When I was a kid, I really enjoyed playing with toys and thanks to my mom for teaching me art and craft. She taught me how to make flowers out of sax cloth, glass painting, fabric painting, etc. We would make a bunch of flowers and place them in a flower vase, which was also made out of POP. The POP would stick to our hands but sometimes, messy is also beautiful. I used to have so much fun creating all these things. Whenever someone came home, I would proudly showcase my artistic creations. She also taught me how to make handmade string curtains which are now easily available in the stores but we made them out of drinking straws.
When we were in primary school, we would make paper boats. We would release the boats in the water and chase the boat in whichever direction it streamed in. We also played the teacher and student games. I would wear oversized glasses and pretend to be the teacher. We would also play with kitchen toys. My brother had installed a blade in a kitchen toy and made an actual mixer grinder out of it. He even made a water heater and other creative stuff. How brilliant of him!
I remember I would carry a toy bucket and pretend to fetch water from the well. I would fill up a normal-sized bucket with water. I would then tie a rope to the toy bucket and throw it over the pole and pretend as if I were drawing water from the well and then took it to my kitchen area. As kids, we were always so proactive in exploring and experimenting with things.
Kids these days are not lucky enough to experience the same joy that we felt while playing with actual toys, which is what made us innovative. Everything, including kitchen games, is made online these days and kids are always either on their mobile phones, tablets, or gaming consoles but Playing games in person is a different emotion altogether. Fast forward to today, I never thought I would end up playing online games myself. I’ve been playing a lot of ludo and carrom during the quarantine period. These days we don’t even know who we’re playing online with because everything’s anonymous. I might as well be playing with people like Shahrukh Khan, Salman Khan, and perhaps, even Brad Pitt. We never know HAHA.
These digital games leave no room for improvisation since the parameters have already been set by the apps. Though there are mind games, kids always prefer playing fast-track games like racing and shooting games that trigger an adrenaline rush. I would much rather encourage kids to play traditional games and I really hope their parents can encourage them to do so. The bond between children and parents also become stronger when they interact and play with each other. Now tell me what’s your favourite game?