General Question

ibstubro's avatar

When you were a kid, what did the kids in your neighborhood do for fun?

Asked by ibstubro (18804points) September 14th, 2015
30 responses
“Great Question” (6points)

Outside play?
Video games?
Facebook or other internet sites?

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DrasticDreamer's avatar

I was lucky enough to grow up in a neighborhood that had 14+ kids in it, and we all hung out together. We were outside 95% of the time. We climbed trees, played basketball, played tag and flashlight tag, roller bladed, toilet papered houses and sometimes the entire neighborhood, sat on our porches talking all day/all night, went swimming, etc. I have great memories of it all. Video games, very, very rarely. We all preferred to be outside together.

talljasperman's avatar

Beat each other up. Play Mike Tyson punch out.

jca's avatar

Ride bikes. Jump rope. Go to the playground. At the playground, it was swings, monkey bars, see saw. Run around the yard, my grandparents’ yard. Walk to the school and walk around it, and walk all over. We walked all over. Nowadays it would probably be a CPS report to have kids walking alone without parents.

When I was little (early 1970’s), there were no computers in houses. No answering machines. No cell phones. We had TV, and there would be TV in the evening.

In the house, I would read, draw, do water colors, play with dolls, Barbies, stuffed animals. I would help my mother sew and we’d do crafts together. Sometimes we’d bake or make something like pudding.

jca (36062points)“Great Answer” (2points)
johnpowell's avatar

Similar to DD I was outside most of the time. We lived in a big apartment complex in Southern California that had a few thousand units. So tons of kids and everyone spent most of their time outside. There were a bunch of tennis courts and pools and basketball courts and a baseball field.

I mostly skateboarded, basketball, baseball, swam, and at night we used to have games of hide-and-seek and capture the flag with 50+ kids in the complex. This was back in 1988–1992. Nobody really had computers and cell phones were very different.

Misspegasister28's avatar

We played Ghosts in the Graveyard, Sardines, and Kick the Can at night during the summer! Unfortunately all the kids are in college now.

jaytkay's avatar

Ran around in woods and fields. Made campfires. Biked a lot, on the streets and trails. Played kick the can in the summer and went sledding and skating in the winter. Played basketball. Shot bb guns. Friends had a cottage on a lake and where we fished and swam and rowed boats

I had solo hobbies, too. I read a lot of books and comic books. I built model airplanes and ships. My brother and I flew model rockets.

talljasperman's avatar

We played 500. You throw a football in the air and say a number for what it is worth, when caught. The goal is to get exactly 500.

Coloma's avatar

60’s kid here. Played outside, a lot! No video games back in the day. haha
Rode our bikes, played at the local park, swimming pool, playground, Explored the neighborhood fields and creeks, played hide and seek, roller skated, played with dolls, Barbis, model horses, frisbees, skateboards, watched cartoons, had sleep overs with friends, stayed out til dark with no worries about psychos snatching you.

Life was good back then.

Mimishu1995's avatar

Where do I begin? I role-played with the kids a lot. We took a lot of roles, from family members to tourists-guides. We once even played explorers. We also acted in imaginary movies, the plots came from popular soap opera we watched.

When I was young there was a small park. It was the children’s gathering place and where all the games and drama took place. Most of our playing activities was at that park. I remember one day we played with the swings and imagined being on a spaceship with a silly background story. Too bad the park has now been converted into a stadium for adults.

There was video games back then, but only a few had access to them. And it was not fun to watch a black-and-white mobile phone. And the internet is non-existent. So the kids spent most of their time outside.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Well, in the projects I guess we had to get a bit creative since money was tight. Some of the things we did do:
• We had rock fights with neighboring kids.
• Those of us who had pellet or BB guns plinked cans and bottles.
• Those of us who had pellet or BB guns had battles among ourselves (yeah, yeah, but no one got their eye shot out)
• Played touch football in the street.
• Played tackle football in the grassy areas.
• Shot hoops.
• Rode in bike convoys going nowhere with all day to get there.
• Played Free Frog tackle.
• Cops and Robbers, but not too much.
• Played board games like Life, Monopoly, etc.
• Had paper airplane contest.
• Built ”coast carts” and seen how well they worked coming down the hill near the projects.
• Blew things up with firecrackers.
• Climbed trees to see who could go the highest.
• Had water balloon fights.
• Other things I forgot (noticed there are no video games?)

Pachy's avatar

There were lots of kids on the block I grew up during my elementary school years, and I fondly recall we regularly played Flash Gordon, war, and of course cowboys and Indians.

lynfromnm's avatar

We played softball and football in the street, rode bikes, played board games and cards in cold weather, sang along and danced to the Beatles, Monkees, Stones and Doors on our record players, we put on plays for the neighborhood in the backyard, climbed trees, made a zipline from the K’s house to the M’s house, played war – I’m sure there was more. It was a great neighborhood!

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

Gee, what a trip down memory lane.

Child of the 60–70’s in the US here. Most of the neighborhood activities have already been covered in the responses above. This was a era where kids roamed the neighborhood freely and the parents didn’t worry.

During the summer, we were shooed out the door after breakfast and told to be home when the streetlights came on. Some of the families belonged to a club or the park where there was a swimming pool. There were three in all; the posh country club, the middle income hotel pool that offered memberships, and the local park where anyone could pay a dollar or two for the day. Otherwise, we swam in the nearby creeks or enjoyed the refreshing backyard sprinkler while working on a tan.

My parents’ yard was known for the source of kick-the-can, sledding because it was on a slope, and croquet. The next-door neighbor’s house was the site for kickball because the front walk was perfect for rolling the ball to first base, two trees were 2nd and 4th, and 3rd was the mailbox. If the weather was bad, one friend had a large garage and another had a large basement where we could roller-skate while listening to the popular tunes of the time (mainly Monkee’s songs.)

Biking was a given. Everyone owned a bike. Once old enough and granted permission, my friends and I would pack our lunches (usually PB&J and an empty soda bottle filled with chocolate milk made from Nestle’s Quick) and took off on an adventure.

There was a massive abandoned monastery nearby. The sole resident was a groundskeeper that lived in a small garden home on the premises. He would give us permission to play tennis on the dilapidated courts. If we begged, he would loan us the key to the monastery. We spent hours exploring all of the rooms via a grand wooden 3-story staircase that would put Tara’s to shame.

October was dedicated to planning out our Halloween costumes. No one had a store bought one in those days. We carved pumpkins. If October 31st landed on a school night, there was a mad dash to get home, don on the costume and collect as much candy as possible.

A lot of us belonged to the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and/or a religious congregation. A fair amount of free time was invested in those activities.

In hindsight, what I appreciate most about being a child in that time and neighborhood was the exposure to a diversity of people; not race or religion, as we all seemed to be white and Christian, but other differences. There was the mentally disabled kid who we learned to accept and work around his limitations; the boy who wanted to do girl stuff; the girl who wanted to do boy stuff; the large Italian family who cooked different foods and had names that were not common; the kid whose parents divorced (unheard of at the time); the kids with a physically abusive father (long before anyone would think of intervening); the creepy kid who wanted to play “house” with girls and demand that one of us pull our pants down so he could change our diaper. The list could go on as I reminisce about each house in the neighborhood.

This might scare the daylights out of the younger generations who have and are growing up in a more protected environment, but I wouldn’t trade it for what they have today. Despite the risks that my generation was exposed to, every day was an adventure that built character.

jca's avatar

Oh yeah, to add to my post above, I forgot about sleigh riding (reminded by @Pied_Pfeffer), in the winter. Also figure skating, either on the lake or at the local skating rink (city rink, very nice and well maintained, still in existence to this day, I believe).

When I grew up, we lived near a lake so we’d walk to the lake (about a mile) and walk around the lake on the walking path. That was me and my mom. We’d feed the ducks and geese, look at the flora and fauna. It was very pleasant. We’d also walk to the village, which was very nice, affluent, and shop in the little shops – toy shop, book store, stationery store, etc. All stores that are rare nowadays. It was an affluent area but when I was little, I didn’t comprehend that. I just knew it as a nice place to live.

Also, after school I belonged to the Girl Scouts, which met in the church. We’d walk there from school (about a mile) and home from there (about a mile). Now, my daughter is the same age and I’d never let her walk that distance alone, nor would she want to. In addition, if I did let her walk that distance alone, I’d probably be arrested and have a Child Protective case.

jca (36062points)“Great Answer” (1points)
longgone's avatar

From age ten to twelve, I lived in a small community of foreigners in South Korea. There was a tiny school, a clubhouse, a pool, a tennis court and a driving range, surrounded by lots of small apartment houses. This was the kind of community where children would knock on your door and ask if you could come out and play, there were no scheduled playdates. We built huts, climbed walls, played “Marco Polo”, “Ice and Water”, “Tag” and “Hide and Seek”, and we also spent a lot of time trying to sneak into the school at night without getting caught. It never worked.
The one most memorable activity must have been climbing the fence to the golf driving range. It was dark, so we were not in danger of being hit by gold balls – we were, though, in danger of being caught by the maintenance crew of the community, all of which seem to have been called, “Mr Park.” They rode around on motorcycles, so we kept an ear out for any suspicious sounds…while we used the sloping net which caught the balls during the day as a very high and free-range bouncy castle. It felt like walking on clouds.

Before and after that age, my family lived in a town in Germany. There were no kids to just go play with on the street, because the town was too big – we didn’t know many of our neighbours. This is not so say that we did not play outside, though. My friends and I founded an “Animal’s Club” and went around “saving” dead birds. Most memorably, we found a dog collar once, which we returned to its rightful owner. We climbed a lot of trees and packed countless picnics. We rode bikes and played “Cops and Robbers”, we walked the streets eating ice cream and used playgrounds up to age fifteen, I’d say. We also played inside, but did not watch movies unless we were having sleepovers. It went against our code of honour. Instead, we played board games, and we also did a lot of role playing up to age twelve, maybe. We mostly made up our own games, which often included being orphans and saving lost animals. Our parents regularly let us pack picnics and grab the dog to spend an entire day in the woods, and we walked the three miles there by ourselves.

I can’t remember even once playing a video game with friends before age fifteen, and even then only on birthday parties. Usually, the karaoke kind. The internet was not very interesting to us while friends were there, except as a source of music.

chyna's avatar

This was in the 60’s so we only had 3 channels on TV and no video games. But we had plenty of kids in the neighborhood to do stuff with. We roller skated, played football, softball, hide and seek, kick ball. We would make up games to play too. We would play spot light at night. Our parents would start calling for us when the street lights came on.
In the winter we played in the snow all day. We sledded, made snow men, made forts out of snow. It was a great time to grow up.

jca's avatar

I forgot mud pies. Mud and flowers and little pans and pots…...

jca (36062points)“Great Answer” (2points)
SmashTheState's avatar

We used to play “war” a lot, mostly with hockey sticks for rifles. We’d put a nail on the end of the stick to hook an elastic band, then nail a clothespin down the top to hold the elastic band stretched. Open the clothespin and the elastic would shoot off the end, “killing” the enemy.

One day I was playing outside and was looking for a clothespin and, while digging through my babysitter’s clothespin bag, found a very realistic-looking and very heavy revolver. I thought about using that to play with, since it looked so realistic, but decided it wasn’t mine so I’d better ask permission. My babysitter was horrified, turned pale, and took it away from me. You probably guessed, it was a real (and loaded) revolver belonging to her boyfriend, who was a mob enforcer. (He’s currently doing life from multiple homicide.)

So yeah, we used to spend our childhood coming very close to gunning each other down.

Coloma's avatar

I am going to make a paper airplane right now. haha
Maybe my cats will chase it around.

ibstubro's avatar

Great reminiscences all! I loved reading about the formative years of all the future-jellies.

I’m pleased to have conjured up so many happy childhood memories.
Maybe I should go add this question to the good things that happened today.

Coloma's avatar

@ibstubro Don’t forget 60’s TV, I am still a Bonanza fan. haha Love them Cartwrights. lol

ibstubro's avatar

Bonanza was for bozo’s when Big Valleys Barkley’s were available, @Coloma.~
Wasn’t Ben mostly a blowhard? Didn’t one of the boys have to solve the problem in most episodes?

I guess I yearned for a matriarchal family unit?

Coloma's avatar

@ibstubro Well maybe you liked those Barklay women but I liked the Cartwright men. Stands to reason. LOL

Blackberry's avatar

We played outside: hide and seek around my friends cul de sac, playing in huge piles of dirt at a construction site, burning army men in the woods. Good times.

ibstubro's avatar

Did you know that Heath was the bastard son of Victoria’s dead husband, @Coloma, and that when the show started, Victoria was largely window-dressing that allowed the attractive kids to solve the world’s problems (like Ben?).

Response moderated (Spam)
Coloma's avatar

@ibstubro Just watched the first couple episodes last night so yes, now I know the backstory.
I also like looking for the bloopers in these old shows, like Linda Evans riding a palomino that turns into a bay horse a couple scenes in. Nice switch to a horse of a different color. lol

extremely_introverted's avatar

We used to climb trees and mountains. We liked sliding from the top of a hill using a certain part of a coconut tree. I’m sorry I don’t know the english word for it. We loved swimming on a river and we enjoy snorkeling in the sea. We also loved playing games (usually Filipino games) such as patintero, chinese garter, bahay-bahayan etc. We do all these usually during weekends and when there are no classes.

flutherother's avatar

We played Britishers and Jerries and Japs and commandos and we built ‘dens’ in the woods. Going further back it was ‘fairy footsteps’ or hide and seek. Happy times.

Coloma's avatar

@flutherother Haha, if you played ” Jerries & Japs” these days you’d be in deep trouble.
No more ” cowboys & Indians” either though I have fond memories of my cap gun pistols and stick horse and sheriffs badge. lol

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