Adults can be forgetful about some of the fun we once enjoyed as children. Sure, it's way too easy for grown-ups to get overly sentimental about the joys of childhood -- which often really doesn't feel all that joyful at to actual kids. Nevertheless, there really is a special enthusiasm and delight that's particular to kids and is one of the main things that makes them so much fun to hang around with.
To a kid, a game where you can win a plush doll by throwing a ball through a small basketball hoop isn't just a rather simple game requiring good hand-eye coordination; it's a small bit of magic. Indeed, to an adult, that stuffed animal you can win if you get enough balls through the hoop is simply a cute toy, but to a child it can really be a bit of magic.
We remember vividly when we were kids and it was time for the annual school carnival. You'd think we'd be none too excited to visit our school on a Saturday morning after being there all day Monday through Friday. Wrong. On the day of the carnival, our very ordinary school yard was festooned with colorful decorations, a bunch of carnival games, and a floodgate of pizza, hot dogs, cup cakes would open. It was a little bit of magic in our backyard.
Each basketball hoop was decorated with paper-mache and cardboard. The auditorium where we'd usually watch dry, poorly made instructional films (and be happy to see them instead of sitting in class), showed cartoons and the usually quiet campus was alive with kid-friendly pop music of the day. (We'd tell you, but we don't want to date ourselves.)
And, of course, there were the games...Variations on ski-ball, the ping-pong ball toss into the gold fish bowls to win a gold fish that was usually lucky to live out the month...finger painting...the "fishing expedition," that game with the basketball hoop, and countless others. We're actually getting just a little bit excited writing about it now. We're always a little bit like children, aren't we?
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