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Games for kids can be found online and range from educational, fun to play flash games, video games, jigsaw puzzles, racing games, spot-the-difference games and more. Many of these are downloadable for free. The following is a list of traditional children’s games, some of them decades, or even centuries old. Their timelessness is what makes them just as much fun today as they were when played by children of previous eras. Most of these games require little, or no, adult supervision.

Duck, duck, goose. This is a traditional game that’s a favorite of preschoolers. A group of players sit in a circle, facing inward. The “picker” walks around the circle, tapping on each child’s head, calling them a “duck” until finally picking one to be the “goose.” The goose jumps up and chases the picker, trying to “tag” him or her, while the picker tries to sit where the “victim” was sitting in the circle.

Ball Tag or Dodge Ball. This is any of a variety of games in which players try to hit the other players with a ball, while avoiding being hit themselves. The object is to eliminate as many players as possible. A larger, soft ball is recommended to avoid any injuries.

Hide ‘n Seek. One person covers their eyes while other players “hide.” After counting to 10 or 20, the person says “Ready or not, here I come!” They try to find the ones who are hiding before they run to “home base” and are free. The first person that is “found” takes his or her turn at covering their eyes and counting while the others hide.

Follow the Leader. The “leader” is chosen and then the children line up behind the leader. As the leader moves around and makes various actions with their arms or legs, the “followers” have to mimic the leader’s actions. Any player who fails to do what the leader does is out of the game. The last person standing other than the leader is now the new leader.

Four Square. This game is also known as Square Ball or Box Ball. It’s played with four people on a square, divided into four quadrants. It takes no other equipment except a bouncing ball. Short rounds are played as the ball is bounced “square to square” to the other people. It’s a popular playground game.

Hopscotch is another popular playground game for children. To play, a course is first laid out on the ground. Depending on the available surface, the course is either scratched out in dirt, or drawn with chalk on pavement. Designs generally consist of a series of linear squares interspersed with blocks of two lateral squares. Traditionally the course ends with a "safe" or "home" base in which the player reaches, then turns to complete the reverse trip. The home base may be a square, a rectangle, or a semicircle. The squares are then numbered in the sequence to be hopped.

Red Rover is a children’s playground game that dates to the 19th century. It’s sometimes also called Bullrush or Forcing the City Gates. The goal is for one person to run to a line of others (formed by other players linking their hands) and try to “break” the line (or chain.) If the player is successful in breaking the chain, they select either of the two people in the link broken by the successful run and they for another team. When only one player is left on a team, they also must try and break through a link. If they do not succeed, the opposing team wins. Otherwise, they are able to get a player back for their team and the game continues.

Mother May I? One player, usually a female, is the “mother,“ but if a male wants to play, they can change it to “father.” The mother or father stands at the head of the room, while other players line up at the other end of the room (or yard, if playing outdoors.) The mother asks a particular child to different things, such as:
Take a certain number of steps forward.
Take a certain number of baby steps.
Hop like a frog a certain number of steps.
Take Cinderella steps (twirl forward with finger touching the top of their heads.)
Prior to doing as the “Mother” instructs, the child must first ask, “Mother May I” and the mother/father replies “Yes, you may.” If the child fails to ask “Mother/Father May I?” first, they must return to the beginning.


 


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