Monday, July 3, 2023

Childhood Games: A Nostalgic Look Back

Kids these days have a different childhood from what we had when I was younger. With technology these days, play time with kids is not what it used to be. When I see kids today “playing,” it usually involves some sort of electronic device and not being physically active at all. It’s sad because there is something to be said about being actively playing instead of sitting somewhere with a gadget in your hands. 

Image by Freepik

In an episode of the Fandesals Podcast, we discussed some of the childhood games that we used to play (episode embedded at the end of the post). Looking back made me realize that a lot of kids these days are not even familiar with these games anymore. Even if they were, it’s not something that they would want to play. I think it’s sad to think that one day, all these games will probably a thing of the past that people will read about and research about because no one plays them anymore.

Admittedly, I did play computer games when I was a kid too, but being someone who grew up with siblings and cousins who would get together during summers and holidays together, there was a lot of time for playing actual physical games as well. Thinking of these childhood games bring back a lot of good memories of childhood with my cousins and I will always look back on those days with a lot of fondness. 

What kind of games did we play? Apart from the usual role-playing games where we pretended that our dolls were our babies or we pretended to be moms busy in the kitchen with our toys, we also played a lot of games that called for a lot of running around and physical activity like Hide and Seek, Hopscotch (known as piko in our country), Chinese Garter/ 10-20, and Doctor Quack-Quack, among other things. We would start in the afternoons fresh and end the day all sweaty and happy after all these games we played. Those were fun times.  

There were also games that did not need for us to be running around, but we were not using gadgets either. Games using jackstones, yoyos, puzzles, cards and checkers were also a part of my childhood. One of the toys that has had a resurrection these days, lato-lato (also known as clackers/Netwon’s Yoyo), was also one of the things we used to play. It looked a lot different back then though because it was not made of string but of entirely of plastic. I think the older version was easier and less noisy than what kids know today.

I loved that our childhood games were mostly offline back then. We got a lot of exercise and time outside compared to kids today. It didn’t put a strain on our eyes the way that PC and phone games do either. I know that these days parents would rather keep their kids indoors at home where they can watch over them and climate change has also made days too hot to play outside most days, but I wish that kids would have more offline playtime if they can. You develop your stamina and physicality by playing games that keep you active. As a growing child I would like to think that activities like that are an important part of development. It also helps kids to learn to play with others and how to get along with other people, another important part of childhood development. I can never replace the good memories that bonded me and my siblings and cousins together because of all that play time we had back when we were kids. 

It’s sad that most children are just sitting and playing with their gadgets. They may be playing with others who are also on their gadgets but actually playing and talking to another person face to face seems less isolating than being online. I am not a parent, but I would like to have any children I have to learn to play games with others offline if they can. 

What kind of games did you play as a child? What do you think about the way kids “play” today? What fond memories do you have about games you played as a child? Let me know in the comments!

I’ll end this post with the Fandesals episode where we talk about childhood games and our memories playing them. Hope you like it!



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