This is simple, magical, and beautiful.

When I was growing up, I lived on a street that had at least thirty kids. We would run in wild packs through the neighborhood. There was usually not a parent in sight. Occasionally someone would get hurt – like the time Darren lit a fire in a Tupperware bowl and threw it at Charlie (a quarter-sized piece of skin got melted off Charlie’s arm) – but for the most part we were totally fine. We played awesome games like Wagon Train, which involved tying all of our Radio Flyer wagons together, end-to-end, then stocking each wagon with supplies (blankets, food, toys), settling ourselves in the wagons, having the gang of little brothers pull the “train” up to the top of the hill, then speeding down the middle of the street. We would also build things. Once, the Abrams kids got the bright idea to dig an underground clubhouse, which ended up being a warren of tunnels. We worked on that thing for weeks, until it rained and the tunnels got filled with mud.

My kids don’t have that same kind of freedom. Apparently, neither do most kids these days.

Have you heard about this upcoming documentary called The Land? It’s filmed at a Welsh Adventure playground, and it’s all about the nature of play, and risk, and and how we’re losing that.

Photo of The Land, from the site

Photo of The Land, from the site

Watching this trailer almost made me cry. It reminded me of being a kid again, in the most glorious, free way.

I realized that’s one of the reasons I travel – to recapture that feeling. Watch the trailer – maybe you’ll see what I mean.



  1. Yep, miss that freedom!

  2. May I suggest you read “Last Child in the Woods”

  3. Points Pixie says

    Craig – There was nothing like it.

    Jane S. – GREAT suggestion, thank you! It’s my pick next for book club, and you just made my job easy.

  4. My husband and I discuss this topic a lot. He’s 71 and I’m 65. As kids, when school wasn’t in session we left the house in the morning and returned at night or when we got hungry and there wasn’t any place else to eat. We had some toys bought for us, but we also sometimes built weird junk out of scrap. We walked everywhere, all over the city. Our parents were much less involved in our hour to hour lives.

    I feel sorry for our grandchildren. They don’t know their neighborhood like we knew ours. They are watched over much more intently than we ever were. They never make anything from scraps around the house. But they have tons of toys and computer games.

    I don’t mean to sound critical. It is a different time and I understand parents current fears. With every generation there is the good and the bad mixed together.

  5. pinkisnice says

    I think about all of the neighborhood exploring I did, the adventures I had – and even the lessons I learned as a result. Part of me wonders how my parents weren’t worried to death all the time I was out of their sight, but maybe there was just a lot less to be scared of. Or a lot less access to information that would tell them otherwise. Thinking back to your post about Tuolumne, I get it even more now. Like Anne wrote, there’s always good and bad. But when the nostalgia kick in, it’s hard to see the full picture.

Speak Your Mind