‘It is a happy talent to know how to play’
Do they know what British Bulldog is, or Mother May I?
“It is a happy talent to know how to play.” This quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson means as much today as it did in the 1800s when he lived.
We hear so much about children being so wrapped up in electronic games that they don’t know how to “play.” A TV ad tells us to “bring back play,” and that childhood obesity is linked to inactivity. So, what can they play? Do they know what British Bulldog is, or Mother May I?
Are marbles a thing of the past along with bouncing ball rhymes? Luckily, they still play hide-and-seek, hula hoops are back in style and skipping ropes are always popular, but maybe they could take some pointers from their elders.
When we (I’m talking seniors here) were sent out to play in the summer, it meant we found a flat rock and played hopscotch, or maybe someone hadn’t lost the ball yet and we played some kind of improvised ball game.
We climbed on big rocks and jumped off, over and over and over again. We obviously found enough to do as we had to be called in to eat meals. No one supervised us every minute. I’m sure there was a vague understanding of where we would be and that was fine.
We came home dirty, hungry, tired and happy, and isn’t that what childhood should be? Organized play is important as well. Soccer and baseball are well attended but not every child wants to join teams, so the individual activities that can be played anywhere with little or no equipment is available to all kids.
Besides the physical benefits of exercise, there is a huge social side to play. Co-operation, patience, fairness, sharing, imagination, problem solving ... these qualities and more are what will give a child positive skills to see him through life, no matter what path he takes. Encouragement and praise is essential for every child to feel that their achievement is recognized, and a trophy is not necessary. A pat on the back, a kind word, a cheer, will do him a world of good. So think back a few years to your favorite pastimes in the “good old days” and pass those ideas down to today’s youth. They’ll thank you for it.
Cape Breton Regional Recreation Dept. has a great schedule of activities throughout the municipality, and lots of entertainment is scheduled for July and August. The deadline for the Miss Teen Cape Breton has been changed to July 10. Call 902-7942350 for more information. The C@P Society will hold an open house today from 1-3 p.m. at the Wilfred Oram Centennial Library. C@P interns Breagh Moore from the North Sydney site, Haley Ivey from Millville and Allison Miller from Boularderie will be on hand to explain the training available to the public.
If you are afraid of computers or have a new tablet or e-reader that you aren’t comfortable with yet, come in and talk to these knowledgeable ladies and set up an appointment to get some one-on-one training. It seems that you can teach an old dog new tricks. Take care.