Sometimes I wonder whether our kids are just a little overprotected. These are things I did unsupervised up until the age of 10 in the Adelaide Hills of Australia:

–Played cowboys and Indians in the forests and gulleys amongst the poisonous snakes and spiders.
–Blew up ant-hills with gigantic firecrackers (got matches and firecrackers somewhere)
–Basically played with firecrackers at will with dry grass all around.
–Climbed tall trees
–Played in the railway tunnels of the main Adelaide-Melbourne railway line.
–Put stones on the tracks to watch trains crush them. (very stupid)
–Had stone-throwing fights. (also very stupid)
–Flung ourselves off the end of the log-swing in the schoolyard at full swing to see how far we could fly.
–Played with real bows and arrows.
–Picked and ate mushrooms.
–Walked around by myself for hours our hung around the railway station in Blackwood several train-stops away from home playing hooky from Sunday school.
–Played beside a neighbor's deep pond trying to catch crayfish (didn't know how to swim).
–Picked and ate honeysuckle and prickly pears and other local vegetation.
–Walked several miles to and from school by myself every day from age 5 — involved crossing railway tracks every day at the Eden Hills station.
–Basically ranged far and wide in an around the neighborhood, which was relatively undeveloped hilly terrain.

And then later in Canada my parents wouldn't get me a bicycle because they thought it was "too dangerous". Had they only known…

I'm surprised I'm here at all when I think back on it. I was a real Darwin candidate back then. I can guarantee my kids have never done any of these things.


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