Archive for the ‘playground’ Category

Blind Man’s Buff

Sunday, February 20th, 2011

One player is chosen to be blindfolded and stands in the center. The other players join hands and circle around him until the blind man claps his hands three times, whereupon the circle stops moving and the blind man points toward the circle. The player at whom he points must at once step into the circle, and the blind man tries to catch him, and when caught must guess who the player is. If the guess be correct, they change places. If not correct, or if the blind man has pointed at an empty space instead of at a player, the circle continues and the game is repeated. The player who is called into the circle will naturally try, by noiseless stepping, dodging, etc., to give the blind man some difficulty in catching him, but when once caught must submit without struggle to examination for identification.

This is one of the oldest recorded games and is found in practically all countries. The ancient Greeks called it “Brazen Fly.”
Games for the Playground, Home, School and Gymnasium by Jessie Hubbell Bancroft

Blind Bell

Saturday, February 19th, 2011

All the players but one are blindfolded and scatter promiscuously. The one who is not blindfolded carries a bell loosely in one hand, so that it will ring with every step. If desired, this bell may be hung around the neck on a string or ribbon. The blindfolded players try to catch the one with the bell, who will have to use considerable alertness to keep out of the way. Whoever catches the bellman changes places with him.

Where there are over twenty players, there should be two or more bellmen. This is a capital game for an indoor party.
Games for the Playground, Home, School and Gymnasium by Jessie Hubbell Bancroft

Black Tom

Friday, February 18th, 2011

Two parallel lines are drawn on the ground with a space of from thirty to fifty feet between them. All of the players except one stand beyond one of these lines. In the middle territory between the lines the one player who is chosen to be It takes his place, and cries “Black Tom! Black Tom! Black Tom!” repeating the words three times as here given; whereupon the other players must all rush across to the opposite line, being chased by the center player, who catches any that he may. Any one so caught joins him thereafter in chasing the others.

The particular characteristic of this game lies in the fact that the center player, instead of saying “Black Tom,” may trick or tantalize the runners by crying out “Yellow Tom,” or “Blue Tom,” or “Red Tom,” or anything else that he chooses. Any player who starts to run upon such a false alarm is considered captive and must join the players in the center. This is also true for any player who starts before the third repetition of “Black Tom.”

Another way of giving a false alarm is for any one of the center players except the original It to give the signal for running. Any runner starting in response to such a signal from any of the chasers, except the original It, thereby becomes captive and must join the players in the center.

The first one to be caught is center player, or It, for the next game.

The game as here given is played in Brooklyn, N.Y. The same game is played in the South under the title of “Ham, ham, chicken, ham, bacon!” the word “bacon” being the signal for the run, any player starting without hearing it having to join the center players.
Games for the Playground, Home, School and Gymnasium by Jessie Hubbell Bancroft

Black And White

Wednesday, February 16th, 2011

One player is chosen as leader, the rest being divided into two equal parties. Each player in one party should tie a handkerchief on the left arm to indicate that he belongs to the Whites; those in the other division are called the Blacks. The players stand around the ground promiscuously, the Whites and Blacks being mingled indiscriminately.

The leader is provided with a flat disk which is white on one side and black on the other, and preferably hung on a short string to facilitate twirling the disk. He stands on a stool at one side or end and twirls this disk, stopping it with one side only visible to the players. If the white side should be visible, the party known as the Whites may tag any of their opponents who are standing upright. The Blacks should therefore drop instantly to the floor, as in Stoop Tag. Should the black side of the disk be shown, the party of Blacks may tag the Whites. Any player tagged drops out of the game. The party wins which puts out in this way all of its opponents. The leader should keep the action of the game rapid by twirling the disk very frequently.

This is an excellent game for keeping players alert, and may be the source of much merriment.
Games for the Playground, Home, School and Gymnasium by Jessie Hubbell Bancroft

Bird Catcher

Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

Two opposite corners are marked off at one end of the ground or room, the one to serve as a nest for the birds and the other as a cage. A mother bird is chosen, who takes her place in the nest. Two other players take the part of bird catchers and stand midway between nest and cage. If played in the schoolroom, the remaining players sit in their seats; if in a playground, they stand beyond a line at the farther end of the ground which is called the forest. All of these players should be named for birds, several players taking the name of each bird. The naming of the players will be facilitated by doing it in groups. If in the class room, each row may choose its name, after which the players should all change places, so that all of the robins or orioles will not fly from the same locality.

The teacher calls the name of a bird, whereupon all of the players who bear that name run from the forest to the nest, but the bird catchers try to intercept them. Should a bird be caught by the bird catcher, it is put in the cage, but a bird is safe from the bird catchers if it once reaches the nest and the mother bird. The players should be taught to make the chase interesting by dodging in various directions, instead of running in a simple, straight line for the nest.

The distance of the bird catchers from the nest may be determined with a little experience, it being necessary to place a handicap upon them to avoid the too easy capture of the birds.
Games for the Playground, Home, School and Gymnasium by Jessie Hubbell Bancroft

Bear In The Pit

Sunday, February 13th, 2011

A bear pit is formed by the players joining hands in a circle with one in the center as the bear. The bear tries to get out by breaking apart the bars (clasped hands), or by going over or under these barriers. Should he escape, all of the other players give chase, the one catching him becoming bear.

This is a favorite game with boys, and is not so rough a game as Bull in the Ring, the means of escape for the bear being more varied. He can exercise considerable stratagem by appearing to break through the bars in one place, and suddenly turning and crawling under another, etc.
Games for the Playground, Home, School and Gymnasium by Jessie Hubbell Bancroft

Baste The Bear

Saturday, February 12th, 2011

One player is chosen to be bear, and sits in the center on a stool. The bear chooses a second player to be his keeper. The keeper stands by the bear, each of them holding an end of a short rope about two feet in length and knotted at either end to give a firm hold. The rest of the players stand around in a circle inclosing these two. The object of the players is to tag (baste or buffet) the bear, without themselves being tagged by the bear or his keeper. The players may only attack the bear when the keeper calls “My bear is free!” Should a player strike at the bear before the keeper says this, they change places, the striker becomes bear, the former bear becomes the keeper, and the keeper returns to the ring. The keeper does his best to protect his bear by dodging around him on all sides to prevent the attacks of the players who dodge in from the circle to hit him. Should the keeper or bear tag any player, the same exchange is made; that is, the player tagged becomes bear, the former bear the keeper, and the keeper returns to the ring.

Should a rope not be conveniently at hand, the game may be played in any of the three following ways: (1) by the bear and his keeper clasping hands; (2) a circle may be drawn around the bear beyond which the keeper may not go; (3) the keeper may be subjected to the general rule of not going more than two steps away from the bear in any direction.

Where there are more than thirty players, two or more rings should be formed, each having its own bear and keeper.

This is an old game, popular in many countries. It contains excellent sport, with opportunity for daring, narrow escapes, and much laughter.
Games for the Playground, Home, School and Gymnasium by Jessie Hubbell Bancroft

Barley Break

Friday, February 11th, 2011

A long, narrow strip of ground is needed for this game, divided into three spaces measuring from ten to fifty feet square. The central one of these three spaces is called the barley field. In each of the three stands a couple of players (or more, as hereinafter described). The couple in the center is obliged to link arms; therefore the center place is the most difficult and considered disadvantageous. The couples in the other spaces advance, singly or together, into the barley field, trampling the barley by dancing around the field as much as they can without being caught. These couples need not link arms. When one of these is caught, he must remain inactive in the barley field until his partner is also caught. The couple owning the barley field may not step beyond its limits, nor may the couple being sought take refuge in the field opposite to their own. When the two are caught, they become warders of the barley field, changing places with the previous couple, and any others who have been caught return to their own fields. The game is made interesting by not confining the effort to catching two members of the same couple in succession. Both couples in the adjoining fields should venture far into the barley, taunting the couple who have linked arms by calling “Barley break!” These, in turn, will assist their object by making feints at catching one player and turning suddenly in the opposite direction for another.

The number of players may be increased by putting three couples in the center (barley field) and two or three couples at each end.

This game is centuries old and used to be played at harvest time around the stacks in the cornfields.
Games for the Playground, Home, School and Gymnasium by Jessie Hubbell Bancroft

Animal Chase

Tuesday, February 8th, 2011

Two pens are marked off in distant corners of the playground. One player, called the chaser, stands at one side of one of these pens. The other players stand within the pen that is nearest the chaser. All of the players in the pen are named for different animals, there being several players of each kind. Thus there may be a considerable number each of bears, deer, foxes, etc. The chaser calls the name of any animal he chooses as a signal for the players to run. For instance, he may call “Bears!” whereupon all of the players who represent bears must run across to the other pen, the chaser trying to catch them.

Any player caught before reaching the opposite pen changes places with the chaser.

The particular point of difference between this and some other similar chasing games is that the chaser may not know just which of the players in the pen will start out in response to the name of the animal that he calls.
Games for the Playground, Home, School and Gymnasium by Jessie Hubbell Bancroft

Animal Blind Man’s Buff

Monday, February 7th, 2011

One player is blindfolded and stands in the center of a circle with a wand, stick, or cane in his hand. The other players dance around him in circle until he taps three times on the floor with his cane, when they must stand still. The blind man thereupon points his cane at some player, who must take the opposite end of the cane in his hand. The blind man then commands him to make a noise like some animal, such as a cat, dog, cow, sheep, lion, donkey, duck, parrot. From this the blind man tries to guess the name of the player. If the guess be correct, they change places. If wrong, the game is repeated with the same blind man.

The players should try to disguise their natural tones as much as possible when imitating the animals, and much sport may be had through the imitation. Players may also disguise their height, to deceive the blind man, by bending their knees to seem shorter or rising on toes to seem taller.

Where there are thirty or more players, two blind men should be placed in the center.
Games for the Playground, Home, School and Gymnasium by Jessie Hubbell Bancroft