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Two-part series which tells the story of children's outdoor games in
20th-century Britain begins by looking at British children at play between the
1900s and the mid-1950s.
Part 2 : Moving Indoors http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00pf049
Two-part series which tells the story of children's outdoor games in 20th
The mid to late 1950s are generally considered to be the highpoint of
children's outdoor play. The benefits of the welfare state, better health care
for children and an improving standard of living all helped create a final
heyday of the singing street. All the traditional outdoor games - and new ones
- were thriving in the cities and the countryside.
However, outdoor play was to dramatically change from the late 1950s onwards.
Mass car ownership and the advent of 'stranger danger' made the streets more
perilous, while the coming of mass television provided a rival attraction - one
that was favoured by all parents, as it was safe.
Television's influence inspired a new generation of children's games that were
grafted onto the old. Popular songs, fashions, adventure programmes and news
stories such as the conquest of space were all turned into a myriad of games
and rhymes that reflected the modern world.
Even in the multilingual playgrounds of today, traditional games are still
played, some of them with origins stretching back centuries. But they are
complemented and enriched by Afro-Caribbean hip-hop raps, role plays that have
been adapted from modern TV shows and dance steps from the latest music
First Broadcast : Tue 15 Dec 2009, 21:00, BBC Four.
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