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Let them play!

"Unplug the screen and head outside to play," Mom said. "What's outside; what's play?", asked little Alfred.

The Boundary Youth Soccer Association began its fifth season last weekend. When somewhere around 250 kids hit the BCSS sports field last Sunday it practically doubled the population of the village for a few hours.

They say it is good for economic development when you can get folks to stop and stay in the community for a few hours. Though it could be said with some honesty that while those soccer kids may have been in the village that morning, it didn’t look like too many of them were stopping anywhere particular for too long.

Organized youth sports seem to have taken over in the past decade or two. Mothers used to kick their kids outdoors with instructions not to go past the blue mailbox at the end of the street. And every kid knew how to tell when it was time to come home for dinner too—you listened for the whistle or the yell. If you were confused about it at all, then mom—or perhaps dad—could help clear up your understanding of the concept.

Not saying that organized sports like soccer are bad—just that unstructured play is valuable too. It unlocks creativity and role-playing.

One reason organized kids sports have become the norm is that terms such as “stranger-danger” and “street proofing” your children have become part of the lexicon.

But stats tell us that the chances of a child being abducted by a stranger are no greater now than in the ’50s and ’60s.

So on those days when there isn’t soccer practice or a game scheduled, just kick the kids outside and let them play hide and go seek with their childhood.