Classic Children's Playground Games

In the days before computers, cell phones, video game stations; growing up as a child was playing games outside with your friends.

Review over the list of such games, see which you played, your parents or other ancestors. It would be great to include in your family history.

The playing with marbles is a true classic activity for children, for decades. The lovely glass marbles, just collecting some of the nicest ones was fun. To play a game of marbles took skill, being able to knock someone’s marbles out of the ring drawn in the dirt. In the 1880s, the manufacturing of marbles was made simpler, so the factory of Sam Dyke in Akron, Ohio could produce cheaper marbles for one cent for a bag of 30 marbles. They became so popular Dyke was shipping out 1 million marbles every day. Other manufacturers in Akron joined in and soon, the city was the marble capital during the late 1800s.

Types of marbles included ‘aggies’ made with a type of stone. A ‘shooter’ was a large marble used to knock other marbles out of the circle. Playing ‘for keeps’ meant all the marbles you knocked out of the circle now belonged to you.

Another game outside was Hopscotch. Using the sidewalk or parking lot, and chalk, you drew out a series of squares all connected and then you hopped on one foot to each square.

A favorite with friends, especially for girls, was Jump Robe. Each people tried to stay in and jump each turn of the rope without messing up. The term ‘Double Dutch’ referred to two people at the same time jumping within the same robe, very difficult.

Playing Hide and Seek, where everyone hid and one other person had to find the other players in their hiding space.

A challenging game was Red Rover. Here two lines formed of youngsters who each took a turn to run and break thew the line of hands holding onto each other. If you broke the line you took two people you broke thru back to your line.

The tough game of Dodgeball had two teams opposite each other. One side threw a good-sized ball at the opposite team aiming to hit an opposing player below the shoulders. They would then be ‘out’. Usually, six balls, three per team were used. In more recent years the aggressive game has been banned in schools across North America. It did cause many injuries or fights. Many adults do still play dodgeball.

Photos: Marbles and marble game; Hopscotch; Jump Rope-Double Dutch; Hide and Seek; and Red Rover.

Related FamilyTree Blogs:

Dice Games

Game of Monopoly

Kick the Can

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