Snowy Hills, Tree Stumps, Manhole Covers and Rubbish Tins - more origins for Junkyard Sports

I found this image accompanying a short article called "Sliding Games (Marbles)." It shows a game of marbles played by Cree women. I had not seen this article before, even though I described a game very much like it in my "A Million Ways to Play Marbles, at Least." Given my current junkish passions, I was struck by how a snow-covered hill became the inspiration and foundation for a marbles game. Then I found my e-way to "TREE STUMPS, MANHOLE COVERS AND RUBBISH TINS The invisible play-lines of a primary school playground" - a paper by June Factor, of the Australian Centre at the University of Melbourne. She writes:

"The physical features of a primary school playground - dimensions, textures, furnishings, etc. - are incorporated and adapted for their own purposes by children in their free play. Youngsters create an intricate network of usage, play-lines invisible but known to every child at the school. Unfortunately, the general adult indifference to children's playlore often results in a lack of consultation with the playground's users when well-meaning but ignorant 'landscaping' of a school playground is undertaken."

Aside from the various implications about playground design and supervision, I was once more reasssured to be reminded how, given opportunity and necessity, inspringly junkish kids' play can get.

"Although she [Dorothy Howard] noted that ‘adult supervision of school playgrounds had increased’in the 1950s (Howard, 1960a: 166), it is clear from Howard’s research and from the accounts of those who were children at the time that youngsters were permitted considerable freedom to play as they chose, within certain minimal limits of order and safety. Playground equipment was almost non-existent, but children made use of trees, benches, the corners of shelter-sheds and the hard asphalt – the latter advantageous for knucklebones, ball games, skipping, hopping and endless varieties of chasing and hiding games."

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