Many of us recall growing up in neighborhoods thick with play and laughter. Games like Kick the Can, Hide and Seek, and Sardines played with friends on summer nights. A game of catch or frisbee always seemed to be going on in someone’s front yard. Nights spent sleeping out in tree houses or make-shift tents, and days spent riding bikes and roller skating up and down the block. Sandboxes and mud pies. Club houses and lemonade stands. Childhood — the real deal.
Neighborhoods were once vibrant and busy with people — especially children. Lawns may have been a bit less manicured and homes a bit smaller, but the neighborhoods were full of life and character. In my book, they were far richer then. A world unto themselves for kids — the real canvas of childhood.
Today, many neighborhoods are quiet. Children stay inside and play video games and watch TV, or are driven by car to scheduled after-school activities. I look at this version of childhood and it takes my breath away. How sad to not know the joy of running form yard to yard, visiting and playing with friends — not because someone arranged a play date, but because that’s what kids do. What is childhood like without “your gang” — that group of kids that you skinned your knees with, learned to skate with, climbed trees with — and yes, even sometimes got in trouble with? I can’t even imagine.
I am so proud to be a part of the play movement in America that is working hard to reverse this trend — to take childhood off the Endangered Species List and restore play to its rightful place. Another play advocate, Mike Lanza, has formed a group called Playborhood, which I have spoken about here at TGSG before. Playborhood has created the fantastic sign that you see above and is selling them online. What a great way to show your support for play and to start a trend in your neighborhood.
Personally, I would LOVE to see these posted in front yards EVERYWHERE — or on balconies or wherever else we can put them. Let’s make each neighborhood a Playborhood and give kids back the right to play. Click here to order your Playborhood sign today! I would love for you to take a picture of one posted in your yard and share it here at TGSG!
Now, if you will excuse me, I am going to go see if any of my “gang” is around. I haven’t played Sardines in ages! If you recall, I am a BIG FAN of Adult Recess!
See ya outside! – The Grass Stain Guru