Renewing the Art of Playtime

By JULIANNE AUSTIN

Contributing Writer

There is something about my peers that has recently come to my attention and has caused me to think long and hard about myself and my generation. 

A lacking, I would almost call it, of being a kid and playing outside, and equally questionable, being a kid and playing inside. And why, as young adults, would we want to give something so enjoyable up so easily? 

I can remember growing up and playing outside all the time. And when I say all the time, I mean we had a fenced in yard, a ninety-pound lab, I was home schooled, and when I say all the time, I mean all the time. We did everything outside. As far back as I could remember, I was outside playing.  

When I look back at pictures of me growing up, indeed, most of them are of my siblings and myself outside. We lived outside, figuratively and almost literally speaking. We played out there and went to school out there. Our life was out there. It was great.  

As time went on, we moved. My younger sister was only three at the time, and there was no more fenced-in backyard. We were no longer in a cul-de-sac, but much to my delight, the outdoors remained a tried and true friend. 

I could not believe I was so lucky. We quickly found a mix of kids on the block to play with and continued our lives outdoors. 

Basketball, whiffle ball, and manhunt were played at our house on almost a daily basis. Yes, it got a little hard with the shorter days in winter, but we managed. 

We would meet the school kids at the bus stop, figure out how much and how long their school work would take, and plan accordingly. It was awesome. 

Another one of the incredible experiences I grew up with and have recently been enjoying with some Piedmont friends are the vast and hilarious selection of board games from my childhood. 

I am simply amazed when I realize so many folks did not grow up playing board games. We have a small arsenal of board games at home.

Our basement became the hub of activity when it came to rainy days that included severe lightning and any day below thirty-five degrees.  

I have recently started my own game collection here at Piedmont, including a few decks of cards, all ready to be pulled out when a friend calls and the time beckons. 

I even found out some of my favorite childhood games have adult versions, adding another twist of joy to time well spent with friends.  

Renewing the Art of Playtime? Priceless. 

So Piedmont friends, peers, professors and staff: find the time, make the time, grab your favorite board game and simply enjoy some good, old-fashioned playtime.