Memory Lane: Playing Outdoors

Do you remember spending your summer days queuing for a Flake 99? Did you play hide and seek, conkers and hopscotch? Could you climb the tallest of trees?

Back in a time when ‘fun’ wasn’t synonymous with phones, tablets and televisions, children would play outside using only their imagination.

Whether it was rolling down banks (and getting grass stains), checking if people liked butter (using a buttercup), or blowing dandelion clocks (and wishing for 10 more wishes), children would be outside all day long – returning home when the streetlights turned on, just in time for an evening meal and a bath.


Spring Chicken Facebook Followers have been recollecting the days of ‘playing out’:

‘I loved my childhood, I was always out playing and never got bored. We used our imaginations, two balls and hopscotch runouts. There were loads of kids my age on my street, so we used to knock on everyone’s doors and ask if they were coming out to play.’

‘I was rarely bored. I was always upside down doing hand stands or bouncing a ball against the wall.’

‘Although TV was there when I was a kid, we never watched it in the day time. We were too busy outside skipping, climbing and playing marbles. One of my favourite games was two ball: you can play it on your own, so it was great when you were waiting for your pals to finish dinner!’

Which was your favourite: doing handstands and cartwheels, competing in a football match in the street, or making daisy chains? Did you ever find a lucky four-leaf clover?

Written By
More from SpringChicken

Hiding Cat – 50 piece puzzle

Receive new puzzles and jigsaws by email: Daily Weekly Email Address *...
Read More


  • I grew up in South London in the 1950s and my fondest memories are of all the wonderful parks and libraries – especially Charlton Park and library. We would go out all day, just kids, – maybe get an ice cream or lolly since they sold them in the park – climb trees, make camps, bury treasure, slide down earth banks, make up plays and other things I’ve forgotten. We delighted in playing up the “pargies” – really, the park keepers who were undoubtedly there for our protection. My childhood would have been more boring without the library. I must have read just about everything in the children’s library by the time I was eleven. All this was thanks to the LCC. What a wonderful organization that was and it did so much for post war London.

  • I remember playing with my friend at ‘house’, among the gorse bushes on the common opposite Fort Dunlop, near the golf course. Couldn’t do it now. Other times we played on the back lawn rolling down a slope when a bath of water tipped and splashed all over us, screaming and laughing. It was a hot summer day in the 1940’s. I also loved going on holiday to Barmouth in N. Wales to stay in a guest house with my parents. Dad used to build me a car in the sand to sit in and pretend to drive it, and take me on the Fairbourne miniature railway. I think I played hopscotch on the pavement with local children once or twice, but my parents did not like me playing out on the street too much.

  • always played outside football in local park and cricket,
    scrumping in local farmers orchard lol, knew what time to be home by,or dad came looking for you ,
    always out and about on bikes in country lanes not many cars about in them days,

  • I can remember, that in Windsor where I was born, they use to turn the street lights off a midnight, so planning to be a dirty stop-out was not really on in the late 1940’s. although it improved a bit later on. Home delivery of Corona soft drinks on a Saturday, was quite an event. Bakery vans delivering loaves to your door. Coal-men, with your preferred fuel, Milkmen with pints of milk to your door whatever the weather. And of course lastly, the Ice Cream Vans. In Windsor we were quite lucky, as we had Lyons Maid, Walls, Tonibell, Mr Softee, Mr Whippy and Neilsons Canadian Ice Cream. Unknown to us little rascals, the latter was the largest Ice Cream manufacturer in the world, supplying to Canada and the US, it seems they also made biscuits and chocolate too.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *