Saturday, May 11, 2013

Games children played

The playing adult steps sideward into another reality; the playing child advances forward to new stages of mastery.
Erik H. Erikson
American psychoanalyst

I know I am a bit late in posting this article as the summer vacation for kids is almost over, but this compilation of games children played two decades ago as observed by me, might help you find different ways to engage your kid.

I myself find it tough to keep my 3-year-old busy, sigh. However, as a kid I was more creative and enthusiastic in indulging myself in self-play and engaging my fellow friends (I seriously admit to have lost most of my innovative thinking and innocence as I grew up:( ). Here are a few things we did during our holidays:

I. Indoor fun: Due to the hot weather, most of our day time was spent indoors doing the following.

. Board games - The board games played today existed then as well. Business/trade (better known as monopoly today), Snake and ladder, chess were some of them. The twist lied in one important aspect - not all of us owned one, so we made our own board game with crayons and sketch pens. Every kid added their unique places in monopoly and colorful snakes, making it more interesting.

. Greeting card making - My school used to teach us make greeting cards with different materials and
we always shared them with the neighbourhood friends of other schools. During Diwali,New year, 
birthdays, we ensured to make our own cards and surprise friends and parents by keeping them in their cupboards. Out of over-enthusiasm, I once threw the greeting card through the closed doors of a neighbor who had gone on a holiday, hoping to surprise her on her returning a week later. I was dissappointed and she embarrassed, when we found the card in the dustbin the next week :(. Couresy - Her over-enthusiastic maid on the attempt of impressing her masters with a spic and span house had done it!


.Other games - Hangman, Name-place-animal-thing, word crocodile , anthakshari, dumb charades, quiz were the other games played. We decided on the game to be played based on majority of votes.

II. Outdoor fun: We did not stay in an apartment. Still, the streets which were not traffic prone were our playgrounds. The following games were played by us with great excitement.

. Color color - The thief who comes in search of colorful jewellery spells out a color after which we run to touch objects of that color befor he catches us. At times,it was a fair game. Some times when we were bored, we would agree to play pranks on the catcher. For instance, when he shouts black, we run towards him much to his confusion, and pull his hair in all directions :)

. Pair game - The kids are supposed to pair themselves in numbers called out by the leader and the one who doesnot pair himself before being caught is out.

.stone or sand - Popularly known as kalla manna in Tamil, children stand near the gates of houses. They must go to the house which the leader tells. He can catch you as long as you are in the sand ie., the road. You must run to reach the gates of the house told, as a group, at your full speed.


.Other games - Apart from these,some of the other games played include hide and seek, lock and key, skipping, throw ball, flying kites, marble game, top game and paandiaattam/nondiaattam .

Children learn faster from children than adults. It is important to nurture their growth in their natural play. A request to today's mothers - Let them learn to make mistakes while playing with their friends.
 You may be your child's guardian, but he/she has to co-exist with those kids after a while when you may not be there to direct him/her.

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