When I was a kid, we played tag, capture the flag, kick the can, army men, and cops and robbers.
Later, we played baseball in the street (can I tell you how many broken headlights we had in just a few years), football on the beach (trying running like Wesley Walker in sand!), frisbee in the water, "errors" in the backyard.
One year, my friend and I wrote a sequel to Rocky well before Rocky II came out. It wasn't very good, but boy, we had fun doing it.
When we did engage in "electronic things," we listened to albums.
I came remember the first year I started to listen to records. It was 1977 - I was in the fifth grade. My friend's older brother had records by Kansas, ELP, Jethro Tull and Yes. His other older brother was a disco fan and had records by Donna Summer, the Bee Gees (Jive Talkin'!) and others. We listened to all of them. My favorite were the comedy albums - Richard Pryor (Live in Concert), Steve Martin (Let's Get Small!), Robin Williams (Reality - What A Concept) and of course George Carlin (Toledo Window Box and Class Clown.)
I guess I'm getting old, but I feel nostalgic for those days.
There was so much less technology.
There felt like there was more humanity.
The standardized testing was kept to a minimum, playtime and naptime in kindergarten were still around, and we used to get milk and cookies for snacks. We had cigar boxes with the Dutch Masters on them to keep our crayons and glue and other art items in.
Can you imagine kids having such a thing now?
Were things really better in the seventies?
No - but there sure was more time for human interaction.
The days of computers, Blackberries, Iphones, and all the other technological gadgets you see people distracting themselves with have really put an end to so much of the authentic interaction between people.
Even the act of listening to music is so often an individual thing.
I can remember sitting around listening to Class Clown with my friends and everybody laughing.
Who does that anymore?
Everybody is watching their own show on their own personal device and laughing to themselves.
It's not the same.
So I hope this bringing back of playtime works.
We need more spontaneous, imaginative people in the world, and if adding play back into the lives of children can help develop those kinds of kids, that would be great.