Appalachia children Games



Tipper and Paul

I couldn’t end the childhood games and songs without talking about swinging. I spent untold hours swinging as a child. When we first moved into the house Pap built he didn’t have time to move my swing set from the little rented house. Every time he went back to get it, there was a little girl swinging on it and he couldn’t stand to take it while she was there. Finally one day she wasn’t there and I got my swing set moved to our new house.

We also had a rope swing Pap built in a dogwood tree in the backyard. Looking back I guess he built it for me. Steve would have been too tall to swing on it much and Paul too little. I swung on it until one day it broke leaving me on my back on the ground. I cried and cried and acted like I couldn’t walk, I’m sure I was really a sight to behold. I remember Granny tied up my back with something and then put my big long winter coat on me. She said it would make my back all better and it did.

As we got older Paul and I would swing and make up pretend stories that we acted out. Our favorite was one where we gathered an imaginary team and competed against each other. Our teams were mostly filled with Major League Baseball players of the day like Ron Cey and Nolan Ryan.

Martins Creek School had great swings. The school swings were the old tall metal ones you used to find at all playgrounds. You could really go high on those swings and if you were really brave like some of the boys and a few of the girls you could flip over backwards and land on your feet as you flew high into the air. I never got brave enough to try it, but I loved to swing so high that the chains snapped and clanked as I came back down.



The girls loved to swing too. The photo above shows Chatter on the first swing set they had. The seats of the swings were hard plastic and didn’t mold themselves to the girls backsides so we had a terrible time of trying to teach them to swing with out sliding out of the seats. They finally came up with their own method of swinging. They laid on their bellies and pushed off and then pumped their legs backwards. It sort of worked 🙂 at least they had fun doing their own version till they finally figured out how to stay in the seat.


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  • Reply
    Jane Bolden
    September 6, 2018 at 7:07 pm

    Every time I had a playmate over, I would have my mother skin-the-cat on my swing set. They were always impressed ,and I was so proud of her.

  • Reply
    September 6, 2018 at 2:04 pm

    We had a swing set when I was growing up and so did our girls. I still love to swing.

  • Reply
    Ken Roper
    September 6, 2018 at 1:04 pm

    We didn’t ever have storebought swings, but we swung anyway…on Grapevines. One time, five of us got on while we were out over the Twin Falls above our house. It let loose at just the right time and we were about 30 feet from the ground below. I looked up and saw that mess a coming, and soon as we hit the ground, we moved quickly. None of us were hurt, but that ended our swinging off the Twin Falls. …Ken

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    September 6, 2018 at 12:13 pm

    Considered as a whole, your posts about childhood games, songs and rhymes present a picture of happy childhood. And, notably, without reference to TV, movies, computers, cell phones, vacation travel or even parties. Gee! Just an old-fashioned American country childhood many of us were blessed to have and now blessed to remember. It is obviously also the childhood your girls were blessed to have.

    Btw, I find it remarkable that you were once a strawberry blond. As best I recall from the pictures you have shared with us, neither of your girls had that color change.

  • Reply
    Janis Sullivan
    September 6, 2018 at 11:28 am

    What a wonderful memory post. It made me remember swings when you mentioned the clanking. How high I could go! Does anyone remember porch swings. They were made like a bench with sides, but they had a spring or two underneath so you could gently swing back and forth. We did not have one, but other people did, and I took every opportunity to swing. Although, I remembered that often the swing would be reserved for grownups. Have not thought about that for years, what fun we did have growing up. Thanks!

  • Reply
    September 6, 2018 at 11:27 am

    It was so much fun swinging as a kid. I didnt have a swing set. We would swing on grape vines. It was fun! At my cousins, we had a rope that you could swing out over the road. We all would take turns. But you just couldn’t beat the grapevines. Love your post Tipper.

  • Reply
    September 6, 2018 at 9:38 am

    Swinging and singing was the best. I also loved to jump out forward and pretend I was flying! I wanted to be Peter Pan.

  • Reply
    September 6, 2018 at 9:28 am

  • Reply
    September 6, 2018 at 9:08 am

    We never had a swing set at home while growing up. The swings at school were homemade and dangerous now that I think about it. The supports were built about 7 to 8 feet high with two long pieces of rope that held the wooden seat. Several swings were hung from the same support frame. When we got to going as high as possible, we would jump off while in the forward motion. I blame all my aches and pains on those swings, jump boards and dry land sleds we used on a daily basis back in the days when kids played hard and had so much fun.

  • Reply
    September 6, 2018 at 8:28 am

    My favorite part of the story was that your sweet daddy wouldn’t take the swing away from the little girl swinging! It reminds me of when we were growing up and we’d be ready to go the creek to swim. If anyone pulled into the yard to visit we just had to act like we weren’t headed anywhere as not to hurt anyone’s feelings. We’d be so disappointed but we’d never let on! I love your stories Tipper:D

  • Reply
    Marshall Reagan
    September 6, 2018 at 8:02 am

    We were rich .we had three swing besides the grownups swing. one of the swings was a cable swing that you had to hang on to with your hands & the other two were pole swings ,which were a oak pole that had been split from one end up enough that a board could be put in for a seat. when one wore out dad would help us make a new one.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    September 6, 2018 at 7:39 am

    I loved swings when I was a kid. I never had my own swing set but two of my cousins did and I always loved visiting. I especially liked those real tall swings. They made me feel big and feel like I was really going somewhere.
    Truth is I still like swings. If I’m around where there is one of those big sets I still sit myself down it an swing …and dream!

  • Reply
    Gayle Larson
    September 6, 2018 at 7:29 am

    At 78 I still love to swing. I don’t flip off anymore but if there is a swing around I am on it.
    We have a two seater now and I love to swing gently and look out at the mountains especially at sunset. Second best is our rocking chairs. It must be the movement that brings such peace.

  • Reply
    September 6, 2018 at 5:32 am

    Our play ground at school had sand all around and we would flip out backwards and land on our feet. Well, me and my friend Stoney decided we’d make things interesting and see who could flip out backwards the farthest, you remember when they came out with the dingo boot ? Stoney had gotten a brand new pair, and those Dingo boots had a leather piece with a ring on the side, and one of Stoney’s attempts to beat my mark he flipped backwards and some how managed to get the ring of that boot hung in the S hook of the swing seat and when he hit the ground I thought it had killed him, but after a little while he managed to get up but took him a while to shake that off. O yea, I won he didn’t even get close. LOL

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