7 Old Fashioned Games Your Kids Have Probably Never Heard Of

  • Family

Kids these days will never know the struggle of having to use their imagination to come up with games! With their iPads and Xboxes and Netflix subsciptions, entertainment is never more than a button away. Back in the day we had to come up with entertainment ourselves. So, next time there's a screen ban or blackout in your house, suggest one of these games to your kids. We reckon they'll enjoy it...


All you need is the pavement, some chalk and a rock. Players mark out a grid and number the squares. The first person has to throw a stone onto the first square. He or she then has to jump through the whole course set out, without touching the square with the stone in it. They the have to return down the course and pick up the stone before finishing up. Then the same person has to throw it on to the second square and do the same again. You win when you have done this with every square.

What makes this game so tough is that your turn is over if the stone you throw touches the edge of the lines of the box, or if your foot does the same while you hopscotch.

Noughts and crosses

The ultimate battle of wits – until both players learned how to cancel each other out. It’s fair to say that most games of noughts and crosses end in draws. But it’s just about the easiest game to set up and play – provided you’ve a pen and paper. If not, then paper, scissors, rock is always a fun time-waster!

Cat’s cradle

With this you just need a piece of string and some determination.  To the untrained eye, those taking part would be aimlessly wrapping their hands up in string. But what was really going on was pure poetry. Just as the fingers looked hopefully doomed in a stringy trap, the hands would pull back and reveal the finished Eiffel Tower, tea cup, or witches broom creation.


The original building game for budding engineers has been around since the 1970s and still stands the test of time. Kids love it! In fact it’s the perfect game for everyone, with edge-of-your-seat, gravity-defying action. Do you dive right in and pull your block, or take your time and study the stack? Jenga shows us a lot about ourselves too!

Four Square

Or known in Aussie playgrounds as 'hand ball'. Draw a large square (about two square metres) on the asphalt or driveway with chalk. Divide it into four equal squares and number them one to four; one player stands in each square. The player in square four bounces the ball once in her own square, then hits it to any other player. The ball must bounce once in his square, then he hits it to another player. If a player misses the ball or it lands out of bounds or fails to bounce in the square, he goes back to square one and the others rotate up a square. The player who spends the most time in square four is the champion. For a non-competitive option, see how long players can keep the ball going.

Freeze Tag

How to play:
1. Determine which child will be “it” (a.k.a. the kid who runs around tagging people)
2. Decide which areas are out-of-bounds. This will provide a contained space for the kids to play in.
3. The “it” child closes her eyes and counts to 10. During this time, the other children run and hide.
4. Once she’s finished counting, she opens her eyes and runs around trying to find and tag other kids.
5. To tag someone, the “it” child must touch a player’s arm, shoulder or back. Children can move around as they are being chased to avoid being tagged. Once the “it” child tags a player, that player must stand with their feet apart as if “frozen” in place.
6. To become unfrozen, another player must crawl under the frozen child’s legs without being tagged.
7. The game comes to an end when everyone is frozen. The last person to get tagged becomes the next “it” child.

What Time is it, Mr. Wolf?

How to play:
1. Determine which child will be Mr. Wolf.
2. Mr. Wolf stands at one end of the yard with his back turned to the kids. The other children stand in a line at the opposite end of the yard facing Mr. Wolf’s back.
3. Together, the kids loudly chant, “What time is it, Mr Wolf?”
4. Mr. Wolf answers with different times, for example, “It’s two o’clock!” The kids take a step for every hour that Mr. Wolf exclaims. For two o’clock, the kids take two steps toward Mr. Wolf’s back. For eight o’clock, the kids take eight steps. The kids can determine whether they take small or large steps.
5. As the kids take their steps, they repeat the chant asking again, “What time it is, Mr. Wolf?” He shouts out another time and the kids take the appropriate number of steps.
6. Eventually, Mr. Wolf yells out, “lunchtime!” When this happens, Mr. Wolf turns around and chases the children who have been approaching him. Any children who are tagged must continue the game as “wolves.” Any children who run back to the starting line (without being tagged) get to continue playing.
7. The new wolves join Mr. Wolf and also take part in the chase when “lunchtime” is called out.
8. The last player to be tagged is the new Mr. Wolf. The game begins again.

Red Rover

How to play:
1. Divide kids into two teams of equal size.
2. Each team forms a line and holds hands creating a human chain. The two lines face each other standing about 25 feet apart.
3. Decide which team will go first by flipping a coin.
4. The team that goes first chooses a player from the other team, and says, “Red rover, red rover, we call [name of child on other team] over!” while swinging their arms.
5. The player named in the chant lets go of his teammate’s hands and charges into his opponents. His goal is to break through their human chain. If he succeeds, he picks someone from the opposing team to join his team. If he fails, he must become a part of the other team.
6. The next team takes a turn calling someone over.
7. The teams take turns doing this until one team succeeds in capturing all of the players.

Thanks to Hasbro: This article is brought to you in partnership with Hasbro Gaming our Supporting Brand Partner for the Unplug & Play Initiative.

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