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Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Games We Used to Play

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Kids used to spend a lot of time playing outside. Playing games was always popular. Do you remember games from your childhood or that your parents told you about?

I always loved these games and kids today will love them also. They exist in many variations with rules often made up by the players.

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You might want to teach your children or grandchildren one of these games for active outdoor fun. April is traditionally known as “Get Outside Month” so spring is an excellent time to start.

Red Rover

This takes eight to ten players to make two teams. The players on each team link hands in a straight line across from the other team.

The leader of the team chosen to start chants “Rover red rover, send (name of a player on the other team) right over.”

That person tries to run through the linked hands of whoever they think is the weakest link. If he breaks the chain, he steals a player for his team. If he does not break through, he remains on the opposing team. This was a lot of fun to play and was my favorite.

Mother May I?

Any child can be the “mother,” even a boy. The game needs several team members. They line up in a row, opposite the mother who stands 20 or 30 feet away.

The first player asks to take a certain number of steps. The mother decides whether to grant that wish. The players take turns asking to take steps.

The first child to reach the mother becomes the new mother and the game starts over. You can substitute another word for mother, such as teacher, if you want.


There are many types of steps the players can ask permission to take. Some are baby steps, giant steps, jump steps, scissor steps, jumping Jack steps, or even karate steps.

If you play this with your children/grandchildren, emphasize fairness in granting wishes. The game stops being fun if anyone is favored over the others.

Freeze Tag

There are different ways to play this. You need a number of children to make this fun. Pick one player as it. It chases the other players.

When he tags someone, the person must freeze in whatever position he was in when tagged. It could be one foot in the air, or whatever, and can be hilarious. He must remain frozen until another player tags him. Then he becomes it.

Another variation is for it to yell freeze. Everyone must freeze and the first one to move becomes “it.”

Other Games

We played other games as children. Some are now not played because of insurance laws and hurt feelings. The politically  incorrect knife-cut, dodge ball, cops and robbers, cowboys and Indians and other games we once loved.

Always play these games using your best judgment. Life is dangerous and nothing will ever keep anyone safe. Competition creates winners and loved games provide memories for a lifetime.

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