Childhood Games

When We Were Kids...

Parents are always saying, "When we were kids…," and with good reason--we had fun when we were kids, which is why we have strong memories of what we did at that time. We didn't have home computers or lots of electronic games. What we had most was other kids and the great outdoors and we made the most of it, playing for hours on end such games as Mother May I, Simon Says, and Red Light Green Light.

Fun and Educational

There is a great emphasis on games having a dual purpose: they should be both fun and educational. The truth is, that kids learn concepts from play, no matter what they are playing, and parents shouldn't be worried on that score. After all, learning to be fair and to be a good loser are important learning experiences.

Mother May I teaches kids to follow directions and play fair. It also teaches respect for authority and courtesy.

To play:

One child is the mother. The mother stands alone at one end with the other players standing side by side about 10 feet away and facing the mother.  The children take turns asking the mother if they may take x number of a certain kind of step such as: baby steps, scissor steps, giant steps, karate steps, or jump steps. Mother either says "Yes, you may," or, "No, you many not."

The first child to reach the mother wins and becomes the mother for the next round of play.

Simon Says teaches kids to pay attention to detail, follow instructions, and play fair.

To play:

One child is Simon. The other kids take direction from Simon. Simon issues commands such as, "Simon Says, jump up and down 3 times."

The kids follow the commands only when they are prefaced with the words, "Simon Says."

If Simon says only, "Jump," the kids must remain standing still. If the kids follow a command not prefaced by the words Simon Says, they're out. The last child still 'in' wins that round and becomes Simon for the next game.

Red Light Green Light teaches kids to pay attention and look sharp, play fair, and to develop a healthy sense of competition.

To play:

The child who is 'It' turns his back on the other players calling out, "Green light."

The kids try to reach the end of the playing field where 'It' is standing. 'It' tries to catch the kids by turning around and calling out, "Red light."

If the kids don't freeze in place during Red light, they are out. The first kid to reach 'It' or the last kid still in, wins the game and becomes the new 'It.'