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Readers Respond: My Favorite Outdoor Kids Games

Responses: 43

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Were you addicted to Red Rover or a fan of Four Square? What games did you enjoy playing as a kid, and what classic outdoor games have you shared with your kids and grandkids? Share Your Memories

Slender Man

You know that PC game called Slender? Well, I invented a live version for my youth group. This is how you play: You get the eight notes, hide them in somewhat plain sight and then choose two Slenders to be it. They run off into the dark. Then the large group has to collect all eight notes and stack in one spot to end the game, but if the Slenders catch you, you're dead for the rest of the game. Super fun to play with large groups and is best to play in the dark.
—Guest Ethan

Joy Tag

Five or six of us played this game of hide-and-seek at night around a short street block of six houses and their alleyways (the neighborhood). "It" would count backward from 100 while the others scattered throughout the neighborhood seeking a hiding place. "It" would seek the others, while they either remained hidden or roamed around themselves. If "It" saw someone and called his name, that person would join "It" in search of the others and would be "It" the next game. As others were found, they joined the search until the last was found or "It" called Olley-Olley-oxen-free. Earlier in the day we would play Kick-the-Can (or -Ball) in the alley between a four-house unit. Around the pool we would play Wiffle-ball or Toothpick. Players stand around the pool's deep end while one player jumps in and takes a toothpick to the bottom and releases it. He gets out and everyone searches forr the toothpick. When found, one or more players jump in with an outstretched hand to try to grasp it. A grasp wins.
—kobiwan

Colored Eggs

I loved all the outdoor games we played as kids in the 60's, but one of my favorites was colored eggs. There was a storekeeper and a big, bad wolf. The rest of the kids would be colored eggs. The storekeeper would whisper a color into the ear of the eggs (kids) and then the wolf would come to the storekeeper and say, "I need to buy a colored egg." The storekeeper would say, "What color do you want?" The wolf would give the color he wanted to buy, and if one of the eggs (kids) had that color, the kid would jump up and run till the wolf caught them, and then that person would become the wolf. We always had eight or more kids on our dead end road, and the more you have to play this game, the better it is.
—Guest Janet H

Red Light, Green Light on the Playground

Have the kids in different activities playing, then yell "Red light." Whoever is still moving is out. The last kid left wins a prize.
—Guest ray-ray

Mummy

When I was a child, my siblings, my cousins and I used to play mummy. Mummy is a game played in the dark where nobody can see you. There was one person as a mummy. The mummy would count to 20, and the rest would hide. Then the mummy would have to try and find them.
—Guest Alicia

Jumping Board

Does anyone remember jumping board? It takes a long board crossed over a stack of several shorter boards or bricks, and a kid stands on each end, and they take turns jumping each other into the air. Something like seesaw, but it is low to the ground and you stand instead of sitting.
—Guest Sandra

That`s My Space Game

Players build a circle and hold hands. One person is chosen to be in charge for the first time. He/she would run outside the circle to choose one person of his/her choice. The two run in different directions to see who could run the fastest to reach that vacant space. The one who didn't win chooses another person to compete with. It was interesting. Try it!
—Guest babsy

River/Bank Game (Llistening Skill Game)

Draw a horizontal line and name one side river and the other side bank. The player in charge will shout river or bank. All players should listen to the person and jump to that direction. The one who jumps to the wrong direction is out. Play continues until we find the winner.
—Guest babsy

Hide and Seek (Hide the Belt)

Draw a circle. One person hides a belt while other players face in a different direction in the circle. All players seek for the belt. The player who finds the belt beats anyone who is outside the circle. Players have to run to the circle for safety. The first one to enter the circle has the next turn to hide the belt.
—Guest babsy

Anti, Anti, Over

Just returned from a family reunion--seeing kids from 6 to 60 throwing the ball over (or almost over) the family farm house brought back great memories!
—Guest JanB74

Bomber Tag

I have made up this game called bomber tag. I was studying WW2 in school a year or two ago and remembered that in other countries people would be very afraid of bomb raids. The siren would go off, and people would turn off all their lights and try to be unnoticeable. So you play the game at night where there are a lot of shadows. Then you have a ball. It doesn't matter what kind, just preferably big and kinda soft. There will be a bomber who has the ball. Then kids will run around into a shadow and try not to move or anything. Just keep still. When the bomber is away or if you want to make a run for it, you have to get to another shadow, making sure you don't have light on you, and then keep still. It is very fun actually. I hope you will all enjoy.
—Guest Katie

Really old memories

Enjoyed reading responses while looking for an old game we used to play. Games haven't changed much. In the letters you posted I see all the games I played (in summertime and barefooted) and I am 90 years old. Not much change!! How much fun we had and what a sweet time it was. Can close my eyes and hear, when it got dark, mothers calling their children to come in and wash their feet and go to bed.
—Guest Dorothy Dargie

Bum, Bum, Bum, Here We Come . . .

The rest of the title is "all the way from Washington." There was one person whom you reported to, and you sang bum bum bum here . . . . The head person would ask, "What is your pleasure?" Someone from the group would say movie or whatever they were going to act out for the head person to guess. I can't remember the rules and I would like to know if any one knows how to play? Thanks very much.
—Guest Joy

It's hot hot hot

I loved playing WATER BALLOON WARS. Nothing like cold water in the hot summer sun. There are no winners or losers; it was just plain fun. I also played HIDE AND SEEK with all my friends on the block, run fast and tag the tree before you get tagged or you'll be it.
—Guest Ilda

Street Games

There are so many outdoor games we played as kids in the 40's & 50's--Half ball, kick ball, wall ball, box ball, points, fist ball to name a few. There was dead box, about 5 games involving trading cards, bike races, so many card games like 500 rummy, knuckles etc. Who needed computers to enjoy childhood?
—Guest gene

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My Favorite Outdoor Kids Games

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