Another post following Irene Waters suggestion, this time it’s about school playgrounds.
I’m a Baby Boomer brought up in an Australian capital city.
I attended the local public school and our “playground” was asphalt but there was also a grassed oval and another area where older girls played softball. The school was near the beach and the bases were simply depressions in the sand. Only the older boys went onto the Oval during school time.
On the asphalt area we played:
Fairies and Witches, Hopscotch, Chasey, What’s the Time Mr Wolf?, Red Rover All Over etc
Skipping – long ropes for group skipping and short ropes for individuals. A group skipping game I remember went with the chant, “Old Mother Wishy Washy fell down the well. How far did she fall?” The pace was normal to start with but at the end of the chant it became “pepper” ie very fast. However many skips you managed at the fast pace was how far the washerwoman fell.
Marbles -this was really a boys’ game but I loved playing, I probably only played after school
Knuckle Bones – not plastic ones but actual sheep knuckle bones saved from the Sunday roast.
Monkey Bars – I can’t recall where these were so maybe they were actually in community playgrounds but I remember the blisters on my hands
YoYos – Mine wasn’t very fancy but some kids had genuine Coca Cola ones. Yoyos were something that became a fad for a while then disappeared again.
The “Playground” ie asphalt was also where we had to line up in our class groups at the end of lunch before marching into our rooms to the music from the Fife and Drum Band.
Once a week we also lined up in classes for the “Oath of Allegience” or whatever it was … “I am an Australian, I love my country, I honour her queen, I salute her flag, I promise to obey her laws”… and the singing of the National Anthem.