This really is a crazy title for me! When I was a child, that combination of words had not been “invented” yet. Children did not know they could be bored. In those days, children knew how to entertain themselves even though the iPad, Internet, and video game had not been invented. So—what did a kid do all day during the summer in the 1950’s?
First of all, many of us read books. Real books. Ones that you had to TURN the page with your fingers! The books I read had no pictures either. That is another shocker, I am sure. My Dad had a subscription to National Geographic. He had first dibs on the new magazine. Then I got it and read it from cover to cover. Just looking at the pictures was marvelous.
I also devoted some quality brain time to games that could be played alone. My favorite summer game was to play jacks on the screened front porch. Since you may have NO idea what I am talking about—jacks were little metal pieces that were star shaped. You tossed the little rubber ball up and before it came down and hit the floor, you had to pick up one jack and then catch the ball. You held the jack in your hand while you went for the second one and so forth. When you missed either the jack or the ball, you started over. You could do this for hours. Another play alone game was Pick up Sticks.
Girls also played with paper dolls. Yep-paper dolls. The dolls were cardboard and you cut out the clothes and then dressed them. Little bendable tabs secured the clothes to the doll. I was not as interested in them. I was not a girlie girl. Lincoln Logs and Tinker toys were fun because you could build something. I liked both of them.
So did I watch TV? A little bit. The TV was not left on all day at our house and most of my neighbor’s houses. That was wasteful. My Mom watched As the World Turns so the TV came on for that 30 minute program and then was off again.
Athletic things that I liked included riding my bike on the dirt road behind my house and playing croquet. I loved croquet! I was the neighborhood champion. I also loved playing badminton. I played with my parents. They were both pretty good so I practiced alone while they were at work. My goal was to beat them when we played after dinner.
I also wrote letters. That’s another shocker. I took a pencil or pen and wrote real sentences on letter paper and told my Nannie what I had been doing. Sometimes, I included a picture or a four leaf clover for her. Then I addressed an envelope to her, put a stamp on it and put it in the mail box. It was important to have good penmanship and spelling in those days. My Nannie had high expectations for me. If she sent me something-like a dollar-I wrote a thank you note. That was expected, too. My grandchildren send me thank you notes in the mail. Their Mom and Dad have high expectations, too!
So don’t tell me when you are bored. I might make you play croquet with me!