The country is going mad, mad I tell you. It has been reported that a 10 year old girl was reprimanded by local police for playing hopscotch with a homemade chalk drawn grid. Apparently it was akin to criminal damage – you what?
Two weeks ago I posted about proposed changes to the school day which was stripping children of their right to play and grow up too fast. Now our children are being treated as criminal and having anti social behaviour if they draw and play the age old game of hopscotch. Hopscotch – I could understand it if they were using spray cans to draw there grid, but no it was simply chalk! My children love chalking it encourages creativity they are not confined to one piece of paper. There drawing can be as big or small as it chooses.
Lets just clarify a few points, this game is free to play, this game is active, this game is innocent. In a society that charges quite a bit for after school activities, has rising obesity levels and children that are subjected to adult story lines in TV programmes and images on many computer games (call of duty anyone?) they decide to pick on the simple game of hopscotch!
My best friend is a police officer and I know that she would walk past this type of game without batting an eyelid and these officers may have been a little over zealous but where has common sense gone? We live in a postmodern media saturated age and whilst lots of the technology I embrace (Erin is a whizz on the iPad and it is great for hospital visits) I long for a traditional childhood. You cannot beat children playing outside, it is the summer and I want to see children playing traditional games. Children have lost the art of skipping and entertaining themselves. They are often so used to being entertained both in the classroom and outside of it that they can’t entertain themselves. I am glad that I don’t overfill my children’s school evenings – they have always been encouraged to play – they all go to park several times a week, Dylan and his friends enjoy playing in the trees after school and Chloe with her friends play rounders behind the house or tennis in the free court five minutes away from our house.
So come on people, think a bit. Drawing hopscotch in chalk is not a crime – it never has been and I hope it never is. It maybe a little noisy outside your house in the summer as children play outside more and whoop it up a little. BUT that is better than being indoors on computers. Children should be children and they should play.
The original text can be read in todays Telegraph. I have linked this post to Mummy Barrow’s Ranty Friday linky.