Children’s games

AccWeddBookmark Anne here, showing off the beautiful bookmark Cara/Andrea designed, one of a set she designed for the WordWenches. More about that on Sherrie's weekly Sunday post.

Maddy, the heroine of the book on the left was responsible for the upbringing of her five much younger half-sisters and brothers, and in the writing of the book I had to think up things for the children to be doing at various times. 

Which brings me to today's topic —children's games and pastimes. 

There's not a lot written in the 19th century about children's play — formal games, yes, but not the kind of unorganized play kids mostly do, especially poor children without balls or hoops, tops or special toys. So I started making lists of possibilities, using my own experience and games passed down through the generations. Of course there would be games like hopscotch and skipping and leapfrog and hide and seek and chasey (tag) and blind man's buff — they've been played by children through the ages. 

There would be war games, of course, and since the children in the story were born when England was at war with France they'd play at soldiers, reenacting famous battles and take their heroes from contemporary times. One wet day I had the boys making boats out of walnut shells in order to reenact the Battle of the Nile.  Walnutboat

Children invent games using whatever is to hand. I remember one year we made huge and elaborate forts under the pine trees from piled up pine needles. Remember telling time with dandelion seed heads? And asking "Do you like butter?' with  buttercups.  English children battle with conkers, played with horse chestnuts on strings, but it was the wrong time of the year for conkers in my story. We used to make mudslides and one Scottish winter I learned the delights of ice slides. I used that one — an ice-slide prompted the accident that started the story. 

I loved playing with marbles as a child, and did include a reference in the book — in a scene I later deleted. That's the thing with research — you do a mound and only the barest tip of the iceberg shows. 

Of course, ring a ring of roses has been played for centuries, but it was a bit young for these children. I suppose you've all heard the story that it's an allegory for the Great Plague. Turns out (well, according to Wikipedia) this isn't true. It was a theory that only came up in the 1950's and apparently it's been discredited. The symptoms don't particularly fit those of the plague, and similar games appear in countries and cultures all around the world. 

Ringaringarosie

I wanted to find some singing and clapping games for the girls. Remember those? They vary from place to place and time to time, but they've been around forever. My dad taught me this one that his grandmother taught him. You clap each others hands in time with the words.
My mother said
I never should 
Play with the gypsies in the wood
If I did
She would say
Naughty girl to disobey
(and now the clapping would get faster and faster)
Down the alley 
Courting Sally
Picking up cinders
Making flinders
Feeding monkeys
Riding donkeys
All the livelong day!

The more games I listed the more I remembered. Did you ever play Drop the Hankie?
I wrote a letter to my love,  and on the way I lost it
Someone must have picked it up and put it in their pocket.
Thief, thief drop it! Thief, thief drop it…  (and then the mad chase)

There was something called In and Out the Windows." where children linked hands and could "open" or "close the windows, and there was a some kind of pursuit between someone inside and someone outside.  As we played this games, we sang, "Go in and out the windows; Go in and out the windows; Go in and out the windows, As we have done before." It looks like they're playing it here. In&outwindows

I thought of having them play the game "Sardines" — it's a variant of hide and seek, except that only one person hides. When each person finds them they hide with them, until they all end up squashed in, say a closet, (which made it very popular as a rather risque game for adults in Victorian times.) But the cottage these children lived in was too small, with few hiding places. 

Speaking of Victorian parlor games, my godmother was a treasure trove of the more harmless ones. She used to play this game after dinner, where a person had to say to their neighbor, straight-faced, "I love you but I just can't smile." And that person would turn and say it to the next person. If they smiled they were out, so of course "the beloved" would do all they could to make them smile. It used to have me in fits of giggles as a kid.

My list goes on; Simon Says, I Spy, What's the time Mr Wolf, Fruit Salad, Charades, Rats and Rabbits, Queenie Queenie who's got the ball? Knucklebones.

Skipping

I searched to find a skipping rhyme, but couldn't find one from the era. This is one I grew up with:
Cinderella
Dressed in yella
Went to meet her handsome fella.
On the way her undies busted
How many people were disgusted?
1! 2! 3! 4! (etc.)

Suitable for a Regency-era story? No, I didn't think so, either.

So most of the games and activities I thought up and researched never found it into the story, but I don't mind. It was a lot of fun discovering games new-to-me, and remembering old ones. And maybe I've prompted your memory. What games did you love to play when you were young? Do you remember any clapping or skipping rhymes? Let's share some memories.

150 thoughts on “Children’s games”

  1. There was a vacant lot next to my house on my suburban side-walked street, and we’d chalk hopscotch squares on it. I spent tons of time hopping on one foot and practicing my aim with my special rock. Thanks for the good memory jog!
    BTW, I winished The Accidental Wedding last week and loved it. 🙂 Beautiful bookmark!

    Reply
  2. There was a vacant lot next to my house on my suburban side-walked street, and we’d chalk hopscotch squares on it. I spent tons of time hopping on one foot and practicing my aim with my special rock. Thanks for the good memory jog!
    BTW, I winished The Accidental Wedding last week and loved it. 🙂 Beautiful bookmark!

    Reply
  3. There was a vacant lot next to my house on my suburban side-walked street, and we’d chalk hopscotch squares on it. I spent tons of time hopping on one foot and practicing my aim with my special rock. Thanks for the good memory jog!
    BTW, I winished The Accidental Wedding last week and loved it. 🙂 Beautiful bookmark!

    Reply
  4. There was a vacant lot next to my house on my suburban side-walked street, and we’d chalk hopscotch squares on it. I spent tons of time hopping on one foot and practicing my aim with my special rock. Thanks for the good memory jog!
    BTW, I winished The Accidental Wedding last week and loved it. 🙂 Beautiful bookmark!

    Reply
  5. There was a vacant lot next to my house on my suburban side-walked street, and we’d chalk hopscotch squares on it. I spent tons of time hopping on one foot and practicing my aim with my special rock. Thanks for the good memory jog!
    BTW, I winished The Accidental Wedding last week and loved it. 🙂 Beautiful bookmark!

    Reply
  6. Thanks, Maggie. In Australia we called our special rock that we threw for hopscotch, a “tor.” And we used to play for hours on end. I wonder if kids play as much these days. My feeling is that they’re indoors more of the time.
    Love the sound of your own personal jungle. Imaginative kids can make magical places everywhere.

    Reply
  7. Thanks, Maggie. In Australia we called our special rock that we threw for hopscotch, a “tor.” And we used to play for hours on end. I wonder if kids play as much these days. My feeling is that they’re indoors more of the time.
    Love the sound of your own personal jungle. Imaginative kids can make magical places everywhere.

    Reply
  8. Thanks, Maggie. In Australia we called our special rock that we threw for hopscotch, a “tor.” And we used to play for hours on end. I wonder if kids play as much these days. My feeling is that they’re indoors more of the time.
    Love the sound of your own personal jungle. Imaginative kids can make magical places everywhere.

    Reply
  9. Thanks, Maggie. In Australia we called our special rock that we threw for hopscotch, a “tor.” And we used to play for hours on end. I wonder if kids play as much these days. My feeling is that they’re indoors more of the time.
    Love the sound of your own personal jungle. Imaginative kids can make magical places everywhere.

    Reply
  10. Thanks, Maggie. In Australia we called our special rock that we threw for hopscotch, a “tor.” And we used to play for hours on end. I wonder if kids play as much these days. My feeling is that they’re indoors more of the time.
    Love the sound of your own personal jungle. Imaginative kids can make magical places everywhere.

    Reply
  11. A fun post, Anne. It brought back lots of memories. We played softball and dodge ball more than anything else as children, although I remember many games of Red Rover (Two lines of children faced each other, ten or twelve feet between them, holding hands and chanting “Red Rover, Red Rover, send [name of child on opposing team] right over.” The named child would try to spot the weakest link in the opponents’ line and would then run toward that pair, throwing his/her body on the the joined hands, attempting to break the lines. If the attempt was successful, the victor chose a team member to take back to join his/her team. If the link held, the runner became part of the opponents’ team.) Strange! The game was actually more complicated than I remember it. I remember the jump rope rhymes too. Ours was a bit different.
    Cinderella, dressed in yella
    Went to town to see her fella.
    How many kisses did he give her?
    1, 2, 3 . . .
    My favorite games, however, were the ones that my best friend and I made up, based on Saturday matinees. We were Amazons looking for treasure (our mothers’ castoff costume jewelry) or, more frequently, cowgirls riding, roping, and fighting along with our favorite cowboys (Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, and Lash LaRue). The grands do play outside less than we did as children, at least in unorganized play, but they love to play outdoors when they are all here together. They play tag, a variation of American football, and madeup games based on movies they’ve seen. This month they love jumping in piles of raked leaves. I can remember doing that too. 🙂

    Reply
  12. A fun post, Anne. It brought back lots of memories. We played softball and dodge ball more than anything else as children, although I remember many games of Red Rover (Two lines of children faced each other, ten or twelve feet between them, holding hands and chanting “Red Rover, Red Rover, send [name of child on opposing team] right over.” The named child would try to spot the weakest link in the opponents’ line and would then run toward that pair, throwing his/her body on the the joined hands, attempting to break the lines. If the attempt was successful, the victor chose a team member to take back to join his/her team. If the link held, the runner became part of the opponents’ team.) Strange! The game was actually more complicated than I remember it. I remember the jump rope rhymes too. Ours was a bit different.
    Cinderella, dressed in yella
    Went to town to see her fella.
    How many kisses did he give her?
    1, 2, 3 . . .
    My favorite games, however, were the ones that my best friend and I made up, based on Saturday matinees. We were Amazons looking for treasure (our mothers’ castoff costume jewelry) or, more frequently, cowgirls riding, roping, and fighting along with our favorite cowboys (Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, and Lash LaRue). The grands do play outside less than we did as children, at least in unorganized play, but they love to play outdoors when they are all here together. They play tag, a variation of American football, and madeup games based on movies they’ve seen. This month they love jumping in piles of raked leaves. I can remember doing that too. 🙂

    Reply
  13. A fun post, Anne. It brought back lots of memories. We played softball and dodge ball more than anything else as children, although I remember many games of Red Rover (Two lines of children faced each other, ten or twelve feet between them, holding hands and chanting “Red Rover, Red Rover, send [name of child on opposing team] right over.” The named child would try to spot the weakest link in the opponents’ line and would then run toward that pair, throwing his/her body on the the joined hands, attempting to break the lines. If the attempt was successful, the victor chose a team member to take back to join his/her team. If the link held, the runner became part of the opponents’ team.) Strange! The game was actually more complicated than I remember it. I remember the jump rope rhymes too. Ours was a bit different.
    Cinderella, dressed in yella
    Went to town to see her fella.
    How many kisses did he give her?
    1, 2, 3 . . .
    My favorite games, however, were the ones that my best friend and I made up, based on Saturday matinees. We were Amazons looking for treasure (our mothers’ castoff costume jewelry) or, more frequently, cowgirls riding, roping, and fighting along with our favorite cowboys (Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, and Lash LaRue). The grands do play outside less than we did as children, at least in unorganized play, but they love to play outdoors when they are all here together. They play tag, a variation of American football, and madeup games based on movies they’ve seen. This month they love jumping in piles of raked leaves. I can remember doing that too. 🙂

    Reply
  14. A fun post, Anne. It brought back lots of memories. We played softball and dodge ball more than anything else as children, although I remember many games of Red Rover (Two lines of children faced each other, ten or twelve feet between them, holding hands and chanting “Red Rover, Red Rover, send [name of child on opposing team] right over.” The named child would try to spot the weakest link in the opponents’ line and would then run toward that pair, throwing his/her body on the the joined hands, attempting to break the lines. If the attempt was successful, the victor chose a team member to take back to join his/her team. If the link held, the runner became part of the opponents’ team.) Strange! The game was actually more complicated than I remember it. I remember the jump rope rhymes too. Ours was a bit different.
    Cinderella, dressed in yella
    Went to town to see her fella.
    How many kisses did he give her?
    1, 2, 3 . . .
    My favorite games, however, were the ones that my best friend and I made up, based on Saturday matinees. We were Amazons looking for treasure (our mothers’ castoff costume jewelry) or, more frequently, cowgirls riding, roping, and fighting along with our favorite cowboys (Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, and Lash LaRue). The grands do play outside less than we did as children, at least in unorganized play, but they love to play outdoors when they are all here together. They play tag, a variation of American football, and madeup games based on movies they’ve seen. This month they love jumping in piles of raked leaves. I can remember doing that too. 🙂

    Reply
  15. A fun post, Anne. It brought back lots of memories. We played softball and dodge ball more than anything else as children, although I remember many games of Red Rover (Two lines of children faced each other, ten or twelve feet between them, holding hands and chanting “Red Rover, Red Rover, send [name of child on opposing team] right over.” The named child would try to spot the weakest link in the opponents’ line and would then run toward that pair, throwing his/her body on the the joined hands, attempting to break the lines. If the attempt was successful, the victor chose a team member to take back to join his/her team. If the link held, the runner became part of the opponents’ team.) Strange! The game was actually more complicated than I remember it. I remember the jump rope rhymes too. Ours was a bit different.
    Cinderella, dressed in yella
    Went to town to see her fella.
    How many kisses did he give her?
    1, 2, 3 . . .
    My favorite games, however, were the ones that my best friend and I made up, based on Saturday matinees. We were Amazons looking for treasure (our mothers’ castoff costume jewelry) or, more frequently, cowgirls riding, roping, and fighting along with our favorite cowboys (Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, and Lash LaRue). The grands do play outside less than we did as children, at least in unorganized play, but they love to play outdoors when they are all here together. They play tag, a variation of American football, and madeup games based on movies they’ve seen. This month they love jumping in piles of raked leaves. I can remember doing that too. 🙂

    Reply
  16. What a lovely trip down memory lane! We loved to play sardines when we visited another Air Force family when we lived in England. There were six children in the family and they lived in a huge old English manor house. Playing sardines was so much fun in that old house.
    We also played conkers under the trees in the field across the street from our house. My youngest brother still has a cigar box full of his champion conkers.

    Reply
  17. What a lovely trip down memory lane! We loved to play sardines when we visited another Air Force family when we lived in England. There were six children in the family and they lived in a huge old English manor house. Playing sardines was so much fun in that old house.
    We also played conkers under the trees in the field across the street from our house. My youngest brother still has a cigar box full of his champion conkers.

    Reply
  18. What a lovely trip down memory lane! We loved to play sardines when we visited another Air Force family when we lived in England. There were six children in the family and they lived in a huge old English manor house. Playing sardines was so much fun in that old house.
    We also played conkers under the trees in the field across the street from our house. My youngest brother still has a cigar box full of his champion conkers.

    Reply
  19. What a lovely trip down memory lane! We loved to play sardines when we visited another Air Force family when we lived in England. There were six children in the family and they lived in a huge old English manor house. Playing sardines was so much fun in that old house.
    We also played conkers under the trees in the field across the street from our house. My youngest brother still has a cigar box full of his champion conkers.

    Reply
  20. What a lovely trip down memory lane! We loved to play sardines when we visited another Air Force family when we lived in England. There were six children in the family and they lived in a huge old English manor house. Playing sardines was so much fun in that old house.
    We also played conkers under the trees in the field across the street from our house. My youngest brother still has a cigar box full of his champion conkers.

    Reply
  21. String games. There was the ones that we played with our hands to make Jacob’s ladder and Grandpa’s Pants. Or if we were naughty, the one that looked phallic.
    There was also a jumping game with a string–not jumprope, but there was a large circle of string, and two people would stand at either end and hold it in a rectangular hold–and a third person would do complicated jumping between them.
    There were the hand games: “CiCi my playmate, come out and play with me…”
    And I also liked to play school or house when I was younger too.

    Reply
  22. String games. There was the ones that we played with our hands to make Jacob’s ladder and Grandpa’s Pants. Or if we were naughty, the one that looked phallic.
    There was also a jumping game with a string–not jumprope, but there was a large circle of string, and two people would stand at either end and hold it in a rectangular hold–and a third person would do complicated jumping between them.
    There were the hand games: “CiCi my playmate, come out and play with me…”
    And I also liked to play school or house when I was younger too.

    Reply
  23. String games. There was the ones that we played with our hands to make Jacob’s ladder and Grandpa’s Pants. Or if we were naughty, the one that looked phallic.
    There was also a jumping game with a string–not jumprope, but there was a large circle of string, and two people would stand at either end and hold it in a rectangular hold–and a third person would do complicated jumping between them.
    There were the hand games: “CiCi my playmate, come out and play with me…”
    And I also liked to play school or house when I was younger too.

    Reply
  24. String games. There was the ones that we played with our hands to make Jacob’s ladder and Grandpa’s Pants. Or if we were naughty, the one that looked phallic.
    There was also a jumping game with a string–not jumprope, but there was a large circle of string, and two people would stand at either end and hold it in a rectangular hold–and a third person would do complicated jumping between them.
    There were the hand games: “CiCi my playmate, come out and play with me…”
    And I also liked to play school or house when I was younger too.

    Reply
  25. String games. There was the ones that we played with our hands to make Jacob’s ladder and Grandpa’s Pants. Or if we were naughty, the one that looked phallic.
    There was also a jumping game with a string–not jumprope, but there was a large circle of string, and two people would stand at either end and hold it in a rectangular hold–and a third person would do complicated jumping between them.
    There were the hand games: “CiCi my playmate, come out and play with me…”
    And I also liked to play school or house when I was younger too.

    Reply
  26. What a fun post, Anne. In grade school hopscotch was huge with us at recess. We chalked the grid on the school bus parking lot tarmac and played the entire time. At home, we liked scrabble and a Swiss card game called Jass, which is similar to bridge, but with odd Helvetian rules. (which I no longer remember.) But I really liked just playing outside, making up my own little stories and acting them out. Still do—the stories that is, not the acting.

    Reply
  27. What a fun post, Anne. In grade school hopscotch was huge with us at recess. We chalked the grid on the school bus parking lot tarmac and played the entire time. At home, we liked scrabble and a Swiss card game called Jass, which is similar to bridge, but with odd Helvetian rules. (which I no longer remember.) But I really liked just playing outside, making up my own little stories and acting them out. Still do—the stories that is, not the acting.

    Reply
  28. What a fun post, Anne. In grade school hopscotch was huge with us at recess. We chalked the grid on the school bus parking lot tarmac and played the entire time. At home, we liked scrabble and a Swiss card game called Jass, which is similar to bridge, but with odd Helvetian rules. (which I no longer remember.) But I really liked just playing outside, making up my own little stories and acting them out. Still do—the stories that is, not the acting.

    Reply
  29. What a fun post, Anne. In grade school hopscotch was huge with us at recess. We chalked the grid on the school bus parking lot tarmac and played the entire time. At home, we liked scrabble and a Swiss card game called Jass, which is similar to bridge, but with odd Helvetian rules. (which I no longer remember.) But I really liked just playing outside, making up my own little stories and acting them out. Still do—the stories that is, not the acting.

    Reply
  30. What a fun post, Anne. In grade school hopscotch was huge with us at recess. We chalked the grid on the school bus parking lot tarmac and played the entire time. At home, we liked scrabble and a Swiss card game called Jass, which is similar to bridge, but with odd Helvetian rules. (which I no longer remember.) But I really liked just playing outside, making up my own little stories and acting them out. Still do—the stories that is, not the acting.

    Reply
  31. What a fun post, Anne. Brings back memories of the “haunted forest” across the street, where we’d skate every evening of our Canadian winter. At school, it was “higher and higher,” where an elastic band was held at ankle length, knee length, etc., and we’d have to jump over it.
    But I think my favorite game was a rather solitary one. My mother loved Red Rose tea, and so did I, because in every box was a tiny china figurine of forest animals. I spent hours playing with them, giving them names and enacting stories with them.
    My dad loved to make boats out of walnut shells. I think there are still a few at my parents’ house, even today. Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

    Reply
  32. What a fun post, Anne. Brings back memories of the “haunted forest” across the street, where we’d skate every evening of our Canadian winter. At school, it was “higher and higher,” where an elastic band was held at ankle length, knee length, etc., and we’d have to jump over it.
    But I think my favorite game was a rather solitary one. My mother loved Red Rose tea, and so did I, because in every box was a tiny china figurine of forest animals. I spent hours playing with them, giving them names and enacting stories with them.
    My dad loved to make boats out of walnut shells. I think there are still a few at my parents’ house, even today. Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

    Reply
  33. What a fun post, Anne. Brings back memories of the “haunted forest” across the street, where we’d skate every evening of our Canadian winter. At school, it was “higher and higher,” where an elastic band was held at ankle length, knee length, etc., and we’d have to jump over it.
    But I think my favorite game was a rather solitary one. My mother loved Red Rose tea, and so did I, because in every box was a tiny china figurine of forest animals. I spent hours playing with them, giving them names and enacting stories with them.
    My dad loved to make boats out of walnut shells. I think there are still a few at my parents’ house, even today. Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

    Reply
  34. What a fun post, Anne. Brings back memories of the “haunted forest” across the street, where we’d skate every evening of our Canadian winter. At school, it was “higher and higher,” where an elastic band was held at ankle length, knee length, etc., and we’d have to jump over it.
    But I think my favorite game was a rather solitary one. My mother loved Red Rose tea, and so did I, because in every box was a tiny china figurine of forest animals. I spent hours playing with them, giving them names and enacting stories with them.
    My dad loved to make boats out of walnut shells. I think there are still a few at my parents’ house, even today. Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

    Reply
  35. What a fun post, Anne. Brings back memories of the “haunted forest” across the street, where we’d skate every evening of our Canadian winter. At school, it was “higher and higher,” where an elastic band was held at ankle length, knee length, etc., and we’d have to jump over it.
    But I think my favorite game was a rather solitary one. My mother loved Red Rose tea, and so did I, because in every box was a tiny china figurine of forest animals. I spent hours playing with them, giving them names and enacting stories with them.
    My dad loved to make boats out of walnut shells. I think there are still a few at my parents’ house, even today. Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

    Reply
  36. Hellion, yes, string games — cat’s cradle we called it — I’d forgotten about them. We used to play it for hours and it was certainly something passed down for generations. I remember my grandmother was very good at it.
    Your jumping game with string sounds like what we called “elastics.” I used to love that game.
    Never heard of Chinese Jump rope. I’ll look it up.
    And “House” and “School” are those endless imaginary “rule-less” games that kids have played forever.
    Thanks for posting.
    Thanks.

    Reply
  37. Hellion, yes, string games — cat’s cradle we called it — I’d forgotten about them. We used to play it for hours and it was certainly something passed down for generations. I remember my grandmother was very good at it.
    Your jumping game with string sounds like what we called “elastics.” I used to love that game.
    Never heard of Chinese Jump rope. I’ll look it up.
    And “House” and “School” are those endless imaginary “rule-less” games that kids have played forever.
    Thanks for posting.
    Thanks.

    Reply
  38. Hellion, yes, string games — cat’s cradle we called it — I’d forgotten about them. We used to play it for hours and it was certainly something passed down for generations. I remember my grandmother was very good at it.
    Your jumping game with string sounds like what we called “elastics.” I used to love that game.
    Never heard of Chinese Jump rope. I’ll look it up.
    And “House” and “School” are those endless imaginary “rule-less” games that kids have played forever.
    Thanks for posting.
    Thanks.

    Reply
  39. Hellion, yes, string games — cat’s cradle we called it — I’d forgotten about them. We used to play it for hours and it was certainly something passed down for generations. I remember my grandmother was very good at it.
    Your jumping game with string sounds like what we called “elastics.” I used to love that game.
    Never heard of Chinese Jump rope. I’ll look it up.
    And “House” and “School” are those endless imaginary “rule-less” games that kids have played forever.
    Thanks for posting.
    Thanks.

    Reply
  40. Hellion, yes, string games — cat’s cradle we called it — I’d forgotten about them. We used to play it for hours and it was certainly something passed down for generations. I remember my grandmother was very good at it.
    Your jumping game with string sounds like what we called “elastics.” I used to love that game.
    Never heard of Chinese Jump rope. I’ll look it up.
    And “House” and “School” are those endless imaginary “rule-less” games that kids have played forever.
    Thanks for posting.
    Thanks.

    Reply
  41. I’d forgotten walnut shell boats! I’ve researched toys for the Regency but hadn’t thought about the kind of mindless games children play. We used to do the hand-slapping games,with increasingly complex rhymes and routines as we grew older, not that I remember any of the rhymes, of course. And there was always racing, running as hard as we could until we all collapsed winded and red-faced!

    Reply
  42. I’d forgotten walnut shell boats! I’ve researched toys for the Regency but hadn’t thought about the kind of mindless games children play. We used to do the hand-slapping games,with increasingly complex rhymes and routines as we grew older, not that I remember any of the rhymes, of course. And there was always racing, running as hard as we could until we all collapsed winded and red-faced!

    Reply
  43. I’d forgotten walnut shell boats! I’ve researched toys for the Regency but hadn’t thought about the kind of mindless games children play. We used to do the hand-slapping games,with increasingly complex rhymes and routines as we grew older, not that I remember any of the rhymes, of course. And there was always racing, running as hard as we could until we all collapsed winded and red-faced!

    Reply
  44. I’d forgotten walnut shell boats! I’ve researched toys for the Regency but hadn’t thought about the kind of mindless games children play. We used to do the hand-slapping games,with increasingly complex rhymes and routines as we grew older, not that I remember any of the rhymes, of course. And there was always racing, running as hard as we could until we all collapsed winded and red-faced!

    Reply
  45. I’d forgotten walnut shell boats! I’ve researched toys for the Regency but hadn’t thought about the kind of mindless games children play. We used to do the hand-slapping games,with increasingly complex rhymes and routines as we grew older, not that I remember any of the rhymes, of course. And there was always racing, running as hard as we could until we all collapsed winded and red-faced!

    Reply
  46. I just looked up Chinese Jump Rope and it’s what we called “elastics” when I was a kid.
    But there’s also a faint twang happening in my brain suggesting that some kids might have called it “Chinese skipping” — we say “skipping” not “jump rope.”
    Don’t know. Will have to see if others can help.

    Reply
  47. I just looked up Chinese Jump Rope and it’s what we called “elastics” when I was a kid.
    But there’s also a faint twang happening in my brain suggesting that some kids might have called it “Chinese skipping” — we say “skipping” not “jump rope.”
    Don’t know. Will have to see if others can help.

    Reply
  48. I just looked up Chinese Jump Rope and it’s what we called “elastics” when I was a kid.
    But there’s also a faint twang happening in my brain suggesting that some kids might have called it “Chinese skipping” — we say “skipping” not “jump rope.”
    Don’t know. Will have to see if others can help.

    Reply
  49. I just looked up Chinese Jump Rope and it’s what we called “elastics” when I was a kid.
    But there’s also a faint twang happening in my brain suggesting that some kids might have called it “Chinese skipping” — we say “skipping” not “jump rope.”
    Don’t know. Will have to see if others can help.

    Reply
  50. I just looked up Chinese Jump Rope and it’s what we called “elastics” when I was a kid.
    But there’s also a faint twang happening in my brain suggesting that some kids might have called it “Chinese skipping” — we say “skipping” not “jump rope.”
    Don’t know. Will have to see if others can help.

    Reply
  51. Cara/Andrea, I was a lover of those endless imaginary world games, too. I loved making secret houses and going on adventures and making up enemies and all sorts.
    Cynthia, your “higher and higher” sounds like the game Hellion and have been talking about.
    And I love the sound of your little red rose tea figurines. We had a button jar — I came from thrifty folk who always removed the buttons before something went into the rag bag, and these were kept in a large jar. I used to tip them out and sort them into colors, sizes, separating my favorites and making stories up in my head. I used that in the book.
    And I still have the old button jar, though I don’t take buttons off clothes I’m tossing, unless they’re very special. But I do use it for the spare buttons that come with clothes.
    And if a child visits, out it comes.

    Reply
  52. Cara/Andrea, I was a lover of those endless imaginary world games, too. I loved making secret houses and going on adventures and making up enemies and all sorts.
    Cynthia, your “higher and higher” sounds like the game Hellion and have been talking about.
    And I love the sound of your little red rose tea figurines. We had a button jar — I came from thrifty folk who always removed the buttons before something went into the rag bag, and these were kept in a large jar. I used to tip them out and sort them into colors, sizes, separating my favorites and making stories up in my head. I used that in the book.
    And I still have the old button jar, though I don’t take buttons off clothes I’m tossing, unless they’re very special. But I do use it for the spare buttons that come with clothes.
    And if a child visits, out it comes.

    Reply
  53. Cara/Andrea, I was a lover of those endless imaginary world games, too. I loved making secret houses and going on adventures and making up enemies and all sorts.
    Cynthia, your “higher and higher” sounds like the game Hellion and have been talking about.
    And I love the sound of your little red rose tea figurines. We had a button jar — I came from thrifty folk who always removed the buttons before something went into the rag bag, and these were kept in a large jar. I used to tip them out and sort them into colors, sizes, separating my favorites and making stories up in my head. I used that in the book.
    And I still have the old button jar, though I don’t take buttons off clothes I’m tossing, unless they’re very special. But I do use it for the spare buttons that come with clothes.
    And if a child visits, out it comes.

    Reply
  54. Cara/Andrea, I was a lover of those endless imaginary world games, too. I loved making secret houses and going on adventures and making up enemies and all sorts.
    Cynthia, your “higher and higher” sounds like the game Hellion and have been talking about.
    And I love the sound of your little red rose tea figurines. We had a button jar — I came from thrifty folk who always removed the buttons before something went into the rag bag, and these were kept in a large jar. I used to tip them out and sort them into colors, sizes, separating my favorites and making stories up in my head. I used that in the book.
    And I still have the old button jar, though I don’t take buttons off clothes I’m tossing, unless they’re very special. But I do use it for the spare buttons that come with clothes.
    And if a child visits, out it comes.

    Reply
  55. Cara/Andrea, I was a lover of those endless imaginary world games, too. I loved making secret houses and going on adventures and making up enemies and all sorts.
    Cynthia, your “higher and higher” sounds like the game Hellion and have been talking about.
    And I love the sound of your little red rose tea figurines. We had a button jar — I came from thrifty folk who always removed the buttons before something went into the rag bag, and these were kept in a large jar. I used to tip them out and sort them into colors, sizes, separating my favorites and making stories up in my head. I used that in the book.
    And I still have the old button jar, though I don’t take buttons off clothes I’m tossing, unless they’re very special. But I do use it for the spare buttons that come with clothes.
    And if a child visits, out it comes.

    Reply
  56. Oh yes, Pat — I remember the endless “race you to the —” challenges that were part of everyday life as a kid.
    Not to mention the crossing of the common in plover and magpie nesting season, where you’d run to escape being dive-bombed by birds.
    And yes, for this book the children had very few actual toys, so I had to work out the things that are pretty universal.

    Reply
  57. Oh yes, Pat — I remember the endless “race you to the —” challenges that were part of everyday life as a kid.
    Not to mention the crossing of the common in plover and magpie nesting season, where you’d run to escape being dive-bombed by birds.
    And yes, for this book the children had very few actual toys, so I had to work out the things that are pretty universal.

    Reply
  58. Oh yes, Pat — I remember the endless “race you to the —” challenges that were part of everyday life as a kid.
    Not to mention the crossing of the common in plover and magpie nesting season, where you’d run to escape being dive-bombed by birds.
    And yes, for this book the children had very few actual toys, so I had to work out the things that are pretty universal.

    Reply
  59. Oh yes, Pat — I remember the endless “race you to the —” challenges that were part of everyday life as a kid.
    Not to mention the crossing of the common in plover and magpie nesting season, where you’d run to escape being dive-bombed by birds.
    And yes, for this book the children had very few actual toys, so I had to work out the things that are pretty universal.

    Reply
  60. Oh yes, Pat — I remember the endless “race you to the —” challenges that were part of everyday life as a kid.
    Not to mention the crossing of the common in plover and magpie nesting season, where you’d run to escape being dive-bombed by birds.
    And yes, for this book the children had very few actual toys, so I had to work out the things that are pretty universal.

    Reply
  61. Whoops, Louise, I accidentally skipped you. I love the sound of sardines in a big old house with lots of nooks and crannies. I lived in a large Victorian terrace house when I was a uni student and I remember telling people about Sardines — some of them had never heard of it, and we played it then and there and it was a hoot.
    I love that your brother still has his champion conkers. I still have my marbles.

    Reply
  62. Whoops, Louise, I accidentally skipped you. I love the sound of sardines in a big old house with lots of nooks and crannies. I lived in a large Victorian terrace house when I was a uni student and I remember telling people about Sardines — some of them had never heard of it, and we played it then and there and it was a hoot.
    I love that your brother still has his champion conkers. I still have my marbles.

    Reply
  63. Whoops, Louise, I accidentally skipped you. I love the sound of sardines in a big old house with lots of nooks and crannies. I lived in a large Victorian terrace house when I was a uni student and I remember telling people about Sardines — some of them had never heard of it, and we played it then and there and it was a hoot.
    I love that your brother still has his champion conkers. I still have my marbles.

    Reply
  64. Whoops, Louise, I accidentally skipped you. I love the sound of sardines in a big old house with lots of nooks and crannies. I lived in a large Victorian terrace house when I was a uni student and I remember telling people about Sardines — some of them had never heard of it, and we played it then and there and it was a hoot.
    I love that your brother still has his champion conkers. I still have my marbles.

    Reply
  65. Whoops, Louise, I accidentally skipped you. I love the sound of sardines in a big old house with lots of nooks and crannies. I lived in a large Victorian terrace house when I was a uni student and I remember telling people about Sardines — some of them had never heard of it, and we played it then and there and it was a hoot.
    I love that your brother still has his champion conkers. I still have my marbles.

    Reply
  66. Janga, missed you, too — sorry. Thanks for commenting. I’m starting to form a theory that maybe children who make up interesting, elaborate imaginary games grow up to be writers. LOL
    I suspect we also sang that Cinderella chant — the naughtier one with the busted undies being for when there wasn’t an adult around. (And for those who don’t understand how underpants can bust – it’s a reference to the days when they were held up by elastic, and if the elastic broke (which it occasionally did) your undies fell down. )
    And dressups — I especially loved playing that at Nana’s, where the dresses were older and more interesting. (Hmm maybe that’s a sign of a historical writer in embryo. ;))
    And to this day I love jumping into piles of autumn leaves.
    Thanks for posting.

    Reply
  67. Janga, missed you, too — sorry. Thanks for commenting. I’m starting to form a theory that maybe children who make up interesting, elaborate imaginary games grow up to be writers. LOL
    I suspect we also sang that Cinderella chant — the naughtier one with the busted undies being for when there wasn’t an adult around. (And for those who don’t understand how underpants can bust – it’s a reference to the days when they were held up by elastic, and if the elastic broke (which it occasionally did) your undies fell down. )
    And dressups — I especially loved playing that at Nana’s, where the dresses were older and more interesting. (Hmm maybe that’s a sign of a historical writer in embryo. ;))
    And to this day I love jumping into piles of autumn leaves.
    Thanks for posting.

    Reply
  68. Janga, missed you, too — sorry. Thanks for commenting. I’m starting to form a theory that maybe children who make up interesting, elaborate imaginary games grow up to be writers. LOL
    I suspect we also sang that Cinderella chant — the naughtier one with the busted undies being for when there wasn’t an adult around. (And for those who don’t understand how underpants can bust – it’s a reference to the days when they were held up by elastic, and if the elastic broke (which it occasionally did) your undies fell down. )
    And dressups — I especially loved playing that at Nana’s, where the dresses were older and more interesting. (Hmm maybe that’s a sign of a historical writer in embryo. ;))
    And to this day I love jumping into piles of autumn leaves.
    Thanks for posting.

    Reply
  69. Janga, missed you, too — sorry. Thanks for commenting. I’m starting to form a theory that maybe children who make up interesting, elaborate imaginary games grow up to be writers. LOL
    I suspect we also sang that Cinderella chant — the naughtier one with the busted undies being for when there wasn’t an adult around. (And for those who don’t understand how underpants can bust – it’s a reference to the days when they were held up by elastic, and if the elastic broke (which it occasionally did) your undies fell down. )
    And dressups — I especially loved playing that at Nana’s, where the dresses were older and more interesting. (Hmm maybe that’s a sign of a historical writer in embryo. ;))
    And to this day I love jumping into piles of autumn leaves.
    Thanks for posting.

    Reply
  70. Janga, missed you, too — sorry. Thanks for commenting. I’m starting to form a theory that maybe children who make up interesting, elaborate imaginary games grow up to be writers. LOL
    I suspect we also sang that Cinderella chant — the naughtier one with the busted undies being for when there wasn’t an adult around. (And for those who don’t understand how underpants can bust – it’s a reference to the days when they were held up by elastic, and if the elastic broke (which it occasionally did) your undies fell down. )
    And dressups — I especially loved playing that at Nana’s, where the dresses were older and more interesting. (Hmm maybe that’s a sign of a historical writer in embryo. ;))
    And to this day I love jumping into piles of autumn leaves.
    Thanks for posting.

    Reply
  71. Anne,
    What a great post! Brought back so many memories. I attended a Catholic school and we played something called “Creeping Up to Heaven.” All I can remember is one child stood facing the wall and and the others were ranged in a line some distance away with the object of reaching the child. The idea was for the child to turn suddenly and call out the names of the kids she saw moving. Then they had to go back to the start. Lots of frozen attitudes and trying not to move. The person who reached the front first tagged the child and then became the next caller.
    Thanks for the post.
    Louise

    Reply
  72. Anne,
    What a great post! Brought back so many memories. I attended a Catholic school and we played something called “Creeping Up to Heaven.” All I can remember is one child stood facing the wall and and the others were ranged in a line some distance away with the object of reaching the child. The idea was for the child to turn suddenly and call out the names of the kids she saw moving. Then they had to go back to the start. Lots of frozen attitudes and trying not to move. The person who reached the front first tagged the child and then became the next caller.
    Thanks for the post.
    Louise

    Reply
  73. Anne,
    What a great post! Brought back so many memories. I attended a Catholic school and we played something called “Creeping Up to Heaven.” All I can remember is one child stood facing the wall and and the others were ranged in a line some distance away with the object of reaching the child. The idea was for the child to turn suddenly and call out the names of the kids she saw moving. Then they had to go back to the start. Lots of frozen attitudes and trying not to move. The person who reached the front first tagged the child and then became the next caller.
    Thanks for the post.
    Louise

    Reply
  74. Anne,
    What a great post! Brought back so many memories. I attended a Catholic school and we played something called “Creeping Up to Heaven.” All I can remember is one child stood facing the wall and and the others were ranged in a line some distance away with the object of reaching the child. The idea was for the child to turn suddenly and call out the names of the kids she saw moving. Then they had to go back to the start. Lots of frozen attitudes and trying not to move. The person who reached the front first tagged the child and then became the next caller.
    Thanks for the post.
    Louise

    Reply
  75. Anne,
    What a great post! Brought back so many memories. I attended a Catholic school and we played something called “Creeping Up to Heaven.” All I can remember is one child stood facing the wall and and the others were ranged in a line some distance away with the object of reaching the child. The idea was for the child to turn suddenly and call out the names of the kids she saw moving. Then they had to go back to the start. Lots of frozen attitudes and trying not to move. The person who reached the front first tagged the child and then became the next caller.
    Thanks for the post.
    Louise

    Reply
  76. Thanks Louise. I think I played some similar game, though it was called statues or something like that.
    I’m glad people have been enjoying the post — I enjoyed trying to remember the various games I played and working out what kids might play in 1818.

    Reply
  77. Thanks Louise. I think I played some similar game, though it was called statues or something like that.
    I’m glad people have been enjoying the post — I enjoyed trying to remember the various games I played and working out what kids might play in 1818.

    Reply
  78. Thanks Louise. I think I played some similar game, though it was called statues or something like that.
    I’m glad people have been enjoying the post — I enjoyed trying to remember the various games I played and working out what kids might play in 1818.

    Reply
  79. Thanks Louise. I think I played some similar game, though it was called statues or something like that.
    I’m glad people have been enjoying the post — I enjoyed trying to remember the various games I played and working out what kids might play in 1818.

    Reply
  80. Thanks Louise. I think I played some similar game, though it was called statues or something like that.
    I’m glad people have been enjoying the post — I enjoyed trying to remember the various games I played and working out what kids might play in 1818.

    Reply
  81. Great post, Anne.
    I went to a small country primary school in upper Teesdale, England, with only 18 pupils. We played all the old singing games: Poor Mary sits a-weeping; The Farmer wants a Wife; In and out the Windows and so on.
    There were lots of trees to climb, streams to dam and, in the summer, we brought our ponies! They lived in a large field nearby and we were allowed to ride them after school.
    Oh yes, and the school had no electricity! It was bliss! I used to tell stories after lights out (candles) to the three other little girls in my dormitory.

    Reply
  82. Great post, Anne.
    I went to a small country primary school in upper Teesdale, England, with only 18 pupils. We played all the old singing games: Poor Mary sits a-weeping; The Farmer wants a Wife; In and out the Windows and so on.
    There were lots of trees to climb, streams to dam and, in the summer, we brought our ponies! They lived in a large field nearby and we were allowed to ride them after school.
    Oh yes, and the school had no electricity! It was bliss! I used to tell stories after lights out (candles) to the three other little girls in my dormitory.

    Reply
  83. Great post, Anne.
    I went to a small country primary school in upper Teesdale, England, with only 18 pupils. We played all the old singing games: Poor Mary sits a-weeping; The Farmer wants a Wife; In and out the Windows and so on.
    There were lots of trees to climb, streams to dam and, in the summer, we brought our ponies! They lived in a large field nearby and we were allowed to ride them after school.
    Oh yes, and the school had no electricity! It was bliss! I used to tell stories after lights out (candles) to the three other little girls in my dormitory.

    Reply
  84. Great post, Anne.
    I went to a small country primary school in upper Teesdale, England, with only 18 pupils. We played all the old singing games: Poor Mary sits a-weeping; The Farmer wants a Wife; In and out the Windows and so on.
    There were lots of trees to climb, streams to dam and, in the summer, we brought our ponies! They lived in a large field nearby and we were allowed to ride them after school.
    Oh yes, and the school had no electricity! It was bliss! I used to tell stories after lights out (candles) to the three other little girls in my dormitory.

    Reply
  85. Great post, Anne.
    I went to a small country primary school in upper Teesdale, England, with only 18 pupils. We played all the old singing games: Poor Mary sits a-weeping; The Farmer wants a Wife; In and out the Windows and so on.
    There were lots of trees to climb, streams to dam and, in the summer, we brought our ponies! They lived in a large field nearby and we were allowed to ride them after school.
    Oh yes, and the school had no electricity! It was bliss! I used to tell stories after lights out (candles) to the three other little girls in my dormitory.

    Reply
  86. Oh, Elizabeth, it sounds wonderful — a bit like “Exile for Annis” a book that had me dreaming of going to boarding school. I nearly went to one, too, only to my horror I discovered I couldn’t take my dog, and that was the end of boarding school dreams for me.

    Reply
  87. Oh, Elizabeth, it sounds wonderful — a bit like “Exile for Annis” a book that had me dreaming of going to boarding school. I nearly went to one, too, only to my horror I discovered I couldn’t take my dog, and that was the end of boarding school dreams for me.

    Reply
  88. Oh, Elizabeth, it sounds wonderful — a bit like “Exile for Annis” a book that had me dreaming of going to boarding school. I nearly went to one, too, only to my horror I discovered I couldn’t take my dog, and that was the end of boarding school dreams for me.

    Reply
  89. Oh, Elizabeth, it sounds wonderful — a bit like “Exile for Annis” a book that had me dreaming of going to boarding school. I nearly went to one, too, only to my horror I discovered I couldn’t take my dog, and that was the end of boarding school dreams for me.

    Reply
  90. Oh, Elizabeth, it sounds wonderful — a bit like “Exile for Annis” a book that had me dreaming of going to boarding school. I nearly went to one, too, only to my horror I discovered I couldn’t take my dog, and that was the end of boarding school dreams for me.

    Reply
  91. Well, this was a pleasant trip down memory lane! Although I didn’t play exactly the same games as other posters did, I recall spending many hours jumping rope (one rope mostly, but also two ropes at once, called “Double Dutch”) and the rhymes that went with them. One went something like, “bluebells, cockle shells, evie, ivey over” …when the rope went from gently swaying to as fast as the “ends” could turn the rope. When you tired of jumping, you played Hopscotch. I also played “London Bridges Falling Down” which was a bit like your “windows” game. What good memories of a simpler time!

    Reply
  92. Well, this was a pleasant trip down memory lane! Although I didn’t play exactly the same games as other posters did, I recall spending many hours jumping rope (one rope mostly, but also two ropes at once, called “Double Dutch”) and the rhymes that went with them. One went something like, “bluebells, cockle shells, evie, ivey over” …when the rope went from gently swaying to as fast as the “ends” could turn the rope. When you tired of jumping, you played Hopscotch. I also played “London Bridges Falling Down” which was a bit like your “windows” game. What good memories of a simpler time!

    Reply
  93. Well, this was a pleasant trip down memory lane! Although I didn’t play exactly the same games as other posters did, I recall spending many hours jumping rope (one rope mostly, but also two ropes at once, called “Double Dutch”) and the rhymes that went with them. One went something like, “bluebells, cockle shells, evie, ivey over” …when the rope went from gently swaying to as fast as the “ends” could turn the rope. When you tired of jumping, you played Hopscotch. I also played “London Bridges Falling Down” which was a bit like your “windows” game. What good memories of a simpler time!

    Reply
  94. Well, this was a pleasant trip down memory lane! Although I didn’t play exactly the same games as other posters did, I recall spending many hours jumping rope (one rope mostly, but also two ropes at once, called “Double Dutch”) and the rhymes that went with them. One went something like, “bluebells, cockle shells, evie, ivey over” …when the rope went from gently swaying to as fast as the “ends” could turn the rope. When you tired of jumping, you played Hopscotch. I also played “London Bridges Falling Down” which was a bit like your “windows” game. What good memories of a simpler time!

    Reply
  95. Well, this was a pleasant trip down memory lane! Although I didn’t play exactly the same games as other posters did, I recall spending many hours jumping rope (one rope mostly, but also two ropes at once, called “Double Dutch”) and the rhymes that went with them. One went something like, “bluebells, cockle shells, evie, ivey over” …when the rope went from gently swaying to as fast as the “ends” could turn the rope. When you tired of jumping, you played Hopscotch. I also played “London Bridges Falling Down” which was a bit like your “windows” game. What good memories of a simpler time!

    Reply
  96. We played the usual games; hopscotch, kickball, tag, hide and seek, jump rope. We also played games like Duck Duck Goose, Ring Around the Rosie, Red Light Green Light, May I Mother and probably a bunch more that I have forgotten.

    Reply
  97. We played the usual games; hopscotch, kickball, tag, hide and seek, jump rope. We also played games like Duck Duck Goose, Ring Around the Rosie, Red Light Green Light, May I Mother and probably a bunch more that I have forgotten.

    Reply
  98. We played the usual games; hopscotch, kickball, tag, hide and seek, jump rope. We also played games like Duck Duck Goose, Ring Around the Rosie, Red Light Green Light, May I Mother and probably a bunch more that I have forgotten.

    Reply
  99. We played the usual games; hopscotch, kickball, tag, hide and seek, jump rope. We also played games like Duck Duck Goose, Ring Around the Rosie, Red Light Green Light, May I Mother and probably a bunch more that I have forgotten.

    Reply
  100. We played the usual games; hopscotch, kickball, tag, hide and seek, jump rope. We also played games like Duck Duck Goose, Ring Around the Rosie, Red Light Green Light, May I Mother and probably a bunch more that I have forgotten.

    Reply
  101. Hopscotch was called potsy in my neighborhood (no idea why), and we generally used a skate key to toss.
    As for rhymes for jumping rope (we jumped, we didn’t skip), here’s one from my MIL, going back the the 19th century at least:
    Up the long ladder
    Down the short rope
    To hell with King Billy
    And God Save the Pope.
    (My MIL was from Ulster.)

    Reply
  102. Hopscotch was called potsy in my neighborhood (no idea why), and we generally used a skate key to toss.
    As for rhymes for jumping rope (we jumped, we didn’t skip), here’s one from my MIL, going back the the 19th century at least:
    Up the long ladder
    Down the short rope
    To hell with King Billy
    And God Save the Pope.
    (My MIL was from Ulster.)

    Reply
  103. Hopscotch was called potsy in my neighborhood (no idea why), and we generally used a skate key to toss.
    As for rhymes for jumping rope (we jumped, we didn’t skip), here’s one from my MIL, going back the the 19th century at least:
    Up the long ladder
    Down the short rope
    To hell with King Billy
    And God Save the Pope.
    (My MIL was from Ulster.)

    Reply
  104. Hopscotch was called potsy in my neighborhood (no idea why), and we generally used a skate key to toss.
    As for rhymes for jumping rope (we jumped, we didn’t skip), here’s one from my MIL, going back the the 19th century at least:
    Up the long ladder
    Down the short rope
    To hell with King Billy
    And God Save the Pope.
    (My MIL was from Ulster.)

    Reply
  105. Hopscotch was called potsy in my neighborhood (no idea why), and we generally used a skate key to toss.
    As for rhymes for jumping rope (we jumped, we didn’t skip), here’s one from my MIL, going back the the 19th century at least:
    Up the long ladder
    Down the short rope
    To hell with King Billy
    And God Save the Pope.
    (My MIL was from Ulster.)

    Reply
  106. Yes, we played Chinese jumo rope-the “rope” was made with elastic bands. Also “Capture the White Flag”, which was a war game. You could capture ‘prisoners’, and ranged far and wide over the neighborhood for hours until someone captured the other team’s flag. We played a type of freeze tag called “Three Steps Over Germany”. We played “Neptune’s Call” which was a game of tag played in the water. I also remember a board game that my grandfather taught me called Sheep and Wolves. There was one black button which represented the wolf, and 12 white buttons were the sheep.

    Reply
  107. Yes, we played Chinese jumo rope-the “rope” was made with elastic bands. Also “Capture the White Flag”, which was a war game. You could capture ‘prisoners’, and ranged far and wide over the neighborhood for hours until someone captured the other team’s flag. We played a type of freeze tag called “Three Steps Over Germany”. We played “Neptune’s Call” which was a game of tag played in the water. I also remember a board game that my grandfather taught me called Sheep and Wolves. There was one black button which represented the wolf, and 12 white buttons were the sheep.

    Reply
  108. Yes, we played Chinese jumo rope-the “rope” was made with elastic bands. Also “Capture the White Flag”, which was a war game. You could capture ‘prisoners’, and ranged far and wide over the neighborhood for hours until someone captured the other team’s flag. We played a type of freeze tag called “Three Steps Over Germany”. We played “Neptune’s Call” which was a game of tag played in the water. I also remember a board game that my grandfather taught me called Sheep and Wolves. There was one black button which represented the wolf, and 12 white buttons were the sheep.

    Reply
  109. Yes, we played Chinese jumo rope-the “rope” was made with elastic bands. Also “Capture the White Flag”, which was a war game. You could capture ‘prisoners’, and ranged far and wide over the neighborhood for hours until someone captured the other team’s flag. We played a type of freeze tag called “Three Steps Over Germany”. We played “Neptune’s Call” which was a game of tag played in the water. I also remember a board game that my grandfather taught me called Sheep and Wolves. There was one black button which represented the wolf, and 12 white buttons were the sheep.

    Reply
  110. Yes, we played Chinese jumo rope-the “rope” was made with elastic bands. Also “Capture the White Flag”, which was a war game. You could capture ‘prisoners’, and ranged far and wide over the neighborhood for hours until someone captured the other team’s flag. We played a type of freeze tag called “Three Steps Over Germany”. We played “Neptune’s Call” which was a game of tag played in the water. I also remember a board game that my grandfather taught me called Sheep and Wolves. There was one black button which represented the wolf, and 12 white buttons were the sheep.

    Reply
  111. Another lovely, lovely post, Anne! Thank you. I went to the sort of school like Elizabeth H where there were trees to climb and places to hide. We played with conkers too Wouldn’t be allowed to do that now for health and safety reasons!

    Reply
  112. Another lovely, lovely post, Anne! Thank you. I went to the sort of school like Elizabeth H where there were trees to climb and places to hide. We played with conkers too Wouldn’t be allowed to do that now for health and safety reasons!

    Reply
  113. Another lovely, lovely post, Anne! Thank you. I went to the sort of school like Elizabeth H where there were trees to climb and places to hide. We played with conkers too Wouldn’t be allowed to do that now for health and safety reasons!

    Reply
  114. Another lovely, lovely post, Anne! Thank you. I went to the sort of school like Elizabeth H where there were trees to climb and places to hide. We played with conkers too Wouldn’t be allowed to do that now for health and safety reasons!

    Reply
  115. Another lovely, lovely post, Anne! Thank you. I went to the sort of school like Elizabeth H where there were trees to climb and places to hide. We played with conkers too Wouldn’t be allowed to do that now for health and safety reasons!

    Reply
  116. Hi Anne
    Thank you for bringing back my wonderful childhood memories. I grew up in Australia with six beautiful sisters and many other children in the neighborhood. We played outdoors all day and the girls played many clapping games One that comes to mind was:
    Under the brambush
    Under the sea hey, hey, hey
    True love to you my darling
    True love to me hey, hey, hey
    When we get married
    Happy we will be hey, hey, hey
    Under the old gum tree
    Tree, tree, tree
    or clapping games to see who was ‘it’ for chasey….
    Who stole the cookies
    From the cookie jar?
    Number one stole the cookies
    From the cookie jar
    Who me?, yes you
    It couldn’t be
    Then who stole the cookies
    From the cookie jar?
    Number two stole the cookies
    From the cookie jar
    …and so on around the number of people playing…whoever it ended on they were ‘it’ for chasing games.
    There was also a lot of skipping and hopscotch, scarecrow tiggy, games under the sprinkler during our hot summers and hide & seek games.
    Looking back on those carefree days and the era, my sisters and I often discuss what a marvelous time we grew up in. There was a sense of family and community and loving memories of all sitting around the kitchen table on a Sunday morning talking and laughing as we podded peas and cut vegetables for the lunchtime roast. Mum was always studying history and our family trees so she would sit with us and talk about our family history imparting what our ancestors all did. We never locked doors or cars and were ever so excited when we received new novels for Christmas presents. An innocent, but stress free time.
    Mum loves reading and her favourites are historical romance novels and she has passed this legacy on to me. We love to escape into past eras and discuss the times. I cherish this bond we have and thank all authors for the joy you bring to many lives with your special gift.

    Reply
  117. Hi Anne
    Thank you for bringing back my wonderful childhood memories. I grew up in Australia with six beautiful sisters and many other children in the neighborhood. We played outdoors all day and the girls played many clapping games One that comes to mind was:
    Under the brambush
    Under the sea hey, hey, hey
    True love to you my darling
    True love to me hey, hey, hey
    When we get married
    Happy we will be hey, hey, hey
    Under the old gum tree
    Tree, tree, tree
    or clapping games to see who was ‘it’ for chasey….
    Who stole the cookies
    From the cookie jar?
    Number one stole the cookies
    From the cookie jar
    Who me?, yes you
    It couldn’t be
    Then who stole the cookies
    From the cookie jar?
    Number two stole the cookies
    From the cookie jar
    …and so on around the number of people playing…whoever it ended on they were ‘it’ for chasing games.
    There was also a lot of skipping and hopscotch, scarecrow tiggy, games under the sprinkler during our hot summers and hide & seek games.
    Looking back on those carefree days and the era, my sisters and I often discuss what a marvelous time we grew up in. There was a sense of family and community and loving memories of all sitting around the kitchen table on a Sunday morning talking and laughing as we podded peas and cut vegetables for the lunchtime roast. Mum was always studying history and our family trees so she would sit with us and talk about our family history imparting what our ancestors all did. We never locked doors or cars and were ever so excited when we received new novels for Christmas presents. An innocent, but stress free time.
    Mum loves reading and her favourites are historical romance novels and she has passed this legacy on to me. We love to escape into past eras and discuss the times. I cherish this bond we have and thank all authors for the joy you bring to many lives with your special gift.

    Reply
  118. Hi Anne
    Thank you for bringing back my wonderful childhood memories. I grew up in Australia with six beautiful sisters and many other children in the neighborhood. We played outdoors all day and the girls played many clapping games One that comes to mind was:
    Under the brambush
    Under the sea hey, hey, hey
    True love to you my darling
    True love to me hey, hey, hey
    When we get married
    Happy we will be hey, hey, hey
    Under the old gum tree
    Tree, tree, tree
    or clapping games to see who was ‘it’ for chasey….
    Who stole the cookies
    From the cookie jar?
    Number one stole the cookies
    From the cookie jar
    Who me?, yes you
    It couldn’t be
    Then who stole the cookies
    From the cookie jar?
    Number two stole the cookies
    From the cookie jar
    …and so on around the number of people playing…whoever it ended on they were ‘it’ for chasing games.
    There was also a lot of skipping and hopscotch, scarecrow tiggy, games under the sprinkler during our hot summers and hide & seek games.
    Looking back on those carefree days and the era, my sisters and I often discuss what a marvelous time we grew up in. There was a sense of family and community and loving memories of all sitting around the kitchen table on a Sunday morning talking and laughing as we podded peas and cut vegetables for the lunchtime roast. Mum was always studying history and our family trees so she would sit with us and talk about our family history imparting what our ancestors all did. We never locked doors or cars and were ever so excited when we received new novels for Christmas presents. An innocent, but stress free time.
    Mum loves reading and her favourites are historical romance novels and she has passed this legacy on to me. We love to escape into past eras and discuss the times. I cherish this bond we have and thank all authors for the joy you bring to many lives with your special gift.

    Reply
  119. Hi Anne
    Thank you for bringing back my wonderful childhood memories. I grew up in Australia with six beautiful sisters and many other children in the neighborhood. We played outdoors all day and the girls played many clapping games One that comes to mind was:
    Under the brambush
    Under the sea hey, hey, hey
    True love to you my darling
    True love to me hey, hey, hey
    When we get married
    Happy we will be hey, hey, hey
    Under the old gum tree
    Tree, tree, tree
    or clapping games to see who was ‘it’ for chasey….
    Who stole the cookies
    From the cookie jar?
    Number one stole the cookies
    From the cookie jar
    Who me?, yes you
    It couldn’t be
    Then who stole the cookies
    From the cookie jar?
    Number two stole the cookies
    From the cookie jar
    …and so on around the number of people playing…whoever it ended on they were ‘it’ for chasing games.
    There was also a lot of skipping and hopscotch, scarecrow tiggy, games under the sprinkler during our hot summers and hide & seek games.
    Looking back on those carefree days and the era, my sisters and I often discuss what a marvelous time we grew up in. There was a sense of family and community and loving memories of all sitting around the kitchen table on a Sunday morning talking and laughing as we podded peas and cut vegetables for the lunchtime roast. Mum was always studying history and our family trees so she would sit with us and talk about our family history imparting what our ancestors all did. We never locked doors or cars and were ever so excited when we received new novels for Christmas presents. An innocent, but stress free time.
    Mum loves reading and her favourites are historical romance novels and she has passed this legacy on to me. We love to escape into past eras and discuss the times. I cherish this bond we have and thank all authors for the joy you bring to many lives with your special gift.

    Reply
  120. Hi Anne
    Thank you for bringing back my wonderful childhood memories. I grew up in Australia with six beautiful sisters and many other children in the neighborhood. We played outdoors all day and the girls played many clapping games One that comes to mind was:
    Under the brambush
    Under the sea hey, hey, hey
    True love to you my darling
    True love to me hey, hey, hey
    When we get married
    Happy we will be hey, hey, hey
    Under the old gum tree
    Tree, tree, tree
    or clapping games to see who was ‘it’ for chasey….
    Who stole the cookies
    From the cookie jar?
    Number one stole the cookies
    From the cookie jar
    Who me?, yes you
    It couldn’t be
    Then who stole the cookies
    From the cookie jar?
    Number two stole the cookies
    From the cookie jar
    …and so on around the number of people playing…whoever it ended on they were ‘it’ for chasing games.
    There was also a lot of skipping and hopscotch, scarecrow tiggy, games under the sprinkler during our hot summers and hide & seek games.
    Looking back on those carefree days and the era, my sisters and I often discuss what a marvelous time we grew up in. There was a sense of family and community and loving memories of all sitting around the kitchen table on a Sunday morning talking and laughing as we podded peas and cut vegetables for the lunchtime roast. Mum was always studying history and our family trees so she would sit with us and talk about our family history imparting what our ancestors all did. We never locked doors or cars and were ever so excited when we received new novels for Christmas presents. An innocent, but stress free time.
    Mum loves reading and her favourites are historical romance novels and she has passed this legacy on to me. We love to escape into past eras and discuss the times. I cherish this bond we have and thank all authors for the joy you bring to many lives with your special gift.

    Reply
  121. Oh, Dee, I remember Double Dutch — I used to love it. And the blue bells cockle shells rhyme, too. And we played London Bridge is falling down, too, and…. did we chop people’s heads off? I think we did.
    Thank you so much for sharing.
    Maureen, thanks for dropping by. May I Mother rings a bell with me, too, though a vague one. I may well have it mixed up with What’s the Time Mr Woolf?
    Minna, I loved cops and robbers, especially played at twilight, when we’d merge into the shadows.

    Reply
  122. Oh, Dee, I remember Double Dutch — I used to love it. And the blue bells cockle shells rhyme, too. And we played London Bridge is falling down, too, and…. did we chop people’s heads off? I think we did.
    Thank you so much for sharing.
    Maureen, thanks for dropping by. May I Mother rings a bell with me, too, though a vague one. I may well have it mixed up with What’s the Time Mr Woolf?
    Minna, I loved cops and robbers, especially played at twilight, when we’d merge into the shadows.

    Reply
  123. Oh, Dee, I remember Double Dutch — I used to love it. And the blue bells cockle shells rhyme, too. And we played London Bridge is falling down, too, and…. did we chop people’s heads off? I think we did.
    Thank you so much for sharing.
    Maureen, thanks for dropping by. May I Mother rings a bell with me, too, though a vague one. I may well have it mixed up with What’s the Time Mr Woolf?
    Minna, I loved cops and robbers, especially played at twilight, when we’d merge into the shadows.

    Reply
  124. Oh, Dee, I remember Double Dutch — I used to love it. And the blue bells cockle shells rhyme, too. And we played London Bridge is falling down, too, and…. did we chop people’s heads off? I think we did.
    Thank you so much for sharing.
    Maureen, thanks for dropping by. May I Mother rings a bell with me, too, though a vague one. I may well have it mixed up with What’s the Time Mr Woolf?
    Minna, I loved cops and robbers, especially played at twilight, when we’d merge into the shadows.

    Reply
  125. Oh, Dee, I remember Double Dutch — I used to love it. And the blue bells cockle shells rhyme, too. And we played London Bridge is falling down, too, and…. did we chop people’s heads off? I think we did.
    Thank you so much for sharing.
    Maureen, thanks for dropping by. May I Mother rings a bell with me, too, though a vague one. I may well have it mixed up with What’s the Time Mr Woolf?
    Minna, I loved cops and robbers, especially played at twilight, when we’d merge into the shadows.

    Reply
  126. Love that skipping Rhyme, Kate. My grandmother was a proddy from Nthern Ireland and probably knew that one, too.
    Karin, those games sound wonderful. Sheep and wolf rings a vague bell in my memory.
    Someone should write a book and collect all these games — I can see a time when kids don’t know how to entertain themselves without something electronic.
    Leonie, I loved your post — I so remember Under the Brambush — I immediately started chanting the rhymes and the Hey hey! And the Who stole the cookie from the cookie jar.
    There was such an infectious rhythm to those little chants.
    Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  127. Love that skipping Rhyme, Kate. My grandmother was a proddy from Nthern Ireland and probably knew that one, too.
    Karin, those games sound wonderful. Sheep and wolf rings a vague bell in my memory.
    Someone should write a book and collect all these games — I can see a time when kids don’t know how to entertain themselves without something electronic.
    Leonie, I loved your post — I so remember Under the Brambush — I immediately started chanting the rhymes and the Hey hey! And the Who stole the cookie from the cookie jar.
    There was such an infectious rhythm to those little chants.
    Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  128. Love that skipping Rhyme, Kate. My grandmother was a proddy from Nthern Ireland and probably knew that one, too.
    Karin, those games sound wonderful. Sheep and wolf rings a vague bell in my memory.
    Someone should write a book and collect all these games — I can see a time when kids don’t know how to entertain themselves without something electronic.
    Leonie, I loved your post — I so remember Under the Brambush — I immediately started chanting the rhymes and the Hey hey! And the Who stole the cookie from the cookie jar.
    There was such an infectious rhythm to those little chants.
    Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  129. Love that skipping Rhyme, Kate. My grandmother was a proddy from Nthern Ireland and probably knew that one, too.
    Karin, those games sound wonderful. Sheep and wolf rings a vague bell in my memory.
    Someone should write a book and collect all these games — I can see a time when kids don’t know how to entertain themselves without something electronic.
    Leonie, I loved your post — I so remember Under the Brambush — I immediately started chanting the rhymes and the Hey hey! And the Who stole the cookie from the cookie jar.
    There was such an infectious rhythm to those little chants.
    Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  130. Love that skipping Rhyme, Kate. My grandmother was a proddy from Nthern Ireland and probably knew that one, too.
    Karin, those games sound wonderful. Sheep and wolf rings a vague bell in my memory.
    Someone should write a book and collect all these games — I can see a time when kids don’t know how to entertain themselves without something electronic.
    Leonie, I loved your post — I so remember Under the Brambush — I immediately started chanting the rhymes and the Hey hey! And the Who stole the cookie from the cookie jar.
    There was such an infectious rhythm to those little chants.
    Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  131. I have great memories of playing outside with the neighbourhood children. I can’t remember all the songs now. We sang skipping songs and songs for when be bounced two balls against the wall. We also put a rubber ball in a stocking and stood with our back to the wall and bounced the ball against the wall and lifted our leg up inthe rhythm of the song.
    One son I remmeber was
    1,2,3 sir
    have cup of tea sir
    No sir
    Why sir
    Because I have a cold sir
    Where’d you get the cold sit
    from the north pole sir
    Whatcha doing there sir
    catching polar bears sir
    How many did you catch sir
    1 sir 2 sir 3 sir…
    Each time you said “sir” you had to lift you leg and bounce the ball under your leg and at the end (one sir two sir part) you would see how high you could get before you could’t lift your leg.
    About 30 years ago I taught children some street games from a book I found in the librairy. I remember the names Granny Grey and Old Raggy. I can’t remember exactly how they went but the children loved them. Can anyon remember them?

    Reply
  132. I have great memories of playing outside with the neighbourhood children. I can’t remember all the songs now. We sang skipping songs and songs for when be bounced two balls against the wall. We also put a rubber ball in a stocking and stood with our back to the wall and bounced the ball against the wall and lifted our leg up inthe rhythm of the song.
    One son I remmeber was
    1,2,3 sir
    have cup of tea sir
    No sir
    Why sir
    Because I have a cold sir
    Where’d you get the cold sit
    from the north pole sir
    Whatcha doing there sir
    catching polar bears sir
    How many did you catch sir
    1 sir 2 sir 3 sir…
    Each time you said “sir” you had to lift you leg and bounce the ball under your leg and at the end (one sir two sir part) you would see how high you could get before you could’t lift your leg.
    About 30 years ago I taught children some street games from a book I found in the librairy. I remember the names Granny Grey and Old Raggy. I can’t remember exactly how they went but the children loved them. Can anyon remember them?

    Reply
  133. I have great memories of playing outside with the neighbourhood children. I can’t remember all the songs now. We sang skipping songs and songs for when be bounced two balls against the wall. We also put a rubber ball in a stocking and stood with our back to the wall and bounced the ball against the wall and lifted our leg up inthe rhythm of the song.
    One son I remmeber was
    1,2,3 sir
    have cup of tea sir
    No sir
    Why sir
    Because I have a cold sir
    Where’d you get the cold sit
    from the north pole sir
    Whatcha doing there sir
    catching polar bears sir
    How many did you catch sir
    1 sir 2 sir 3 sir…
    Each time you said “sir” you had to lift you leg and bounce the ball under your leg and at the end (one sir two sir part) you would see how high you could get before you could’t lift your leg.
    About 30 years ago I taught children some street games from a book I found in the librairy. I remember the names Granny Grey and Old Raggy. I can’t remember exactly how they went but the children loved them. Can anyon remember them?

    Reply
  134. I have great memories of playing outside with the neighbourhood children. I can’t remember all the songs now. We sang skipping songs and songs for when be bounced two balls against the wall. We also put a rubber ball in a stocking and stood with our back to the wall and bounced the ball against the wall and lifted our leg up inthe rhythm of the song.
    One son I remmeber was
    1,2,3 sir
    have cup of tea sir
    No sir
    Why sir
    Because I have a cold sir
    Where’d you get the cold sit
    from the north pole sir
    Whatcha doing there sir
    catching polar bears sir
    How many did you catch sir
    1 sir 2 sir 3 sir…
    Each time you said “sir” you had to lift you leg and bounce the ball under your leg and at the end (one sir two sir part) you would see how high you could get before you could’t lift your leg.
    About 30 years ago I taught children some street games from a book I found in the librairy. I remember the names Granny Grey and Old Raggy. I can’t remember exactly how they went but the children loved them. Can anyon remember them?

    Reply
  135. I have great memories of playing outside with the neighbourhood children. I can’t remember all the songs now. We sang skipping songs and songs for when be bounced two balls against the wall. We also put a rubber ball in a stocking and stood with our back to the wall and bounced the ball against the wall and lifted our leg up inthe rhythm of the song.
    One son I remmeber was
    1,2,3 sir
    have cup of tea sir
    No sir
    Why sir
    Because I have a cold sir
    Where’d you get the cold sit
    from the north pole sir
    Whatcha doing there sir
    catching polar bears sir
    How many did you catch sir
    1 sir 2 sir 3 sir…
    Each time you said “sir” you had to lift you leg and bounce the ball under your leg and at the end (one sir two sir part) you would see how high you could get before you could’t lift your leg.
    About 30 years ago I taught children some street games from a book I found in the librairy. I remember the names Granny Grey and Old Raggy. I can’t remember exactly how they went but the children loved them. Can anyon remember them?

    Reply

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