Back then, even if you wanted to, you couldn’t keep kids indoors in the summer.
No matter what the setting—city, suburb or country–the outdoors beckoned.
And for good reason.
Until the past couple of decades the promise of fun and adventure was outdoors.
Without color TV, video games, and computers, staying indoors couldn’t hold a candle to dashing outside to see what adventure called from the outside world.
Summers in Loveland in the l960’s and 70’s were a dream come true for our daughters. Mornings generally broke sunny, the air was clear and no one seemed to worry about children being abducted.
During our first summer in Loveland an orphaned kitten found our doorstep. Soon the inevitable question was posed: “Mom, can we keep her?”
The answer was an easy “yes.”
Little did I know how much fun a kitten would provide.
Two of our daughters’, playmates, Bonnie and Sandy, also owned kittens and at one point in the summer, Bonnie and Sandy decided to host a kitten birthday party.
I remember talk of a birthday cake—tuna flavored?—but I don’t remember other details—which is why this venture was important.
The miracle of this party is that it was totally dreamed up by Bonnie and Sandy.
No instructions, no manual on how to plan such a party.
No parental interference.
Just imagination and creativity at work.
The birthday party is a good example of the kind of unstructured play which is rare in today’s world.
Experts in the field of child development tell us that this type of play is important for the development of problem solving and creativity.
What do you think? Are today’s children missing out on the kind of free play you may have had as a child.