Childhood Pastimes

Childhood Pastimes

I can remember back in the early eighties when I was a kid, say my pre-teen era, my brother and I used to keep ourselves busy by climbing trees, riding our bikes and playing football, to name a few. Now days, children’s past times consist of hand held video game devices, cell phones, television and home video game consoles. Not much mind stimulation or physical fitness.

When I was growing up everyday was a new day for discoveries. Me, my brother and friends would set out on journeys on our bikes and look for the best hills to jump. Any chance we could get we were outside. Our time was limited to indoor activities unless the weather called for it and we had no choice. Even if it was raining or storming outside we’d beg to stay out there. Nature was so addicting and satisfying. If we had to be inside we’d either play board games or we’d let our creative minds do the work. I can remember building forts and castles, or at least that’s what we pretended they were. I would be the queen and my brother the evil dragon. There were not really times we sat in front of the television; if we did it was because there was a scary movie on. My parents didn’t buy us many video games; they said “it would rot our minds”.

Many among today’s generation of children would rather play video games or surf the internet than hang out outside. Our fundamental nature of American childhood has changed in a single generation. The unstructured outdoor childhood days of pick-up baseball games, tree houses and “be home for dinner” has all but disappeared. Today, childhood is mostly spent indoors, watching television, playing video games and working the internet. When children do go outside it tends to be for a scheduled event such as a soccer game, softball game, cheer and so on all pretty much held under the watch of adults.

The rising shift to an indoor childhood has risen in the past ten years or so from my own observations, experiences and surveys done from across the country. A...

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