These are some of the game’s I remember from my childhood. I have included them here because many of the titles of the games are used in everyday speech.
Blind man’s buff is a children’s party game. The blind man is a child with eyes covered by a length of soft cloth tied behind the head (a blindfold). After being turned round slowly three time to disorientate him or her, the child has to find and identify another child. This child becomes the next blind man.
Pass the parcel is a quieter party game, requiring music. A prize is wrapped in many layers of paper. There may be sweets between some of the layers as well. The children sit in a circle and while the music is playing, they pass the parcel from one to the next. When the music stops (at irregular intervals) the child holding the parcel removes one layer of paper. The game continues until the prize has been won.
Poor pussy is a party game where one player pretends to be a cat. The other players sit in a circle and the cat approaches each in turn. They have to stroke its head. The first person to laugh becomes the next cat.
Sausages is another game where the object is not to laugh. Questions are asked by one player. Regardless of the question, the answer is always “Sausages”. Anyone who laughs has the next turn at asking the questions.
Scissors crossed, scissors uncrossed is a sitting down game in which a pair of scissors is passed from player to player. Those who know the rules will correctly say, “Scissors crossed” or “Scissors uncrossed”. The game continues until all or most people have worked out that crossed and uncrossed do not refer to the scissors. There are similarities with the game “Whoops, Tommy”.
Hide and seek is a well known game which may be played indoors or out. One person is chosen to seek the others. They count to 50 and shout, “Coming, ready or not” before hunting for the other people. The first person found is the next seeker.
Piggyback is a way of carrying another person on one’s back.
Leapfrog is a game where one person bends over with their hands on their knees and another runs up puts their hand lightly on the other persons back and jumps over with legs apart like a frog.
Spot the difference is a popular puzzle, where two pictures are compared. The phrase is used more generally.
Cops and robbers, Cowboys and Indians and Doctors and Nurses were popular role-acting games when I was a child. Another was dentists, where the patient always had the choice of gas or cocaine!
It was also quite usual to play house or shop using empty food packets and perhaps a toy cash register and plastic coins.
Housey housey, Bingo and Lotto are alternative names for the same games.
A Jack-in-a-box jumps up when the lid is opened.
Recreation ground is another name for a sports field. That might be a good place for a tug-of-war. Two teams have to pull a rope in opposite directions. the team which pulls the rope the required distance in their direction wins. It is usually played as the best of three.
A playground has equipment in it and when I was young there was usually a park-keeper.
Here is a rhyme we used to enjoy about one of the things to be found in a playground.
I saw Esau sitting on a seesaw,
I saw Esau kissing Kate,
I saw Esau, ‘e saw me
And ‘e saw I saw ‘e saw.
St Paul reminded his readers in Corinth that people grow up both naturally and in their faith. 1 Corinthians 13:11-13