Childhood Play

By Collen Heeter, President, JGH Advisors

Spirit & Place Advisory Board Member

When I think of “Play”, I think of my childhood and the fun I had playing hopscotch and climbing my special backyard tree. These activities didn’t cost a dime and provided plenty of benefits. I got a bit of exercise – cardio from hopscotch and weight training and stretching from pulling myself up and down on all those branches. No downward-facing-dog though.

With hopscotch I had to draw the “board” with a rock on the cement walkway. Then, of course, I hopped around the board squares with one foot or both feet based upon the number where my rock rolled. Playing with friends made it a lot more challenging because there were more squares to hop over since we each had a rock to roll when our turn came. Sometimes, I had to hop a really long way. Interestingly, this was early training for the standing broad jump competition I won ribbons for in junior high school athletics.

Also, I loved the birdseye views I got sitting near the top branch of my tree. My grandma planted it for me when I was born. That’s when I learned that trees grow about 10 times taller than people. It was great watching my neighbors and friends from way up high, especially since they didn’t know I was there.

The cool thing about both these activities is that I could do them with my playmates or do them alone. I almost forgot another benefit, maybe the best. It kept me and mom out of each other’s hair.


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