Old fashioned kid games (I'm talking the '60's here!)

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Older games would be fine too!

A post on the jump rope rhyme thread (A, my name is Alice) made me think of a game my cousins and I; then my daughter and I played in the car, called Aunt Agatha's cat. It started out with Aunt Agatha's (or other A name) cat is an angry cat (or other A adjective) and went on through the alphabet with Aunt Beatrice's cat is a beautiful cat and so on.

Other games I can remember playing at school recess are "Duck, duck, goose", "Red Rover" and kickball. Does anyone remember any others - or rules for these ones? I'm heading out the door for work, so I don't have time to think of exactly how we played them. Dig into your memory banks, folks - come up with some games for me to put in Sis's book!

-- Polly (tigger@moultrie.com), September 25, 2000


Sorry..in my neighborhood we played "lets break into the parking meters"....ah, the good ole days....God bless.

-- Lesley (martchas@gateway.net), September 25, 2000.

Polly, we used to play a game when we were in the car called SLUG- BUG-DETOR When ever we saw a volkswagon duddle bug. When we saw one we would slug the person next to us on the arm, usually not too hard ( he-he-he) and yell SLUG BUG DETOR! Drove our folks nuts I am sure. Come to think of it we were usually in the back of a pickup.

And I SPY in which you would say I spy say some thing pink and the others would guess what you were talking about. When they did it was their turn. This was much less painful to play.

-- Bonnie (josabo1@juno.com), September 25, 2000.

I remember using a real potato for Mr. Potato Head. I found only one other person who said they also remember using real potatoes. I remember because my Mom said it ruined the potatoes so I had to wait until she was planning on making mashed potatoes.

We used to play Kick-the-Can with the neighborhood kids. Kinda like hind-n-seek but when you kick the can, everyone that was caught is free again.

-- Dee (gdgtur@goes.com), September 25, 2000.

Bonnie--I drive a sharp, revamped 1970 bug! She has a sharp paint job of that duck, orange/ with fiberglass fenders/ really a car everyone turns & looks at!(hubbie & I take to car shows & bug runs) I can't believe how many adults I see playing slug-bug when they meet me!!! I see them hit each other & I can read their lips as they are saying "slug-bug", the rest of the people give me the peace sign!!! I love driveing her!! She is so much fun!!! Almost as much fun as the bubble gum, pink hearse I had when we owned the motel & on the tail gate I had painted "rest in peace"(at the name of our motel & address). Everyone noticed her--& it was cheapier than billboards & I could drive her! Not everyone has a good sense of humor!!!! ha But it got me written up in newspapers far & wide, excellent free advertising! When we sold our motel/ the new owners had no sense of humor at all & "Pinkey", is in a junkyard in the sky or somewhere! ha I've thought about writting a book about "motel life" & all the things we did with pinky!!! Or else blackmail & get rich!! ha Sonda in Ks.

-- Sonda (sgbruce@birch.net), September 25, 2000.

I really liked Kick the Can! We also played a ball game called Soak 'em, where opposing lines of kids toss a ball at each other. If you catch it, you get to stay in the game. If you drop it, you're out. Last one in, wins. I also liked Tetherball, Hopscotch, and Four Square, which was a ball game using boundaries defined by the concrete expansion joints in the street and methods of bouncing the ball to 3 other players.

My favorite game (not really a game) though, was playing with what we called the "Little Toys", those plastic figures. Mine was ALWAYS a farm, and I loved all the animals and the red barn, etc. Gee, maybe that explains something...ya think?

-- sheepish (rborgo@gte.net), September 26, 2000.

Funny how same games have different names: slug-bug was Punch-buggy in my family, you got to hit eachother when you were first to sight a paddittle too(car with a headlight out). In both cases, you could choose giving a kiss or a punch. My Father used to love Chinese firedrill: when stopped at a redlight, he would yellChinese firedrill! and everyone would jump out of vehicle, run a full circle around it, and jump back in. lol this was the most fun when we were driving around in the van full of cousins! Wouldn't people look at us weird!

-- Epona (staceyb@myway.com), September 26, 2000.

Blind man's bluff; button button, who's go the button; Jacks; Dress up; Prince and Princess and of course School: I don't remember how to play blind man's bluff exactly. For button you hide a button and tell the person looking for it if he/she's getting hot or cold. Jacks-you bounce a small ball and pick up jacks. The last three are imagination games. I especially liked red rover. There's was tag, hide and seek and tea parties.

Now that was some pleasant memories. We didn't have a very wonderful childhood, but we did play games. We played a lot of board games. To this day my brother won't play one because of the way things were. My husband and I play games like back gammon, sorry, phase 10, yahtzee, all the time.

Just a couple of months ago, my old neighbor and I were talking about how we used to play. Princess is the most unforgettable, we both had expandable bracelets and used those for our crowns. Polly, thanks for the memories.

-- Cindy (atilrthehony_1@yahoo.com), September 26, 2000.

Sounds like we all played the same games! I was tetherball champ, at home and at school! Remember Dodge Ball! ouch. Red Rover. Marbles. Jacks. Hopscotch. My favorite was the little animals too. My yard was a huge ranch, with little roads, barns, streams, ponds and corrals. And the sandbox with tonka trucks was a good fun place! Did you guys put cards in your bicycle wheels with clothes pins!! And rubber band shooters. Tractor Supply has the BEST toys now. I can't remember any jump rope rhymes at all.

-- Cindy in Ky (solidrockranch@msn.com), September 26, 2000.

Hopscotch, another memory. My neighbor's dad put their front walk in as a hopscotch walk instead of a regular one. When she got older, he filled it in to make a regular one. My brother played Zorro a lot and we all played Sky King and Fury.

-- Cindy (atilrthehony_1@yahoo.com), September 26, 2000.

Yes, we used to put cards on the spokes of the wheels of our bikes! And I grew up in Seattle, which was pretty much a small city back then. We didn't have professional sports (some would argue that we still don't) but we did have the Seafair Hydroplane Races. As kids, it was a big deal to make little wooden "hydros" and attach them to the back of our bikes and ride around pulling them.

We also played a LOT of street football. Had to move out of the way for cars, of course. There were something like 23 kids on our two little blocks. Ah, the baby boom!

-- sheepish (rborgo@gte.net), September 26, 2000.

My daughter and her then-boyfriend had another version of the VW Bug one -- when they saw one, they'd say "Punch Buggy Red" (or whatever the color was) and (gently) punch one another in the shoulder. Now Juniper, whenever she sees one, says "Ugly Bug!"! A game we used to play, especially on long road trips, was Twenty Questions. Another was "I Spy . . ." And we did alphabet searches, too. I was thinking of some of the toys we used to have, most of them home-made -- things like tin-can stilts, "rafts" made from inner-tubes and a galvanized tub or a baby bathtub (the lake we lived on in Alaska was too cold to swim in, but you can't keep children off the water!), forts -- we were big fort makers. At the beach we made them out of driftwood. In Alaska we used brush and scrap lumber from around the homestead. When we moved back to the Oregon coast, we sometimes used the 8' diameter, partially rotted stumps of cedar trees that had been logged a hundred years ago. (The middle rots out before the outside does, leaving a big hollow in the middle. If the middle hadn't rotted very deep, we would climb up on top and make our abode in the middle of the ring of brush that was growing up there!!) My daughters improvised harnesses for their ponies and had them pull plastic sleds, sometimes a string of three or four sleds, with one child riding the pony as they weren't trained to drive. They'd take a corner too fast and throw all the passengers into the snowbanks! What fun we all used to have!

-- Kathleen Sanderson (stonycft@worldpath.net), September 26, 2000.

I think one of my favorites was "Red Light, Green Light". We always played it after church while we waited for the adults to stop visiting. And "Mother, May I". I also remember playing "Statues". One of us would spin the rest around by the arm and suddenly let go. Whatever position you ended in, you had to stay in. Those were great times.

-- Cheryl Cox (bramblecottage@hotmail.com), September 26, 2000.

One of our favorite games that I still play with my kids is Annie Annie Over. Your house has got to be situated so you can go completely around it on all sides. One team or person stands on one side of the house with a ball and yells "Annie Annie Over" and throws the ball. If the other team or person can catch the ball as it comes over without it hitting the ground they get to run around the house and try to hit someone on the opposing team with the ball before that person runs to the other side of the house. My kids (9, 7, 3) invite people over to play this, adults included. Its funny how sneaky I've become to avoid running!

-- Julie (julieamc@excite.com), September 26, 2000.

Two others I can think of...

ELIMINATION - Everyone would gather around the person who was "it". That person would throw a soccer ball or volley ball straight up into the air and yell "E-L-I-M-I-N-A-T-I-O-N" while everyone else ran away as fast as they could. When "it" caught the ball he would yell "FREEZE" and everyone would have to freeze right where they were. Then "it" could take three giant steps toward another person and try to hit them with the ball. If he hit them, then that person would be "it".

CAPTURE THE FLAG - Two teams. A playing field with a center boundry and the flags at each end. The flags were somebody's shirt or an old blanket. You tried to capture the other team's flag and carry it back to your side. The mild version was tagging a person who came across the boundry and sending them to "jail". The rough version was tackling a person who came across. Everyone in jail had to hold hands. If you could reach a person in jail and tag their hand, then everyone holding hands was released. But you still had to dash back to your own side.


-- Craig Miller (CMiller@ssd.com), September 26, 2000.

I didn't think I was that old but all these games are giving me so many memories I'd forgotten.

-- Dee (gdgtur@goes.com), September 26, 2000.

I think Cheryl and I went to grade school together -- we played those games too, particularly in the winter when we had to stay indoors. I don't remember anyone named Cheryl though! ;-)

We also played Simon Says, and something called Four Square. It was a rather large square divided into four smaller squares, lettered A,B,C,D. Anyone play that? You had to bounce a ball (about the size of a volleyball, but good for bouncing on the pavement) into another person's square, then that person had to bounce it into another person's square. If the ball hit you before bouncing, you were out (had to go wait in line to get back in). I think you had a number of "outs" before you had to leave to get in line again. The squares were painted on our pavement, as well as a hopscotch pattern.

We also played something I think we called "War" but I'm vague on the details. I think we divided into two 'sides', then members of the same side would try to capture members of the other side and take them to their 'fort'. We had rules about what you could do to capture someone, and how much force you could use. Also, if you were captured, other members of your 'side' could attempt to rescue you. People defending the 'fort' would holler for other members to come back and protect against these raids. The end was supposed to be when a certain number of the opposing side were captured. We rarely got to that point, recess would end. In the winter, we actually built low walled enclosures to use for the forts. Looking back, it WAS a lot like war, except we had limits on what we could do to each other.

The cooperation amongst the kids was interesting. Anyone could propose any game, and then would be considered the "leader" of the game, but that only worked if everyone agreed to play the game. Often there were 4 or 5 different games going on. Whoever successfully proposed a game would suggest someone else for the "other leader", then they'd choose members. The teachers required that everyone be allowed to play, even the 'liabilities', but no one was required to play any particular game. Unless the teachers decided we would ALL play baseball -- very difficult to get out of that!

Most years, the volunteer firemen would flood the ball field, and we could go skating. The only game I really remember there was "Crack the Whip", which we also played on the grass in fall and spring.

-- Joy Froelich (dragnfly@chorus.net), September 26, 2000.

You guys are the best!! I had forgotten several of those games and toys... With some of the stuff that I post, do you ever wonder if I walk around with my head on backwards from looking into the past so much!? I never laugh so hard as when we all sit around and listen to the "old folks" (Pop and his generation) talk about their escapades.

I must have spent a lot of time in the car when I was a kid - I can remember a lot of car games. We played one where we would say: I'm going on a picnic and I'm taking apricots. The next person would say: I'm going on a picnic and I'm taking apricots and bananas. You would keep going all the way through the alphabet adding food (or whatever), but you had to remember what the other people had said and repeat all of them each time - not easy! We also kept lists of states seen on liscense plates, watched for white horses, counted certain types of vehicles (like red pick-up trucks), counted railcars on trains and tried to get semis to honk at us. Raised up Catholic, so we always crossed ourselves when we passed a cemetary - 'bout fell over the first time a friend was in the car with us and held their breath past the cemetary! We also played hide and seek in the cemetary at dusk - scaring ourselves silly with stories of spooks and haints.

We loved board games - Pop and Uncle Ralph made each of our families a marble board game one Christmas - sort of like Aggravation, but without the hole in the middle. Scrabble, Yahtzee, Checkers and Chinese Checkers, and our family's version of cut-throat Monopoly! Nowadays, we pull out the Uno cards after we're done with the pie at family dinners - death threats are common! (But rarely carried out!) Crazy Eights, Hearts and Old Maid are available for the younger set.

Isn't it amazing how we managed to amuse ourselves without computers?!

-- Polly (tigger@moultrie.com), September 26, 2000.

We never played anything. Too busy walking to school uphill both ways in the snow barefoot. Kids these days!

-- Soni (thomkilroy@hotmail.com), September 26, 2000.

We always played Red Light, Green Light at dusk. The whole neighborhood played, as many as 23 kids at my memory's count! And "Button, Button" on my Grandmother's long steps outside. Jailbreak was a lot of fun with a large, mixed-age crowd.

Every summer each playground had champions that went on to the city tournaments. It was heated competition in jacks, hopscotch, checkers and chess. I remember being kickball champ and beating out my constant rival, a boy. We were so serious! It might as well have been the Olympics!

My Dad painted 4-Square and hopscotch on our basement floor. We roller-skated there for hours. Lucky enough to have ping-pong too, secondhand of course. Do you remember metal Jungle Gyms in a back yard? Muscular Dystrophy circuses in kids backyards?

-- Anne (HT@HM.com), September 26, 2000.

Yeah, I remember those days---kick the can, hide and seek, red rover, flipping baseball cards, baseball cards in bicycle spokes, shooting rats at the dump, mumblety peg, catchin snakes after the school bus let us off and flinging them into the parochial school bus that would drive by shortly after(always good for a big laugh) and let us not forget spin the bottle and post office.

-- john leake (natlivent@pcpros.net), September 27, 2000.

Let's see...Cops 'n Robbers, hide 'n seek, Rodeo when we would jump off the fence and bulldog calves under a week old, riding heifers, sneak up and throw gunnysacks over the steers' heads. Flying off the haystack with tarp wings, overipe produce wars and ambushes. Traffic tag, (freeze tag on the freeway anyone?) and this one ALWAYS sent other kids home crying, field hockey with a croquet set. And of course, avoiding grown-ups at all costs.

Sometimes the games were combined. The croquet hockey became polo when played from the backs of bovine, traffic tag and overripe produce combined was called Trouble. (See avoiding grown-ups at all costs.)

We had a strict policy of NO TATTLING unless there were copious amounts of spurting blood. I hope my kids are not like we were!

-- Laura (gsend@hotmail.com), September 27, 2000.

I don't think anyone has mentioned SPUD. Everyone gets in a circle and someone calls out a number and throws the ball up. If it's your number you get the ball. If not, you run. The person catches the ball and yells spud! Everyone freezes. The ball holder gets three giant steps and then tries to hit a person with the ball. The person hit gets a letter "s" then "p" etc. We used to have a spanking machine for the loser - whoever got to "spud" first. The loser would have to crawl between all our legs and we would all swat him.

-- Mary Fraley (kmfraley@orwell.net), September 27, 2000.

Forts were the best! Oh how I remember forts! What fun we had, decorating our forts in the hills. When I was 9 I had a paint horse, and my best friend and I would ride bareback up to the top of the hills, (mom didn't know) fill up 2 buckets with polywogs from the lake, and ride back down to the subdivision and sell them for 5 cents each!! We would watch them turn into frogs. I remember once we had a kite tied to the fort for days, so far out you could hardly see it, with rags for tails, and I don't know how many rolls of string we had on it. We sure did know how to have fun. We never came in till midnight in the summer!

-- Cindy in Ky (solidrockranch@msn.com), September 28, 2000.

I wasn't born til the mid-seventies, but we still played plenty of Red Rover, Dodge Ball, Red Light- Green Light, Kickball, and so many great games, including Sardines. Sardines is sort of like an inverse hide 'n go seek. One person hides, and everyone else counts then searches for him. When you find the Sardine, you quietly slip in and hide with them, and the last person still searching is It the next time. Once someone hid in the shower (by the time 8 people find you, you can be packed in like the name), and the last person took revenge by turning on the water!

A definately modern outdoor game we invented was Lawn Pac Man. My dad was building a garage, and we would borrow the lumber to construct a maze on the grass.

For us, it was "Slug Bug Blue" or whatever color the VW was. Here's a question- what did you say at the end of Hide n' Go Seek? In our neighborhood (outside Chicago) we yelled "Ollie Ollie Oxen Free". My Dad says his was "Out all Out all All Stand Free" (which might make more sense!), and I've heard others from different regions and generations.

-- Holly (holly@peace.tbcnet.com), February 09, 2001.

I was also born in the mid 70's. My brother and I always played the "bottlecaps" game on my Mother's kitchen floor. We would collect bottle caps from the local park, and lay them on the floor. We would shoot one at a time at eachother's caps. If I hit his I won the cap. Did anyone ever play this game, or was this an imaginary game that we made up?

-- Alecia (abalich@aol.com), March 12, 2002.

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