Tattered Past

Tattered Past: My ongoing journey through genealogy, history, writing, self-exploration and art. ~~~ Rita Ackerman











Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Tuesdays With Rita: Childhood games and Play

Whew. Tuesday almost went right past me again. Where oh where does the time go.

The prevailing thought today is about play. As children we played all the time. It was just what we did. If there weren't friends to play with we made them up or had tea parties with our dolls or stuffed animals. If there were kids in the neighborhood we found them and usually made friends. We all met at a neighbors yard and spent our summer nights playing tag or catching June bugs. In the winter we made forts and snowmen.

What were your favorite games or activities as a child? In my neighborhood we met at the house on the corner. They had a very big lot and since there were no fences our yard became part of the play area. There was Jon, Lorna and Jan and before that Patty lived there. Across the street there was Denton and Karen. They went to Catholic school so I was always glad to get home to see my friends. I never seemed to have friends like that at school.

So many memories but I don't remember when I quit playing. I didn't play for a very long time. I wouldn't think of sitting down with crayons and a coloring book or a stuffed animal. Now I love them. It's funny but I notice that people reach a certain age and many of them find play an important part of their lives. I have two friends who have chosen "play" as their word for 2011. A reminder to take time for themselves and let go. Art journalers do this and most of the mixed-media artists I've met. They've learned that a little bit of play makes life oh so much better.

In my writing group today a friend gave me a ZhuZhu. I didn't know about this fad but I laughed and laughed as I sent it running across the table. Other members of the group picked it up and directed it back at me as they continued their conversations. I had fun being a child causing trouble for awhile. I don't think I would have done that 20 years ago. I've learned how to play again. I draw, color, sew, hug my stuffed animals, and watch children's movies. (We had a great time with "Wall-e" on Christmas.) As the world becomes more and more stressful we all need to remember to play. 

Share with us how you played as a child. What were your favorite games? Who were your friends? How do you play as an adult? What "games" can you teach the rest of us?

The picture is my cousin Kay and I (kneeling) having our own tea party. I loved that little tea set. I was 6 or 7.