Thursday, May 03, 2012

Why City Kids Need to Play in the Street

Why City Kids Need to Play in the StreetStreets aren't just for jaded flâneurs. Sarah Goodyear writes in Atlantic Cities about not being a soccer mom anymore and how her son discovered the joy of spontaneity and kept his love of playing just about anything involving a ball. 

What he hasn’t always loved is organized league ball – the early morning games, the shlepping, the lack of spontaneity.

What my kid really gets a kick out of, we’ve learned, is taking the ball into the street or the nearby park and organizing his own games – with the other children on the block, with his friends from school, with random kids he runs into at the park or the schoolyard. Heck, even with me.

Of course, that’s the way it used to be all over New York and every city in the country. Kids playing stickball and hockey and skelly in the street, jumping rope, making up their own arcane rules and forming their own shifting alliances.

It’s a type of game-playing that has been gradually eroding over the years. You can find lots of things to blame for that....I wrote last week about “the invention of jaywalking” – the history of how America was gradually sold on the idea that urban streets were meant for cars and not for people. Research has shown how the social lives of city dwellers have suffered as a result....

Why City Kids Need to Play in the Street - Neighborhoods - The Atlantic Cities

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