This post is to remind you about the old school games you might have played as a kid. These games do not require any equipment, supplies, or materials, which makes them pretty easy to do. Most of the games also provide opportunities for kids to practice some important social skills - impulse control, taking turns, being a good sport, following directions, listening, etc. Pick your favorites or try them all. Additionally, playing these games with your kids can lead to a great discussion about what you enjoyed doing when you were a kid. You can talk to them about your favorite games you played!
Also, a fair way to decide who gets to be it first in the games, you can do rock-paper-scissors!
First here is a short clip introducing myself and my two wonderful helpers (my niece and nephew)! And Yes I am wearing a unicorn headband because why not??
Red Light Green Light:
First you will need to create a starting line and a finish line. Then one person is considered the "stop light." This person will stand on the finish line with their back turned to the other members playing. The members start on the starting line. When the stop light says "green light," members start moving towards the stop light. However, at any time the stop light may yell "red light" and turn around. If any family members are caught moving, they either have to go back to the starting line or are out of the game (you can decide this rule for your family). The first person to touch the stop light then gets to become the stop light. I also like to use "yellow light," which means moving slowly. This game is great for practicing self-control, listening, and following directions.
(For videoing purposes, I stayed facing Ava and Braxton they demonstrated playing the game.)
Mother May I (Our version- Aunt Cake May I):
This has always been one of my personal favorites! There are different versions, but this is the way I have always played. You will need a starting line where members stand and a finish line where the person calling out the instructions stands. The person who is it calls out an instruction to a member then that member must ask the person permission before completing the instruction. The first person to reach the instructor then becomes the new instructor. However, if someone forgets to ask permission, they must return to the start line. This game utilizes self-control since members must remember to stop and think to ask permission before following the instructions. Some fun examples of instructions can be baby steps, giant steps, bunny hops, crab walks, marching steps, etc.
Duck Duck Goose:
For this one, if for some reason you have forgotten, involves everyone sitting in a circle cross-legged. The person who is chosen to be "it" will stand and then go around saying “duck, duck, duck" on the heads of the members until the person choses a "goose." When goose is named, "It" then takes off running around the circle, and the goose jumps up and chases after "it." The goose's goal is to tag "it" before "it" is able to sit down in the goose's spot. If the person who is “it” makes it around the circle and gets back to the goose’s spot without being caught, the goose now becomes “it.” If the goose catches “it” before then, “it” is “it” again and another round starts.
Now I know you must remember how to play this one, but in case you forgot.... I spy just involves one person saying "I spy something ____ (naming a color or shape)." Then the other members guess what the item is by looking around the area. The person who gets it correct, then gets to become "it." This involves being observant and mindful in the present moment.
For this game, the person who is "it" states directions to the other members. If the person says "simon says" then the members complete the direction. However, if the person just states the direction without saying "simon says" then the members should not complete the direction. If they do, then they are out. The last person left in the game gets to become "it" for the next round. This game involves self-control and listening skills.
This game is typically played in the pool, but I think it can be played in an open outside areas as well. Just make sure the area is clear from anything that could be tripped over. For this game, the person who is "it" closes his/her eyes and yells out "marco." The other members follow by stating "polo." The person who is "it" must utilize their listening skills to try to tag the other members. Whoever gets tagged first then becomes the new "it."
This one is similar to I-spy, but involves the kids actually touching the item that whoever is "it" names. The person who is it states "spot touch something ____ (names a color or shape)." One person can be "it" for a certain amount of rounds or whoever touches the item correctly first can become the new "it." This is a good one for inside and outside!
Dog Dog Where's Your Bone
For this game, one person is it and turns their back to the other members with an item to represent a bone behind them. (We used an actual dog bone for our version haha) Then one person quietly sneaks up and steals the bone, sits back down, and hides it behind their back. Then the members state "dog dog where's your bone, somebody stole it from your home." Then the "dog" guesses who has the bone. Since you may only be able to have a few family members playing, you might just want the "dog" to only get once guess. If they don't get it right, they can be the dog again. However, if they guess the right person who stole the bone, then that person becomes the new "dog." Another way to play is for the person who is the "dog" to bark when they hear a noise. When the dog barks, whoever is sneaking up to steal the bone must go back and sit down and another person is then given the chance to steal the bone. I would limit the amount of times the "dog" can bark to probably like three. So this would involve the "dog" having to utilize great listening skills and the person trying to steal the bone to utilize self-control and being quiet.
Feel free to comment other old school games I may have forgotten. Also comment and let me know what old school game is/was your favorite!!