers entered the workforce in the 1970s. It's really a shame, as autonomy leads to personal growth and healthy self esteem.

  2. Absolutely!

    My two younger daughters have two cardboard boxes they pretend are their cars. They decorated them and have a great time pretending.

  3. Hi Kali,
    You did a lovely job on this blog. Is the picture of the children in the tree your own? I love the boots on the little girl. Your quotes were great choices too.

  4. His Susan,

    No, I actually found them online. I thought it was a great representation of children in carefree play.

    Thanks Susan!

  5. Cute shot. I loved to climb trees as a child too. I was a bit of a tomboy.

  6. Hey Kali,

    I like your photos. Unfortunately, I did not like to climb trees but I loved to jump rope and hop scotch! You made a great point about the reason for children playing indoors. The crime rate does have an effect on the children today. This is sad but all too true.

  7. I remember playing with those large, cardboard blocks in kindergarten that looked like bricks. I would stack those and make a fort or house around myself. It's inteesting that you were limited in where you could go when outside. I grew up in an area where all the children were gone for hours at a time and we could go about a mile away from our houses. I was right in the middle of the city, but things were just safe then. My parents didn't even lock the front door and slept with the windows open. How things have changed!

  8. Thanks Chantrell. And absolutely, things have changed tremendously.

    For Carole, We were in a fairly safe neighborhood, but my mother, as I said above, was very strict. i think it came from her being reared by her grandmother and how strict she was with her. Don't get me wrong, I had fun, I just kind of wish I would have been able to venture out a little further.