Tic Tac Toe and Other Games We Used to Play…

06 May
Tic Tac Toe

As I was sitting in my recliner this afternoon I glanced out and saw the branches of the trees outside out home.  They reminded me of the childhood game we used to play.  We would play game after game in the car as we traveled from home to my grandparents home.  We would play the license plate game or the ABC game as we traveled. 

Another game we used to play was hangman.  In elementary school we made teams and would play this game on a day when we had indoor recess.  Indoor recess games were always designed to keep us as quiet as possible and in our seats which was the complete opposite of what recess was all about.  We also played Seven Up during indoor recess or it we were really lucky for indoor recess our teacher would read us a chapter in a book.  She always had a book she read from each day after lunch before we started our afternoon subjects.  Instead of just one chapter for the day on indoor recess days she would read two chapters.
Outdoor games we used to play in our neighborhood included Ditch which was a form of Hide and Seek on our block as soon as it got dark.  After school we would draw hopscotch boards on the sidewalk and play until we were tired.  One summer we got roller skates that clamped onto our shoes and we spent all our time on wheels.  In the winter we would play King of the Mountain on the large snow piles  left by the snowplows. 
I grew up in the city so our games were different from what my cousins who grew up in the country.  When we went to visit them at our grandpa and grandmas we would play on a hill covered with Sumac.  The girls all became interior designers planning their homes in the sumac and the boys made forts in the sumac.  We would catch frogs and try to have contests to see whose frog could jump the highest or farthest.
I’m fifty years old and as I watch how children spend their time they seem to be so attached to their electronic devices and cell phones.  They are so connected to each other with their cellphones, computer, and Facebook but yet they seem more isolated.  I don’t see them developing relationships face to face with other people and the necessary social skills for workplace environments.   They are very creative with their electronic devices and computers but learning how to deal with different or difficult people is a skill they need to learn but won’t find it in electronics.  Tonight as I am writing this I am watching my 18-year-old daughter working on a puzzle that she and her 21-year-old sister bought last evening.  As she puzzles her cell phone is within inches of her and every few minutes she stops to look at a text message and sends one in return.  The old with the new…. 

Posted by on May 6, 2010 in Reflections


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2 responses to “Tic Tac Toe and Other Games We Used to Play…

  1. Linda Anderson

    May 7, 2010 at 7:17 am

    Did you grow up in my neighborhood? I laughed as I read your words about childhood games and how they have changed. One day last winter, it was a particularly beautiful day, perfect for snowman building, but as we drove through a neighborhood on our way to the store, I commented on how when we were kids, we would have been outside doing just that! Where were the kids? No sleds, no snow forts, no backyard ice rinks. They sure missed a wonderful opportunity to be outside in the fresh air and sunshine!

    • flyinggma

      May 7, 2010 at 8:15 am

      I forgot about the snowmen and snowforts. We even attempted to make our own igloos. In the early 70’s there were straight line winds that came through our Minneapolis neighborhood and took down hundreds of trees that lined our streets. It was so sad to see the trees down but there was endless hours of creative fort building with all the branches for all of us in our neighborhood. The workers would pile the branches up and the kids would rearrange them all evening into our “houses”. We would play until dark or when our parents called us in for bed. Some of the boys in the neighborhood got handsaws and made their own logcabins out of the branches.


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