Old-Fashioned Summer Games to Share with Your Children

Do you remember those lazy, endless summer days of childhood? A whole afternoon was spent skipping rocks in the creek. You’d lie in the grass, pull a blade, and fashion a horn by pressing your thumbs tightly together. Chalk drawn hopscotch boards colored neighborhood sidewalks in green, pink, and blue.

The joy of childhood games of yesteryear is that they don’t require batteries, electricity, or expensive equipment. Bring the joy of simpler times back to your child’s summer with a few tech-free, high-satisfaction and old-fashioned ideas:

Duck Duck Splash
We all remember waiting to spring to our feet if chosen as the “goose” in the favorite elementary school game “Duck Duck Goose”. The object of this game is to walk in a circle, tapping on each person on the head and calling “duck” until one “goose” is finally chosen. The “goose” must chase the picker before he reaches the empty spot he left behind. If the “goose” fails to tag the picker, then he becomes the new picker.

"Duck Duck Splash" is a fun summer alternative to the traditional game. The "picker" carries a plastic bucket of water around the circle and uses it to splash the person who will be the goose. This version is also called "Drip Drip Drop".

buttercup-test.jpgRed Rover
One of the most popular playground games of the 19th century was Red Rover. This 19th-century children's game is believed to have originated in Britain and then spread to Canada, the United States, and Australia. Røver is a Norwegian word for "pirate", so perhaps the early British were showing bravery by daring the Viking raiders to "come over".

How to play:
Separate a group of children into two equal teams. Team A and Team B should stand about ten yards apart, facing each other in a straight line, and holding hands.

Team A decides which person to "call over" from Team B. Once Team A has chosen, they sing, "Red Rover, Red Rover, we call (name) over!"

The player from Team B who is called must run to Team A and try to break through the arms of two Team A players.

If the player from Team B doesn't pass through, they are now a part of Team A. However, if they successfully pass through, the player goes back to their original team and takes a player from Team A back with them.

Continue playing until there are only two players remaining on one team. Once the last player is taken to the other team, the game is over and the larger team wins.

Homemade Bubbles
Few things mesmerize children and adults alike than huge, iridescent bubbles bouncing aloft in the air on a hot summer afternoon. There’s no need to use store bought bubble wands. You can get creative by using items around the house to dip in your bubble solution. Experiment with items like 6-pack rings, cookie cutters, fly swatters, Mason jar lid rings, and maybe even a slotted spoon.

Give this easy recipe a try:
½ cup liquid dish soap
4 cups water
½ cup glycerine (available at most drugstores)

Gently mix together water, detergent and glycerine in a container with a lid. Allow the mixture to stand for a day or two. The longer you let the mixture set, the bigger the bubbles will be.

jacks.jpgOld-fashioned games are fun for the modern child, not only because they’re tech-free, but because they’re powered by imagination. These games also get your kids out in the sunshine and moving. Blogger, Robin Lewis, shares “Playing together helps children in their social, emotional, cognitive and physical development. When children play outdoors games that involve moving their bodies by running, walking, jumping or other physical activity it also helps them develop healthy, active habits.”

If you’re looking for some fun old-fashioned games, stop by Mast General Store or click HERE for jacks, marbles, jump ropes, checkers, and maybe even a book with more games you remember.