Do Kids Play Kick-the-Can Anymore?

Patricia Bradley Life 16 Comments

Someone asked me the other day if kids played kick-the-can anymore. I didn’t know, so I asked a couple of kids at church. They looked at me like I’d lost my mind and asked, “Why would you kick a can?”

I started to explain that it was a game I played outside when I was their age, but I gave up when they rolled their eyes. Then, it dawned on me. Kids don’t play outside unless it’s organized sports. And that got me to thinking about other games, sayings, and other things that kids don’t have a clue about. Here’s a list:

  • Sandlot baseball  – a ragtag group of neighborhood kids choose sides and find a vacant lot and play baseball.sandlot ball
  • Cowboys and Indians (I was always an Indian) And in the same vein, sheriffs and bank robbers. I bet I ran a thousand miles every summer, riding my stick horse…or just pretending my legs were horses. Whoever was the robber went in the house and got one of their daddy’s handkerchiefs to fold in a triangle and tie around their face.
  • Rolling down the window. Kid’s nowadays have automatic windows rather than the crank ones I grew up with.
  • Double Dutch…double dutch
  • Riding in a car without a seatbelt. I remember stretching out in the floorboard or on the backseat  or standing in the middle on the hump in the floorboard. I even remember standing up in the back of a pickup as it breezed down the road. Maybe somethings are better now…or at least safer.
  • Watching the radio. Just like it was a television, only there was no picture.
  • Leaving the house after breakfast and coming home at noon just long enough to wolf down a sandwich and then go back outside until my mom yelled it was time for supper. And then going back outside to play kick-the-can or tag or hide-n-seek or catch lightening bugs.kick the can
  • Dialing a phone…or being on a party line. I can remember on Sunday afternoon listening in while some of the old ladies talked. I bet they were all of thirty years old.
    dial phone

    Photos by Printmaster







How about you? Can you name something you did as a kid that kids of today would not have a clue about? Leave a comment for me.

Winners of last week’s drawings:

Matthew’s Choice: TerriillRosado

A Heartwarming Christma :


Trixi O

Jan Ballard

Comments 16

  1. Terrill Harris Rosado

    I was going to comment on this earlier, but I couldn’t remember the name of the game I wanted to mention. I was going to call my sis, but I was able to google it. “Annie Annie Over” was one of my favorite games to play with the neighborhood kids. We used a ball and my childhood home since it was a 1 story rambler. You have two teams – one on each side of the house. One team throws the ball over the roof and yells “Annie Annie Over.” If the team on the other side misses the ball they do the same thing back. If one team catches the ball they sneak around and try to tag a member of the opposite side dodge-ball style. You do this until there is one man standing. I loved it as a kid, but it could be stressful wondering if the other team was coming around to try to tag you.

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      Patricia Bradley

      I love this and actually remember playing it until our parents made us quit because they were afraid that we’d knock out a window! Thanks for googling it and reminding me of this great game!

  2. Laurie Bergh

    We played a game called seven steps around the house and another one called ditch . I don’t recall exactly how to play them, they were games sort of like Tag I believe. Hahaha it’s been a lot of years since I’ve played those games!

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  3. Ann Ellison

    Spent many an hour playing jacks and also hop scotch. Also roller skating with the skates that clipped on to your shoes up and down the neighborhood. Brings back lots of fun memories.

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  4. Michele Hayes

    We used to play SPUD. a lot and loved it. Also played Chinese jumprope and 7-up. Not sure if our kids even know what these are.

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      Patricia Bradley

      I think we need to re-educate our kids. Maybe turn off some gadgets and get them outside. I passed by a yard full of kids playing tag tonight. Surprised me, but tickled me, too. Thanks for stopping by Michele!

  5. Wendy L. Macdonald

    Patricia, our favorite outdoor game as kids was hide-n-seek. All the neighborhood children would gather and use the entire block (we’d even hide in trees). We lived on a quiet road, so it was safe and fun. Thank you for this trip down memory lane.
    Blessings ~ Wendy

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  6. grandmatina

    Red light green light. Simon says are two that we played. We always loved when it got dark and play flash light tag and catch lighting bugs..

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