Believe it or not, kids found ways to have fun in the dirty 30’s despite their financial struggles.
Money was definitely tight during the 1930’s but imaginations were bright. It is so easy for children nowadays to be distracted by game consoles, computers and television that they often have difficulty using their imagination to create their own fun like the children of yesteryear. Perhaps kids from the 2000’s should take a page out of Wind at My Back’s Hub and Fat’s book, put down their technology and try playing with toys and games that don’t require a power cable or batteries.
So, what was it like to be a child in the 1930’s, following the Great Depression, with little or no money for toys and games? Well, you could use your imagination for a start, read a book, or create your own games and make the most out of the few toys you had. Wooden toys and games were popular in the 30’s. Checkers, Chess, Dice, Pick-up Sticks, Yoyos and Paddle Boards were accessible and relatively cheap. Children could even create their own toys with scrap wood and with what adults would consider ‘garbage’. Crates and boxes could easily become soap-box carts or scooters.
Popular activities for groups of kids included games like Tag, Hide-and-Seek, Road Hockey, and Capture the Flag. Hanging an old tire from a tree and using it as a swing made for many hours of fun. Taking a walk to explore points unknown was also a great way to exercise both mind and body.
In the winter months, in places like New Bedford, ice-skating, sledding, and snowball fights were popular activities. Do you have kids that think doing anything besides playing with the latest electronic gizmo is boring? If so, show them an episode of Wind at my Back where the kids have fun with any electronics whatsoever. Who knows, maybe it will inspire them to put down those joysticks and smart phones and pick up a board game or go play outside.