Blast from the Past (1 of 3)

While I’m strolling down memory lane (see yesterday’s post), I figured I might as well go all the way.

When I was a kid, I didn’t have all the modern electronic gadgets that these young whippersnappers today have (did that sound like a convincing older person?). Instead, my two sisters and I would make our own fun from our imaginations and random household items.

One of our favorite things to pretend was that we were boxcar children. Playing “boxcar children” meant that we were sisters (of course) that were orphans making our way in the cold hard world. Now, our cold, hard world consisted of our back yard only a few feet from all the comforts of modern living. But still.

Items needed to be convincing “boxcar children”:

  • A ladle (ours was 70’s mustard yellow and plastic)
  • A big bowl (we used the bowl most commonly used for popcorn)

How to play:

1. Gather up your supplies and head out to the backyard.

2. “Travel” around the house a few times, encountering hardships like wild animals (your pet), poisonous plants (grass), sickness (like scarlet fever or a broken leg), cold weather (no matter what time of year it is, there’s always the potential for a blizzard) or mean orphanage workers out to get you.

3. Arrive at the trampoline and use it for shelter. At this time, have one sister run into the house and fill the bowl with water.

4. Pass around the ladle filled with water gruel and eat as though you are famished.

5. Repeat any of the steps as needed until: (A) It gets dark. (B) Is time for dinner. (C) A better idea comes along.

I’m sure this will catch on and be all the rage in years following. So sure. What “games” did you play as a kid?

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4 thoughts on “Blast from the Past (1 of 3)

  1. stef says:

    Boxcar children sounds awesome!

    And Katie and I often played orphans…most likely acting out Annie (I was Annie and she was Molly).
    Other times we’d put a tiny Michael in a big duffle bag and pretend he was an orphan left on our doorstep.

    And I think to have been a convincing older person you should have used the word NEWFANGLED!

  2. Susan says:

    The first “game” that comes to my mind is playing “house” outside. Now, this was not the ordinary bring your dolls and feed them, etc game of “house.” We would find a nice flat spot in the dirt, get lots of rocks and lay them out to make the blueprint of our imaginary house (living room, kitchen, bedrooms, etc), sweep out the interior until only the firmly packed dirt was left and collect other bits of flora to make it more homey (pine needles for pillows on the bed, pine cones for decoration, etc.) It sure beat picking up rocks and bits of junk in the backyard for which we were paid 25 cents per 5 gallon bucket. Let me tell you, it took a *long* time to pick up 5 gallons worth of rubbish.

  3. Leslie says:

    Did you ever read the Boxcar Children books?!? OMGosh, those were my FAVORITE in 2nd grade, I think. Like, along with Anne of Green Gables and Little House, and that’s really saying something. One game I can remember playing from when I was really young was Star Wars. I played this with my big brother (before my little brother came along), and I was always Princess Leia. Duh. (My dad still calls me LP—Leslie Princess.) So, how to play: Take all the cushions off the couch, wait for big brother to build the perfect airship, and do whatever he tells me to do to play Star Wars “right.” Ah, the joys of older siblings… 😉

  4. Dad says:

    Well M,

    Interesting post to provoke memories of childhood. It sparked two thoughts. First, the ironic fact that on our breakfast date before your mom left for Houston we played a game we played called “Share everything you remember from your childhood to grade school”, AND our plan is to do this in three parts (childhood to grade school, junior high to high school, and high school to now). Second, was I thought I knew everything about your childhood but never once heard you playing boxcar children. So, looking forward to explore more when you come for Christmas! AML. Dad

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