Old Fashioned Playtime – try it with your children & grandchildren just for fun

Old Fashioned Playtime


Jean Butterworth

I was observing little children at play the other day and noticed the coloring books they were using to color in. The pages contain large simple black drawings of object that children see in everyday life: flowers, animals, sun, moon and stars, and even Bible characters.tracing

This brought back memories of my childhood playtime. Most Sunday afternoons, if the sun was shining brightly, you would find me standing, holding up the Sunday funny paper cartoons to the windowpane. In one hand I had a plain piece of paper on top of the funny paper. This was how I traced the cartoon characters on to my paper with my pencil.

After making some mistakes, I was satisfied with my tracings and began to look for my crayons to color in the cartoon characters on my paper. After a while I had quite collections of various cartoon characters.tracing window pane

Another fun thing to do was a night time activity involving a light and hand shadows. First my parent would make the room dark and then turn on a single table lamp. Then they began to hold their hand and finger is such a way that the shadows on the wall made funny characters. This made me laugh! The bunny rabbit shadow was my favorite.hand shadow puppets

My grandmother had a fun time with me when she took just ordinary twine, and with both hands and made different objects using the twine as she threaded through her knobby fingers. Two I recall was called, “A cat in the cradle” and another was “Jacob’s ladder.”jacobs ladder

Outside, you might see a child straddling a broom stick running around the yard pretending he was riding a horse. Or you might see a child pin the end of a towel around their neck with a safety pen to pretend they were superman as they jumped off a low pasteboard box set up in the front yard. Imaginary guns were sticks and go carts were built with scrape wood and cast off wheels.

On, how times have changed! Children have graduated from tracing on the windowpanes to slick chalk boards, etch a sketch, carbon paper, onion skin paper, and xerox and computer printer.

Just for fun, show you small grandchildren how to trace their favorite cartoon character on the windowpane on a sunny day. Make funny hand shadows at night and make a swinging bridge with just twine. If might surprise you to find that they enjoy old fashioned playtime!

Chinaberries and Other Memories of Alabama by Jean Butterworth