I spent a lot of time outside as a kid. A LOT. Sure, times have changed and parents just aren’t as comfortable sending the kids outside until dinner time, but there is still plenty of fun to be had in supervised time frames.
Sidewalk chalk? Check.
Jumping in the rain puddles? Check.
Some of my fondest memories as a child involve playing games like Red Light, Green Light and Mother, May I? We played at school, on the playground and in our neighborhood that was full of children.
Do you remember those old school games? If so, I have a challenge for you. Set aside a few afternoons where you turn off the TV, shut down the computer, put away the smart phones and teach your kids how to play these awesome and timeless games. I’ll be curious to see which ones are their favorites.
1. Red Rover
“Red Rover, Red Rover, send Erin right over!”I am pretty sure every kindergarten and first grade classroom in the 80’s played this game. And while, some of have deemed it too rough, I think we can teach our kids to play a “tamer” version of the game and remind them not to try to pull someone’s arm out of the socket as they try to bust through the human chain.
2. Red Light, Green Light
Super easy and super fun! My kids LOVED this game when they were in preschool, but now that they are older, we can take it to a whole new level. (When Em was two, she couldn’t quite grasp the stop running concept when I said Red Light!, but she got thereeventually. (Remember – in the real game, the person calling Red Light, Green Light has their back to the players.)
3. Freeze Tag
This might have been my favorite game to play at recess in grade school. Well, this and TV tag! Did you play the version where you just had to touch a frozen player to unfreeze them or did you have to crawl through their legs?
Remember this one? It’s kind of like Hide and Seek, but instead of one person finding everyone, one person hides and when each player find the original hider, then they hide with them. The goal is not to be the last person. It’s best played at a playground or park with a large area.
5. Four Square
I totally admit to having looked up how to play this. I know I played it at recess in elementary school, but for the life of me, couldn’t remember how it worked. Thanks WikiHow!
You really can’t go wrong with a chalk drawn hopscotch board. My son used to ignore me when I tried to explain the rules. He just loved hopping on one foot through the maze of squares. You’re actually supposed to throw a marker on the board and then skip that square as you hop through to the final square. Then you turn around and hop back to the first square, picking up your marker on the way back.
7. Mother, May I?
This game brings back some vivid memories of neighborhood parties. All the kids, both big (8 and 9) and little (4 and 5), plus the parents, would get in a big group and play this game. It was super fun to see what kind of steps we could invent and hope that the “Mother” would let us take them. We proposed dinosaur steps, puppy steps and even bunny hops. Even the littlest of toddlers can enjoy a scaled back version of this game.
What did I leave out? What were your favorites as a kid?
*This post was originally posted on the BabyCenter Blog.