To the males on my reading list, *esp* if you were raised in or around the 80’s: 

Outdoor games that boys like to play. We’re talking 8 – 10 year old kids. You’ve just slammed out the back door to relative freedom. You have an hour or so before the sun goes down. What do you do (and your brother and/or best friend) go and do? 

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24 thoughts on “hmmm….

  1. At that age.. I was more a 70’s kid. if I had time I’d hit the local creek w/ a fishing rod. Bike riding, a 2 man game of baseball, one pitcher/one batter. I think I still played w/ Hot Wheels at that age, had a nice section of yard w/ ruts and roots and moss that under a maple in the front yard I’d use w/ them. Ruts & roots would be roads/jump off points for the cars. We still played Cops & robbers/shoot-em-up/war if I recall right.

      1. one of the other replies reminded me. We’d also go scavenging. We lived near a large water body and would go looking for stuff that had washed up w/ the tide. Generally we always had a clubhouse/treehouse in various stages of construction via “found” materials from the water, or from the curb.

      2. Oh, scavenging. One of the greatest joys of the kid: found stuff.
        There was a point in S. King’s It where Richie is talking about the dump.

        “Man, that place? It *kills* me. The stuff people throw away?”

  2. Born in 72. I lived for my bike, I was all over the neighborhood. My cousin and I would race, make ramps, find trails and ride them through the woods…these were not the paved trails the soft children of today have. We also tossed around any balls we had, played four square or two square.

    1. Bikes seems to be a common denominator.

      Oh man! We lowered our bikes down into the run-off “creek” near my house and tried to inflict superpowers on ourselves via hideous skin injuries.
      Never worked but we had a blast.

      1. At one point in my childhood we lived near a creek, I would catch crawfish and put them in my fish tank with my four goldfish…6 days maybe 8 the crawfish would be gone.

      2. Holy crap, the goldfish ate the mudbugs? I knew they were voracious little bastards but wow!

        What did you catch yours with? We used bologna or bacon. My mom would get so ticked at us for depleting the nitrates in the house, LOL

      3. LOL! yea I had some serious Goldfish, not those small ones they put on the market now, mine were more like small Koi and I do think they would have grown to be much larger if I had bigger tank.

        I started with a small pail then upgraded to the extra net I had for my fish tank. We even had a legendary monster crawfish, I only saw his antenna three times and they were BIG!

  3. Tag was a huge one. Usually Ball tag, where you threw a soccer ball to tag someone out.

    But we had a huge variety of games that we made up.

    One we played over a neighbor’s shed. You stood on either side of the shed, and threw a ball over the top. If you caught the ball, you could try and sneak around and tag the person on the other side out. If you didn’t catch the ball, you had to throw it over the shed – hopefully in such a way that the person on the other side didn’t catch it.

    Another game we played a lot was Cops N Cars. We played around a city block (or sometimes just around a single house, depending on how many people there were). One (or a couple) of people were cops, everyone else was a car. On one side of the block was a cup of water. On the other side was a pile of small stones. The cops were trying to catch people breaking the law – Running was speeding, spinning in circles was squealing your tires, drinking from the cup was drinking and driving. You could also steal the stones (they were jewels), and a cop could stop you and search you for them at any time. Every time you got a violation, you got a “point”. If you got 5 points, you had to be a cop and the person who caught you got to be a car.

  4. I loved my BMX bike and me and my friends would build elaborate ramps with big sheets of plywood to jump off of. I also loved to dig in the dirt and make vast dirt cities for my Star Wars figures to inhabit. Everyone in my neighborhood was crazy about Star Wars figures and the plastic X-wing and tie fighters. Hmm. What else? Finding the 1001 things you could do with little green army men (melt them, blow them up, drown them, throw them, see if you can make a car hit them..etc). Walking around the neighborhood picking through everyone else’s trash on trash days. Going down to the nearest 5 and 10 store to see what you could get for a quarter (push pops!). I loved going out roaming around with my dog, getting pollywogs out of the creek in a bucket so I could take them home and watch them turn into frogs before I released them back into the wild.
    Good times. 😉

    1. *points to a reply to masteradept*

      We did much the same thing but used the runoff creek as it had slanted, concrete walls (probably 60 degree angle? I’m not sure but steepish) to try and defy death.

  5. My sister and I lived in RURAL rural Maine* on property that had two little apple trees that produced sour green apples about the size of a plum…pretty useless as fruit, but as projectiles they were brilliant. We’d play ‘chase tag’ where a thrown apple counted as being tagged.

    *So rural that another game we played was imitating Radar on MASH by seeing which of us could hear a car coming down our road first. Whoever did would yell “CAR!!!”, which was our cue to run behind the house as it it was a monster coming. You got bonus cred for how far away you could distinguish the sound and know whether it was a logging truck, a dump truck** or a car.

    **There were a lot*** of dump trucks on our road because the biggest industry in our town was the gravel plant.**** Yes. Our local industry was making gravel. We used to love playing in the gravel pits.


    ****Once the sawdust plant closed down, anyhow. I swear I’m telling the truth.

    1. *laugh*

      I like how you have a “PS..PPS..PPSS…” theme going here.

      I know about using fruit as a WoMD. Unripe figs are much the same way. ‘course my Grandma would tear our hide off in strips if she caught us at it.

  6. Mostly bicycling. I lived WAY out in the country for most of that phase of my childhood. It was a over a couple of miles to my closest friend’s house, so bicycling was involved no matter what.

    1. I think bicycling was just something we all did as kids.

      I dunno about you – but I was routinely thrown out of the house and biking was just what you did.

  7. More like chase the guy with the ball and tackle him as hard as you can, then get the ball from him and run with a 5 second head start. Good times.

  8. With an hour before sunset we’d stay fairly clost to home..

    no further than a block.. probably just the backyard really. with an acre and a half hide and seek was common.. if other kids were around we’d play ‘pickle’.. a game with two bases and a ball.. sort of a practice for stealing bases in baseball but with a *bunch* of people ‘on first’ at any given time.

    climbing trees would be popular too.. and so would anything with pretend guns.. we watched a LOT of war movies in those days.. and though our parents wouldnt get us toy guns.. any stick will do .. and WW2 surplus was still cheap and abundant at flea markets.

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