10 Games from My Childhood for the Newer Generation
Unfortunately, this is the age of iPads and XBox. When I was a kid, you actually had to go outside and be active. Technology has ruined that in a lot of ways. Here are some games I played as a kid (and sometimes as an adult) that are sure to enhance creativity and get your kids moving.
10. Hide and Seek/Sardines
Hide and Seek. One person is “It.” They count to 100 while everyone else finds a place to hide. After time is up, the “It” person runs around like a chicken with its head cut off trying to find the hiding places of their friends. Usually, if you found someone you’d have to tag them before they hit home base, or you’d have to tag home base before they did. Sardines is the same except one person hides and everyone else goes to look. If you find the person, you join them in their hiding spot and the last person to find all of you loses.
9. Soccer Base
Often referred to as Kickball, it’s the same premise. You basically play baseball but with a kickball.
8. Four Squares
You take some chalk and draw four fairly even squares in a grid. Label each A, B, C, and D. The one in the “A” position calls out the rules, which were usually ludicrous like “stopsies,” “cherry bombs,” and other ones you’d make up as you went along. Basically, the “A” person throws a ball to anyone at random. The person it goes to smacks it to someone else, and so on. The point is you have to stay in your box and not get out. If someone hits the ball out of bounds, or if the balls hits more than once in your box (depending on the rules), that person is out and everyone moves up a square. The D square was always the expendable one, and I remember we’d actually stand in line praying for someone to get out of D.
7. Tag/Freeze Tag/TV Tag
Tag is where one person is “It” and runs around crazy trying to tag people, Freeze tag is when you tag the person and they freeze where they are. Another person who’s not “It” has to tag you for you to unfreeze. TV tag is before someone tags you, you squat down and shout out a TV show.
6. Red Light, Green Light
A person stands with his back to the other people. He shouts “Green Light” and everyone begins to walk/run forward. Spontaneously, the person will yell “Red Light” and whip around. At this point, everyone must stop in their tracks. If you move, you’re out. Play continues, and the first person to reach the “It” person when their back is turn wins the game.
5. Capture the Flag
You have two teams, and two flags. Your flag is “hidden” at opposite ends of the playing area. The object is to run to the opponent’s side, steal the flag, and bring it back to your own side without being tagged. If you are tagged, you’re usually put into a “Jail” on the opponent’s side. Once the opponent’s flag is brought back past your side’s line untagged, your team is the winner.
You have one person who’s “It” with a ball. They call out a category like “Cars,” “Colors,” “States,” etc. The other people huddle together and designate something that fits with into that category to one person. Make sure you remember which one you are! After this, you call out all the items in random order to the “It” Person. They turn around and call out one thing from the list you said, and throw the ball. The one who was called runs toward the ball while everyone else runs in the opposite direction. Once the person catches the ball, they yell stop and everyone must stop. Now, the person takes five steps and tosses the ball to someone who’s close. If they get hit, they get an E. If the person misses, they get the E. Once you spell out E-G-G or whatever word you decided upon, you lose and in my experience, you had to go through the “spank machine,” but you can play however you want.
Basically you try to hit people with a ball. If you get hit, you’re out. If you catch it, they’re out.
2. Bottle Bowling/Bean bag Toss
I lumped these together because they’re basically the same idea. All you need for bottle bowling is ten plastic bottles (with 1 or two rocks inside), and a ball. Set the bottles or “pins” at one end and draw a line at the other end. Toss the ball and see how many bottles you can hit. To make it more fun, tape numbers on the pins and see how many points you can get in two tosses. For Bean bag toss, you draw a target with varying points. Draw a line at a far end, and take turns throwing bean bags at the target. Add up wherever your three bean bags land and see if you can beat your opponent.
1. Blind Man’s Bluff/Marco Polo
This is kind of a dangerous game but still fun. Basically it’s a variant of tag, except the person who’s “It” can’t see any of the other people. Marco Polo’s difference is the player who’s “It” calls out “Marco” and the other people respond with “Polo” and he bases their positions on the sound.
Any other fun games from your childhood? Leave a comment!