Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Unstructured Play

I feel really old saying the over-used cliche' but things are different from when I was a kid. I remember my mom or dad saying go outside and play, it's nice out, you need to be outside enjoying the summer. You know what, I needed to be outside, and I found things to do, every kid did. I was an only child but my cousin was often at my house so we played together or I played with the neighbor girl. She was a little younger than me but she was the only kid around that was even close to my age, so we played; we rode bikes, swam, made our own version of the Olympic hurdles, basically we found fun things to do. It wasn't structured.

Now my child has play-dates scheduled in advance, which I am not knocking down, but it's scheduled and coordinated. Kids don't drop by and play, I mean I'm sure you remember knocking on the neighbors door to ask if she can come outside and play, or vice versa. I sure do. Why doesn't that happen in my neighborhood?! We live in a nice, family-friendly place that would be an ideal area for this to happen.

I do have to say we have dropped by one neighbor's house when we were out for a walk one evening but in general, this doesn't go on, at least not at my house. There are at least four other kids that I know of that live close that he could play with but we never see them outside.

Do you experience the same thing or do neighborhood kids still just play together? I found these cute door hangers on Pinterest that linked to Melancholy Smile's blog and I desperately want to be able to use these.

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