Traditional "Old Time" Kids Games - Active
Kids Party Games- Kids Group Activities - Old Time Games
child is designated to play the role of cat, another that of mouse. The
can escape the
by sitting in the seat with some other child. Thereupon that child
mouse. Should the cat
a mouse before it sits in a seat, the mouse becomes cat and the cat
mouse, and the latter
get into a seat to avoid being tagged.
children sit or stand in a circle with their hands in front of them,
together. The one who
been selected to be "It" takes a position in the center of the
circle, with his hands in a similar
A button is held between his hands. He goes around the circle and
of various individuals, dropping the button into the hands of one. He
still making the motions of dropping the button in the hands of others,
to deceive those
up the ring. After he has taken his place in the center of the circle,
to guess into whose hands he has dropped the button, the one succeeding
the button and continues the game.
object is determined upon for hiding, such as a coin, a button, a book,
child is sent
the room. During his absence the object is hidden. Upon his return the
when he is near to the object sought and very faintly when he is some
object is located by the intensity of the buzzing.
child, “the thinker” is given the privilege of
thinking of some object in the
room. He tells his
the color of the object he’s thinking of. For example, if he
sees a red apple
he says, "I
red." Thereupon the other children try to guess what red object in the
he is thinking of. The
child to guess correctly is the next “thinker”.
is a good quiet game for the schoolroom. A loud ticking clock is
the game. All
the children are sent from the room. One of them is selected to hide the
The others, upon
back, try to locate it by its ticking. The child that finds the clock
hide it next.
over the Water
Note: Kind of like Ring Around The Rosies with a twist!)
is an old game and is always popular. The children form a ring, joining
to be "It" and takes his place in the center. Those in the ring then
dance around, singing,
over the water, Charlie, over the sea, Charlie, catch a blackbird, But
completed these lines, they all assume a stooping position before
"Charlie," who is "It," can
them. If he succeeds in tagging one, that one takes his place in the
children of each aisle constitute a team. All bend their heads forward,
their faces in the
of their hands on the top of the desk. At the signal to go, given by
teacher, the one in the
seat in each aisle sits up, claps his hands and taps the back of the
front of him, which
the signal for that student to sit up, clap, and tap the student in
him. In this manner, the
is passed until it reaches the student in the front seat of the aisle,
upon being tapped, stands
clapping his hands above his head. The first to stand and clap their
above their head wins
boy is selected from each aisle to take his place at least six feet in
the aisle. Upon the
to go, the last boy in each aisle runs forward to the right of his desk
links his left arm in
right arm of the boy standing in front of his aisle, and in this
to his seat, and tagging off the boy next in front of him, who repeats
boy in the aisle to spin around ends the race when he has returned to a
position in his
child who is "It" is sent to the board. He writes thereupon the name
(initials can be substituted
of some other child in the room. That child is to try to tag "It"
before he can return to his
If successful, he becomes "It" and continues the game by writing some
one else's initial on the
of the players in the room are blindfolded, except one, who is given a
in which is
a loose pebble. He is known as the "rattler." The blindfolded players
attempt to locate and
the rattler by the rattle. The first child to tag the rattler takes the
of the rattler.
children in the room are divided into four equal teams. Each team is
A leader stands in front of each team with a bean bag, cap, or ball. At
signal to start, the
tosses to and receives from each member of his team in turn the bean
bag from the last one in his line, he takes his place at the foot of
and the one at the head
the line becomes leader and proceeds to toss the ball to each member as
group, in which all have served as leaders and which successfully
children of each aisle constitute a team. Flags are given to the children
front seat. On the
to go, each child holding a flag steps out on the right hand side of
runs around the
of his own aisle, back on the left hand side, around the rear seat,
to his own seat up
right hand aisle, and hands the flag on to the one next behind him, who
continues the race.
all the children in the aisle have circled their row of seats with the
last one, instead of
to his seat, runs forward and holds the flag above his head in front of
aisle. The one
succeeding in reaching the front, wins the race.
this race it is often better to run two aisles at a time and thus avoid
possibility of children
into each other in their attempt to race through the aisles. In this
race against each other, making an interesting contest.
game stimulates quick thinking. A student is selected by the teacher to
the game, and
gives some word to which the first child in the aisle must give a
can count ten. Failing to do this, the leader continues and gives a
word to the
second one in
aisle. The rhyming words are to be given before the leader has
count of ten. Then
one succeeding in giving the word replaces the leader.
child is selected by the teacher to clap the rhythm of a familiar song.
rest of the children in
room try to guess the name of the song being clapped. The first child
correctly will be
children of each aisle constitute a team. They are numbered, beginning
one in the first
The teacher describes some mathematical problem she desires done and
the children having those numbers rush to the board and compute the
first back to
seat wins a point for his team, the aisle gaining the largest number of
wins the game.
is an active game thoroughly enjoyed by the children. The teacher
child to be
and another to be chased. The one chased can stand at the rear of any
say, "Last man."
the front child in that aisle is subject to being tagged by "It" and
leaves his seat. All the
children in that aisle advance one seat and the first man chased sits
down in the
last seat in the
"It" tries to tag the man who left the front seat before he can go to
the rear of any of the aisles.
he succeed in doing so, he can immediately be tagged back if he does
to the rear of
aisle and say "Last man."
Should any child appear fatigued when "It," substitute another child
in his place).
is a good relaxation game. The teacher says, "Change seats left."
Thereupon all the children
to the seats to their left. The children who are in the last aisle on
must run around the
and occupy the vacant seats on the right hand side. Should the teacher
the reverse of the proceeding is necessary. The teacher can also say,
"Change seats front," or
seats rear," and the children are expected to obey the commands. Those
run to the other end of the room and take any seat found vacant there.
children of each aisle constitute a team. The child in the last seat in
upon the signal
go, steps out in the right hand aisle, runs forward around the front of
of seats, back on the
hand side, circling the rear seat, and sits down, touching off the next
in front of him, who
the performance. The aisle first accomplishing the run, wins.
child is selected to be "It". He stands with his back to the group
and counts five, at the end of
he turns rapidly around. If he sees any of the group moving, that one
go back to
starting line. While the one "It" is counting, it is the object of
the group to progress toward him
rapidly as possible.
players stand behind a line. Each in turn must cover the space between
line and another
twenty yards distant by a manner of progress different from that used
by any of
For example, the first one called upon to cover the intervening space
the second one runs, the third hops, the fourth crawls, the fifth walks
backward, etc., and so
until all of the players have reached the far line. This game taxes the
ingenuity of the last players
be called upon, as they have to initiate new methods of progress.
game is similar to ordinary tag, with the exception that the child who
"It" must touch or
on the shadow of one of the players to get them! Succeeding in doing
is tagged becomes "It".
player is selected to be "It". A knotted handkerchief is given to the
rest of the players. "It" can
tag the player holding the handkerchief in his hands. The players
get rid of the
by throwing it from one to another. Should the handkerchief fall upon
is no one for "It" to tag until it has been picked up by one of the
is a tag game in which "It" may tag anyone who is not back to back
with one other player.
may not remain back-to-back for more than 30 seconds!
player is selected to be "It" and chases the rest. In order to avoid
being tagged, a player may
upon his back with both feet and hands off the ground.
group is divided into two teams, A and B. The game is played around a
building, such as
small school house or wood shed, around which there is free running
team A is given a
ball, such as a tennis or yarn ball. The ball is thrown over the
team B. If it is caught
one of the players of team B, the whole team slips around the building,
going in the same
and trying to hit with the ball some one on team A before they can get
side of the building. Team A tries to escape being hit by dodging and
to the opposite side. If a player is hit, he goes to B side. The teams
their new places
B throws the ball over to A. If the ball is not caught, it is thrown
forth over the
until caught. The team which first hits all of its opponents wins, or a
limit may be
upon and the team having the greatest number of players at the end of
group forms a circle and is counted off in 2's. The Number 1's are
given a ball
or some other
easily tossed, at one side of the circle and the Number 2's a like
the other side of the
Then 1 competes against 2 by passing the object around the circle, to
by the other team. When the object passed by one team has overtaken and
that of the
it counts one point and the game starts over, with the objects on
sides of the circle.
group forms a circle, faces to the right and assumes a stride position.
selected to be
takes his place in the center of the circle. The others pass a ball or
either backward or
between their legs. The one in the center tries to capture the ball or
he succeeds, the
last touching it must take his place in the center of the circle.
touch the ball or
when it passes by them, either forward or backward.
Ball (‘Soak Em’)
sock stuffed with straw (you can substitute the straw with cotton
used in this game. A
is drawn upon the ground. The group is divided into two teams. One team
its place in
center of the circle, the other lines up around the circumference.
Those on the
outside of the ring
without stepping over the line, to throw and hit those within.
one hit must
upon the ground within the ring. The others endeavor to avoid being hit
When everyone in the first team in the ring has been hit, they take
position outside of the
and throw at their opponents. The team succeeding in hitting all of the
opponents in the
one who is "It" is armed with a soft ball. He attempts to tag another
by means of hitting him
the ball. The one who is hit becomes "It".
to ordinary tag, except that the group is arranged in couples. Couples
lock arms. The
which is "It" endeavors to tag some other couple. If either of the
men making up the "It"
succeeds in tagging either man of another couple, that group is "It".
is a quiet, entertaining and instructive game. One member of the family
of thinking of some specific object anywhere in the universe. The
endeavor to guess
that object is and are only allowed to ask twenty questions in doing
one who thinks of
object to be guessed, only answers the questions asked by yes or no. It
exceptional when the
is not guessed, no matter how difficult it may be, before the twenty
King of Belgium is selected by the player. The first question asked by
is, "Is it in the animal kingdom?" This question is answered by
question: "Is it in a menagerie?"
question: "Is it a man?"
question: "Is it an historical character?"
question: "Is he an American?"
so the questions and answers continue. Any one has the privilege of
question at any
The one who is thinking of the subject keeps a record of the number of
questions asked. If any
has guessed within twenty questions, he has the opportunity of thinking
new object to be
of the group is given the privilege of starting the game by assuming he
and makes the statement, "I am the man who invented the lightning
rod". The others of
group endeavor to guess who he is. The one first guessing Benjamin
of continuing the game by assuming he is some other prominent character.
the Thimble OR ‘Warm or Cold’
of the group leave the room, except one, who hides somewhere about the
are then called back and endeavor to find it. If the thimble is hidden
very difficult place,
one who hid it can inform the searchers if they are "warm" or
"cold"; "warm" indicating that
are near, "cold" that they are not seeking in the right place.
Tat Too or Tic Tac Toe
diagram similar to the illustration (Fig. 1) is drawn on a sheet of
players only can
The first player marks a cross in any of the spaces between the lines;
a circle in any other space. The object of the game is to have one of
players succeed in
three of his marks in a straight line, vertically, horizontally, or
If neither succeeds, a new diagram is drawn and the game continues. The
crosses has won the game in (Fig. 2) as he has three crosses in a line.
piles of matches (blunt/rounded toothpicks may be substituted instead)
placed upon the
Each pile can contain anywhere from ten to twenty matches. The object
game is to
your opponent pick up the last match, two players playing. Playing
up from any one pile as many matches as he wishes. He may take all in
if he so
Each takes matches in turn, endeavoring to make it so that the opponent
take the last
left on the board.
wooden top is made by sawing off the end of a large spool and sticking
or small stick
the hole in the centre. Four concentric circles are drawn upon a sheet
about twelve inches square. Inside of the smallest circle, which should
diameter of 2
the number 20 is placed. The next circle outside of this one, having a
should be numbered 15, the next circle numbered 10, and the next 5.
players spin the top in turn. Should it cease spinning so that the
point of the
pin lies within
centre circle, a score of 20 is made. Should it fall outside of the
circle, no score is made. The
first gaining 100 points wins the game.
game is a very adaptable one and can be run in a great number of
ways. It can be as
or as complex as any leader may desire.
mysterious letter may be read to the group or a letter in code posted
group can see it.
contents of this letter will direct any one to a place where he will
detailed information as to
exact location of a buried treasure. By following instructions or
the code, a boy will
a second letter in hiding, or a time limit may be allowed to find
3. At the end
that time the information contained in the second letter may be given
entire group, so that
may hunt for letter number 3. This method keeps everybody in the game.
letters may be
as desired, using the treasure as the last. This game can be used to
tracking. Letters using identification of trees, flowers, marks on
birds' nests, etc., may be
Map and chart reading make the game more difficult. Letters may be
codes, or easy codes may be made. The hidden treasure is well, anything
wish it to
Suggestions include candy, a small toy or some other special treat.
boy is chosen to be "IT." He blinds his eyes while the others hide.
He counts 100 by 5's, then
"Ready or not, you must be caught." He then endeavors to find the
hidden players. Succeeding
must tag the goal and call the name of the player observed. Should he,
seeking a player, pass
spot where one is hidden, that player can race in to the goal and say,
free." The one who is
however, can tag that player or the goal. When all the players have
discovered, the one
discovered or caught by "It" must blind his eyes for the next game.
One who succeeds in
"In free" is not subject to being "It" in the next hide.
is a good game to play around a barn or in a grove where there are low
to be "It." He may tag any player who is not hanging with feet clear
of the ground. The
tagged immediately becomes "It" and may tag back the one who tagged
him after that
has taken five steps.
number of players may participate in this game. The playing area should
too large. A
foot circle is marked upon the ground as a base. One player is selected
the Fox. While the
is on the base he may stand on two feet, but when he leaves the base to
any of the other
he must hop on one foot. Should a player become tagged, he becomes the
may slap him on the back until he is safe on the base. Should the fox
other foot down,
he must return to the base, and every player may slap him on the back
this, but no player can block his path to the base.
is a simple active game which can be played where there is a low fence
players may easily climb or vault. A player is selected to be "It".
He takes his place on the
side of the fence from the other players and must climb or vault over
endeavor to tag
who fails to get over the fence in time. "It" cannot tag anyone whose
feet are off the
in an effort to get over the fence. Neither can he tag anyone who is
on the other
of the fence from him. This is a very active game, as it keeps the
leaping back and forth
the fence in an effort to avoid being tagged. A player tagged
becomes "It". He
tag back the one who tagged him, until after that one has a fair chance
on the other
of the fence.
of the players in the group hides, while the other players seek to find
Should a player
he endeavors to get into the hiding place unobserved by the others and
with the first
As the game continues, and other players succeed in finding the hiding
the number of
players continues to increase until they are packed in like sardines,
name. It is
for them, crowded together, in this way, to keep from disclosing the
place to the
players. The game continues until the last player has discovered the
one to make the discovery hides in the next round.
is a good game to be played around a farm house where there are a
in the woods where there are trees, boulders and ravines.
Step Off and All the Way Across
goal lines about fifteen yards apart are marked upon the playing space.
game can be
on the road, using the opposite curb stones as goal lines (as permitted
parents.) A player
selected to be "It" and takes his place between the goal lines. He
starts the game by saying, "One
off and all the way across". Thereupon, all the players who may be
either goal line,
stepping over the goal line, must run across the space between the goal
goal. "It" endeavors to tag the players as they run between the goal
lines. Each player
helps "It" in tagging the others. After the game starts, the players
may run back and forth
the goal lines at will. The game continues until all the players are
The first player
becomes "It" for the next game.
is a game enjoyed by boys. It is necessary to have half a dozen soft
or bean bags for this game. A large number of players can participate.
playing space is
off on the ground with a line drawn through the centre. The group is
into two equal
The teams take positions on opposite sides of the center line. The
the two teams. At the signal to start the balls are thrown at such
may hold one
the balls. The players may move around in their playing space, but are
allowed to step over
centre line. Each time a player is hit by an opponent, he drops out of
game. The team first
all of the opponents wins.
Old Time Game Fun for Kids!