11 classic school games we hope children still play

Okay, we want to play them too. Right now.

There is a National Dodgeball League. Really. That staple of gym class is a professional sport. Which got us thinking, why aren't more classic school games still a big thing?  

Let's take a look back at all those activities from everyone's favorite school hour — recess. Some date back centuries, some are inventions of the 20th century. Some games, like Red Rover and Duck, Duck, Goose will never die. But we were wondering, do kids still play these? Which was your favorite?

Images: Thinkstock, except where noted

1. Four Square

The best move was when you prolonged holding the ball, moving things into slow motion, pushing the boundaries of the rules until you unleashed a monster slam.

2. Capture the Flag

No game was better for a large group. The bigger, the better. It was especially fun to play on two neighboring lots, with plenty of hiding places for the flag, jail and covert maneuvers. A good game could last for hours.

3. Ringolevio

Born on the streets of New York, this classic involved a sprawling cast of players, split into two sides that tried to capture the opposition in "jail." The game was featured in an episode of The Twilight Zone ("The Incredible World of Horace Ford"), as well as the novel Flowers for Algernon and a Notorious B.I.G. song.

Image: ringolevio.nyc

4. Kick the Can

Speaking of The Twilight Zone, we'd be remiss to overlook this hybrid of hide-and-seek, tag and capture the flag. Perhaps it's that eponymous episode or the Steven Spielberg remake, but few activities evoke such nostalgia.

Image: The Twilight Zone

5. Butts Up / Wall Ball

As this involves hurling a tennis ball at someone's posterior, we're guessing it's not around much anymore. Still, this aggressive mix of handball and dodgeball — of sorts — was the most fun to play up until the teenage years. It went by many names, depending where you lived, everything from Peanut-Butter to Sting.

Image: Wikimedia Commons

6. Jacks

How old is this game of bounce-and-swipe? Well, Homer wrote about it. As in the Iliad, not The Simpsons.

7. TV Tag

Everyone knows tag. Tag will never fade away. Yet this iteration of freeze tag was a favorite. When one wanted to free a frozen player, you would have to shout of the name of a television show. A series could only be named once. Naturally, it's close to our hearts.

8. Spud

The "it" player tosses a ball in the air. The others run. "It" calls out the name or number of one of the others, who must freeze. Then "it" catches the ball and tries to bean the frozen player. If hit, the player earns an S, P, U then D. First to spell Spud loses.

9. Seven Up

A common way to pass the time on a rainy day, this schoolroom favorite was always a fun way to let that secret crush know you liked them.

10. Parachute

Honestly, we liked getting caught under the giant parachute. It made us feel like a paratrooper.

11. Paper Football

This was an especially great way to slack off in science class, where there were larger lab tables. Some would play with matchbooks, some became quite adept at folding these origami triangles. There was still the chance of injury, when someone flicked that field goal right in your kisser.

Are you sure you want to delete this comment?


richardhoover7 26 months ago
i did play paper football once and got bored quickly sorry metv
RedSamRackham 38 months ago
* Capture the flag was the evening after supper game at summer camp that camp staff always got us to play. Older wiser campers would find a place to hide away from these stupid games * i remember a version of table top football in school lunchroom played with a bottle cap *
idkwut2use 38 months ago
Played 8 of 'em. Parachute, Seven-Up, & Four-Square are especially fun..
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?