What’s Your Story?

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Everyone has a story about how they played as a kid. Sometimes people describe original games they created with other neighborhood kids. Sometimes the storyteller recounts how non-toys got recruited into play. Sometimes they tell about landmark competitions–basketball face offs, marathon Monopoly games, or hackysack duels. I especially like to ask people how they played outside in the summer or what was their worst prank on a sibling. The tales are always surprising and people light up as their relive their experiences.Hula Hoop

Now you have the chance to make sure your best stories about play get saved and celebrated–and maybe even win a fabulous prize in the process. During March, The Strong's National Museum of Play invites you to participate in the America at Play: Play Stories Video Contest. This is your chance to share firsthand stories about play and help us preserve the kinds of information that can't be found in the artifacts, photographs, documents, and other kinds of historical evidence that the museum collects.

Just as an example, the National Museum of Play doesn't have any object that tell about neighborhood games of tag, hide-and-go-seek, or kick-the-can. We have toy tea sets and miniature kitchen appliances in the collection, but we don't know the particulars about how you played with those kinds of toys. And everyone knows that plenty of play combines toys and games in unexpected ways–or makes use of found objects like cardboard boxes or sticks. Box

The America at Play: Play Stories Video contest invites you to share a story about playing with friends. So take a couple minutes to tell us your story–it's so easy and you could win a Flip camera or other great prizes. Your video will join ones with people of every age and background. Together, these video stories combine to create a permanent resource and preserve otherwise unknown elements of play from today and yesterday. Make sure that your story is part of the America at Play project!

6 thoughts

  1. Hi Chris, Here is one of my stories, from Reyne Rice Twitter@ToyTrendExpert,
    When my sisters, best friends and I wanted to create a new house from big boxes, we went to the local hardware store and found big, empty cardboard boxes. Then we put them over our heads and walked home like covered box robots. We couldn’t see where we were going, except to watch the sidewalk below us. As we walked home, covered in our robotic –like large cardboard boxes, we chattered away to each other in made-up languages, giggling all the way, punctuated by ooopps, was that you, as we bumped into posts and trees. Thinking back, I imagine the neighbors must have had a good laugh, too, watching cardboard boxes with legs, chatting away in gibberish, bumping into each other…Then when we got home, we created the best space ships, tiki houses and other environments, where we played for hours with our friends, and other siblings…Until our next adventure…

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