Monday, August 29, 2011

Kid Games

This post falls under the "Boomers" part of my blog. I can't believe I've done two years plus and haven't tackled the topic yet.

Well, I had a fantastic childhood. We went outside and played all the time. One game I loved was called 7 UP. You would take a large rubber ball and throw it up against the wall and catch it 7 times. Then you had 6s. Here, you let the ball bounce before you caught it. Each number had a different activity. The thing you only had to do once was: throw the ball to the wall, turn around and let it bounce, push it up against the wall and catch it. If you missed on any activity, you had to start over at 7s. I got so I could do it perfectly. I must say it took a lot of time. I also did the same thing with a small India rubber ball that I held in one hand - a game called 12 UP. Here the throws were much more difficult. I managed to do a few perfect ones. This game taught me something, I'm not sure what.

My favorite indoor game was Jacks. We had these nice heavy steel jacks. They don't make them anymore. You have a little ball and go from picking up one at a time to all 10 at once. I loved the way the jacks swept away into my hand on the linoleum floor. I could also do all ten here, but playing with a partner, I usually lost. Jacks was very competitive in my day.

We had a game called Spud. "It" threw the ball into the air and called "freeze." Then he took three steps toward the nearest person and threw a large rubber ball at them. If it hit them, they were "it" and got a letter "S." If they caught the ball, the thrower got the "S." The last person to get SPUD was the winner.

We also played jump rope across a street that had hardly any traffic. We held the ends while the big kids jot to jump. Our mom said not to play with the big kids if they acted that way, but we always did. We got very few turns, just enough to keep us going.

Hopscotch was another game where the big kids ruled. If we ever finished a set, we were doing great.

The last game I want to share about is Hide And Seek. We played this outside, just we little kids and got so dirty. I remember the feel of the long days turning to evenings and the smell of the "toils of the day." We slept well after our great warm baths.
How I long for those days, when just a few little materials could last us all summer. Did you play any cheap kid games? I bet it was memorable.


  1. I remember most of these! I have a set of jacks and brought them out when our 7 year old granddaughter was here. She was just a little young to get the knack. (Don't remember exactly when I started playing, but we had all kinds of variations - pigs in the pen, baby in the high chair, etc. I must remember Spud. That would be fun to play the next time the g'kids come! Thanks for all the reminders.

  2. Rebecca - I remember pigs in the pen. Didn't you scoop the jacks into your hand while it was on the floor on that one?

  3. I was a huge jump rope and hopscotch fan in elementary school.

    My kiddo LOVES playing cops and robbers/jail break with kids in the neighborhood.

    Those kind of outside games bring back great memories for me too!

  4. My sisters and I used to play outside a lot. Hopscotch and jump rope were favorites. We'd also put on plays on our big front porch. :)

  5. I never played 7UP or 12UP, but I did play all the others. This post brought back some great memories. My kids always played some game called "Capture the Flag". I'm not sure what all it entailed, but they sure loved playing it. They'd do it for hours.

  6. Boy, you've brought back some memories, Nancy! And I 'll bet your played those hand-clapping games as well, right? Like "Old Lady Mack," and "Say, Say Oh Playmate"?

    I played all the games you mentioned, but the "7-up" game we played a little differently--for me it was a classroom game. Seven kids were chosen to go to the front of the room while the rest of us put our heads on our desk and hid our eyes. Then the "seven" would walk through the classroom and each tap one child on the head. When they'd return to the front, the "tapped" kids would have to try and guess which of the seven had tagged them. Whoever was correct, replaced their "tapper."

    Thanks for sharing your memories!

  7. Jump rope, Red Light/Green Light, Statues, Giant Steps were all favorites in my day. Some of the kids liked Double Dutch rope jumping, but I wasn't very good at it.

    We also went through the Hula Hoop craze. Even the parents got involved in our backyard tournaments.