Health and Fitness

New Book Celebrates Outdoor Childhood Games


MAINE–(ENEWSPF)–February 29, 2012.  As children growing up on farms in rural Maine, Victoria Rowell and Paul Tukey say there were unaware of a social transformation that began in 1972 with the launch of the world’s first video game known as Pong.

Forty years later the co-authors are bringing their memories to life with the publication of their latest book, Tag, Toss & Run: 40 Classic Lawn Games (Storey Publishing, $14.95).

“We both decided we didn’t want to relegate an old-fashioned outdoor childhood to history,” said Tukey. “The proliferation of video and computer games has literally transformed childhood, and not necessarily for the better. Believing that parents need to help children find a balance in life, Victoria and I scoured the globe for the most fun activities we could find. We had a blast.”

The 208-page book offers rules, playing tips and historical anecdotes for 40 lawn games with various derivations, as well as a handful of sidewalk, playground and stoop games for urban dwellers. Playfully illustrated with two-color drawings and historical photographs throughout, the book serves as a timely reminder to get off the couch and get back outside.

“Never has outdoor play been more important,” said Dr. Alan Greene, the Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at the Stanford School of Medicine and the founder of “Teaching children games is one of the best gifts you can give your child for cultivating health and creativity. I love Tag, Toss, & Run because it inspires healthy activity. Families will love it because it’s a treasure map to fun.”

Many classic favorites are in the book, from bocce, badminton and croquet, to capture the flag, kickball, kick the can and blind man’s bluff. The authors also included games that been played for centuries in other cultures — from kubb, a classic strategic tossing game from Scandinavia, to sepak takra, a dynamic kick volleyball contest from Asia, to Cherokee marbles, doubleball and Mexican kickball, games that were played by Native Americans on this continent hundreds of years before the first settlers.


An actress, advocate, mother and best-selling author, VICTORIA ROWELL received The African American Literary Award and two NAACP Image Award nominations for her memoir, The Women Who Raised Me. She is an icon in daytime television as the feisty Drucilla Winters on CBS’s highly-rated daytime series, “The Young and the Restless.” She has been nominated twice for a Daytime Emmy and awarded 12 NAACP Image Awards. She also co-starred in the CBS hit primetime television series “Diagnosis Murder” with Dick Van Dyke for eight seasons.

American journalist, author, filmmaker and motivational public speaker, PAUL TUKEY has a particular expertise in environmental issues related to landscape management and water quality. Mr. Tukey penned the best-selling book, The Organic Lawn Care Manual in 2007 and is widely lauded for his ability to turn a mundane subject — lawn care — into a rousing public discourse. The New York Times called him “The godfather of the natural lawn care movement.” In 2006, he founded the SafeLawns Foundation to advance the cause of environmental stewardship.

Single copies may be ordered now at, or anywhere books are sold beginning April 1. Books will ship from SafeLawns beginning March 10.