When we were kids, we couldn’t have guessed that the future would see kids spending their summer days with their faces buried in portable computers. I mean, our family’s computer used to take up half of the living room, and being online meant nobody could use the phone. So you only surfed the World Wide Web to add glitter graphics to your away message and to Ask Jeeves if the boy from Casper lived anywhere near you. Which reminds me, I should probably feed my Neopet. It’s been about 21 years. Do you think it’s ok?
While discussing how much tech has taken over since our childhood with some mom friends, we got to talking about the classic games that made our summers memorable and vowed to be sure these traditions weren’t lost to time. This summer, we are bringing back the nostalgic games that looked, smelled, and felt like childhood. And we’re giving our kids some real-world magic to remember.
Hide and Seek
Set clear and obvious parameters for what is safe and where kids can hide, but otherwise enjoy the sight of your children hunting for one another and doing their very best to stay quiet while they hide! Be sure one adult is keeping watch, as immersive real-world games can make kids forget about rules like “stay out of streets” and “don’t hide your little sister in any nearby trash cans.” While dumpsters are the last place you’ll be looked for, it’s not as great of a hiding space as you would guess. And we aren’t using any first-hand experience in this example. None of us had older brothers who would hide us in trash cans….right?
We like to think of this one as an upgrade on tag, as it allows children to be the hero to their fallen – er…frozen friends. When “it” tags you, you are frozen in place. Another non-frozen player can sneak and unfreeze you by tagging you, but if they’re caught before they get there, you’re both frozen! The game ends when everyone is found and frozen, or when the street lights turn on if we’re going by the late-80’s rule book.
Perhaps one of the more controversial games on the list, but only because there’s always that one player. But games like this remind children of the importance of teamwork, strength in numbers, and looking for the best opportunities they can find!
Kick the Can
A single-player stands guard over a tin can. Any old can from your pantry will work, sharp ends and labels removed. The other players do their best to sneak up and kick the can over without being tagged. If they are tagged, they now must hide and join the protector’s team, tagging other would-be kickers!
Four squares are chalked or taped out on a sidewalk or blacktop. Each player occupies a square, batting the ball from their square into another. If the ball bounces into your square, you have to hit it into another square without knocking it out of the field of play or allowing it to bounce a second time. Last player standing wins!
One of those games we didn’t realize was probably more about our parents needing a respite from the noise – it was enough fun that we never caught on! Simply throw a foam ball without making a noise. If you let it drop or make a sound, you’re out!
Sharks and Minnows
Essentially “tag”, but with a fun, shark week theme! A starting point and an ending point are designated (from the tree to the porch, for example) and a shark is chosen. The minnows have to scatter and scramble, getting from point A to point B without being tagged by the shark. The last minnow untagged is the winner, but the game gets harder as more minnows are tagged and turned into sharks, so kids must learn to dodge, dip, duck, dive, and….dodge!
Capture the Flag
Using t-shirts, socks, or bandanas in your team’s colors, the mission is to collect all of the other team’s flags without losing your own! Designate a guard to protect the collected flags while seekers hunt and collect as many as they can without getting tagged.
Did we forget your favorite classic summer game? Let us know! Drop us a comment on Facebook or Instagram, or email us at Hello@Wonderbunch.Com and we might feature your suggestion! We hope your family is finding all of the fun this beautiful summer!