1. Parenting

Readers Respond: My Favorite Outdoor Kids Games

Responses: 34


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?

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

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


My favorite was just playing ball with my sister and brothers. If allowed outside.
—Guest Luna

Hush yourselves and run

Two teams were chosen with a leader on each team. The leader would take his team and hide them somewhere. He would then come back to the other team and draw on the ground the direction he took to hide his team. The other team would then set out to find them. The leader of the hidden would go with them and if he saw that the team looking were close, he would call out "keep in whereever you're at, don't show the tim of your hat." If the team looking was not near them, he would call out apples, oranges or whatever they decided would be the clue to start running to the starting point without being caught. If they were caught, they had to join the other team. The team who had the most on it at the end was the winner. We loved that game and played it for hours.
—Guest Hush


All the marbles were divided up. Each child flicked his/her marble with the thumb, and measured whose marble was closest to the target, which could be a wall or a hole in the ground.
—Guest Rose Kauffman

any one remember this street game?

We used to play a game in the street with a ball using the opposite curbs for goals. The name of the game sounded like "run-roll frun." Also played it in high school gym class. I have not been able to locate any information on this game. That is likely because of how long ago it was.
—Guest jim s

guest Susan7709

What about stickball -- kind of like baseball, but it was in the street and you played with a half of a "pimple" ball (it was pink), so it wouldn't get too far. Then there was running bases in the street. Then there was wireball -- hitting the above wires, where each level of the wires was a different "base." Tired of playing in the street? Then we flipped baseball cards -- or leaned the cards against a wall and knocked them down to win the other person's card. What about "monkey in the middle" -- apparently, called "pickle in the middle" in the Midwest. I'm getting sadly nostalgic; I'm going to stop now.
—Guest Susan


Red light green light, freeze,hide-n-go-seek I have 5 brothers and had fun with playing these games ,if you said red light you had to stop,and if you said green light you could go only so far,the freeze game,someone would sling you and however you land is how you stay untill they sling you again.And hide -n-go-seek you had 1 person to count to 30 or 50 everyone else had to hide,then you would have to find everyone,you had to tag them and get back to base before they do.It was a lot of fun,and the more people you have the more fun it was.

The Good Ole' Summertime

Yes, the age of electronic gadgets has taken our children. In the 70's, we used to ride our bikes all day. You never saw us until we knew it was time to eat. We played jump rope, hopscotch, played in someone's sprinkler or pool, went to the playground to swing, jacks, card games (outside on a picnic table), "store". We played with the neighbor boys. Matchbox cars and race tracks in the dirt; reading Ranger Rick under a tree, "Fort". Treking through the woods and trying to find the elusive "bunny man". Camped out in a friend's backyard. Back then, the Parks and Rec. would open the elm. school for activities; basket making, gimp key chains, tye dye, ect. Started at 9am, go home for lunch 12-1 and return until 3. Dinner, back out catching lighting bugs, hide and seek until the street lights came on. Those were the days!!! As I said before, the new generation is all caught up in the electronic age....but as THE PARENT, it's all what you make your child's summer to be.

Being Outside

When I was growing up, our elementary school was surrounded by woods. My girlfriends and I used to pack a lunch bag and hike throught the woods. It was shady and cool. We would cross large fallen trees, see wildflowers,critters and pick wild blackberries. When we got hungry, we'd find a perfect spot and have our lunch....trading sandwiches and snacks, of course. I do this with my son. Luckily, his school has woods in back. We go on nature hikes. We identify all the "poison" ivies and other wildflowers growing in the woods, watch birds and squirrels and eat wild blackberries. It's a great idea on a hot summer day and it's quality one-on-one time with your children. A time to get back to nature. BUT...CHECK FOR TICKS after your day is done!!!!!!!!

Kermit's Komplaint

I'm simply surprised that LEAP FROG isn't on the list. I used to play it all the time, but I stopped on that wonderful day when a beautiful princess kissed me.
—Guest Frog Prince

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