Remember when…? – In the field

Nowadays, kids tend to stay indoor and play with their techno games and toys, but 50 years ago, those didn’t exist and kids were actually playing outside. I guess it helped that i lived in an urban area since there were many kids around too.

Playing outside didn’t require much as far as toys, equipment or facilities. We would play hours with the most rudimentary objects, and we still had fun!


No playground

Even though i lived in Montreal, the closest real playground was about 1km from home and although our parents were not as worried back then to let us roam around, it was too far for us in general so our favorite spot was an empty lot on the street right behind ours. That “block” was probably around 150m by 75 m and it was just a wild field. There were two houses on one end and that was it.

A big rock

In the middle of that field, there was a big rock. Maybe not that big because we could easily climb on it, but i was shorter then. We played hours and hours in that field. I remember having picnics on that rock. We have played tag around the rock. We could invent many games in a plain old field.

Watching nature

I also remember watching insects in that field. A praying mantis, a dragonfly, and some bees we stayed away from. I didn’t know the name of all the weeds that grew there, but i know there were a lot of dandelions. Our landlord who was originally from France, would often come with me to pick them to make salads.

It is interesting how a plain empty field could have been our daily playground and we never complained that there was “nothing to do”.

How about you? What were your favorite places to play when you were young? Did you have a secret hideout? Tell us all about those special places you spent so many hours and days playing when you were young. Add those to the comments below!

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4 thoughts on “Remember when…? – In the field”

  1. Oh, I love this prompt. This really sparks some good story ideas for me. My life growing up was very different from that of my husband and children.
    We had a 70 acre farm, with calves my parents were raising to sell, a few huge gardens, chickens, pigs, turkeys, and goats. The rest of my family has lived in a small city all their lives.
    I would play out back by the stream that ran through our property or up at the old gravel pit that we called Rock Mountain. We were kids then. It seemed huge. There were crabapple trees and wild blackberry patches and swamps and marches, and a huge hill for sledding down in the winter. Summers I’d take long bike rides around the “block” (a four mile ride) or occasionally make the ride into the closest town for ice cream (an eight mile round trip) And there were always books to read on the swing set my father built from scratch. When the black flies weren’t biting.

    • Isn’t that amazing that we would have so many ways to spend our times, with almost nothing as far as “toys”? And we enjoyed it too! Today’s kids don’t know what they miss!

  2. I feel sorry for kids who don’t have a chance to go outside and explore the possibilities. I was lucky enough to have a full acre of land behind our house, half of which was fenced off so that my mother felt pretty safe about telling us to go outside to play. The first part of my story has to do with how gullible I was when it came to my brother. During a nature show on television, it fascinated me that giraffes supposedly could not walk up an incline and that’s why their enclosures had a dry moat around them instead of a fence in some zoos (I don’t know if that’s true; it’s how I remember it). Shortly afterwards, my brother told me he saw a giraffe in the front yard. Well, of course I wanted to catch it so for an entire summer I dug a hole in our back yard in order to catch the giraffe. Strangely enough my mother never asked why…she was just glad I was keeping out of other mischief. Later (decades later) she was pretty surprised to find out why I had dug that hole. Anyway, needless to say, no giraffe was caught but my mother decided to plant a thatch of bamboo nearby. Bamboo is great stuff…you can imagine it to be all kinds of things. At some point, enough dried up that my brother and his friends could take the poles, along with some palm fronds, and put it over the top of my hole. Instant fox hole! And that kept them out of mischief for another summer. We also had a very big dog house that served any number of purposes. I used to climb up on top (it had a pointed roof) and pretend it was a horse. My brother used it as an obstacle course. My dad put in a window and a door so we could go inside. The only thing it wasn’t used for was our dog, who much preferred her bed in the house, but my brother and I got plenty of use out of it over the years.

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