My sister Inklings blogged about what she played as a child. I had already been thinking about that this week so decided to follow her lead. I sort of feel like I could also talk about what I play as an adult, because honestly, I still like to play. :)
My earliest memories of play revolve around our front yard. I used to make mud pies on the driveway often. I had a couple of friends in the neighborhood, so they would play with me. Another thing I played is something that my husband teases me for. I think he would like someone to analyze this. We had a porch that was higher than the driveway. So you had to climb steps to get up to the front door. There was a railing around the porch. I used to take my dolls and drop them from the railing. Then I would run down to the driveway calling out, "Oh my baby, oh my baby!". Then I would comfort the victim, and return to the porch to do it again. Yea, I know, a little weird.... lol
I also remember that I loved to play with my sisters things. They had an overnight case in the closet with Barbie dolls in it. I often went in and played with them. I don't know if my sisters always knew...
When I was about 6 years old we moved to Texas. I didn't have any friends at first. I started school and found out that one of the boys in my class lived just around the corner. I started going over to his house to play with him. But the only thing he ever wanted to do was try to build things out of wood. He would get a hammer and nails and hammer scrap pieces of wood together. This could be because his father was working with his sons to build a clubhouse in their back yard. It turned out to be quite an elaborate clubhouse complete with a tunnel underneath that was used as an escape hatch. So the boy, Alan, used to only want to hammer nails in to wood. He had a younger sister that would come to see what we were doing. He always told her to go away. But frankly, she looked a lot more fun than him, so I told him I was going to play with her. I never played with him again. But at first I couldn't remember her name. I would go to the front door and say, "Can "she" play?" They would say, "Gail?" I would say yes and play with her. She was my best friend for most of elementary school.
Gail and I used to play Barbies more than anything else. I had inherited my sisters' dolls and clothes. Gail's family had more money than our family, so she had all new things. But I do remember that she often tried to find ways to steal my doll clothes. I always called her on it.
One thing we liked to do was pretend that we had boyfriends. We each had a good boyfriend, and a bad boyfriend. We used to watch an old TV show called "Alias Smith and Jones". We both really liked the one actor and thought he was cute. But Gail "called" him as her boyfriend first, so I was stuck with the other. Now I can't remember which was Smith and which was Jones. Then we each chose a name for our "bad" boyfriends. She chose the name "Oreo". I was kind of jealous because I thought that was a really great name. I named mine "Earwax", but never really was satisfied with that name. So we would pretend that the bad boyfriends would tie us to a tree or something, and then Smith and Jones would come rescue us. We imagined all kinds of situations where the bad boyfriends would try to kidnap us or something, and the good boyfriends would rescue us. Weird kids.
In our home in Texas, we had a porch that was screened in. But with time, the screens kind of came away from the wood, so there were occasionally holes in the bottoms of the screens. We used to play "store" there and would hand the goods in and out through the screen. That was a favorite game.
I don't remember why exactly, but my brothers made a large wooden box. Actually, it only had the top and sides, no bottom. My mother wanted them to dig a hole in the yard for her to put an old freezer in to use as a potato cellar. I think that was what the box was for. Then one day my brothers found an injured owl. They used the box to keep the owl until they could take it to a vet or rescue place. Eventually they did dig the hole in the ground and even made dirt steps leading down in. But we never did get the old freezer. They put the box over the top of the hole. For me, that was a perfect club house. I used to spend a lot of time in there. I also kept a box of "treasures" in there.
We had an alley that ran behind our house. I often combed the alley for "treasures". Like, maybe I would find a marble, or an old toy or something. Once I met an old man who was coming out to the alley just as I passed. He gave me a sack of shelled sunflower seeds. He instructed me on how to soak them in salt water and bake them in the oven. Nope, I just ate them plain. One time I found a rocking chair that had one rung broken. I took it home and showed my parents. They actually went and had it fixed. I was so happy they fixed my rocking chair, until they gave it to my brother when he got married....
My mother bought a large roll of paper. I was allowed to use as much as I wanted. I spent a lot of time making paper dolls, making and illustrating books etc. That was the best toy they could have bought for me!
I really liked paper dolls. We had a subscription to a church children's magazine called "The Friend". Every month, "The Friend" included a paper doll. I went through all of the back issues and took every paper doll I could find. I spent many, many hours playing with those paper dolls.
My friends and I liked to play with Barbies, but we especially liked to make clothes. Sometimes we would have contests to see who could make the best clothes. I actually think I learned a lot about garment construction from that! When I was 11, my parents gave me a Barbie doll house for Christmas. Some people think that is too old to play with dolls, but I loved that doll house and played with it a lot.
My parents also got me some roller skates. I skated quite a bit in our neighborhood. For my birthday one year, they put new tires on the old bike my sisters had ridden. They also put a big basket that had flowers on it. I was kind of embarrassed about the flowers on the basket, but I was so happy to have a bike. I learned to ride it and rode it to school often. When my brother left for his mission to Mexico, he gave me permission to ride his bike while he was gone. It was a ten speed. I rode that all over town.
Now as an adult, my way of playing is usually to create. I love using all kinds of mediums to create things. Like, I might crochet something, or make greeting cards, or draw, or sew something. I have a wonderful "studio" in the basement with a great desk. I have a lot of rubber stamps, markers, etc. When I need a "pick me up", I go down to my desk and putter. :) I have been thinking a lot about doing a "VLOG" about my studio area. I watched one done by Mandy from "Sugar bee Crafts", and it inspired me. So keep your eyes out for my first ever "VLOG" about my "creation station". :)