Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Just for the fun of it !

Play keeps us vital and alive.
It gives us an enthusiasm for life that is irreplaceable.
Without it, life just doesn't taste good.

Lucia Capocchione

We were at a soccer tournament this weekend for a ladies' league in which our eldest daughter plays. The day was beautiful for sitting in a park and even the dog loved the outing. Several games were going on simultaneously and if one got restless, there was a walking trail along the nearby Thames River.

I took a little walk in the late afternoon and came across a young brother and sister at play. They were gifted with gymnastic ability and scurried up an unused soccer goal post and started to creep along the cross bar until they met head to head. It was great fun watching them carefully inch toward each other in their own game.


Their mother's team mate was warming up on the crossbar during the soccer match. I can hardly remember the last time I saw children climbing trees or being involved in their own creative play. The Becka visited her favourite childhood playground recently and was unhappy to see that the old climbing poles and the little elevated play house had been removed to make way for safer, plastic slides and swings. I think it is a fear of liability more than a concern for children's safety that has made cities "dumb down" their creative play areas. Children are barely allowed to take risks at all and play time has become very organized for most.

These youngsters made my day, and our daughter's team won their game as well as the pool in their tournament.

Life does taste good!

14 comments:

  1. what a fun series of pictures. I love to see kids finding fun naturally and you are right it does not happen as often as it used to. I think sometimes we overschedule our children and they lose the chance for exploration that makes them such great innovators and creators.

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  2. How refreshing to see children making up their own games and fun. I agree with you that playgrounds have been dumbed down and there is little room for creative play. Nice pictures.

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  3. What great photos! I, too, think it's great to see kids at play in creative, active ways. Often that means keeping the toys simple and at a minimum.

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  4. We are so with you on your view of creative play! Last night, whilst sitting out on the front deck we were commenting on how nice it was to hear the kids out ... down the street and next door. Two families that actually get their kids outside! It is interesting to listen to some of the creative play they come up with (we can hear the conversations of those right next door to us!).

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  5. We used to climb trees and create play spaces in the woods, even fashioning "furniture" from pine straw. I can't remember when I last saw a kid climb anything.

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  6. Loved your pics. I do love watching children at play - and joining in myself! (well, with my grandkids - not children I don't know).

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  7. Fun post, Ruth. I remember climbing to the top of a rack which had steps - when I reached out and started moving along the bar, I looked down and nearly fainted - it was a long, long way:)

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  8. I really like that first photo of the two children meeting in the middle! You caught them at just the right moment...

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  9. The pictures say it all, don't they. There are two sibs who should have a life-long bond.

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  10. Nice to see that kids can play and have fun without plugging it in or turning it on.....

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  11. My own daughter grew up playing outdoors as I did. On two occasions I had to talk her down from a tree. I don't see that kind of fun anymore as most children use toys or participate in organized sports. They have lots of hand exercise on the keyboard, though.

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  12. Great pics! Growing up in a large family there was very little money to buy "extras". We were lucky to get a skipping rope and a colouring book. We had to learn to find things to amuse ourselves and we only had each other. Looking back today, I feel blessed to have been raised with the "withouts" as it allowed are family to be close and appreciate the world we live in. The two young kids on the bars have found fun in a simple form and the huge smiles on their faces say it all. Oh to be a kid again!
    I wonder if they have tried making mud pies?

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  13. Ruth, this is wonderful and I can so relate to this world of play and freedom. Growing up in a small maritime village the entire community was our playground. We always showed up at home for meals as our parents assumed we would and none seemed worried of our safety; and there were no major mishaps to recall. The world has so changed!

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  14. Thanks for all your comments. I found out who their mother is through the networking magic of Facebook. Imaginative and creative children grow up to become imaginative and creative adults ...just as many bloggers are.

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