Guest Post: The Games We Play

Do you remember the outdoor games you played as a child? What about the rhymes which determined who was going to be “it” for the next round of freeze tag or hide and seek?

Engine Engine number nine,
Going down Chicago line,
If the train goes off the track
Do you want your money back – yes or no?

I’ve been sharing the rules of the playground games and simple songs of my childhood to my daughters ever since they were old enough to hold a skipping rope.

I remember many of songs we sang. This was (and still is!) is one of my favourites:

See-see my playmate,
Come out and play with me,
And bring your dollies three,
Climb up my apple tree,
Slide down my rainbow,
Into my cellar door,
And we’ll be jolly friends,
Forever more!

(We sang a different version when the teacher was out of earshot. What rebels!)

One of the other games we played was hopscotch. As kids we used ordinary chalk but nowadays we make our own sidewalk paint. The formula is very easy:

–    one part corn starch
–    one part water
–    a few drops of food colouring

Mix well, and use a thick brush to paint it on the pavement. It might not look like much at first, but when it dries it’ll leave a bright, thick chalky line…. perfect for hopscotch. And when we tire of hopscotch we use the rest it for freeform sidewalk art.

We’ve also made rocket balls and learned how to walk on stilts.

I love sharing my playground heritage with my girls. Not only is it a window into the little girl I was growing up, but it also proves I was once something other than a mother of two.

~ Andrea

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