Kids growing up in the 1960s didn’t have access to a lot of television, except Saturday morning cartoons and special shows like “Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color” on Sunday nights. While television underwent many changes throughout the decade, for the most part kids spent their time playing games with other kids, at home, on the playground or down the street. As long as everybody was home by the time the streetlights came on, kids could play pretty much anything they wanted anywhere they wanted.
Indoor games were a means of entertainment for kids during the 1960s. Although playing outside was considered the best thing for kids, it wasn’t always possible. Bad weather and illness might keep a kid indoors, even on a Saturday. If so, games such as Monopoly, Scrabble, Life, checkers and chess would be brought to the kitchen table from the game closet. Sometimes just the kids would play, but often the whole family joined in, with Mom and Dad heading up an impromptu family game night. Card games, including gin rummy, old maid, fish and war also were often part of the game mix during the 1960s.
Sometimes it wasn’t possible for kids to go outside to play, but they had too much energy to simply sit at the table and play quiet games. In times like that, kids often played games that allowed for more movement, such as "I spy" and charades. An active party or group game that came along in the second half of the decade was Twister, which continues to be popular well into the 21st century.
On the playground at recess, kids ran around and occupied themselves in many different ways. Although there were some organized activities, for the most part the kids figured things out on their own. Adults stood by to help resolve any serious problems, but the kids themselves decided what they wanted to do. Children lined up to take their turns at such playground games as foursquare, baseball, tetherball and kick ball.
At home after school and on the weekends, neighborhood kids often organized informal games of baseball or kick ball with the other kids. Many other group games were popular as well, such as red rover, tag, kick-the-can and hide-and-seek. Kids would play these games long past dark on warm summer evenings, running and playing until parents finally called them in for the night.
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