Canada's biggest playground, winter, leads the way as we look at a century of play for Canadian kids. In the beginning you made your own gear and toys, but some store-bought things were irresistible. What Canadian girl, in her time, wouldn't want an Eaton's Beauty doll or a Barbara Ann Scott doll? And what boy, swept up in a cowboy craze, wouldn't die to have a Gene Autry gun or a Lash LaRue whip?
Throughout the century, adults helped to organize clubs, camps and playgrounds--often with the intent of steering children away from trouble. In the end, getting away from adults and crossing forbidden borders have always been a part of the fun.
Play is one of a 6-part series entitled Growing Up Canadian. These documentaries explore the myths and realities of Canadian childhood through family life, schooling, work, play, health and the media. The series marks the contribution of childhood and youth experience in defining Canada as it grew into full nationhood in the 20th century.