Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Creating a 1950's- like Childhood

Children Playing with Campbell Kid Doll Photograph - New York, NY

When I was a child, we spent most of our time playing outdoors. We would head over to a neighbor's house, walk to the corner store, or head down to our small, private beach at the end of the road. Often children would gather in our yard and we would play games like:

1. Red Rover.
2. Freeze Tag.
3. Kickball (we had four trees in the yard, conveniently set up to make a square- which was perfect for bases.)
4. Dodge Ball.
5. Races

We would also ride our bikes and roller skate in the street. We could all walk to the elementary school and use the playground, tennis court, basketball court and baseball field.

One of my favorite things to do was take a blow-up raft (boat) and use that at our private beach. We also enjoyed skipping rocks in the water and running in the sand.

Summer time would mean outdoor picnics, and the neighbors would sometimes stop by to talk to our parents and share a little food and drink.  There was always homemade ice cream. We loved watching Dad make it. He would use dry ice and a hand crank on some kind of bucket. It would produce sweet, cold vanilla ice cream!

Dad would buy a large watermelon and store it in the downstairs fridge. We would wait for days, excited for when we could eat it. "Dad got a watermelon!" We would say with delight! Then on the day of our fun, we would sit outside at the picnic table and enjoy our delicious treat on paper plates, after having hot dogs and hamburgers.

Sometimes, Dad would surprise us all by saying, "Let's go!  Everyone in the truck!" We children would climb in the back and hang on. In those days, it was okay to sit in the back of a truck without a seat belt.  He would take us to the next town and buy us each a soft serve ice cream with jimmies!  We were carefree and happy!

In the winter, many children would gather in our yard to go sledding down our hill. We had the best time in the snow and we also enjoyed making snow angels and playing until it got dark. Then we would be so cold, we would head inside to warm up by the fire to drink hot chocolate and have our supper.

Mother made supper every night around 5 p.m. That's when everything quieted down. We were healthy and happy and worn out from our playing.

This was a 1950's style childhood and I want to create it for my own children. When I was growing up, we did not have computers, cell phones, or any other contraption that kept us occupied in the house. We wanted to go outside and create our fun. In this current society, we have to help create this for our children. We need to get outside and teach them how to play red rover. We need to work on making our yards the fun place for the neighborhood children to enjoy.  We need to make home a safe and happy place to be.

Mrs. White

Suppertime with Precious Helpers - includes a vintage photograph of my children when they were young.

A Daily Battle - Fighting the Money Seeking Mentality.

How to - Keeping House with Small Children.

An Invitation - Subscribe to The Legacy of Home and have it delivered directly to your email.



aricketts said...

I loved reading this post...I also had a fun childhood. :)

Anne said...

Cute post. Great ideas!

Rocky Mountain Homemaker said...

I loved this post. We too have done our very best to give our children an old fashioned childhood. Saying "no" has been in important part of it.
I keep in mind that I am asked to do many tasks for church and I am very, very selective about which ones I do. The church has a pool of helpers, but my family has only one of me.
We don't take on very many evening activities, realizing that evenings at home as a family are very vital and precious.
We have breakfast and dinner together and my husband loves the fact that he can walk home for lunch.
Even on Saturdays, we do work around our place rather than constantly running here and there.
Our favorite activities include drives to the mountains, fishing and camping. We feel it is important to give our children an appreciation for nature rather than an obscession for electronics.
God bless you today......Denise

Deanna said...

Mrs. White,
I was born in 1955 and your childhood sounds a lot like mine. WONDERFUL childhood!

Awesome memories I have.

Enjoyed reading this post,

Jenny said...

I love this post! The 50's are a fascinating time to me. I think that childhood seems much shorter now and that is sad. I don't know why girls and boys are in such a rush to grow up. Things like playing with dolls now seem to be grown out of by 9 or 10 which just seems to early!

Claire said...

What a sweet post! I teach boys, and I try to encourage as much wholesome good clean fun as I can!


Christy said...

HORRORS!! Didn't your parents love you? Didn't they know how dangerous that all was? Good Grief! LOLOLOLOL!!! I do my best to give this to my kids but you need other kids and other parents to make it work the best and I find it hard to find like minded parents. The kids - they are usually on board once they stop being bored!

Cassidy said...

I loved hearing about your childhood. I have always loved the 1950's era. I need to ask my grandmother and mom more about it. My Mom was born in the late 50's and my grandmother was a young, beautiful homemaker during that era. I have wanted so much to create this for my chidren too but my hubby is one of those "freaks" that worries about everything in the whole world that MIGHT EVER POSSIBLY COULD happen. Also, we live in Dallas...moved here from a sweet little town in far east TX where I loved it and my parents have a horse ranch. I grew up digging in the mud making mud pies. Helping in the garden because I wanted to, picking dead chickens up in the chicken houses, riding horses and all those beautiful things were outdoors! When I have the girls open the mini blinds, I will say, "Yall let the happy light in!" I wish you would do a series on how to make it happen. Smiles, Cass

Sarah at SmallWorld said...

Great post. Much is lost with way neighborhoods have changed into places where people keep to themselves and children don't have any free time. Thanks for submitting to the Carnival of Homeschooling.

Mrs. White said...

Cassidy, your husband's worries are very valid! (smiles) I think the 1950's childhood works best in an established community. You know the type where the families have lived there for generations? All the moms knew each other and some of the families were related.

I would love to hear ideas for establishing this kind of life in this day and age. I wonder if inviting cousins over, or friends from church over, even just on a weekend afternoon would be a start?

Mrs. White

Gloria said...

Mrs. White, today I am ill and just spent the day reading through the last year of your blog. It has been such an encouragement to me. I also grew up on the ocean in Massachusetts, but on the North Shore. I think you would love the book "You and I and Yesterday" by Marjorie Holmes. Also, "The Shaping of a Christian Family" by Elisabeth Elliot. They are filled with nostaligic stories you will love.

Anonymous said...

Just happen to run across your blog about your happy childhood... I too - had a blessed and carefree childhood - - I must give thanks to my dear mother & father for making me feel loved, safe and happy - as well as giving me my values and beliefs - Wish my grandchildren could have experienced this kind of childhood.

Kansas Girl