Recess at One-Room School Was Lots of Fun

Neighbors added homemade equipment to school playground.

| Good Old Days

The first two years we attended the one-room school the yard had only a sturdy teeter totter. There was not even a swing. Some time during the summer between our last two years, some of the neighbor farmers added a pole with a basketball backboard and hoop. We often used to shoot goals, but we never played the game. Very likely, no one knew the rules of the game and the rough grass was not very suitable for a court.

We played various games, some acquired from previous students, some we invented. Often the entire school participated together, notwithstanding a broad range of ages and abilities.

Steal the Sheep required two teams. A short stick (the sheep) was leaned from the porch floor to the ground. One team guarded it while the other attempted to sneak in and knock it down, then run so as not to get caught. Each member caught became a member of the rival team.

Ball Bouncing. This required no teams. All played together. One person threw the ball high against the building wall, calling a person's name. He or she was to catch it before it touched the ground or on the first bounce. This gave the younger ones a better chance.

Marbles. Every spring marbles was a popular game, continuing over several weeks. The children brought marbles from home. Playing "for keeps" was not allowed.

Jumping rope, individually or with others, was always popular.

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