Nana’s Blog: Children missing the joys of summer

I have been seeing a lot of artwork on my walks around town. Real masterpieces. Giant yellow suns, vibrant flowers, hot pink hearts and perfect stick people, the sidewalk is the canvas and chalk is the medium. I have yet to meet an artist, but I believe there are more than one as the artwork is in different areas of town. This sidewalk artwork has been a part of summer since the invention of chalk and cement, bringing back summer memories for all who are lucky enough to view it.
Bicycles are another timeless summer sight, the tricycle and small two wheelers equipped with training wheels usually have a distance restriction of the home block; their riders watching with envy as those who have graduated to bigger bikes leave the home block for the world outside the block.
Squeals and giggles are sounds you will hear on a hot summer day when the cold water from the sprinkler hits the little bodies running through it.
These summer sights and sounds are a part of summer, always have been and hopefully always will be. I am worried that we are losing some of them. For example I hardly ever see a hopscotch grid on the sidewalk anymore.
The hopscotch grid has two single blocks then a double, repeat that once then a single block topped off with a half circle. You toss a button onto the first block and hop on one foot through the grid and pick up your button on the return trip. You can’t step on the chalk line or in a block with a button in it, if you do you cannot move your button on to the next square at your next turn. These grids were seen all over sidewalks, but I have not seen one in a long time.
Children don’t seem to play outside games very much anymore. I suppose there are a few reasons for that. Video games are probably a big reason. Safety is another, bullying has become such a big issue that even in small towns parents are reluctant to give their children the freedom that we had.
I feel sad about that, for both the parents and the children. I understand the parents wanting to protect their children, but I feel sad that the children might be missing the joy of being able to run over to their friends place, or over to the local park to play whatever games their active minds can think of without fear of harm.
I worry that we will lose more sights and sounds of summer. Let’s get the children outside more, let’s make more summer sounds.
Bring the hopscotch grid back.

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