There’s a nicely written piece about traditional games on Time Magazine’s website with the author describing how he and his primary schoolmates played marbles in the playground in the 1970s. No doubt he thinks that makes him sound old, but I could have written the same about my primary school in the 1950s and I reckon if I asked my father – now in his 80s – he could have done the same for the 1920s and ’30s. But in a way that’s the point of the article.
The author reckons marbles are as popular as ever – and they have been played since Roman times – and by-the-by points out that a child needs no instructions on how to play with them, nor ever did. That pretty much sums up the appeal of so many traditional toys. Simple, straightforward but still fun. And isn’t there something reassuring, in this constantly changing world, in knowing that children get the same enjoyment out of a simple game that their forebears did generations ago?