Last night I got to thinking about how different each generation’s childhood was. I was watching commercials that showed educational toys for toddlers. There were some for video games. There were some for swimming pools. Kids these days have so many purchasable options that we adults can get for them. What did we have when we were kids? What did my parents have when they were kids? What types of games were played?
My parents remember how hard they had to work around the farm and the household because there were so many kids (9 and 8 kids per family respectively). They had to bring water from the well (no plumbing). As they got older, they would take items to the market (eggs, butter, cheese) to sell so that they could buy other items like thread and yarn or salt and other seasonings. This was because the parents and grandparents would either be watching the newest babies or were working in the garden. At that time (about 50 years ago) the older kids were also the ones that took care of the sheep and the goats or cows. They would take them out to a lovely pasture to graze. School…well, you didn’t stay in school long…maybe grade 3 or up to grade 5 because there was much work to do at home. Didn’t sound like much of a childhood to me, but my mother swears there were good times too.
I recall my mother laughing and telling me about the games they played. There was no tv to watch. They would read books. They would play jacks. They would sing songs and dance. They played tag. Then there was the typical tree climbing and rock climbing adventures (you just had to watch for snakes). There was juggling (rocks…and hope it didn’t land on your head). Oh, they learned how to whistle grass. Now some of those I do recall doing in my childhood as well, but my generation, well we had different games. (Mostly because we didn’t live in a village and had no livestock.)
Now, this is oftentimes the best way to find out how old someone is. Here is a list of games that we used to play as kids (my age and those 10 years older) played:
Now, if you can recall any of these games (feel free to follow the link to see what kind of fun I’m talking about) then you are about my age or maybe 5 years younger. If not, then you are of a much younger generation where video games were starting to become more popular. Good ol’ Atari and Intellivision. Barbie was getting super hip and getting a lot more cars and campers and airplanes. Boy’s toys were getting more cool too. The absolutely amazing Big Wheel. How about Stretch Armstrong?
Anyway, I digress. I love going down memory lane. The older I get the happier my childhood memories are. You really only remember the good ol’ days. I’m sure the games that I used to love to play shall be making a comeback. Why? Because it’s not “old stuff”, it’s called “retro” and retro is always cool.
So, when Little Kennie gets a little order, I will show her what a cool and hip grandma I am because I am “old” enough to know all these cool “retro” games that no one else knows.
Anyone up for a game of Red Rover. Now that’s what I call kid’s stuff!