Inspirational and Motivational

Playing the Games of Old

Hopscotch by Sommer Poquette, on Flickr
Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic LicensePhoto by  Sommer Poquette

What ever happened to a good ole game of hide and go seek? Today children are more concentrated on being stuck in front of a computer screen or a television playing their favorite video game. Now I’m not saying that some of these games won’t help intellectually, but a lot of the games that are on the market today have unsavory content. Shoot-em-ups and war games aren’t exactly the best for today’s children in my opinion.
Of course to each his own and I’m not here to tell anyone their kids are being raised wrong. But what ever happened to the games of old? When I was a kid, being outside, running and playing was my favorite time of the day. We’d run, play catch, ride bikes, get in to trouble and most of all get the occasional bump or bruise. I think these kinds of activities and a fall or scuffed knee once in a while builds character.
I’m sure not everyone will agree with me on these points, but then again, the parents of today are from a different generation as well. So I suppose times have changed, but I believe the world needs little feet stomping about and wreaking havoc, just the way nature intended.
Did you know that children’s games are something that can hold civilization from all walks of life together? That’s right, nearly all cultures have variations of the same games that are played world wide by children. They may be called something else, but the objective is still the same. I thought it would be fun to cover some of these favorite past times with everyone.  Some of you may know these games, and some may not. But either way, I think it would be cool to take the time to teach them to your children so they’re not lost with the rest of History.


Different generations of American children have made games like hopscotch famous over the years. During colonial times, the kids involved in this game were known as “scotch-hoppers”, but the rules were still the same.


The game is played with either one person, or several can join in, that’s what makes it so great. The rules are rather simple, first you lay out a court either with chalk on a sidewalk, or you can draw it in the dirt of a field. Or better yet, that is also one of the 10 Marvelous uses for Duct Tape I discussed in my article yesterday. 🙂 Anyway, the court can be made with several different layouts and each square, or space is numbered. Normally 1-6 or 1-10, just depends on who’s making it.


Then the first player will toss either a rock or some sort of object that is not round, so it won’t roll away, into the first square. But the object can not land on the lines or go outside the course. Then they will hop through the course using one foot for single squares and if a double square area is met, they will land with one foot in one square and the other foot in the other square. When they’ve reached the end of the course, they must turn around and come back. When they get to their marker, they pick it up and return through the rest of the course and it is then player 2’s turn. So player 2 will toss the object into the second numbered square and go through the course the same way. If anyone steps outside of the court or lands on a line, their turn is over. So when all players have gone through round one, player 1 will start again, only this time throwing the object in square #2. Each player will do this until they’ve gone through all the numbers. This will keep up until one player successfully completes the game going through all numbers on the court, and then they’ve won!


Hopscotch is really quite fun and I remember playing quite a bit when I was a kid. I think it’s a must learn game for any generation!


A Game of Tag

Ohh, the fun times I’ve had with Tag. This game comes with many different rule sets, just all depends on the players and how they like to play. This game was really popular with our colonial ancestors in Boston and Concord. The streets would be teaming with children all running about yelling “Tag, You’re it!”


This game is very easy to play and involves at least three people. But I suppose it could be played with two, but that would be quite monotonous. Anyway, several children will all get together in a court yard or cul de sac and it involves one kid chasing everyone else until they are successful in tagging them. Usually by tapping them with their hand on the shoulder or arm. The first person to be “it” is normally decided either by rock, paper, scissors, or a quick elimination of eeny, meeny, miny, moe. lol, I’m sure most of you know what those are.


There are several different variations of the game, but normally it will continue until all players have had a chance to be “it”. I believe once a person has been “it” and they’ve successfully tagged another player, then they get to sit out until it gets down to only two players. Sometimes there may be a time limit put on how long they have to tag someone else. Other variations make it an elimination game. It just all depends on the imaginations that are at work how they choose to play. But it’s a game of great exercise and lots of fun.



This is a cool game that is normally played indoors. But can be played outdoors as long as the course area is defined. Otherwise kids would be running all over town looking for one another.


The rules are quite simple. One kid will count, let’s say to 20 or maybe 100, while the other kid runs off to find a place to hide. Then when the count down is complete, the kid that was counting will take off in a quest to find the one hiding. Once found, they switch and it’s the other persons turn to count.


This game has also been known to integrate Colder, Warmer, Hot into it. This means that the kid doing the searching can ask, “Am I getting Warmer?”, and the other kid will call out, “You’re Cold”, or “You’re Hot”. As they get closer and closer, the one hiding will say, “You’re getting warmer!” Then eventually the search is over and they’ve discovered the hiding place.


Go Fly a Kite

Flying kites has actually become somewhat of a competitive sport in some areas. But when I was a kid, it was great fun to fly a kite and see just how high up you could get it to go. When I was in boy scouts, we actually made our own kites and they’re a lot of fun to make. Especially when you finally get to take them on that first flight.


I remember getting a kite up so high one time, that when it dive bombed out of the sky it fell across probably a quarter of a miles worth of telephone lines! lol, needless to say, that kite was pretty much lost. But boy was it fun! Teaching your kid to fly a kite is something they’ll remember for the rest of their lives, so you should at least try it once.


Singing Games

There are many different singing games that kids play. Sometimes they’re called “rounds”. Today these “rounds” sound much like they did in generations past. Songs such as “London Bridge Is Falling Down” I believe are still sang in schools today. Another favorite is “Row, Row, Row your Boat”


A “round” is when you take a song and 1 person will begin to sing the first verse. Then once the first verse is completed, they will move on to the second verse. But at the same time, the second person will start the first verse again. So each verse is staggered on top of each other until everyone is singing. If you have a bunch of people involved it can be quite difficult to ignore the others while keeping yourself in the right place. Most of these songs that are sang in “rounds” will end in a roar of laughter as everyone flubs up! Such a great spirited way to bring people together and encourage interaction between other kids. You must give it a try.


Zombie Board Game
Zombie Board Game for the Family

Anyway, there’s a small list of some of the favorites. There’s many other great games that kids can play other than video games like, jacks, jump rope, spinning tops, yo-yo, even pick up sticks or jenga. Jenga is actually a more modern game, but it’s still lots of fun. Anyway, I hope this has been informative for some of you parents out there that are looking for some down to earth games for your children.
Leave me some more ideas of other games you remember as a kid. I would love to hear some of the games other cultures have adopted over the years. Leave me some comments and let me know what’s up.

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24 thoughts on “Playing the Games of Old
  1. All childhood games are so entertaining specially Hide n Seek. It was my favourite game, but today’s modern world have ruined early life with smartphones and other idiot boxes. I’m so happy that I’ve enjoyed my childhood before the technology took over.
    Thanks regards
    Anjali Rani

    1. Couldn’t of said it better myself Cricket. It is a shame these types of games are not more common practice among childhood activities these days. I believe imagination and coming up with great ideas to entertain ones self is a very productive part of a child’s learning process. Even though technology has it’s very important place, I hope the world doesn’t become one big robot one day. 🙂

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