As the kids are back in school this week, we decided to compile a list of the best playground games from yesteryear. Plus, you don't have to think of what today's kids would have to say about these games because we've already done that for you!
Hide and Seek
Arguably the greatest playground game of all time. Hide and Seek will never fail to find our love and attention. Perfect for morning and lunch breaks at school, this game requires the hiders to be light-of-foot, creative in finding a good spot and a fast mover if they are in danger of being found. The seeker needs an intuition of where the best spots to hide may be and an eye for movement in the distance. The general idea is that one person is “it,” that person closes his or her eyes and counts to, lets say 50, and then the game begins, seeker vs hiders. Everyone has played this one and kids will play this forever.
Modern Kids might say - ‘I can see exactly where they are using my drone.’
All you need is some chalk to create the Hopscotch grid. Number the squares from one to nine. Pick a rock that is good for tossing. Small ones can bounce too much, and larger ones are hard to throw. Start by tossing the rock onto Square 1. Hop over the rock and hop with a single foot or both feet (to follow the hopscotch pattern) all the way to the end. Turn around and come back, stopping on Square 2. Balancing on one foot, pick up the rock in Square 1 and hop over Square 1 to the start. Continue this pattern with Square 2. And so on. If you toss your rock and miss the correct square, your turn is over. This game can be played with any number of people, but only one person can go at a time.
Modern Kids might say - ‘I stained my phone with chalk after playing this.’
Another one of the all-time classic outdoor games. This is a brutal, but extremely fun. Preparing your conker is part of the fun. From finding the perfect one that’s fallen from your local tree to producing the almighty and very important lacquer to steel up the outer layer, attention to detail is key. Pierce a hole through them, and feed in the string that acts as a handle and you’re good to go. After days or weeks of careful preparation, battle can commence as two rivals take turns to batter their conker into their opponent’s.
Modern Kids might say - ‘I prefer using a Nerf Gun.’
This is a simple sequence game played with a looped length of string. Two or more people use the string to form various shapes, each building on the last. The goal of the game is to get to the last shape without making a mistake. Learning to play Cat’s Cradle couldn’t be easier—all you need is a piece of string, a steady hand and a friend to help you work through the different configurations.
Modern Kids might say - ‘My cat refused to play.’
This game dates back to 4000BC, where it was being played by the children in Ancient Egypt. The general rules specify that you draw a circle in playground on whatever surface suits and then take turns trying to knock each other’s marbles out of the circle with your one large marble. As with the other games, there are countless variations.
Modern Kids might say - ‘Mum said Dad lost his years ago.’
What’s the time Mr Wolf?
This is certainly one of the most thrilling and fun games to play during lunch break. You simply take small steps towards a “wolf” who is stood with their back to you, the number of steps you take depends on the time they shout out, the wolf then shouts “Dinner time” in his scariest voice, then turns and chases after the scattered players.. The screams heard as the ‘wolf’ chases its prey are hilarious.
Modern Kids might say - ‘The wolves in Twilight don’t play that game.’
This game really separates the men from the boys. It starts with one or two people as the “bulldogs” and the rest as, well, people. The people line up against one wall and have to run to the other. The bulldog has to tag them before they get to the other side of the playground. If anyone is stopped before reaching the far wall, they become bulldogs. The game continues until there is only one person left – and they’ve won.
Modern Kids might say - ‘I brought Rover and Rex along and we had to cancel the game.’
Skipping rope requires the use of a rope that is twirled by two children while a third child literally skips the rope in between them. Double dutch skipping is a more advanced form in which the child in the middle skips over two ropes (held in each hand by the children turning) at the same time. Often children will chant a particular skipping rhyme throughout, sometimes inviting other children to skip in with them. Sometimes this can go awry as the rope can be lifted too high and instead of landing on your feet, you may fall head first onto the tarmac. Funny for everyone else though.
Modern kids might say - ‘I can’t get any elevation whilst wearing skinny jeans.’