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. hopscotch was my favorite game as a kid. i’m a professional poker player today so you can say I like games…

    thank you for sharing.

    1. Yah, hopscotch could keep us entertained for hours.

      I bet that’s fun to play poker for a living. You’re in Florida right?

      1. yeah. in florida. playing at the palm beach kennel club and the isle casino on a regular basis.

  2. Ah. Nostalgic!

    Well my 6 year old does make me play some of those games! 🙂 … so in tune with that market! ;-))

    1. That’s so awesome, that’s what it’s all about. It’s a great thing to be playing these games with your children. Thanks for keeping the traditions alive! 🙂

  3. Great topic it was a fantastic days i lived i hope it come back again and again .. Thanks for sharing Robert

    1. You’re very welcome, our childhood consists of all the building blocks we need to become responsible adults. But I believe the most social skills were learned during play. Such a great ice breaker amongst kids, wish it was that easy as an adult.

  4. I am amazed. It reminds me my past life of childhood. It was awesome time. I won’t ever get back that life. I like it very much. This website contains really incredible. I like it very much.

    1. Thank you, I’m glad you’re enjoying the site, and I appreciate the kind words. Here’s to being a kid again!

  5. this post has made me very nostalgic. Hide n seek, kite flying, singing games, those were the golden days.

    1. Indeed. I just love to think about the good ole days. Makes you wish for a time machine, doesn’t it?

  6. Riding bikes, fishing, throwing frisbees and footballs, playing Marco Polo with friends in the neighbor’s pool, exploring, reading a book in the treehouse with your cat… One went out and engaged with the world and became self-confident. It seems nowadays kids sit staring at glowing screens in dazed isolation. Just my opinion.

    1. Oh those are all some great activities for sure!

      I have to agree Rick. Technology has brought us many great things, but it is slowly killing the youths imagination. It’s my opinion as well that not all technology is good technology.

  7. Hide N Seek was my favorite games that i used to play with my friends and my brothers and sisters :).Never got tired of playing this one 😀

    1. Oh yes, Hide-N-Seek was a great one! I hope every child gets a chance to play that one. A kids imagination can create such entertaining games when given the chance.

    1. Oh man Rahul, if you have children, then you must teach them these games and activities. They are good for hours of enjoyment and some are things you can do with them.

  8. The old traditional games can provide valuable life lessons too. Trust, honesty, integrity, competitive spirit, and friendship are all skills which can be developed through games. Mention the word games to a child nowadays and it will invariably mean turning the XBox or PS3 on. But I think that it is also symptomatic of the world we live in nowadays, where parents feel it is safer for their children to play indoors.

    1. You’re probably right that parents feel it’s safer for children to play indoors. I still believe it is important for children to get some outdoors time. Even if it means going out with them. It seems the world is slowly building a society of recluses. I hate the thought that one day our only friends will be computers.

  9. Lots of old games which we had loved to play are forgotten as time went on. Nowadays, most of young people would like to play games for fun. And my brother’s wish is owning a gaming laptop with high performance.

    1. Very true saintfrenzy, most of the great games we used to play as kids have long been forgotten. In a way it’s kind of a shame that kids these days are relying on electronics such as the laptop your speaking of for entertainment. But I guess as time goes on and things advance, then so should the methods of play time.

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