I’ll be giving away another copy of my April release. More on that later. In the meantime, the heroine in my current manuscript has just agreed to serve as a temporary nanny for my hero’s three young children. The year is 1843 and she’s just arrived in Oregon City after five months on the Oregon Trail. Since she’s signed on to take care of three little girls I figured she better know how to play a few games with them. Here’s a few of the ones she’s chosen to introduce to her charges.
Cat’s Cradle: This is the same finger and string game I learned as a child. It’s thought that this particular game first showed up in Europe, by way of the Asian tea trade. Apparently, children in England played this game as early as 1782. It arrived in American with the early colonists. The game requires two people and six feet of cord, yarn or string tied in a loop. If you want to see how it’s done, clink HERE
Blind Man’s Bluff – One person is blindfolded and other players form a circle around him/her. The blindfolded person is turned around a few times then let go to catch one of the players. There are different ways to play the game. One way is that the blindfolded player has to guess who they have caught.
Ducks Fly – Players face the leader, who says what to do. Then they copy the actions of the leader. The leader will say “Ducks fly” and flap his arms. The players also flap their arms. The leader continues with other actions like “cats meow”, “dogs bark, etc. But the leader also tries to trick others by saying “sheep oink”. The players must remain quiet until the leader says it correctly.
Marbles – The object of the game is to win marbles from other players. The first player tosses a marble on the ground. The second player tries to hit the marble by tossing his/her marble at it. If the second player is successful, he/she wins the marble. If not successful, the first player has a turn to try and hit the second player’s marble. There were many other ways to play “marbles”.
Rolling the hoop – Children would run along beside a hoop, rolling it by using a stick. Sometimes races were held to see who could be the fastest. There were also contests to see who could roll the hoop the farthest or who could keep it rolling for the longest time.
Who Has the Button? – The players form a circle and the person who is “it” leaves (or closes his/her eyes) while the others pass a “button” or another object around the circle. One person hides the object behind his/her back. All the other players put their hands behind their backs, too. Then “it” is allowed three guesses as to who is hiding the object. If “it” guesses correctly they exchange places and a new person is “it”.
Simon Says – Players face the leader and must do what the leader says. If the leader says “Simon says, Thumbs up” and puts up his thumbs, then the players must do the same thing. The leader calls out and does other actions like “Simon says hop on one foot” or “Simon says touch your toes “, etc. But if the leader does not say the words “Simon says” and just says “jump up and down” the players should do nothing. Anyone who is tricked by the leader has to become the next leader.
Jack Straws – This game is like “pick up sticks”. Straws or very thin sticks were used. The straws were placed in a pile shaped like a haystack or tent (coming to a point at the top and spread out at the bottom). Each player took a turn pulling a straw out of the pile trying not to move any other straws. If a player was able to get a straw without jiggling any other straws he/she scored a point. Then it was the next player’s turn. The game ended when the stack fell. The winner was the player with the most straws. To make the game more interesting, there were “special” straws which were worth more points.
Interesting tidbit. Hopscotch has been around since the Roman Empire.
Have you played any of these games listed? What was your favorite game as a child? Leave a comment and be eligible to win a copy of my April release, CLAIMING THE DOCTOR’S HEART.