Games in the Neighborhood

As the youngest of a big family, I spent much of my time playing games in the yard.  These games are great for bigger groups of kids.  I taught them to the kids I babysat a few years ago and they still play the games with their neighbors today.

Here are a few of the games I played and the rules to them:

Kick the Can– Jointly decide on a spot with plenty of space around it to place a ball and a spot for jail.  For the ball, my family always used a small clearing in our front yard or babysitting we used the middle of a culdesac.  For jail, we used either our front porch or a basketball hoop.  There is one person who is it. Someone kicks the ball, then the “it” runs to get the ball to bring it back to the decided place for it. While he is doing this everyone runs and hides. The it counts to ten with his eyes closed on the ball.  He then goes to find the players. In order to catch someone he must say the person’s name and location and touch the ball.  That person would then be in jail.  However, if the found person is able to kick the ball before the it completes his task then everyone in jail is free and the game starts from the beginning.  The game ends when whoever is it gets everyone in jail.


SPUD! – Everybody draws a number and keeps it secret.  Everyone gathers in the middle of a large space with a kickball or bouncy ball.  One person throws the ball high in the air and yells one of the numbers.  At this moment everyone tries to run as far away as they can, while the person whose number was called catches the ball and yells, “STOP.”  When this is shouted each player must freeze where they are and are not allowed to move their feet.  The person whose number was called now has five steps, counting “S. P. U. D. !.” Once he reaches the 5th step he too must stop.  He then tries to hit the player he is closest to with the ball.  The other player is able to avoid getting a letter by either catching the ball thrown at him or dodging the ball by moving his body, but not his feet.  If the player whose number was called does not hit the other player then he gets a letter and if the other player does get hit then that player gets a letter. The first player to spell out “SPUD!” loses.

These games have been the favorites in the past and are perfect for larger groups. Let me know if you have any neighborhood games you’d like to share!


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