Saturday, August 22, 2009

Kick the can

Chasing a one year old around the neighborhood, as he yearns to be with the big kids, isn't always the best way to spend your afternoon. However, it provides plenty of opportunity to over-analyze the big kids and watch how they interact.
 
Today's hot activity was kick the can. A game I used to play for hours and hours growing up. Oddly, I found myself actually coaching my kids as if they were playing soccer or getting ready for a big swim race.
 
A few interesting observations about how the kids play...



  • The younger kids essentially treat the game like it is hide and seek. It's the 'me first' attitude - "I don't care that there are six of my friends stuck in jail, I am not going to be found!"

  • There is great and long-winded debate over the interpretation of various kick-the-can rules. Everything from the placement of the can to the finer details of when you can call someone out.In fact, they

    It's great groundwork for negotiation skills in their adult lives.



  • The older kids have far higher tolerance for risk when they are "it". They won't hesitate to run half way around the house to nab multiple players early in the game.

    • Corrolary 1... the kids that are active video game players gradually reduce the risks they take as they accumulate more and more jailers.

    • Corrolary 2... the older kids are rarely phased when someone kicks the can. Failure is fast and they move on with their strategy.



  • The younger kids rarely take their foot off the can when they are "it"

  • The jailed inmates don't seem to hesitate doling out criticism of how the "it" person is playing. Seemingly forgetting the fact that they've already been caught themselves.

  • Creating and eliminating new rules was as common as hiding behind a bush.

  • I was dying to play myself!



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5 comments:

  1. most awesome outdoor kids game very huh? remember how the Caron's had the perfect house for this game and how we couldn't every play enough... thanks for the memories... and the awesome observations!!!

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  2. Marla sent me a link to your article, funny stuff. I brought kick the can to my neighborhood a few years ago when my oldest was 8 or 9. We had a blast and all of the parents played too. It was so popular I had kids knocking on my door asking me to come out and play!

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  3. Ha! I'd like to get into a game one of these days... I just have to shake this one year old of my ankle. :)

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  4. Like I said, I don’t have time for this, but you have a way of drawing me in. So here I sit, unfazed by the amount of snow I have to shovel and papers I need to file since I can’t get into work for my Sat AM shift. Re this Kick the Can bit, it’s what I find wrong with “Little League” type sports for kids. Along with meddling (and sometimes abusive) parents and overuse of developing joints, they don’t learn those negotiating skills when there is an umpire, coaches that decide who plays today...• There is great and long-winded debate over the interpretation of various kick-the-can rules. Everything from the placement of the can to the finer details of when you can call someone out.In fact, they It's great groundwork for negotiation skills in their adult lives.

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  5. I agree with you. Buy there is still a lot of value in the organized versions - without which a lot of kids wouldn't be playing at all. I think they compliment each other.

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