If we recognize that in play the child is under the tutorship of nature, we should seek to encourage rather than discourage the process. By directing the play we are training for life—yes, more, we are creating life.
As play creates in the child, it re-creates in the adult. Activity is essential to growth. Having attained physical growth, the adult does not demand as much physical activity as does the child and as years increase the tendency toward physical activity decreases. There is real danger in this becoming too meager to maintain efficiency, and we recognize more and more the necessity for vacation periods when some of the old spirit of play or of joyful activity may be indulged in and a re-creation process be set up. This recreation is simply reawakened activity, making for greater abundance of life.
The spirit of play and the spirit of youth travel hand in hand. If we allow the spirit of play to depart from our life, we lose our grip upon life itself. Every man and woman should cultivate and vigorously maintain a play spirit. This might be done through some hobbies, games, or art into which they can throw themselves with abandon for periods of time, frequent, if brief. They should thoroughly enjoy the experience. For the wealthy, to whom all things are possible, this may be hard to find. To those of limited means and of little free time, opportunity is more abundant. To them joy shines forth from even the so-called commonplace things of life.
The joy on the faces of those who are playing games, the merry laughter, the jest, the shouting, place this type of activity on a pinnacle among those producing happiness.
This volume has been prepared, in order that the young and old may find greater opportunity for joyful activity, and experience the good fellowship, the kindly feeling, the exhilaration and life resulting from playing games, and that those fundamental agencies of civilization, the Church, the school, and the home, may be better equipped to serve mankind and to add to the sum of human happiness.
This collection of games has been selected from material sent in to the author, by Y.M.C.A. Physical Directors, playground directors, and school and college athletic directors, to which has been added some original material and games that have been seen by the author in his travels about the country.
The author would suggest the following books on games:
Games for the playground,
home, school and gymnasium, Jessie
Bancroft, Macmillan Co., N.Y.
Games for everybody, Hofmann, Dodge Publishing Co., N.Y.
Social games and
group dances, Elsom and Trilling, J.B.
& Co., Philadelphia.