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!