What Kids Did Before The Internet

Play. Outdoor play. It stimulates the brain and develops muscles. Children learn to get along and make friends, to take risks and be brave. None of these life skills happen when children’s play is on the internet, and not outdoors.. Thank you to Beetley Pete for posting pictures of play. While they are from the 60’s, they’re just as relevant and important today.


Being outside was a huge part of growing up. These kids, and their parents, knew how important that was. Wherever you lived, I am sure you will identify with this, as long as you are over forty!

Leap Frog.

Reading Comics.


Hoses in hot weather.

Riding bicycles.

Walking to and from school with a friend.

Hide and Seek.

Playing Jacks. (Or marbles)

Climbing unsupervised at the park or playground.

Pogo Sticks in the street.

‘Oranges and Lemons’.

Hopscotch in the road or school playground.


View original post

About Jennie

I have been teaching preschool for over thirty-five years. This is my passion. I believe that children have a voice, and that is the catalyst to enhance or even change the learning experience. Emergent curriculum opens young minds. It's the little things that happen in the classroom that are most important and exciting. That's what I write about. I was a live guest on the Kelly Clarkson Show. I am highlighted in the seventh edition of Jim Trelease's million-copy bestselling book, "The Read-Aloud Handbook" because of my reading to children. My class has designed quilts that hang as permanent displays at the National Liberty Museum in Philadelphia, the Fisher House at the Boston VA Hospital, and the Massachusetts State House in Boston.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

35 Responses to What Kids Did Before The Internet

  1. Opher says:

    Gosh Jenny, I wouldn’t change my childhood for what they’ve got now, would you?
    Great photos! Made me nostalgic.

  2. they’ll never know what they missed out on

  3. Carla says:

    We were always outside when I was growing up, all seasons. I loved riding my bike to the park to play on the swings and climb the trees. Baseball without coaches or umpires, tag, you name it. Those were the good old days.

  4. srbottch says:

    Absolutely true. Yes, things change, but it doesn’t mean for the better. I never see kids playing in the street (stealing KIAs isn’t okay). Nothing better than hide & seek or just racing.

    I agree, great photos!

  5. srbottch says:

    Jennie, you might enjoy this story I wrote several years ago. It fits your theme…


  6. petespringerauthor says:

    Oh, gosh. We were outside playing all the time. There was a large vacant lot down our alley, and we played many sports there. Though North Dakota is primarily flat, we lived near a large hill. We rode toboggans and sleds down it in the winter and cardboard during the other seasons. I had a happy childhood. My parents limited us to only a half-hour of television a day, so we made our own fun.

    • Jennie says:

      Your memories are wonderful, Pete. I’d nearly forgotten about the cardboard down the hill. When I was in college, we would take the cafeteria trays to go sledding. Playing outside was the best, and it still is for children today. My memories of TV as a young child were Romper Room and Captain Kangaroo. Making our own fun was by far the most fun.

  7. Ritu says:

    Wasn’t it just a better time, altogether?

  8. beetleypete says:

    Many thanks for reblogging, Jennie. You are a great advocate for the values of fresh air and play.
    Best wishes, Pete.

  9. GP says:

    We didn’t think about it being healthy, nor did we care. It was just fun!

  10. I wouldn’t change my childhood for what they have today either. I would go out after breakfast on both school days, and non school days and not have to be home until my Dad got home. I didn’t even have to come home periodically to check in!
    Thankfully, our Grandsons live on a large property so they get outside a lot to climb trees, play in the creek, and snow, and do a lot of pretending. Lately, it’s Pirates, and walking the plank and fighting over who is going to be Captain Hook this time. 🤣🤣

  11. Ally Bean says:

    I loved hide and seek. And kick the can. And playing jacks. And doing some hand clapping rhythm thing in a circle with friends while we recited: A sailor went to sea, sea, sea, To see what he could see, see, see, But all that he could see, see, see, Was the bottom of the deep blue sea, sea, sea.

  12. Dan Antion says:

    “Go outside and play.” Was frequently heard in our house, especially when I was underfoot. I wouldn’t do it any differently if I could go back and do it over. We let our daughter play outside as often as she wanted, and we put things out there for her to play with.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s