When is the last time you were outside and heard the sound of children? You know – running, squealing, shrieking, arguing, singing, playing as children do?
Not often do you hear that sound of childish music because most often children no longer play outside. They are glued to chairs in their rooms with cell phones and video games.
We are blessed to have a family next door with 3 young boys ranging up to about 7 years. Across the street there is a family of young girls and a few more 6 to 10 year-olds at the end of the block. They play together in small groups most every day. Behind the house they have imaginary forts beneath the pine trees with sticks swerving as imaginary weapons. They climb trees and swing in swings and run through spraying faucets in warm weather. They have a lemonade stand sometimes and an occasional yard sale. They shoot bows and arrows, toss beach balls and have a blast. Ride through much of the rest of our neighborhood and it’s a ghost town for children. You just don’t see them much, only walking to school when they have school.
We have a wide open school yard behind our house that would make a spectacular ball field, but no one much plays there. Oh, they ride their sleds down the hill when it snows, but in pretty weather there is no one but an occasional dog walker.
How will children ever develop an imagination if they don’t use what they have? How will they be able to create? How will they learn to get along with others? How will they manage a life without constant adult supervision?
All I know is that I thoroughly enjoy hearing the sound of children playing from my backyard.