The games that can be played inside or outside the house.
By any number of players, from two onwards.
The games that require a minimum of props or no props altogether.
No need for teams and scores either.
Minimum of fuss with rules and extremely easy to understand. Rather, the regulations can be flexible and change as per the participants’ wishes.
There is no limit on playing time and requires set-up time of a minute, at maximum.
Teaches a whole lot of skills and competencies.
The only requirement for these games is lively children full of energy.
To top it all, these ageless games are liked by children of all the ages. For that matter, even adults like these games.
These games are an all-time favourite of O +ve and B +ve, our five and half-year-old twin daughters. They have never had it enough playing these games. Come rain and sunshine, be it the coronavirus lockdown or the outside of the house, the girls just love to play these games.
Hopscotch requires just a patch of land cleared of obstacles, a chalk piece and a stone for each of the participants. Indoors qualify too.
The hopscotch course can be drawn up to any numbers. We started by drawing up to number 8 and have now extended to 12. The girls throw the stone at the number, hop till the end number and pick up the stone in their return, without putting their foot inside the number, to & fro, where they threw the stone.
The children learn to aim and throw, balancing, turning and bending down while hopping on one leg and also, falling down in the process. There is no more fun than watching children hopping non-stop.
Hide And Seek
As an adult, one might think that multiple hiding places must be present to play this game. Just that, children do not share this thinking. They are capable of playing hide and seek everywhere and anywhere. Leave it to their imagination and they will conjure up hiding places out of nowhere. Just see them play for proof.
The catcher closes the eyes, counts to a pre-determined number while the other players hide. The catcher then attempts to locate all hiding players.
The children learn to count, hide, observe, sneak up and most importantly, to remain silent. Many a time, I wonder if the two girls know how to sit still and silent; I see them playing hide and seek and my question gets answered emphatically. Just that, they do not seem to ever do it for their parents.
On the face of it, this game requires five players and four pillars. We have played with even two players and two pillars and believe me; the game still retains all the charm. No pillars, even corners will suffice. No corners, no issues. The children will make do with imaginary ones in their minds.
The game has one catcher, standing in the middle, and the other players touching their pillars. They try to change their pillars and the catcher tries to get hold of them / the pillars they are running to. It can vary, as per the rules agreed before the game.
The children learn to be alert, try to see and rush in all the directions conceivable, and bang the pillars in the process.
Ice And Water Or Surface And Water
Though the name of the game involves ice and water; none of the two is required to play the game. It is all imaginary in the minds of the children. Again, just a patch of land cleared of obstacles suffices to play this game. Maybe, a piece of chalk to differentiate the ice and water, but children are fine even without the visible boundaries.
The catcher is in either the ice or the water and the other players in the vice-versa region. The players try to step into the catcher’s territory and the catcher tries to catch the infiltrator.
The children learn to observe and be alert to protect their turf, run and catch the person stepping inside without permission.
A prop is required to play this game – handkerchief, in addition to the obstacle-free playing area. Want to increase the fun – play the game with two catchers.
The catcher – blindfolded child counts or is turned around in the centre of the play-area and is let loose. The other children can choose to stay still or give directions to help or bluff, as per their liking and not get caught by the catcher.
The children learn to make use of senses other than eyes – ears, nose and hands to find their way when being a catcher and learn to remain silent, otherwise.
More Than Just Games
As an adult, I do not understand why and how these games are so popular with my children. That shows that I am an adult and it also shows how easy and uncomplicated childhood can be and is.
Being Children And Having Fun Is The Right Of Every Child. The above games play an undeniable part in the exercise of this right for children. The plain, simple and easy games, full of fun, enjoyment and excitement and also teach a host of life skills in the process. It is also a memory of a lifetime for the rapidly vanishing childhood in today’s fast-paced world.
What would be your addition to the above list of games?