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Re: Children's activities

Poster: Carol_O'Leary@ed.gov (Carol O'Leary)

     Lady Katherine Sharpe, writing of children's activities, said,
     >With a bit a creative thinnking one can give almost any modern 
     >activity a period twist.
     While I'll concede Lady Katherine's point, it raises a question in my 
     mind -- Why should we want to do that with our children?
     What we do in the SCA as adults is more on the order of using creative 
     thinking to give almost any period activity a modern twist (as I see 
     it).  I'd think that starting from modern activities and looking for 
     ways to give them some period content is a backwards way of looking at 
     the problem.
     Our children have lots of opportunities to color and to play modern 
     games or with modern toys.  Why shouldn't we look for ways to let them 
     do the kinds of things that medieval children their age would have 
     done, instead of giving them pictures of knights and castles to color?
     Many of the active games kids play now (like tag and blind man's buff 
     and innumerable variations on foot races) are period (or direct 
     descendants of period games), and kids left to their own devices to 
     invent games (obviously with supervision and occasional guidance) will 
     play "let's pretend" games with a medieval cast of characters instead 
     of TV-inspired ones.  There are board games that even young children 
     can play, as long as they understand the concept of taking turns, and 
     it's fun, especially with elementary school-age children, to tell them 
     what kids their age would have been expected to do, then let them try 
     their hands at carding or spinning on drop spindles or embroidery.  
     They can help in the kitchens, and serve tables, and run errands, and 
     bear water.  We need to be incorporating our children into our 
     activities, not isolating them and looking for "special" activities 
     for them that give them the wrong idea about what the SCA is all 
     (Sorry -- I didn't mean to get up on my soapbox.  But I feel pretty 
     strongly about this -- Could you tell?)
     Melisande de Belvoir
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