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Lesson Transcript

Play Dates
When I was growing up, my brother and I played with the other kids our age on our block. Every weekend and all summer, we would meet after breakfast out in the street, play until lunch, and then go back and play again until the streetlights came on. We'd roller skate, ride bikes, play hide and seek, tag, and pelt each other with water balloons. Once, someone's waterbed sprung a huge leak, and the plastic was thrown out. We got a hold of it and used it as a slip 'n' slide. Now it seems that this type of neighborhood play does not exist.
Many kids' lives outside of school are spent at lessons of one sort or another, and if they are home, they are inside playing video games. Perhaps it is because parents are afraid to let their kids out of their sight. It has become all too common for children to disappear, get seriously hurt, or run into other trouble when they are left to their own devices.
My daughter goes to what we call play dates. These are preplanned meetings of parents and kids at parks, private homes, or other locations where the kids can play under supervision. The kids usually do not live in the same neighborhoods. It seems sad to me that kids cannot simply run out the front door to play outside anymore, but then again, perhaps I am simply longing for a time that has passed.