A Look at Traditional Childhood Games

A survey conducted in 2012 revealed that traditional games that kept children and adults entertained across the centuries are dying out. Hopscotch, Marbles, and other games filled the air with laughter, even when some games came at the risk of a few bruises.

Traditional games, however, still have their place, and the best thing about most of them is that they seldom require anything more complicated than a piece of string.

The Value of Play

There is no reason old-fashioned games should be limited to children’s parties. They also have value as team-building ice-breakers.

Anyone who plays many of those games can learn a few valuable lessons about interpersonal relations, risk management, problem solving, and usually get some good exercise while doing it.

Here are the basics of some of the games that provided gran and grandad, their grans and grandads, and countless others before them with hours of good fun. Why not learn some of these games, and keep the good times going?

Hip Hip for Hopscotch

The least you need for Hopscotch is a stone and a patch of dusty ground, or a stone, a piece of chalk, and a quiet sidewalk. Good weather is also recommended, although if parties are rained out, many players are happy to entertain themselves at other gaming websites.

There is no set way to draw the course made up of single and double squares, so players can make it as easy or as difficult as they like. It is a game in which balance and timing is everything.

A player needs to throw a stone onto the course, and then hop through the entire course. You need to land on one foot in a single square, and with both feet on double squares, but you need to avoid the square with the stone in it. If your stone lands on the edge of a square, or if your feet touch the edge of a square while jumping the course, you forfeit your turn.

Once you have completed the course, you need to return along it, stopping only to retrieve the stone. There is no official way of scoring Hopscotch, so players can decide on a method themselves.

Don’t Lose Your Marbles

Anyone who thought that the only ball games capable of turning into an intense battle of skills are limited to sports fields probably never played marbles. Another player and marbles, the beauty of some rivalling even that of Murano glass, are all you need for a game.

Start off by both throwing your marbles on the ground; ensuring your throwing marble isn’t among them. You then take turns trying to hit one another’s marbles using your throwing marble. Whether you play for keeps or limit it to friendly matches, the game certainly is an exciting one.

Conkers: Watch Your Fingers

Played with horse chestnuts, known as conkers, and pieces of string, Conkers makes for sometimes-painful fun. In the past, serious players would think nothing of giving their conkers an extended vinegar bath to toughen them up.

Players prepare their conkers by making a hole in them, sliding a piece of string through the hole, and then knotting the string to form a handle. To play, you and your opponent need to take turns to try demolish each other’s conker using your own.

Play the Game

Basic, sometimes brutal, but always a lot of fun, traditional games have much to offer. It may take your friends some convincing, but if you have no luck with them, wait until the nieces and nephews come to visit, and introduce them to something new.