среда, 18 января 2017 г.

Do Children Play Games of the Childhood of their Parents?

In the questionnaire, devoted to the play activity of children in St. Petersburg, 62% of parents have specified modern children don't play games, which they played when they were children. In the same research, the children (as the respondents) have not recognised some part of the games, which were drawn in the pictures and shown to them. These games were also typical for the childhood of their parents. Besides, according to the results of the participant observation, some board games are also forgotten.
So, what games are associated with the games of our childhood? (I must make a remark: I am writing about Russia, Saint-Petersburg, and games which were typical for Russia).
We played «games with rules" such as "French-skipping", "frog" (with a ball), hopscotch, hide-and-seek, tags, football, etc. The board games included Russian lotto, chess, cards, "Monopoly" with the drawn money. In these games, the children and adults to win or even to continue play had to follow certain instructions.
In modernity, the most part of these games is considered as the entertainment, the opportunity to spend time. But the majority of these games had the learning character, these games helped to prepare the child for school in an easy and unostentatious form.
Let's consider the several examples.
In many families to teach the child to count and to understand such concepts as «more" and "less", parents used cards, dominoes, lotto. 

Boy, 6 years old: "Two persons are playing cards..."

Boy, 7 years old: "My Father and I are playing cards..."

Lotto is a game of my childhood and the childhood of my parents. It is gradually disappearing in the practice of children’s games. But this game has a significant educational potential because it helps the small child to learn figures when he/she is closing by "keg" a necessary number. Moreover, grandmothers, grandfathers and other adults liked to join this game. Lotto was a good pastime for the whole family and strengthened inter-generational relationships.

Charles Chaplin "The Game of Lotto", 1865. 

When the children played "Monopoly" with the drawn money, they learned to operate with big figures, they learned arithmetic operations of addition and subtraction in the form of play, and they tested a "good risk". With the appearance of the calculator in this game, the life of the child became ‘easier’ but an oral counting disappeared.
Most of the children did not recognise in the offered pictures the games "French-skipping", "frog" (with a ball), dodgeball.
"French-skipping" is the game of competitive type, according to which there is an opportunity to find out who is better and do it during jumps without "force" contact. Girls and boys were involved in this game. Modern children seldom play this game. But there is an opportunity to reveal the educational potential of it: it is both the support of a good physical condition, and the learning by heart different rhymes under which it is necessary to jump, and even the training of honesty.

French-skipping. The source of the photo is here.

In game "frog" it is necessary to jump through a ball which has hit a wall previously. The most part of preschool children does not know this game. But owing to this game, the children learned to count to 10, to 100, sometimes more, they learned by heart rhymes and tongue twisters, under which it was necessary to jump through a ball or to do something.
A dodgeball is the game of antagonistic type. According to the researches, such games are necessary ("good risk") because they train children not to break the boundaries of game aggression. 
The listed games are connected with nursery rhymes, songs, etc. It is a training of memory, the imagination because children can change already existing texts. According to my research, children know some nursery rhymes, which were also familiar to their parents, and there are no new nursery rhymes.
When we speak about learning through play, we often think about some play tasks, which were thought up for this purpose. However, learning through play also happens in the imaginative play and in the games with rules, some of which exist for centuries. It is necessary for parents to remember these facts. They, probably, should teach their children to play the games of their childhood, strengthening the inter-generational relationships, training the child, and allowing him/her to feel a "good risk".
Maria Sibireva: ‘the city cannot exist without children’

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2 комментария:

  1. Hello, Maria. It's highly unlikely that modern children will play the games from our childhood irrespective of the fact that these games were very interesting for us and for our peers as well. However, it'd be great if we showed our kids how to play and what to do. Apparently, they could play the same games.

  2. Hello, Svetlana!
    Thank you for Your comment.
    I think it is a typical situation for the megacities when inter-generational relationships are becoming weak. The time of common play (when children and adults play together) is decreasing too.
    But a lot of children, who participated in my researches, answered: "I do not know this game, but I want to play it (for example, townlets)". And, in this case, adults can help to solve this problem:)


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