This is a quote from "Hillel the Elder" from the first century. (I thought I was so original!)

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Zambian Playtime

This is the most common toy I see being played with in Zambia.

I have spied a few others but most of the children are embarrassed to show me their simple toys.
This young man had a toy bow and arrows.

Of course, just to play in dirt is great fun.  Sometimes they fashion items out of mud and let it dry.

I can remember doing exactly the same thing as a child.

These friends were out exploring when I encountered them while their parents broke up rocks.

We gave them some suckers which probably isn't the best practice, but it is very enjoyable to see them so happy.

Football is the most popular sport but balls are difficult to keep inflated.
Here, this lad has a good form kicking the empty beer carton.

When I see a young man just trolling along with his homemade vehicle, I am amazed how self-absorbed they are.  They concentrate on getting all the wheels turning and then steering it along.

Sometimes just checking out the white muzungu is pretty fun.

There are still plenty of places in Zambia where muzungus are rare and this young man got really nervous when I asked if I could photograph him and his toy.  It was made really well with a wooden axle and wooden wheels.  I am pretty certain it was a toy with some small plastic containers strapped on to give it some weight.

Wheels are usually made out of two ends of soda bottles pushed together.

Hauling rocks gives the vehicle some weight.

These two were just motoring along with each other.

This one is a little larger and more elaborate.

The steering wheels really work on some models.

Jump rope is a favorite and also jumping in and out of these rubber bands like cats cradle.

Of course there is always the basic card board box that can be pulled along.

If you can find enough juice cartons the possibilities are endless.

This train was fun to watch go over obstacles in sequence.

Did you notice that it was mostly boys playing with cars and trains and things with wheels?
Who do you think this young girl is trying to be like?  All grown up?

You can always find someone playing with old tires.  Bicycle or car.

This young man has his homemade football or soccer ball as we would call it.  His ball is a little small still but most of them are not much bigger.  They are made of wrapped plastic bags and seem to work pretty well especially since they do not pop and and are easily repaired at night.  Sometimes I see these attached to a string to hang on to while kicking, much like a paddle board and rubber ball.

Our neighbor girls were happy to help their sister show off the "baby" she had strapped on her back.
Sometimes I see girls playing jacks with rocks thrown up in the air and other rocks gathered up.

Often play is a pretty rare event.  There are plenty of chores that need to be helped with around the house.  Here dinner is being cooked and wash is being done.  These are not unusual activities for children before they have "free" time.

This young man is doing the wash.

If you live in a really progressive town you might have a community pool set up for a holiday.

All in all, play in Zambia seems a lot like play around the world.