Thursday, August 20, 2009

Kids' Stuff: Games Kids Can Still Enjoy

"30 Classic Games for Simple Outdoor Play"
Jenny Williams, GeekDad, Wired (August 20, 2009)

"When I was a kid, we played outside with the other kids in the neighborhood with most of our free time. We also made the most of recess at school. We kept ourselves quite occupied without any of today's modern technologies. Listed below are some no-tech games that you may have enjoyed as a kid. I sure did. Some can be done indoors. Some can be done by yourself or with just one friend. But most of them are best when done outside with a group of people. Also, most of these games can be changed or improved by making up your own rules. Use your imagination!

"Hide and Seek: Everyone has played this one. Most parents have played with their kids, since hiding and finding is a common interest of small children. I've heard of all kinds of variations on this game...."

You're probably familiar with many of these games, but then again: maybe not. Not all the old childhood games survived America's 20th century, when families pulled up stakes at intervals to go where the corporation led. That may have been good for the bank account, but Johnny and Janey didn't always have time to get connected in the new school before they were off again.

Enough social commentary. The Lemming's 'apathetic,' you know. ;)

Bottom line first: This is a pretty good resource for reviewing (and maybe learning) childhood games. It's not comprehensive, of course: there isn't any mention of the ancient origins of hopscotch, for example.

Now, a little nit-picking. GeekDad describes as "no-tech games" - although some, like capture the flag and parachute - derive their names from the technological items required: pieces of cloth. But GeekDad clearly means "technology" in the more colloquial sense: something invented in the last few centuries. Probably with transistors.

So, about the post:

Fun? Yes.

Nostalgic? Maybe.

Useful? Could be - particularly if you've got kids and like to play with them. (Key word there is with them.)


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