My primary school's main oval was surrounded by bush land. My friends and I loved nothing more than making cubby houses with sticks and stones and leaves during lunch time. It was the time of The Sullivans on television, and as a consequence, many of us understood about war, and we would play battlefields in the bush land. We were army soldiers, running through the bush shooting at each other, or simply shooting at our imaginary 'enemy'. Sometimes, the girls would become nurses, taking care of the wounded as they lay - sometimes, dying - on the ground. It was, at times, rather dramatic. I recall standing over a mound of sand - someone's grave, of course - saying something along the lines of, "Poor Aunt Alice. She didn't survive the bombings." A little girl (I can't recall who), started to weep. "My aunty's name is Alice," she cried, and I felt terrible!
I took my boys to a great park today which we haven't visited for a long time. It has a cycle track, a large adjacent oval and plenty of surrounding bush land. We met up with my dear friend, Mardi, and her two boys, and whilst Mardi and I sat on a picnic rug (apart from the few minutes we sat underneath it; shielding ourselves from the pitter-patter of rain), nattering away and catching up after too much time between catch-ups, our boys played. They built a house amongst the trees. They collected sticks for firewood and even made a pile of leaves for, well, 'toilet paper' apparently. (Very practical of them, don't you think?)
As Mardi and I entered their 'house', walking under the bended tree branches, dotted with small white flowers, we were both taken back to our own
However, just as much, I couldn't help but feel such happiness that my own boys were experiencing this wonderful, imaginary world. They had the best time. Dragging them home was like pulling teeth. They didn't want to leave.
A great start to the school holidays.
What games did you love to play as a child using just your imagination? Do your kids play such games themselves?