Last week’s discussion of childhood board games got me to thinking about other ways I enjoyed playing as a child.
Popular 1970s games
What did I play at recess? Tag was popular, as was jumping rope with all the attendant rhymes (I don’t see kids jump rope much anymore, and my own kids have hardly ever done it). In first grade, we girls loved to pretend the boys were “quicksand monsters,” and we would run to the swings to escape from them. I loved swinging as well and would swing for hours (well, it seemed that way) from the swing attached to a tree in my backyard. We also had a rope swing: a rope with a big knot at the bottom to sit on, attached to the same tree. That was fun as well.
I’ve mentioned earlier that I was a big fan of the Mickey Mouse Club, and my sisters and friends and I would often dramatize episodes of the Mickey Mouse Club, both at home and during recess. We would sing the songs and try recreating the dances, as well as adding the drama. Another time my sister and a friend and I staged an episode of Gilligan’s Island at home for our parents. I was shy, but I always had a flair for the dramatic if the situation was right.
I remember birthday party games frequently involved a race in which one girl after another would race forward towards a chair, where she would try to sit on a balloon and pop it. I hated the idea of this, and remember once asking for permission to go to the bathroom just as this game was starting in an effort to avoid it.
At another birthday party, I forget the game involved but remember the mom showing us the prize – a lion kiddle. I thought she was the most wonderful thing, and determined right then and there that I would win that game.