Tag Archives: imagination play

Tabletop Hockey

Our parents got us a tabletop hockey game one X-mas, with the 2’ by 3’ hockey rink and the players maneuvered forward and back by metal rods that you twist to pass and shoot. Though other friends of ours had such sets, my brother and I were the only kids in our circle that built an entire imaginary world around this venue.

It started with each of us creating our own professional hockey teams. Mine was the Cooperstown Cats and I had named players, two “lines” actually, for each of the six positions represented by the plastic figures on the tabletop set. My “A-Line” center was “Steve Scimitar” and his “B-Line” comrade was “Sonny Star”. Each player had his own personality, athletic ability, style and personal history on and off the ice. My team’s coach was the legendary former hockey great “Kitty McBee” and the team was owned by “Manfred J. Sedgwicks”, a cigar-chomping old-school sport franchise owner who happened also to be a cat, thus the team name. Continue reading →

Plastic Dinosaurs and the Tragedy of Jinx Island

Most of my posts lately have been related to the various paths forward for youth education in a more formal sense, but I feel that much (most?) profound learning takes place in more informal settings… like play. So rolling back the clock to revisit my own youth…

I am not sure what initially inspired me, at age five, to become obsessed with dinosaurs. Could be it was going to the University of Michigan natural history museum and seeing the big reconstructed T-Rex bones or the tableaus behind glass of small scale dinosaur models in the best guess of what their living environment looked like. Or maybe it was seeing the movie, “The Lost World” (the 1925 version) based on the book by Arthur Conan Doyle, of Sherlock Holmes fame. The story was a wonderful tale about scientists and adventurers who travel to a previously uncharted plateau in South America and discover that the stories of living dinosaurs there were true (kind of the progenitor to “Jurassic Park”). Continue reading →