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Games For Everyone:
Adult Games - Part 1
Adult Games - Part 2
Adult Games - Part 3
( Originally Published Early 1900's )
Children may derive a lot of fun from a large supply of empty spools of all shapes and sizes. Pieces of cotton batting stuck in the opening at the top may serve as heads.
For the "army" gather together as many spools of the same size as you can, numbering each one. Choose a large spool for the general.
Arrange them in rows with the general at the head of a chair or box. A small ball, or pieces of muslin knotted into small balls, will serve as ammunition. When the battle begins, each child aims at the general, endeavoring to knock him over, and as many others as he can. The score is counted after each attack. If a spool has fallen over, but not off the chair, it counts but half its number; if on the floor, it is "dead," and the whole number is counted.
Shoes, four inches long, are cut out of cardboard, from patterns found in catalogues. The pairs are mixed and hidden all over the room, high and low, behind pictures, under mats, etc.
The girl or boy finding the greatest number of shoes that prove to be pairs receives a prize.
To add to the merriment, several pairs of real shoes may be hidden, too, and the children will enjoy hunting for the mates.
Fun for the children is in store when they play this game. All stand in a circle, not too near each other. One player stands in the center, holding a rope, or stout cord, at the end of which is attached a weight of some kind.
At the word "ready" the one in the center whirls the cord rapidly around near the floor. The players, to prevent it from touching their feet, hop over it as it approaches them.
In a short time every one is hopping and a lively time ensues. The one whose feet were touched takes the center place and endeavors to hit some other player's feet.
This is played similarly to "Stage-coach." Any number of children can play it. One is chosen out and is called the "gardener."
All the children sit in a circle and the "gardener" gives each one in turn the name of some flower. When all are named the "gardener" stands in the center of the circle and tells how he has gone to the woods to gather certain flowers, how he has transplanted them to form a lovely garden, the care he has to take of them, and so on, telling quite a long story and bringing in the names of all the flowers he has given to the children.
As a flower is mentioned, the child who has that name rises, turns around, and sits down again. Anyone who fails to rise when his flower is named must pay a forfeit. When the gardener says something about a bouquet, all the children rise and exchange seats. Then the "gardener" tries to get a seat, and if he succeeds, the person who has no seat becomes the "gardener" and the game goes on as before.
Make a square or rectangle of dots.
Provide the children with pencils. Each one makes a line joining two dots but tries to prevent the others from making a square.
For a while it is easy, but soon the number of dots is scarce, and it requires careful marking to prevent the squares from being formed. Finally all the chances are gone and the next player completes a square, as a reward he is given another chance, thus completing several, then he joins two dots and the next player continues.
Each one places his initial in his completed square, so the score is easily counted. The one who has succeeded in making the most squares is the winner.
SIMPLE SIMON'S SILLY SMILE
All the players sit in a circle and one who is bright and witty is chosen as leader. He stands in the center of the circle and asks the most ridiculous questions he can think of.
The players when asked any question, must always answer "Simple Simon's silly smile." No other answer will do and whoever laughs or fails to say it correctly, must pay a forfeit.
One player leaves the room, and while he is gone the rest decide upon some word which has several meanings, which he must guess. when he comes in.
The rest of the players converse about the word, but instead of mentioning it, say "Teapot" in its place. Suppose the word chosen is "vain." No. i may say: "She is altogether too tea-pot for me." (vain) No. z says: "The tea-pot pointed North yesterday." (vane) No. 3: "The tea-pot is blue:" (vein), and so on, each in turn making some remark about the chosen word until the player has guessed it correctly. The person who gave the broadest hint about the hidden word must leave the room next.
BLIND MAN'S BUFF
It is hardly necessary to describe this game as almost everybody knows how to play it. There may be some who do not know, however, so it is included here.
Clear the room as much as possible, pushing all the chairs, tables, etc., against the walls. The child chosen as "Buff" is blindfolded, and is asked the following question by the other children. "How many horses has your father got?" He answers "Three:" "What color are they?" "Black, white, and gray," is answered. Everyone calls out "Turn around three times and catch whom you may."
"Buff" turns around, and then tries to catch whoever he can. The children try to escape him by dodging him until finally one is caught, and before the handkerchief is raised, "Buff" must guess whom he has caught. If he guesses correctly, the one caught becomes "Buff."
CAT AND MOUSE
The children sit in two rows facing each other, with a space between. Blindfold two children, one being the "cat" and the other the "mouse."
The "cat" stands at one end of the row and the "mouse" at the other. They start in opposite directions and the "cat" tries to catch the "mouse." The children may give hints as to the direction the players are to go in.
When the "mouse" is caught, he becomes "cat," and another child is chosen as "mouse."
Musical Chairs, or Going to Jerusalem, is a favorite game of the children. Someone who plays the piano well starts up a lively tune and the children march around a row of chairs which have been arranged facing alternately in opposite directions. There should be one less chair than the number of players.
When the music stops, each child tries to find a seat. Someone will be left out, as there is one chair short. This one takes another chair from the row and the game continues until there is one child left with no chair. This one has won the game.
All the children sit in a circle with hands placed palm to palm in their laps. One child is given a button and she goes to each in turn, slipping her hands between the palms of the children. As she goes around the circle she drops the button into some child's hands, but continues going around as long after as she pleases, so the rest will not know who has it.
Then she stands in the middle of the circle and says: "Button, button, who has the button?" All the children guess who has it, the one calling out the correct name first is out and it is his turn to go around with the button.
Arrange all the children except one on chairs or a bench. This one is the leader and she stands on the floor in front of the children. Beginning at one end of the row, she pulls each child from the bench, letting her remain in whatever position she falls. Sometimes she can tell them how to pose, for instance, she will say "Like an angel," and that child will fold her hands and look upward. Another might be "cross school-teacher," and this child may pretend to be scolding someone. Each child remains perfectly still, posed in the attitude suggested, until all the children are on the floor. Then the leader selects the one she thinks has posed the best and that one takes the leader's place and the game goes on as before.
OUR COOK DOESN'T LIKE PEAS
All the players except one sit in a row. This one sits in front of them and says to each one in turn: "Our cook doesn't like P's; what can you give her instead?"
The first one may answer "sugar" and that will suit her, but the next one might say "Potatoes," and that will not do, and he will have to pay a forfeit because the letter "P" comes in that word.
There is a catch to this as everyone thinks that the vegetable "Peas" is meant instead of the letter. Even after everybody has discovered the trick it will be difficult to think of words, and if a player fails to answer before 5 is counted, a forfeit must be paid. "My grandma doesn't like tea (T)" is played in the same way.
HOLD FAST, LET GO
A simple game for small children is the following. Each child takes hold of a small sheet or tablecloth, the leader holding it with his left hand, while he pretends to write with his right hand.
The leader says: "When I say `Hold fast,' let go; and when I say `let go,' hold fast." He calls out the commands one at a time and the rest do just the opposite of what he says. Whoever fails must pay a forfeit.
One child is selected to be Simon. The rest of the children sit around in a circle. Simon stands in the middle and gives all sorts of orders for the children to follow. Every order which begins with "Simon says" must be obeyed, whether Simon performs it or not, but if Simon should give some order, such as "Thumbs down," whether he puts his thumbs down or not, it must not be obeyed by the others because it was not preceded by "5imon says."
All sorts of orders such as "Thumbs up," "Thumbs down," "Thumbs wiggle-waggle," "Thumbs pull left ear," etc., are given. The faster the orders are given, the more confusing it is. A forfeit must be paid by those who fail to obey the orders.
One child, who represents the old soldier, goes around to each child in turn and begs for something, saying that he is poor, hungry, blind, etc., and asks what they will do for him.
In answering the old soldier no one must use the words, "Yes," "No," "Black," or "White." As soon as a child is asked, he must answer immediately. If he does not, or says any of the forbidden words, he must pay a forfeit.
HIDE AND SEEK
One child is chosen out. This one stands by a post or in a corner which is called "base," and hides his eyes. The children decide among themselves how much he shall count while they are hiding. Suppose they choose xoo, then he counts 5, xo, 15, ao, etc., until he reaches xoo, and then he calls out:
"Ready or not,
You shall be caught."
Each child having hidden in some place while he was counting, remains perfectly still while he is hunting for them. If he passes by some child without finding him, that one can run to the "base" and say "One, two, three, I'm in free!" As many children as can try to get in "free," but if the one who is out tags any of them before they reach "base," the first one tagged is the next to hide his eyes.
Two children may derive a great deal of amusement from this simple pastime. At the top of a piece of paper write all the letters of the alphabet. Underneath, the child who has thought of a woro or short sentence puts a dash down for every letter contained in the word thought of.
Suppose the words thought of were "Gamebook," it would be written thus: -The other player asks if the word contains "a," and the other puts it in its proper place, crossing the letter off of the alphabet above. The other guesses different letters at random, every right one being put in its place, while for every wrong one a line is drawn to help construct a gallows for the "hang-man:" If there are many wrong guesses, the "hangman" may be completed and then the word is told the other player. The players take turns in giving out and guessing the words.
The gallows is made thus for every wrong guess.
BIRD, BEAST, OR FISH
A simple little game for amusing two children is the following. Write on the top of a slate or paper the words "Bird, beast, and fish."
One child thinks of the name of some animal and puts down the first and last letters of the word, marking dashes for the other letters. His companion thinks over all the names
of animals he knows containing that number of letters, until finally he has guessed what it is or else has given up. If he guesses correctly it is his turn to give either a bird, beast, or fish.
This is an amusing game for children. A blackboard is needed upon which the verse, "Peter Piper," etc., is illustrated or written so that the words are mixed up and it will be difficult to point out. Some older person will be needed to superintend the game.
One child is given a pointer and as the others sing, to any familiar tune (Yankee Doodle, for instance) :
"Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers, Now if Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers,
Where is that peck of pickled peppers, Peter Piper picked?" she must point out each word or drawing as quickly as it is sung.
If a mistake is made in pointing, the child takes her place with the rest and another child is out. Each one is given a turn.
It is an achievement, if done successfully, and some suitable gift should be given as a prize.