Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Childhood Games

Our survey is in full swing, and it’s been lovely reading all the responses – thank you to everyone who’s already taken part – your feedback is greatly appreciated! If you’d like to be in the running to win a gorgeous Quill & Ink Handmade prize pack, you can fill out our quick survey here. Entries close soon!

In the surveys, it’s been interesting to see the progression of change in the games and toys and the way that we’ve played over generations – it’s always been something that’s really interested me (and not just because we make toys for children).
I’ve always loved hearing stories of how our grandparents played and the types of toys they had, compared to the way our parents played, and the games that they were able to create. Even the games and toys that I played with as a child are quite different to the games my wee ones play now. Not better or worse, mind you; but I guess the most obvious difference would be is that they generally have more to spark that creativity, more things to create their games with.

I don’t remember much about my childhood toy stash; but here are a couple of key things that we played with that stand out in my memory - like my box of paper dolls. Kim and I also shared a box of small, palm sized dolls, which we (very creatively) called ‘Little Dolls’ – which were played with for years, until they were literally falling apart with too much handling. The dolls all had names from the Sound of Music and the Slipper and the Rose (a musical version of Cinderella), which were our two favourite movies. I’m pretty sure that we even had multiple dolls that we named Leisel, because wasn’t she the most beautiful, most graceful and just the loveliest girl?

And at school, it was all about crazy athletic games which involved flexibility or accuracy; and for a little while there, the school yard was littered with girls kicking up their legs like can-can dancers to play Elastics (thanks for the reminder, Maxabella – it made me smile) – do you remember that game? I was even confident when the elastic height neared holders’ necks – how in the world did we ever manage that?

We were also obsessed for a while with handball, which was tricky and competitive and often resulted in lots of heated arguments over line balls and whether the serves were legal, and if the other person was cheating. There was always tiggy, red rover (both of which I seemed to be totally hopeless at), roller skating, soccer (in the middle of summer, when the earth seemed to be on fire), and skipping ropes, which was revived every year during the ‘Jump Rope for Heart’ campaign. I even remember a skipping carnival, where we raised money for the Heart Foundation by spending a whole day taking turns with the skipping rope, dressed in red, red ribbons flying in our plaited hair.

Right now, my babes are half-heartedly playing with a tub of Lego and a box of matchbox cars. Judah’s chasing a balloon around the house, trying to tackle it like a football player, and Lou’s attempting to stand on her head. We’ve had guitars out this morning, have done a bit of Elvis dancing, and there’s talk of bike riding as soon as it warms up a bit.
Isn’t play, in all its forms, just the most magical thing?

Do you remember your favourite childhood games?


Image from here.


Michelle said...

Yay, I can comment! (don't feel like such a stalker now..). The ones I remember from the school playground were the elastics and the skipping rope, we just loved it and played until the bell went. At home, I was a doll girl. Loved my dolls. I was lucky enough to have a sister who converted my built in bookcase to a barbie doll house. It was the best and she even wall papered it for me. She made all my barbie clothes for me too, and I still have them, they are so 70's, all the jump suits and flares. She was a very talented 11 year old. thanks for the trip down Memory Lane,
Michelle xx

Sean said...

Red rover tackle was a favourite on our dry, bindy filled oval. Thanks Natty, I am reminded of the thrill when the call "Bull Rush" was made!