Here’s the deal. A mere twenty years ago children spent 84% of their play time outside, frolicking in the sunshine, exercising and improving their social skills. Today, kids spend 89% of their play time inside, eyes glued to a screen, sitting and rarely interacting with others. Yes, these are startling figures. And, yes, I just made them up. But the fact that they’re not real, per se, should not detract from the fact that they’re quite alarming and something must be done.
But let me ask you this simple question – is leap frog the answer?
Come on, what’s the point of this game? One child crouches down while a series of children leap over them then taking the crouched position in turn and become the leapee. Why? What’s the goal here? Who started this nonsense? How do they know when to stop leaping? Why do they even start leaping? What the hell is going on here?
Why are we encouraging our young ones to play this ridiculous game when there are so many healthy alternatives? What wrong with a hide and seek? There are clearly defined roles…the hider(s) and the seeker. And everyone involved knows when the game is over. With the insidious leap frog our kids could keep hopping off into the sunset indefinitely. How about a little freeze tag? It’s both a great workout and a unique chance for children to hone their living statue miming skills. What do kids learn from leap frog? How to leap? They should already know that, darn it! If parents aren’t teaching their offspring how to leap at home, what chance do we have as a nation?
Seriously, do we really want our children emulating carnivorous, short-bodied, tailless, amphibians with webbed feet, protruding eyes and semi-permeable glandular skin? Or, even worse, frogs? Is this how far we’ve fallen? Frogs are the role models of our future? Really? Did you know that the Striped Burrowing frog survives in a dormant state for nine to ten months in Australia’s hot, dry season by burrowing into a cocoon of its own shed skin? Is that what you want for your sons and daughters? Because that’s what will happen if you keep encouraging this frog idolizing. Your children will move to Australia and take ridiculously long naps in piles of dead skin. Think about that the next time you send them into the back yard for an “innocent” game of leap frog.
You know what…I’m sorry.
I’m totally overreacting.
There’s nothing wrong with leap frog. It’s good, clean, wholesome family fun and I’m sorry to have disparaged it. If kids want to play leap frog they should play leap frog. Just…be careful. You see, I played a particularly intense game of leap frog as a child and have been suffering the consequences ever since…
Theorizing that one could leap frog indefinitely within one’s own lifetime, I lead a group of school yard chums into my backyard in the summer of 1982. With each leap our velocity increased until I made one final leap into a brilliant flash of light and vanished. I awoke to find himself in the past, suffering from partial amnesia and facing a mirror image that was not my own. Fortunately, contact with my own time was maintained through brainwave transmissions with Al, who appears in the form of a hologram that only I can see and hear. Now, trapped in the past, I find myself leaping from life to life, bringing things right that once went wrong and hoping that each time that my next leap will be the leap home…