Do you have a favorite childhood game or activity? When I think back on my childhood days I remember mostly playing jump rope and jacks. I grew up in the city in a duplex house surrounded by large families. Within the walls of just four homes there were at least fifteen kids of various ages, so there was always someone to play with. I was never very good at organized team sports like baseball or dodgeball, but I could jump rope with the best of them. My favorite was double dutch. The neighborhood kids (mostly just the girls) would jump for hours after dinner on the sidewalk in front of our houses, long into the evening as the street lights would come on and our mothers made us stop and come inside.
My other favorite pastime was jacks. I don’t even think kids play this anymore. My next door neighbor and good friend, Ruthie, was the champion in the neighborhood, and mostly I learned from her. We would sit on the concrete steps and play so much that the sides of our hands would get all scraped up. Sometimes we used two sets of jacks at once just to make it harder. I remember once trying to teach this game to my daughter, but she never took an interest in it.
Back then we didn’t have video games with challenges and obstacles where we had to use quick thinking and dexterity to get to the next level, but we discovered ways to make our own challenges in levels we mastered. In some ways, things haven’t changed all that much.