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The Family That Plays Together Stays Together (Rita’s Open Journal)

Posted Sep 29 2008 4:17pm


I was talking to a friend a few days ago about all the fun childhood games that we use to play when we were just kids.  Things are so different now.  You don’t see children playing “Hide and Seek”, ”Freeze Tag”, or ”Kick the Can”  until the street lights come on.  I can’t even tell you the last time I heard little girls reciting rhymes while jumping rope, saw little boys all “knuckled down” for a game of marbles, or girls playing “Jacks.”  

 Computer games have changed everything, and because of it children are not only socializing a lot less, but they are exercising a lot less as well.  Not only that, they are missing out on so many fun memories.  We didn’t have it like that. We had to make our own fun.

I not only have fond memories of playing until dark with cousins or neighboring kids, but I have the war stories and battle scars to prove them.  :)  I remember playing freeze tag one day with all the kids in my neighborhood.  I was the only one that wasn’t “frozen”, so it was my duty to “rescue” all of my frozen playmates and free them from their frozen state.  So, I ran like the wind.  Well, at least until I tripped and skidded, what seemed like a quarter mile, down a gravel road on my knee.  I will never forget my sister’s screams when I sat up and she saw the skin on my knee all rolled under, or the visit to the emergency room that soon followed.  At least,  I have something to tell, and I have a ton of fun memories to go with them.   What kind of stories will today’s kids tell?  They got Carpal Tunnel Syndrome from sitting alone all day playing their computer game?  How interesting is that? :)

I wonder too about families that have forgotten how important it is to play together.  There is a time to be serious and all “grown up”, but do we have to act that way ALL of the time?  Taking time out to play with your family is some of the best bonding time you will ever have.  The children in your family will appreciate it. For all that goes, the adults in the family will enjoy it too.  So, the next time you call all of your family over to share a meal, don’t just decide what to serve on the menu, figure in some fun activity as well.    


Be forewarned. You are getting ready to experience a photo explosion of all of my pumpkin painters on Sunday. *laughs*

I had some of my family over on Sunday for dinner. I deep fried fish, had cole slaw, some of the best corn bread that I have ever made ( I will post the recipe), lima beans, baked sweet potatoes, and for dessert I made that 1930’s Lemon Pound cake I told ya’ll about awhile back.  

We took the kids to a pumpkin patch on Sunday also and let them pick out pumpkins to paint. They really enjoyed doing that. Then, after dinner, I took them outside and taught them how to play “Kick the Can.”  Now that was a hoot!  My 25 year old daughter decided to be “It” at one point,and I didn’t know she could still run like that.  :)  She was in the wind trying to kick the can to get those kids in “jail.” *laughs*

So without further adieu, I leave you with the rules on “Kick the Can.”  Be sure to play it the next time you have a whole pile of kids over and not enough computer games to go around. :) However, the game can be played with as few as three.


  • Select an object to serve as the “can” - an actual can, a ball, or a small, taped-up box.
  • Select someone to be “It.”
  • Select an area to set the can - a clear space about 20 or 30 yards across.
  • Select an area to be the “jail” - a comfortable place close to the can, but not blocking the can.


  • Stand by while another player kicks the can as far as possible.
  • Retrieve the can and put it back where it was in the beginning.
  • Capture players by calling out their names and their hiding places while you’re stepping on the can.
  • Look for players, but try not to stray far from the can.
  • Race back to the can if you see an uncaptured player headed for it.
  • Step on the can and call out that player’s name if you get to the can first.
  • Run after the can and put it back again if that player kicks the can away.
  • Continue until you have all the players in jail.


  • Select someone to kick the can as far as possible.
  • Hide.
  • Race back to the can and kick “it” before It gets there.
  • Go to jail if “It” steps on the can and calls out your name and your correct location.
  • Wait in jail until you are rescued - that is, until someone kicks the can.
  • Run away and hide again when the can is kicked and you are released from jail.
  • Be It for the next game if you were captured first.

There ya have it. Now get out there and play “Kick the Can!”


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