Never have I thought growing up that the childhood I had would these days be called a "free range". When I heard of this term it reminded of the activities which I did growing up as a "free range" kid. Here are some of them.
  1. Sliding down snow slopes
    In my small childhood town in winter there were many heaps of snow. As kids, we would seek out the tallest snow slopes, put a wide piece of carton under our bums and slide down the slopes. Every winter around New Year time, the town administration would build a Snow City on the main town square with tall ice slopes to climb which, you needed to take a two flights of slippery metal stairs and walk down a slippery bridge made of connected logs. It was super fun!
  2. Collecting and playing with icicles
    In spring time, the snow on roofs of low rise houses would melt and create beautiful ice formation on roof edges. Those icicles were spectacular and looked like magical swords and daggers. There were also vase shaped natural ice statues which looked like works of art.
  3. Picking frosted cherries and apples
    Some neighbors had cherry and apple trees in their backyards and let kids to pick the fruit in autumn. We would climb up the branches of these trees and enjoy the frosted and slightly bitter taste of cherries and small apples. Washing them before eating usually wasn't considered:)
  4. Climbing trees, fences and heating pipes
    We would climb tall trees with thick horizontally growing branches. Each would find her own tree branch and pretend like its her home with a telephone made of two pieces of sticks attached to a string. People had wooden fences around their houses - those were fun to climb to get good a vew of streets and shout to passers by. Heating pipes were exhilarating to climb and walk, in big part because it wasn't really allowed!
  5. Riding a bicycle without any protective gear
    For every kid in my neighbourhood knowing how to ride a bike was a must, even if you didn't have a bike. I was thrilled when after a few failed attempts I finally rode a borrowed bike by myself. After dad bought my sister and me a bike I would go on long rides around our town exploring and feeling free.
  6. Going to movies, ice cream places and amusement park without adults
    This doesn't even need a description - parents would give kids some pocket money and off we'd go seeking kids only entertainment.
  7. Jumping from a high freight container into a snow heap
    We had a tall freght container in our yard whose purpose was storage, but for us kids it served as a perfect jumping platform in winter. We'd climb up the container from one side and jump off of its roof into a heap of snow over and over.