“Red Rover…Red Rover: A classic playground game. Classic: a word that has a nice ring to it and means outdated, mature, vintage, antiquated, or just a plain old…That pretty much sums up 50+. Although age has its downsides, it does give credence to life experiences. It allows bearers to go down memory lane and reminisce about the good old days.
Looking back, I have a ton of memories from Elementary School. Greasy pizza, plaid uniforms, and yearly Iowa Basic Skills test are a few, but my favorite memories revolve around recess. My first “A” was received for recess etiquette 101. My reputation proceeded me because of such stellar athleticism in the playground games: Mother-May-I, Red Rover, and King of the Hill.
I work at an Elementary/High School campus. Now, I am not advocating returning to the days of dangerous, litigious, obsolete, classic games on the playground, but I have thought about the life lessons introduced in those formidable years.
“Mother, May-I?” This game consists of a leader in front of a line of individuals. A friend is chosen to play and that friend asks the leader permission to perform a self-chosen task. The leader gives permission or identifies an alternate task to do. The series of actions potentially sets the individual on a course to achieve the ultimate goal or not… reaching the “Mother”.
Life Lessons: First: Courtesy and respect is valued. Second: Asking clarification questions is better than being off course. Finally, achieving your goal, may require setting aside your personal agenda, and accept input of others.
Red Rover. “Red Rover, Red Rover, send Suzy right over.” The words of the cadence repeated each time to invite a friend over to your side, in hopes of being able to capture them between the interlocked hands of your team members.
Life Lessons: First: Strength as an individual is limited, so choose a team and resources wisely. Second: Understand the weak links. With preparation, inadequacies don’t have to outshine achieving the goal. Finally: Come alongside each other and when someone falls, reach down and help them up.
King of the Hill. The game by which one friend stands on top of the “hill” or elevated surface. All of the other players try to get that friend off and reach the top, ultimately becoming the King.
Life Lessons: First: Getting to the top is esteemed, but it is a long and sometimes arduous road; sacrificing both time and family. Second: Success often means that directly or indirectly people get hurt. Finally: Understand the definition of replaceable. The road down is shorter and quicker.
Although, the days of Mother-May-I, Red Rover and King of the Hill are obsolete, replaced by 4-square or the newest playground equipment, recess will always be the formidable venue where life lessons are introduced, taught and practiced.