Archive for the ‘indoors’ Category

Follow Chase

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

The players stand in a circle with arms stretched sideways, resting on each other’s shoulders, thus making a wide distance between. One player is chosen for runner and one for chaser. The game starts with the runner in one of the spaces under the outstretched arms of the players, and the chaser in a similar position on the opposite side of the circle. At a signal from a leader both start, the runner weaving in and out between the players or dashing across the circle in any way that he sees fit; but the chaser must always follow by the same route. If the runner be caught, he joins the circle; the chaser then takes his place as runner and chooses another player to be chaser.

The leader (who may be one of the players) may close the chase if it becomes too long by calling “Time!” when both runners must return to their places in the circle, new ones taking their places.

For large numbers there may be two or more runners and an equal number of chasers, or the players may be divided into smaller groups.

With various modifications, this game is found in many countries. As given here, it is of Italian origin.

Games for the Playground, Home, School and Gymnasium by Jessie Hubbell Bancroft

Flowers And The Wind

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

This game is suitable for little children. The players are divided into two equal parties, each party having a home marked off at opposite ends of the playground, with a long neutral space between. One party represents a flower, deciding among themselves which flower they shall represent, as daisies, lilies, lilacs, etc. They then walk over near the home line of the opposite party. The opposite players (who represent the wind) stand in a row on their line, ready to run, and guess what the flower chosen by their opponents may be. As soon as the right flower is named, the entire party owning it must turn and run home, the wind chasing them. Any players caught by the wind before reaching home become his prisoners and join him. The remaining flowers repeat their play, taking a different name each time. This continues until all of the flowers have been caught.

Games for the Playground, Home, School and Gymnasium by Jessie Hubbell Bancroft

Fire On The Mountains

Monday, March 28th, 2011

A number of stools are placed in a circle with considerable space between them, there being two stools less than the number of players. If played out of doors, a stone may be used to sit on in place of a stool, or the players may stand, each on a spot or base marked on the ground. One of the odd players is a leader, and sits or stands in the center; the remainder are circle men and take each his place on a stool or base, the other odd man standing anywhere in the circle between the bases. The object of the game is for the circle men to change places on a signal given by the leader, each player trying to secure a stool and avoid being the odd man. The longer the distance between stools or bases the greater the sport. The running must be done in a circle outside of the bases, and no crosscuts through the circle are allowed. The player in the center repeats in rapid time the following lines:–

“Fire on the mountain, run, boys, run!
You with the red coat, you with the gun,
Fire on the mountains, run, boys, run!”

At any time, at the close of the verse, or unexpectedly, by way of interruption to it, the center player will call “Stool!” or “Base!” when all of the players must change bases. There will thus be one odd player left out. This player then steps one side and is out of the game, taking with him a stool belonging to one of the players, so that the number of stools is reduced by one; if bases are used, one is crossed out to show it is out of the game. The center player, who remains caller throughout, then repeats the verse and the signal for changing.

For each round of the game one player and one stool are taken out of the circle, until but two players and one stool are left. These two finish the game by circling the stool and some objective point a couple of yards away; when the signal to change is then given, the last one of the two to reach the stool becomes the leader for the next game.

VARIATION.–This game may be played without eliminating a player for each round. In this form, each player who is left out when stools or bases are taken must pay a forfeit, but continues actively in the game. The forfeits are redeemed when each player has been odd man at least once.

In this form of the game, instead of having one leader throughout, the leader (center man) should try to secure a stool for himself when the others change, the odd man becoming leader. There should then be but one stool or base less than the number of players.

This is a Scotch game, the reference to signal fires on the mountains, to red coats, and guns, having an obviously historic origin.

Games for the Playground, Home, School and Gymnasium by Jessie Hubbell Bancroft

Farmer Is Coming

Saturday, March 26th, 2011

One player, chosen to be the farmer, is seated. The remaining players, standing at a distance, select a leader who taps some of them on the shoulder as an invitation to go with him to the farmer’s orchard for apples. Thereupon they leave their home ground, which has a determined boundary, and approach as near to the farmer as they dare. The game is more interesting if they can do this from various sides, practically surrounding him. Suddenly the farmer claps his hands and all players must stand still, while the leader calls out, “The farmer is coming!” The players try to get safely back to their home ground, the farmer chasing them. He may not start, however, until the leader has given his warning. Any player caught by the farmer changes places with him.

For the parlor or class room.–This game adapts itself well to indoor use, the farmer sitting on a chair in the middle of the room if in a parlor, or at the teacher’s desk if in a schoolroom. The players are home when in their seats, and the farmer, to catch them, must tag them before they are seated.

This is a particularly enjoyable game for an older person to play with children, the former enacting the farmer.

Games for the Playground, Home, School and Gymnasium by Jessie Hubbell Bancroft


Friday, March 25th, 2011

One player is blindfolded and stands in the center. The other players sit in chairs in a circle around him. It is advisable to have the circle rather large. The players are numbered consecutively from one to the highest number playing.

The game may start with the players sitting in consecutive order, or they may change places at the outset to confuse the blindfold player, although the changing of places takes place very rapidly in the course of the game. The blindfold player calls out two numbers, whereupon the players bearing those numbers must exchange places, the blindfold player trying meanwhile either to catch one of the players or to secure one of the chairs. Any player so caught must yield his chair to the catcher. No player may go outside of the circle of chairs, but any other tactics may be resorted to for evading capture, such as stooping, creeping, dashing suddenly, etc.

This game may be one of the merriest possible games for an informal house party. The writer recalls one such occasion when a prominent manufacturer was blindfolded and had located two players whose numbers he called for exchange, one of them a newly graduated West Point lieutenant, the other a college senior. The business man stood in front of the chair occupied by the lieutenant and close to it, taking a crouching attitude, with his feet wide apart and arms outspread ready to grasp the victim when he should emerge from his chair. Noiselessly the lieutenant raised himself to a standing position in his chair, and then suddenly, to shouts of laughter from the company, vaulted over the head of his would-be captor, while at the same moment the collegian crawled between his feet and took possession of the chair.

Games for the Playground, Home, School and Gymnasium by Jessie Hubbell Bancroft

Every Man In His Own Den

Thursday, March 24th, 2011

Each player selects for himself a den; a post, tree, or other objective point may serve for this, or the corner of a building, or if in a gymnasium, a piece of apparatus.

One player opens the game by running out from his den. The second player tries to catch (tag) him. The third player may try to catch either of these two, and so on. The object of the different players is to make captives of the others, as any player caught must thereafter join his captor in trying to catch others, thus eventually aggregating the different players into parties, although each starts separately, and any one may be the nucleus of a group should he be successful in catching another player. The players may only be caught by those who issue from a den after they themselves have ventured forth. For instance, Number Two goes out to catch Number One. Number Three may catch either Two or One, but neither of them may catch him. The last player out may catch any of the other players. At any time a player may run back to his den, after which his again issuing forth gives him the advantage over all others who may then be out, as he may catch them. As the players are gradually gathered into different parties, the game becomes more concentrated, and the side wins that captures all of the players.

One player may catch only one opponent at a time.

Games for the Playground, Home, School and Gymnasium by Jessie Hubbell Bancroft

Drop The Handkerchief 2

Monday, March 21st, 2011

All of the players but one stand in a circle. The odd player runs around on the outside of the circle, carrying a handkerchief, which he drops behind one of the circle players. The main idea of the game is to take the circle players unaware with this. Those who form the ring must look toward the center, and are not allowed to turn their heads as the runner passes them. The one who runs around with the handkerchief will resort to various devices for misleading the others as to where he drops it. For instance, he may sometimes quicken his pace suddenly after dropping the handkerchief, or at other times maintain a steady pace which gives no clew.

As soon as a player in the circle discovers that the handkerchief has been dropped behind him, he must pick it up and as rapidly as possible chase the one who dropped it, who may run around the outside of the circle or at any point through or across the circle, his object being to reach the vacant place left by the one who is chasing him. The circle players should lift their hands to allow both runners to pass freely through the circle. Whichever player reaches the vacant place first stands there, the one left out taking the handkerchief for the next game.

This is one of the oldest known games and is found throughout the world. The writer has heard it described by Cossacks, Japanese, Italians, and people of many other nationalities.

Games for the Playground, Home, School and Gymnasium by Jessie Hubbell Bancroft

Do This, Do That

Sunday, March 20th, 2011

All the players stand facing one of their number who is the leader. The one who is leader assumes any gymnastic position or imitates any action, at the same time saying “Do this!” and the others immediately imitate. Should the leader at any time say “Do that!” instead of “Do this!” any player who imitates the action performed must be seated, or pay a forfeit, whichever form of penalty has been decided on at the beginning of the game. Three mistakes of this kind put a player out of the game, even when forfeits are the penalty.

The leader may choose any gymnastic positions that are familiar, such as chargings, head bendings, trunk bendings, arm movements, knee bendings, hopping, jumping, dancing steps, etc.; or imitate familiar actions such as hammering, sawing, washing, ironing, sewing, stone cutting, shoveling, riding horseback, etc.

Games for the Playground, Home, School and Gymnasium by Jessie Hubbell Bancroft

Chinese Wall

Friday, March 11th, 2011

The Chinese wall is marked off by two parallel lines straight across the center of the playground, leaving a space between them of about ten feet in width, which represents the wall. On each side of the wall, at a distance of from fifteen to thirty feet, a parallel line is drawn across the ground. This marks the safety point or home goal for the besiegers.

One player is chosen to defend the wall, and takes his place upon it. All of the other players stand in one of the home goals. The defender calls “Start!” when all of the players must cross the wall to the goal beyond, the defender trying to tag as many as he can as they cross; but he may not overstep the boundaries of the wall himself. All so tagged join the defender in trying to secure the rest of the players during future sorties. The game ends when all have been caught, the last player taken being defender for the next game.

This is a capital game for both children and older players, as it affords opportunity for some very brisk running and dodging, especially if the playground be wide. It differs from Hill Dill and several other games of the sort in that there is a more limited space in which the center catcher and his allies are confined.

Games for the Playground, Home, School and Gymnasium by Jessie Hubbell Bancroft

Chinese Chicken

Thursday, March 10th, 2011

This game is played with small blocks of wood or bean bags. Stones, or, at the seashore, bathing slippers, may be used instead. These are placed in straight rows of five to fifteen each, with intervals of about ten inches between them. The players are divided into groups numbering from five to ten each, and line up as for a relay race, each before one row of blocks or bags.

The game is played in the same way by each row of players, and while the game may be competitive between the different groups, in its original form it is for one group only. The first player in a group represents a “lame chicken,” and hops on one foot over each bag until the end of the line of bags has been reached. The last bag is then kicked away by the “lame” (lifted) foot, after which it must be picked up and carried back over the same route to the first end of the line, when the same player hops back on the opposite foot, kicks away a second bag, picks it up and returns, and so on until he fails. Only one foot may touch the ground at a time, and may touch it but once in each space between the bags. No bag may be touched except the one at the end of the line, which is afterward picked up, and this must be secured without putting the lame foot upon the ground.

When the “chicken” infringes any of these rules, he must at once give place to another. The winner is the player who has at the end of the game the greatest number of bags.

This is a Chinese game, taken by kind permission of the author from Miss Adale Fielde’s _A Corner of Cathay_. The Chinese children play it with their shoes in place of the bean bag or block of wood.

Games for the Playground, Home, School and Gymnasium by Jessie Hubbell Bancroft