Academic journal article American Journal of Play

Go out and Play: Favorite Outdoor Games from KaBoom!

Academic journal article American Journal of Play

Go out and Play: Favorite Outdoor Games from KaBoom!

Article excerpt

Go Out and Play: Favorite Outdoor Games from KaBoom! KaBOOM! Somerville, MA: Harvard Candlewick Press, 2012. Contents, images, resources. 96 pp. $11.99 paper. ISBN: 9780763653303

This delightful book of children's outdoor games is designed to inspire parents, grandparents, and other adults to play outdoors with children. An introduction by Darell Hammond, founder and CEO of KaBOOM!, the organization promoting community-built playgrounds, challenges adults to reintroduce outdoor play into their children's lives. What he refers to as "play deficit" occurs because children spend too much time watching television and playing video games when they are at home, and because unsafe neighborhoods and the abolition of recess in some schools discourage outdoor play. He challenges parents to make their children play outdoors for at least sixty minutes each day and recommends the games in the book as a way to encourage outdoor play. Most of the games were contributed by Playworks, a nonprofit organization that provides play activities and supervision during school recess and at other play times. Additional games come from people who have participated in play days and wanted to share their ideas.

The book contains seventy play ideas including sixty-six tag games, hide-andseek games, ball games, team games, sidewalk games, circle games, race games, and other miscellaneous games. Go Out and Play also offers four play ideas described as "no rule games." The latter includes role play, game design, and ideas for play with sand and water and recycled materials. I remember some of these games from my childhood: Steal the Bacon, Duck, Duck, Goose, Red Light-Green Light, and Mother May I? Other games, like Red Rover, we played at scout meetings. These classic games used to be part of children's culture, but today's children, without recess or opportunities to hang out at playgrounds, might not know them. Other games are probably recent inventions, including variations of older games. Most of the game instructions in the book are simple and clearly described. …

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