What Did You Do For Fun As A Kid?

Tuesday, July 21, 2015


I watched this clip the other day where people from three different generations were asked the simple question, "what did you do for fun as a kid?"

And then I asked myself. What did I do for fun as a kid? Honestly? Everything. Bikes. Scooters. Forts. Fishing. Running. Jumping. Swimming. I did every damn thing I could.

That is except play video games, they were never my thing. We had the games growing up (okay, I guess I had a very intense winter break in '97 where I got really into playing Aladdin and Super Mario Karts) but when it was summer I wanted to be outside. And I say this like it's a badge of honor now, which for some reason it feels that way.

I look at kids these days with their ipads (at the pool even!) and suddenly I become that grandpa telling them about when I was a child walking up hill both ways to school in the scorching heat of the summer during a terrible blizzard. It's just the way it was.

Aren't kids watching movies like the Sandlot or Now & Then anymore? It was films like those that inspired me to make the absolute most of summer every single year. My friends and I actually attached a radio to my lime green two-seater bicycle and rode it around town singing like we were Roberta and Teeny.

I figured you'd want a pic, so here you go. (Radio does not appear in this photo, but I assure you we had a trusty $5 Shopko thing that played music. Albeit terribly scratchy music, but sometimes we could tell what song it was. )


Kerri and I both had killer Dr. Martens on. No biggy. Also mom, please send me those green Docs ASAP. If I move to Wicker Park next summer those things will be a hit.

And after biking around town (usually to Dairy Queen to get Dilly Bars) we'd take a break to lay out in the backyard, either on my trampoline or on the roof of Kerri's playhouse. And when the sun started to go down and the night set in it was time for a neighborhood game of Kick the Can or Ditch Em.

And no, I didn't grow up in the 60s. I simply did everything I could to pretend like I did however.

Even once it got late when I had to be inside I still insisted on playing. Let's just say I was an active Barbie enthusiast until I was way too old. I remember one time my brother walked in on me secretly playing and shouted "Are you playing with Barbies???" And I quickly responded, "No! I'm practicing braiding their hair. I'm not playing. I'm learning how to do hair."

I was playing. And I was probably fourteen. That's too old, huh?

As I write this I remembered that once I "out grew" Barbies (and by out grow I mean I realized it was no longer socially acceptable for me to play with them) I did move on to one computer game for awhile. A game called Sims. But I only played that during the darkest hours of the night when no one was around to watch me torture my poor characters by trapping them in house fires and starving them to death... Jk! But really. That was my dark phase as a teenager.

Zabaducci!!! #rosebud (That's inside code for all of my other Sims nerds.)

Anyway, when I watch the clip mentioned above it's sad to me that children today get the most fun out of life via technology. They have their entire adulthood to stare at a computer screen. Why get started so young?

On the other hand, my nephew and niece (ages 4 and 2) know how to work an ipad better than I do.Who knows what other stuff kids will be able to do so young? But then I wonder what skills I had at their age that they don't? Building a tree house complete with a grass floor and bark wallpaper? Or how about making an entire pirate ship out of a tree that fell in our backyard one summer?

You know where those skills landed me? Improv classes... So.... So who am I to say technology is bad?

But still I wonder, is it possible to raise children in today's world that aren't addicted to ipads and video games? I'm honestly asking because I don't know.


22 comments:

  1. I grew up outside too...or in front of the tv stuffing my face with bbq potato chips. But anyways, I had a gameboy and nintendo 64 but rarely played them. I had a few computer games like Oregon Trail and whatnot. I'm due with my first baby this fall and as of right now I refuse to let my child be a slave to the screens. I didn't have a smartphone until a year after the iphone 4s came out, didn't sit in front of a computer much until I was in high school, and didn't have an ipad until I turned 26. I hope to teach my daughter how to be imaginative and creative with her toys and the outdoors and to not have to rely on computers or ipads to be entertained. Yes there's lots you can learn from electronics, but I don't think having your nose stuck in them 24/7 is very healthy.

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  2. Now & Then!! I totally wanted to be just like them too. I also remember spending hours upon hours on the trampoline with all the kids who lived on my street making up "plays." Lol. I hope I can raise my future kids to have some of that outside adventure in them...but who knows. Kids these days are just soooo different. (I sound so old too don't worry) I nanny for a 2.5 and 5 year old, and I have to literally bribe them to go outside for a little bit everyday. They ask 10 times a day if they can watch shows, and even the younger one knows how to unlock my phone, scroll through the apps to find youtube and play a video. They have multiple pools in their neighborhood and I have to all but offer them a million dollars to go swimming with me!

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  3. It is possible to raise kids good balance between electronics and the real outdoor, come home sweaty and filthy playing! My son is 11. He has an iPod and access to an XBox but still plays outside all the time. I think that being a parent that pushes it and also sets the example is key. I sled, play on the slip n slide and jump on the trampoline with him. I think by setting this standard, he has been embarrassed by me when I use the slip n slide without him, but also has loved doing these things :) there are days when I am a lazy parent and let him rot his brain for a few hours at a time (especially in winter) but for the most part, setting a limit and a good example works. Show them the fun stuff you did and do them with the kids and they will enjoy it just as much. It's hard as schools use technology for everyday. He is heading into jr. High and instead of books, they use IPads!

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  4. I was totally looking for Now and Then on Netflix a couple weeks ago. I was in the mood for a trip down memory lane, it's not there either ): growing up we did the same thing as you did, played in the tree house, rode our bikes up and down the road from house to house, played in the creek behind my grandma and grandpas, basketball games in gravel driveways, swinged on the swing set. Pretty sure my list could go on and on. I went through a winter of playing Sims too lol my childhood was so much fun. I told my husband that when we have kids we won't be giving them electronics. I want them to have a childhood like I did!

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  5. Um, I played with barbies into my teens. Are you saying that wasn't cool?!

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  6. I lived outside. I was never in the house. Now I never see kids outside anymore because of all the electronics available. I had game systems but I played with them pretty much at night after I came in from being outside all day.

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  7. This whole screen time dilemma really freaks me out. I have a toddler and a baby and I think about it every single day. I kind of wish that iPads and iPhones and whatever were never invented (even though I love them). It makes me sad to see parents who can't get their faces off of them, and their children are doing the same. It makes me worried for the future.

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  8. A lot of kids are addicted to video games, but I know a few who like getting outside, playing, making a mess and getting dirty. It is all to do with the example we set for them. It is possible to have a balanced life, its just easier not to!! :-)

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  9. I always want to tell kids to go do something else as well. Also, the sims was the only computer game I ever played, though I enjoyed building the houses more than anything else. Although, making the right characters fall in love was also fun. Apart from that, I still don't know how computer games work

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  10. I know we had video games when I was a kid but we spent a lot of time, especially in the summer, outside. Water balloon fights, forts, biking, kickball games... you name it. Not a lot of time spent inside.


    Krysten @ Why Girls Are Weird

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  11. We had a few video games growing up, but like you we mostly spent our time playing outside (or inside without a video game because sometimes in Texas it's too hot to play outside). It's sad that a lot of kids now would rather be attached to their electronic devices because it's almost like they're missing out on what childhood is all about. And I totally played with barbies well past the acceptable age too. She was just so much fun!

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  12. This is so true! I'm from a huge family that lived on a farm growing up. There was no such thing as video games but plenty of forts trees to climb, animals to feed and soo much more ! I wouldnt change it for the world. My best freinds were sisters and we were inseparable :) now i try to visit as much as i can so my kids have a taste of that too. I'm trying my hardest to keep the iPads at bay but I'm sure that's easier said than done now since my oldest is only six..

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  13. Although I played a lot of video games when I was younger, I did play outside, by riding my bike, playing golf, swimming, or just walking around. One thing that I didn't do very often was pleasure reading in the sunlight... as I somewhat lost my zest for pleasure-reading after sixth grade.

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  14. My mom had to make me go outside from time to time cuz I liked my video games but I liked listening to her records even more. But when we were outside, we were drawing on the sidewalk with chalk, jumping rope, swimming, playing croquet/volleyball/badminton/basketball, etc. Nowadays, my youngest will complain that her trampoline is dirty. Sigh. So, clean it! Kids. :\

    Mandie ~ http://badbrewpack.blogspot.com/

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  15. We never had video games growing up until my cousin gave me his 'hand-me-down- gameboy and I was allowed to play it in the car and ONLY the car haha. So deprived right?! ;) Also.... Sims rule.

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  16. I used to love to build ridiculous houses for my barbies, and ridiculous forts as a child. My friends would get annoyed because they would want to play in them but I was never done with the building part...probably why I'm an engineer now. I also read a lot, but my parents were hippy's so we didnt have cable, I hated it then, but am thankful now.

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  17. I was never into video games. I was always outside or playing/doing something. I was either exploring the woods around my house or playing some sort of imagination game. I was always big into reading. I liked to pretend I was running away from home and take my belongings somewhere and pretend I was trying to survive some sort of disaster.

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  18. #rosebud! Simply awesome. I had the same type of bike riding and staying outside playing until the wee hours type of childhood you did, it sounds like, and it pisses me off to see kids sitting indoors on iPads. Those kids are losers

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  19. #rosebud. Perfect! Ain't nobody got time to send their SIM to work, then sleep, then work, all just to earn enough money to buy a nicer toilet that doesn't get dirty within a half hour in SIMS time. You know what I'm talking about. Sad thing is, I still love SIMS. Haven't played in months, but if I had time, I totally would. I even skipped a day of college to stay home and play SIMS. No joke. Beat that!

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  20. I feel pretty lucky to be one of the last age groups to grow up not completely entrenched in technology. Sure I played video games (tony hawk underground 2 what up) and went on the computer (chat rooms all night hahah) but it was in moderation and it was a smaller time frame than I spent outside. I was lucky to live in neighborhoods with lots of kids so we all were outside all the time playing football, manhunt, and swimming. Also we had simple cell phones which were perfect because you could get in touch with others but you werent sitting there constantly staring at your phone cause there was nothing to stare at! Anyway in case you couldn't tell I'm a LITTLE nostalgic. I want my kids to have a similar expereince for sure. Fresh air, exercise, and face to face social interactions are IMPORTANT!

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