By Katie Moosbrugger

Get your kids off their cell phones and gaming systems this summer! Instead, take them back to the times when we were kids, when no one had fenced-in yards, hardly anyone had play sets (maybe a tree fort if they were lucky), our parents rarely signed us up for organized sports until we were at least middle school age, we never played video games (that is until my older brother got Atari – but then again he never let me play it anyhow).. and all the while I managed to have a pretty incredible childhood! Imagine that!

So before this summer is over, I thought it would be fun to relive the games we used to play growing up – games now that are considered “classic,” or “old-fashioned” and don’t involve electricity, activity fees, or hundreds of dollars at the local toy store!

Creative, imaginative play for children is so important, but our world is changing and it’s not so easy anymore to let them run outside. See Dr. Satterwhite’s eye-opening blog about this. Plus, it seems kids never just go and “play” without the use of toys and equipment.

No matter how old these games listed below are, they’re still fun – and you’d be surprised how much your own children will get a kick of them today. I even included links for directions on each game in case you’ve never heard of them!

If we left out any “oldies but goodies” from your childhood, please add your games below in the comments section.

Games We Used to Play
Monkey in the Middle
Hide N’ Seek
Musical Chairs
Duck, Duck, Goose
Freeze Tag
Ghost in the Graveyard
Potato Sack Race
Wheelbarrow Race
Flashlight Tag
Wiffle ball
Four Square
Kick Ball
Kick the Can
Red Light, Green Light
Red Rover

Oliver Twist – You bounce a ball up against a wall and catch it over and over as you say, “Oliver Twist, you can’t do this, so what’s the use of trying it? Touch my knee, touch my toe, clap my hands, and under-throw.” You do each of those things while bouncing the ball, and under-throw means throw it under your leg, against, the wall, and then catch. Then you do it again, but this time you let it bounce once before catching. Then you do it again and let it bounce twice before catching. Keep going until you can’t do it anymore!

Say, Say Old Playmate – You can do it to this as you clap your own hands and then clap a friend’s hands – “Say Say Old Playmate (clap-clap), come out and play with me (clap-clap), and bring your dollies three (clap-clap), climb up my apple tree (clap-clap) slide down my rainbow (clap-clap), into my cellar door (clap-clap), , and we’ll be jolly friends(clap-clap), , forever more(clap), more(clap), , many many more more!”

Miss Mary Mack – This can be a hand-clapping game or jump rope – “Miss Mary Mack, Mack, Mack, all dressed in Black, Black, Black, with silver buttons, buttons, buttons, all down her back, back, back, she asked her mother, mother, mother, for fifty cents, cents, cents, to see the elephants, elephants, elephants, jump the fence, fence, fence, they jumped so high, high, high, they never came back, back, back, til the fourth of July, July, July, big lie!”

What did we forget? Add your favorites below!

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