Playing (Radvent Day #7)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Today's prompt:

What were your favorite games as a child? What did you like to do with your classmates or the neighborhood kids? How did that affect the person you grew to become?

First of all, I want to comment on how shocked I am that I have actually kept up with these prompts! Shocked, and really glad, because I have been needing some structure in my writing and blogging, and this has helped a lot. Plus, I am really enjoying the themes so far!

Second, I am a fan of lists. Thus, I am making a list of my favorite childhood games as my response to this prompt. Have you played any of them??

Hot Peppers at my aunt and uncle's house

1. Ghosts in the Graveyard. LOVED this game. The neighborhood where I grew up has no fences between the yards, so we had TONS of room to run and hide. If you are unfamiliar, this game has to take place after dark. One person is the ghost, and they had to go hide somewhere in the yard. Everyone else stared off at base. We all had to count went "one o'clock, two o'clock, 3 o'clock rock! and up to 11 o'clock rock, then you said, "Midnight! Hope we don't see a ghost tonight!" Everyone who was "it" went off in search of the ghost. If you found the ghost, you shouted "Ghost in the graveyard, 1-2-3!!!" and ran as fast as you could back to base. If the ghost tagged anyone before they could get back to base, that person then joined the ghost in hiding next time, so there were 2 ghosts (or more!). So. Fun. All the neighborhood kids used to get in on this on summer nights. Sometimes we used flashlights, sometimes just house lights. I hope Lincoln gets to play this someday!

2. Board and Card Games. We played a lot of games as a family growing up. We used to have a family game night once a weekly; my brother and I got to take turns picking the game. Some favorites: Flash Match, Clue, Crazy 8s, Spoons, Pictionary, Pitch, and Trivia Pursuit. There were 2 games that were always off limits--Hero Quest and LIFE. My parents claimed it was because they took forever...

Dress up with my neighbor Nicole, me in the middle, and friend Sara.

3. Pretend. I remember playing a lot of "pretend" with my brother and our neighbor, Nicole. We used to set up a vet clinic for our stuffed animals, turn our swing-set into a pirate ship, set up a restaurant on the patio with our sandbox, play school with my mom's old teaching supplies, etc. We had a big box of dress-up clothes and would put on shows and dance recitals.

4. Basement. Couldn't think of a good category name, so I decided basement would do to lump together all the toys I think about that we played with in our basement. My Little Ponies, He-Man and She-Ra, Barbie, Dollhouse, Moondreamers, Strawberry Shortcake, Pound Puppies, GI Joes...most of these toys are still stored in my parent's basement!

5. Nintendo. We got our Nintendo when I was in second grade. It was the original, 64-bit, gray box. Even my dad got into it--he beat the Legend of Zelda and went out and bought the Legend of Zelda 2! I thought it was so cool when we (and by we, I mean Jeff) would discover things like the secret passage way on Super Mario Brother--it was like I was in on a secret, even thought everyone who owned a Nintendo knew about it :)

My Grandpa made this Barbie house-I think this picture was taken on Christmas, the day I received it!

I still play a lot--although, most of the playing I do is with trucks and farm animals, and chirping penguins that repeatedly go up the moving stairs and down the ramp again...and again...and again (looking at you, Lindsay!!). Lucas and I are huge board game fans, still. These days we are more apt to play games like Taboo, Scattergories, Settler's of Catan, or Balderdash...but I'd still join in a game of Clue or LIFE if offered :) I think the pretend play I did as a child has definitely benefited me in my work (when I am working, I'm a speech-language case I haven't mentioned that and you don't know me in person). I love coming up with new ways to incorporate therapy into play--play is natural to kids, therapy isn't. I'm glad we had so many opportunites to use our imaginations as kids--as well as chances to run and play outside. I hope to encourage Lincoln (and future baby) to do the same!

(quick note about the pictures...I don't have a lot of my pictures from when I was a kid with me here--most are at my parent's house. Obviously missing from any photos are my brother, who was my best and usual playmate...I'll try to scan some in when we are visiting for Christmas!)


  1. You have such a wonderful and detailed to skip down memory lane with you. On a side note, The Game of Life wasn't so bad once a year, but come on, anyone who has played Hero Quest would have to agree that IT TAKES FOREVER!!! In its place we always had Risk...that was good for a couple hours :]

  2. Love the post. The Becks had the best basement to play in :)

  3. i completely forgot about ghosts in the graveyard! makes me want to go run around in all the old neighbors backyards again!


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