Hopscotch, Hangman, Hot Potato, and Ha, Ha, Ha: A Rulebook of Children's Games

Overview

PLAYING RULES FOR MORE THAN 250 GAMES AND SPORTS FOR CHILDREN OF EVERY AGE, INCLUDING INDOOR, OUTDOOR, PARTY, TRAVEL, WATER, MEMORY, AND CARD GAMES
Games galore! From Capture the Flag to Stickball and Volleyball, from Jacks and Old Maid to Word Lightning, here are easy-to-use instructions, recommendations, and scoring for more than 250 popular games and sports for children. Presented in quick-access format, this unique guide is ideal for parents, teachers, adult referees, ...

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Overview

PLAYING RULES FOR MORE THAN 250 GAMES AND SPORTS FOR CHILDREN OF EVERY AGE, INCLUDING INDOOR, OUTDOOR, PARTY, TRAVEL, WATER, MEMORY, AND CARD GAMES
Games galore! From Capture the Flag to Stickball and Volleyball, from Jacks and Old Maid to Word Lightning, here are easy-to-use instructions, recommendations, and scoring for more than 250 popular games and sports for children. Presented in quick-access format, this unique guide is ideal for parents, teachers, adult referees, grandparents, babysitters, and camp counselors. Featuring:

• Games to play on grass, on pavement, on steps and stoops, inside houses for rainy days and parties, and while traveling

• Step-by-step instructions and rules for each game, complete with clear diagrams and line drawings

• Games for children of all ages and playing abilities

• Multiple lists that make it easy for you to find the perfect game for a specific situation (by number of players, etc.)

• The origins of games through interesting anecdotes

• Tips on choosing sides, determining who goes first, selecting who is "It," and more
HAVE FUN!

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780671763329
  • Publisher: Touchstone
  • Publication date: 8/1/1990
  • Pages: 285
  • Sales rank: 646,851
  • Product dimensions: 6.90 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Jack Maguire author of Creative Storytelling and What Does Childhood Taste Like? conducts storytelling programs and workshops in the New York City area.

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Indoor Games for Sunny Days and Rainy Days

Action Spelling

WHERE TO PLAY

Indoors or outdoors

NUMBER OF PLAYERS

4 or more

EQUIPMENT

None

OBJECT OF THE GAME

For players to spell words correctly, substituting motions for some letters

This is a more playful version of the traditional game Spelling Bee.

Before the game, the players should select one player to act as the spelling master and then agree on a set of motions that will replace certain letters of the alphabet. A could be a jumping jack, L a handclap, and T a kick.

The number of substitutions made for letters should depend upon the age level of the players. To make the game simpler for younger children, the gestures and letters can correspond: a jumping jack for J, a kick for K and so on.

The game begins when the spelling master gives the first player a word to spell. That player must correctly spell the word, using the appropriate motions for the letters indicated. A player spelling pilot would say "P-I, then clap hands for L, say "O," and then kick to represent T if a clap signified L and a kick T.

The next player spells a word given by the spelling master, substituting gestures for letters as needed.

Action Spelling can be played for points or as an elimination game.

VARIATION

Another way to play Action Spelling is to substitute certain motions for vowels and consonants. For example, a hop on one foot could represent a vowel, while a jumping jack might signify a consonant.

Aesop's Mission

WHERE TO PLAY

Anywhere

NUMBER OF PLAYERS

4 or more

EQUIPMENT

None

OBJECT OF THE GAME

To discover the letter that "Aesop" has forbidden before being eliminated from the game

One player is designated as "Aesop," and the other players are the "animals" of Aesop's fables. Aesop must secretly choose one letter that must be avoided by the players.

Play begins when Aesop asks the first player a question that can require only a one-word answer. A crafty Aesop will try to ask a question that is likely to be answered with a word containing the forbidden letter.

For example, if the forbidden letter is s, Aesop might ask, "Which is your favorite season of the year?" hoping the player will respond with "summer" or "spring."

If the player responds to Aesop's question with a word containing the prohibited letter, he or she loses one life. The next player is given a chance to guess the forbidden letter before being asked a question.

After losing three lives, a player is dropped from the game. The players try to discover the taboo letter before using up all three lives. The player who guesses the forbidden letter first becomes the next Aesop.

Animals

WHERE TO PLAY

At a table

NUMBER OF PLAYERS

At least 3

EQUIPMENT

A deck of playing cards

OBJECT OF THE GAME

To win another player's cards by calling out his or her animal noise before that player calls yours

Shuffle and deal the cards facedown around the table. Next, each player should choose an animal to imitate. When everyone has a different animal, go around the circle a couple of times to practice the appropriate noises.

One player might meow like a cat, another bark like a dog, another hiss like a snake, or moo like a cow, and so forth. All players should try to remember the animals chosen by the others as well as their own.

Play begins at the dealer's left. Everyone around the table discards one card faceup (in sequential order), forming separate discard piles for each player.

When one player lays down a card that is of equal value to another card in someone else's discard pile (two Jacks, for instance), those players with the matching cards try to call out the animal noise of the other.

For example, if the "cow" lays clown a 6 that matches the 6 on the pile of the "cat," he or she tries to meow before the "cat" moos. The first of the two players to make the right sound is awarded the discard pile of the other player.

A player who makes a wrong noise, or calls out a noise at the wrong time, must pay the penalty of the top card from his or her discard pile or hand, if there is no discard pile.

The game is continued by the loser of each round, who lays down a new card.

Any player to lose all of his or her cards is eliminated from the game. The player to collect all the cards is the winner.

Playing until final elimination is recommended only for patient players. It might be a better idea to keep track of a predetermined number of rounds and designate the winner as the player with the greatest number of cards at the completion of all the rounds.

Art Consequences

WHERE TO PLAY

Seated at a table

NUMBER OF PLAYERS

3 or more

EQUIPMENT

A few sheets of paper and pencils

OBJECT OF THE GAME

To draw an imaginary, figure and create an amusing work of art through group effort

If numbers permit, the players should be divided into groups of three or four. The first player in each group begins by drawing the head and neck of a real or imaginary figure on the top one-third of the paper. When done, he or she folds the paper back so that nothing can be seen of the drawing except a few lines that will allow the next player to continue the figure.

The next player then draws in the shoulders and part of the arms and torso. When done, he or she folds the paper back again so only a bit of the bottom section of the drawing is visible — enough to allow the next player to take up the drawing.

The drawing is passed along and finished by the final player, who then unfolds the paper to reveal the entire figure.

When there are two or more groups of "artists" there can be a competition for the best creation: silliest, scariest, most true to life, etc.

Surrealist artists of the 1930s called this game The Exquisite Corpse and used it to create a number of serious works of art.

Assassin

WHERE TO PLAY

Seated in a circle on the floor or around a table

NUMBER OF PLAYERS

6 or more

EQUIPMENT

Pencil or pen and scraps of paper

OBJECT OF THE GAME

For the "assassin" to eliminate all the other players from the game by winking at them, while avoiding being caught

Cut up or tear off a small piece of paper for each player. Mark one of these sheets with an X, fold, shuffle, and distribute them among the players. The players should open them secretly. The player whose paper is marked X will be the assassin.

After all the papers have been checked, the players form a circle around a table or seat themselves on the floor. Players examine the faces of the others around the circle, trying to discover who the assassin is. When the assassin winks at another player, that player must say, "I've been hit" and must drop out of the game.

If a player catches the assassin in the act of winking, the game is over, and the sharp-eyed player is the winner. But if the assassin succeeds in winking at all the players (except the last, who, by process of elimination, will soon learn who the assassin is), he or she is declared the winner.

Bango

WHERE TO PLAY

At a table

NUMBER OF PLAYERS

At least 3

EQUIPMENT

A deck of playing cards

OBJECT OF THE GAME

To be the first to match your hand to the card values called by the dealer

This game is a very simplified version of Bingo, well suited for children under eight.

One player shuffles the deck and deals five cards to each player at the table. The players place their cards faceup in front of them.

The dealer then turns over one card at a time from the pile of remaining cards and calls out its value. Any player with a card of matching value can turn that card facedown.

The first player who can turn all five cards facedown shouts, "Bango!" in order to win the round.

Keep track of the number of rounds won by each player if you want to declare a grand winner at the end of the game.

Battleship

WHERE TO PLAY

Best played at a table, but can be played as a travel game if the ride is steady

NUMBER OF PLAYERS

2, or 4 if you want to play with partners

EQUIPMENT

Paper and pencil for each player or team. Graph paper makes playing easier, but it is not essential.

OBJECT OF THE GAME

To sink your opponent's battleships by making successful "hits" on a grid

To prepare for the game, two grids, which represent naval battlefields, need to be drawn on each player's sheet. Each grid should have 10 blocks down and 10 blocks across for a total of 100 blocks. The blocks need not be very big — a quarter of an inch is large enough.

Across the top row of each grid, number the blocks 1 through 10. Down the left edge of the grids, letter the blocks A through J. Label one grid for the player and the other for the enemy.

Players then must place battleships on the grid for their respective "sides" by drawing lines through consecutive blocks to indicate their ships' positions. Each player has four ships: an aircraft carrier of four blocks, a cruiser of three blocks, and two destroyers of two blocks apiece.

Players mark their battleships on their grids without letting the enemy see their positions. The blocks must be located on a straight line: horizontally, vertically, or diagonally. A battleship may not be split up.

When the grids are drawn and the battleships are in place, the players should determine who fires first. The player chosen to begin gets eleven shots to try to bit the other player's battleships.

That player calls out blocks of the grid according to letter and number: B-10, F-6, and so on, until he or she has used up eleven shots. As the firing player calls out the shots, the defensive player should mark them on his or her own grid with a number 1 to represent shots fired in the first round. The firing player should likewise keep track of his shots fired by marking with 1 the blocks at which shots were fired on his second grid for the enemy.

Then, after all eleven shots have been fired, the defensive player calls out the location of each shot and whether each was a "hit" (if it is one of the blocks on which a battleship is marked) or a "miss" (if it is an empty block). Players should circle the blocks that represent "hits" in order to distinguish them from "misses."

When the first player is done firing, the second player gets the chance to fire eleven shots and is told whether they are "hits" or "misses."

The second round begins with a new group of shots. This time the player is allowed eleven shots minus the number of "hits" that player scored in the previous round. If three "hits" were made in the first round, that player is given eight shots to fire in the second round. Shots are indicated by the number representing that round: Use 1 for shots fired in the first round, 2 for shots fired in the second round, and so on.

Since the object of the game is to sink the other players' ships, shots in rounds following the first should be called in the vicinity of the hits previously made. In order to constitute a sinking ship, all the blocks on which a ship is located must be struck.

Play continues until one player succeeds in sinking all the other's battleships. A player must announce the fact when one of his or her battleships is sunk.

VARIATION

To make the game more challenging, players do not have to reveal that ships have sunk until all have been sunk, thereby providing no clues as to the type of boat or number of blocks to be hit. (Battleship was also known humorously as Swiss Navy before it became popularized as a manufactured game.)

Beetle

WHERE TO PLAY

At a table or on the floor

NUMBER OF PLAYERS

2 to 6

EQUIPMENT

One die; pencil and paper for each player

OBJECT OF THE GAME

To be the first player to complete the drawing of a "beetle" after throwing the correct sequence of numbers

Determine the order of play by rolling the die. The highest roller begins the game.

The first player rolls the dice, trying to throw a 1. Each player gets one roll per turn. The numbers must be earned in order from 1 through 5.

When a player throws a 1, he or she begins a beetle by drawing its body. A 2 is needed next before drawing the head. A 3 is then required to add three legs on one side of the body, and, on the next turn, another 3 is needed to add the three remaining legs.

Players who roll a 4 can add one feeler, and a second 4 gets the other feeler. A 5 allows the player to draw one eye, and the first player to throw a second 5 and add the other eye may complete his or her beetle to win the game.

Beggar My Neighbor

WHERE TO PLAY

Anywhere

NUMBER OF PLAYERS

2 to 4

EQUIPMENT

A deck of playing cards for every 2 players

OBJECT OF THE GAME

To win all the cards from your opponent — through chance more than skill

Shuffle the cards and deal out all of them into piles for each player.

The player at the dealer's left begins the game by laying down the first card from the top of his or her pile into a center pile, faceup.

If it is anything but a picture or an Ace, the next player follows by turning over one of his or her cards. If, however, it is a face card or an Ace, a penalty must be paid by the next player. One card must be paid for a Jack, two for a Queen, three for a King, and four for an Ace.

The player paying lays out the penalty cards one at a time. If none of them is a face card or an Ace, the first player may keep all of the cards in the pile. But, if another face card or Ace turns up, the original debt is cancelled, and the first player must now pay the appropriate number of cards to the second player.

Players keep exchanging debt penalties until no more face cards or Aces are turned up. The game then continues with the next player.

Eventually, players will run out of cards and will be eliminated from the game. The player who collects all the cards wins.

Bingo

WHERE TO PLAY

At a table

NUMBER OF PLAYERS

3 or more

EQUIPMENT

Paper and pencils; a container for the numbers (a hat, a box, or an envelope are all suitable); a large number of markers (coins, buttons, dried beans, etc.)

OBJECT OF THE GAME

To be the first to fill in a row of 5 numbers — horizontally, vertically, or diagonally

Making the cards to play Bingo takes only a few minutes, while the fun lasts much longer.

First, cut a sheet of paper into 100 small squares and number them 1 through 100. Place these numbers in a container. A box, a hat, or an envelope are all easy to use.

Each player can make up his or her own game card with a sheet of paper and pencil. Draw a diagram consisting of twenty-five one-inch-square boxes, five across and five down. Fill in the first horizontal line with any five numbers from 1 to 20, in numerical order (for ease in finding them while the game is played). The second line should be any five numbers from 21 to 40, the third any five from 41 to 60, the fourth any five from 61 to 80, and the bottom row any five from 81 to 100.

The players should also be given a handful of markers (small enough to fit within the size of the squares), with more available in the center if needed.

One player serves as the caller for the first game. The caller mixes up the numbers and then draws them one at a time. When the caller announces a number, the players check their boards. If they have written that number on their board, they may place a marker on that space.

The caller continues picking numbers until one player has filled in a horizontal, vertical, or diagonal line of five markers. The first player to do so calls, "Bingo" and wins the game.

For a longer game, try to fill up the entire card. Players can also pass their cards around for variety. Make sure everyone who wants a chance to be the caller has one.

VARIATION

For an even more simplified version, which is great fun to play while traveling, each player needs a sheet of paper and pencil. On the paper, each player draws a small diagram and fills in the numbers on his or her own.

The designated caller should not look at the numbers on the players' cards and should call out numbers at random. Players who have these numbers on their cards blacken out the appropriate squares with pencil, while the caller records all the numbers to avoid repeats. The caller should continue calling out numbers until a player fills a row and calls, "Bingo!"

(Bingo is said to have been invented by a nobleman in Italy, where it is known as "La Tombola." In the age of luxury liners, it was a very popular type of shipboard entertainment known as Housey-Housey.)

Botticelli

WHERE TO PLAY

Anywhere; also a good travel game

NUMBER OF PLAYERS

At least 3

EQUIPMENT

None

OBJECT OF THE GAME

To ask questions that will lead you to discover the identity of a famous person chosen by one of the players

One player selects the identity of a famous person familiar to all the players and informs the other players of the initial of that person's last name.

The other players try to determine the secret identity by asking questions phrased so that the chooser must identify other people with the same initial.

For example, if the initial is M, the first question might be, "Are you an Italian artist of the Renaissance?" The chooser must answer with the name of some Italian Renaissance artist whose name begins with M or answer a forfeit question.

If the chooser can answer, "No, I am not Michelangelo," then the next player asks a question. However, if the asker stumps the chooser, then he or she has a chance to request more specific information: "Are you male ("No, I am not male") or "Are you alive?" ("No, I am not alive"), for instance. The questions can only be answered by a yes or no.

The chooser continues answering questions: "Are you a Hollywood bombshell?" ("No, I am not Marilyn Monroe"); "Are you in the Baseball Hall of Fame?" ("No, I am not Willie Mays"); and so on, until someone guesses the secret identity.

Of course, players will try to ask more obscure questions in order to stump the choosers and, thus, gain clues.

The first player to guess the identity may choose the individual for the next round.

Boxes

WHERE TO PLAY

Anywhere

NUMBER OF PLAYERS

2 at a time

EQUIPMENT

Paper and pencil

OBJECT OF THE GAME

To connect the dots on a grid to make more boxes than your opponent

Set up the game by drawing a square grid made up of dots. Four dots on each side is a good size to begin with.

Choose one player to go first. This player draws a line between any two dots horizontally or vertically. The second player then draws a line connecting two more dots.

Eventually, one of the players will be able to form a box. That player puts his or her initial in the box and is given another turn. He or she may continue adding lines as long as each line forms a new box. If a new box can't be made, the game resumes with the other player taking a turn.

The player with the most boxes when all the dots are connected is declared the winner.

More experienced players will realize how to draw lines strategically to enhance the fun.

Buzz

WHERE TO PLAY

Anywhere

NUMBER OF PLAYERS

2 or more

EQUIPMENT

None

OBJECT OF THE GAME

To count to 100 while substituting the word buzz for the number 7 or its multiples without making any mistakes

Players count off to 100 in sequential fashion, replacing 7 and its multiples with buzz. For example, players would count out 1 to 14 as follows: "1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, buzz, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, buzz."

When only a few players are involved, there need not be competition, but if a larger group participates, players can be eliminated after two mistakes.

VARIATION

A more difficult version of this game is called Fizz Buzz. In this variation, in addition to replacing 7 and its multiples with buzz, the word fizz is substituted for the number 5 and its multiples. Some people also like to substitute for double digits of the same number, for example, "1, 2, 3, 4, fizz, 6, buzz, 8, 9, fizz, buzz, 12, 13, buzz."

Cat's Cradle

WHERE TO PLAY

Anywhere

NUMBER OF PLAYERS

1 or 2 at a time

EQUIPMENT

String

OBJECT OF THE GAME

To form shapes by playing with pieces of string

Games with string, like Cat's Cradle, are one of the oldest forms of play — prehistoric children probably created similar shapes from cords of gut. The names given to the game, from Crow's Feet to Barn Doors, reflect what different cultures see in the shapes formed by the string.

There are many ways in which to manipulate a piece of string to form amusing shapes, which are explained in books dedicated to string games. These are a few basic examples.

Needed for any Cat's Cradle game is a piece of string, about two feet long, with the ends tightly knotted together to form a single loop.

The simplest Cat's Cradle can be formed by a single player. To begin, hook the loop over the left thumb, draw it across the palm, and hook it again behind the pinky. Repeat this with the right hand so that the loop is stretched between the two hands.

Slide the right index finger under the line of string that stretches horizontally across the left palm and pull it back to the right, making the string taut. Repeat with the left index finger, pulling the string taut again.

This is the basic cradle shape. Turn the hands upside down and it becomes a manger. In some parts of the world, cradle and manger games are associated with the Christmas season.

Witch's Broom and Banana Bunch are two sequential shapes that can also be formed by one player. To begin, start in the same manner as the cradle: hook the loop over the left thumb, draw it across the palm, and hook it again behind the pinky.

This time, instead of repeating with the right hand, let the rest of the loop hang down. Then, take the right index finger, hook it over the line of string that stretches horizontally across the left palm, and pull down, making the string taught. What was originally the bottom of the loop now forms another line across the palm.

Repeat this one more time, so that there are now two smaller loops around the thumb and the pinky. Place the right hand inside the larger loop and open the fingers so this loop lies between the thumb and index finger.

Hook the right thumb into the loop around the left thumb, and the right pinky into the loop around the left pinky. Touch the right thumb and right index finger together and draw the string back through the large loop.

Hold the two loops out from the right hand. If you touch the right thumb and right index finger again, it will look as if there are three columns.

Insert the three middle fingers of the left hand in between these strings, one in each column. Drop the loops behind the left hand.

Turn the left hand so the palm faces up. Pull the middle loop straight up and hold it out. This shape is called the Witch's Broom.

Now, carefully pull the left-hand fingers out of the loops and hold them up with the right hand. There will be four loops hanging from one loop — a bunch of bananas, or in some areas, yams.

Ask someone to pick a banana. That person pulls one banana loop down, but it's a trick bunch — the loops will straighten out and all the bananas will disappear!

Cat's Cradle for two differs slightly from the game for one.

The first player wraps the loop in a small loop around one palm (except for the thumb) and then the other. Next, he or she slides the middle finger of the right hand under the string across the left palm, drawing it back.

Repeat on the other side: slip the middle finger of the left hand under the string across the right palm and pull it back. This is the Cat's Cradle.

The second player joins at this point by taking the string off the first player's hands. The second player takes hold of the X on one side of the cradle between the left thumb and forefinger, and then the other X between the right thumb and forefinger.

He or she then pulls outward and down, bringing the Xs through into the center section of the loop, pulling the string carefully off the fingers of the first player. The shape formed is called the Soldier's Bed

The first player takes hold of the Xs, which are now located in the center of the loop, in the same manner, between the thumb and forefinger of each hand, and moves them out, under, and up, pulling them off the second player's hands. The resulting form is called Candles.

To remove Candles from the first player's hands, the second player takes hold of the left string with the right pinky, drawing it back to the right, and then the right string with the left pinky, pulling it back to the left. Holding the string firmly with the pinkies, the second player scoops his or her hands out and under again, bringing them up through the center of the loop. The second player spreads the thumb and index finger on each hand to catch the string and pull it off the first player's hands. The result is a new Cat's Cradle.

Categories

WHERE TO PLAY

Anywhere

NUMBER OF PLAYERS

4 or more

EQUIPMENT

Pencil and paper for each player

OBJECT OF THE GAME

To think of the greatest number of items belonging to a chosen category, within a given time limit

From among the group of players, a list of about twenty categories should be drawn up. Players can divide up the number of categories to be chosen: if there are five players, each may select four categories.

Each player writes the names of all the categories at the top of his or her paper. To begin, one player chooses a letter of the alphabet at random. (A different player begins the next round by selecting a new letter.)

The players have a given amount of time — usually five or ten minutes, depending on their abilities — to write down as many words as possible that start with the chosen letter and correspond to each of the categories. For example, if the letter N is chosen and one of the categories happens to be States, correct answers would include Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, and North Dakota.

At the end of the time limit, players should trade lists for scoring. All the answers are read aloud. For each correct answer a player receives 1 point. An answer that no one else has thought of receives 2 points.

For another round, a different letter can be picked, and you can either keep or change the categories.

The player with the most points after a predetermined number of rounds is the winner.

VARIATION

A less complicated version of this game is First Names First, in which the only category is first names. Instead of randomly choosing a letter of the alphabet, a first name is selected. Players must think of more names that begin with each of the letters in the given name. For example, if Pam is suggested, other correct answers would be Patricia, Anne, and Mary.

P

Patricia

Paula

Penny

A

Anne

Alice

Alison

M

Mary

Michelle

Margaret

Charades

WHERE TO PLAY

Anywhere

NUMBER OF PLAYERS

6 or more

EQUIPMENT

Paper and pencils; watch or clock with a second hand

OBJECT OF THE GAME

To guess, in the shortest time possible, the famous phrase or sentence being acted out by your team members

Two teams are formed; one will start as the actors and the other as the audience.

Each member of the audience writes down a famous saying or title on a slip of paper. The phrase should be known to all and should be relatively short, something like Gone with the Wind or The early bird gets the worm.

The phrases are shuffled and then distributed to the actors, one to each player.

One at a time, the actors attempt to convey the phrase to their teammates through pantomime and a series of gestures that are used to clarify the pantomime:

* Arms crossed over the chest means that the actor will try to mime the entire phrase at once.

* A chopping motion signifies that the phrase will be chopped into words or syllables. The actor will then hold up one or more fingers to indicate which word or syllable he or she is trying to act out at that moment. By holding up two fingers and then making a fist, the actor denotes that the next two words or syllables should be joined together.

* A hand cupped around the ear means the word "Sounds like..." and indicates a rhyme word that is somewhat easier to act out.

* A beckoning motion means that the teammates are getting close to the right answer. If they are far off the track, the actor makes a pushing gesture.

* Looking forward signals future tense, and looking backward means past tense.

As the actor pantomimes, his or her teammates call out their guesses, trying to come up with the correct answer as quickly as possible. Someone in the audience should time the guesses and write the total time down when the answer is discovered.

After all the members of the actors' team have had a chance to get their messages across, they exchange roles with the audience team.

The team that has amassed the least total guessing time wins the game.

Cheat

WHERE TO PLAY

At a table

NUMBER OF PLAYERS

3 or more

EQUIPMENT

A deck of playing cards

OBJECT OF THE GAME

To get rid of all your cards by bluffing successfully

Shuffle the deck and deal it out to the players. The player on the dealer's left initiates the game by laying any card from his or her hand facedown in the center of the table, calling out its value at the same time.

The next player aims to follow the last card laid down with the card of the next higher value. If the first card is a 7, for example, the next player wants to put down an 8. This player places the next card facedown without letting anyone see its value and calls out "Eight," regardless of whether it actually is an 8.

It is now up to the rest of the players to decide if indeed an 8 was laid down. If no one wishes to challenge the player, the game continues with the next person, who lays down a card, claiming, "Nine."

If, however, any player believes that something other than the proper card was laid down, he or she calls, "Cheat!" The card is then turned over to see its actual value.

If it is the right card for the sequence (in this case, an 8), the player who made the challenge must add all the cards in the center pile to his or her hand. But if it is not the card it was claimed to be, the player who laid it down has to take all the center cards.

When the game gets heated, disputes may arise as to which player called out "Cheat!" first. A referee can be designated to resolve disputes, or a default system can be used. For example, in case of a dispute, the player nearest to the left of the challenged player will be considered the challenger.

After each round, the game is restarted by the player to the left of the challenged player, who lays down a card in the center and calls out its value, as in the beginning of the game.

The first person to discard all of his or her cards is the winner.

VARIATION

A variation of Cheat is called I Doubt It. The rules are basically the same, except that players may claim to have up to four cards to lay down in each round, calling out the values for all of them. For example, if the last card was said to be a 9, the next player can claim to be discarding two 10s, when in fact he or she only has one 10.

If players are not convinced that an opponent has the cards he or she claims to have, instead of calling, "Cheat!" players yell, "I doubt it!"

Clockwise Dice

WHERE TO PLAY

Anywhere

NUMBER OF PLAYERS

2 or more

EQUIPMENT

2 dice; paper and pencil for scorekeeping (optional)

OBJECT OF THE GAME

To be the first player to roll the numbers 1 through 12 in correct sequence

Roll one die to determine the order of play: the high roller goes first. Play continues in a circle from the first player's left or in descending numerical order.

The first player rolls both dice in an attempt to come up with a 1. If one of the dice is a 1, he or she has completed the first number in the sequence. If not, he or she must try again for a 1 on the next turn.

Players have one throw per round in which to try for the appropriate number. After one roll, the game continues with the next player.

For numbers 2 through 6, both dice may be counted in order to earn the needed number. For example, a player trying for 6 may get it in any of these ways: one 6, two 3s, a 4 and a 2, or a 5 and a 1.

It is also permissible to score two numbers in sequence in one throw of the dice. If a player is trying for 2, for example, and rolls 2 and 3, both may be counted as part of the sequence, and he or she will next need a 4.

Numbers 7 through 12 are scored by adding the spots on both the dice thrown.

The first player to throw numbers 1 through 12 wins the game.

(The game of Dice was played in ancient Greece. According to one story, dice were invented by Palamedes in order to keep his soldiers occupied during the siege of Troy. In another story, they were created by a king of Asia Minor to keep the minds of his people off their hunger during a terrible famine.)

Coffeepot

WHERE TO PLAY

Anywhere

NUMBER OF PLAYERS

3 or more

EQUIPMENT

None

OBJECT OF THE GAME

For "It" to guess the verb known to all the other players by asking questions

One player is chosen to be "It." A second player chooses a verb and whispers it to the remaining players.

When they all know the selected verb, "It" asks a question of each of the players in order to discover the word, substituting "coffeepot" for the unknown verb in the questions.

Take, for example, "ski" as the designated word. In attempting to guess the word, "It" might ask: "Do you 'coffeepot' indoors?" The player would reply "No." "It" might then ask: "Do you 'coffeepot' during the summer?" and so on, until the correct verb is revealed.

A time limit of two or three minutes to discover the word can be set.

The last player to give an answer before the word is guessed must be "It" for the next round.

Colin Maillard

(pronounced "My-yard")

WHERE TO PLAY

Indoors

NUMBER OF PLAYERS

8 or more

EQUIPMENT

Chairs for all players but 2; a scarf or rag to serve as a blindfold

OBJECT OF THE GAME

For "Colin Maillard" to guess the identity of the person on whose lap he or she sits

Before the game begins, one player is chosen to be "Colin Maillard" and another to be the conductor. The rest of the players sit in the chairs, which have been arranged in a small circle facing inward.

The conductor blindfolds Colin Maillard, who stands in the center of the circle. After he or she has been blindfolded, the other players quickly change places so that Colin will no longer know the seating arrangement.

When the players have all settled into new seats, the conductor announces that they are ready, and Colin Maillard may choose to join one of them. Colin should begin to move toward someone, aided by verbal directions from the conductor and a helping hand if necessary. Upon reaching a player, Colin turns around and sits on that player's knees.

Colin has one guess as to the identity, of the player. If the guess is correct, Colin and that player trade places. (The conductor should also exchange spots with another player so that all may get to join in the game.)

If Colin guesses incorrectly, the other players indicate the mistake by clapping. At this point, Colin must move on to another player and continue guessing until successful. If Colin seems to be in danger of never making a correct identification, the conductor may give hints to speed up the game.

(Colin Maillard was a celebrated soldier from Belgium. Though blinded, he was still successful in battle and was knighted in the year 999. The king admired his talents so much that he initiated a pageant game that featured a blindfolded knight, from which this version of Blindman's Buff has descended.)

Concentration

WHERE TO PLAY

At a table or on the floor

NUMBER OF PLAYERS

2 or more

EQUIPMENT

A deck of playing cards

OBJECT OF THE GAME

To gain the greatest number of cards by remembering their locations after they have been turned facedown

Shuffle the cards and lay them facedown one next to another on the table or floor in an orderly fashion — perhaps thirteen rows by four rows if you really want to be neat.

The game begins when the first player turns over any two cards, in hopes of uncovering a matching pair. If they are of equal value (two Queens or two 7s, for example), the player may pick them up and keep them, and guess again.

Cards that don't match must be returned to a facedown position, and it is then the next player's turn. (Before the cards are turned down again, players must call upon all their powers of concentration — hence the name of the game — to fix their locations, which will aid in future guesses.)

The next player flips over two more cards, keeping them if they are a matched pair and turning them back over if they are not. The game grows easier as more and more cards are revealed and removed.

When all the cards have been collected, the player with the greatest number of pairs is the winner.

For younger children, the game can be simplified by limiting the number of pairs available. Separate out ten or so pairs and lay them out, setting aside the remainder.

Concentration was known as Pelmanism (perhaps after the Pelman memory course) until the popular TV show brought the game into households across the country. The TV version was more complex: correct guesses revealed parts of a rebus beneath the board which also had to be solved.

Cootie Catcher

WHERE TO PLAY

Anywhere

NUMBER OF PLAYERS

2 or more

EQUIPMENT

A sheet of paper for each player; scissors; something to write with

OBJECT OF THE GAME

To make a "Cootie catcher" and use it to tell fortunes or make jokes

Begin with a square piece of paper for each player. A nine-by-nine-inch square works well.

Fold each corner over to the opposite corner to make two creases in the square. After making the creases, open the paper flat again.

Next, fold all four corners into the center. This will form a smaller square.

Flip the square over and fold all the comers into the center again, forming an even smaller square.

Flip it back over one more time, and slip one finger into each flap, pressing the center creases in together so that all four fingers bring the flaps to a point in the center.

Number the eight inside flaps, and write fortunes or jokes beneath them.

Have one player choose a number between 1 and 10. Open and close the flaps of the Cootie Catcher the corresponding number of times. The player should then choose among one of the four numbers displayed on the inside. Open out the flap for the chosen number and read the fortune inside.

VARIATION

Cootie Catcher is also known as Fortune Teller. In this variation, players label the four outer flaps of the Cootie Catcher with colors. On the inside flaps, they inscribe eight different numbers. And, underneath the flaps, they write eight fortunes — anything from You will marry Billy to You will be an astronaut.

To play with the Cootie Catcher, the fortune teller asks someone to choose one, of the four colors. If he or she picks green, for instance, the fortune teller opens and closes the Cootie Catcher five times (determined by the number of letters in the color chosen) while chanting, "G-R-E-E-N." The fortune teller stops on "N" and leaves the Cootie Catcher open to reveal four numbers inside.

The player must then select a number. While it seems logical to inscribe fairly small numbers here, there's an ingenious rhyme that allows the fortune teller to use any number imaginable. If the player selects 108, for example, the fortune teller chants, "One, two, skip a few, now it's 108" while opening and shutting the Cootie Catcher 8 times, rather than 108 times.

The player then picks one more number. The corresponding flap is lifted to reveal the fortune underneath.

Crambo

WHERE TO PLAY

Anywhere

NUMBER OF PLAYERS

At least 6

EQUIPMENT

None

OBJECT OF GAME

To guess the word that rhymes with the word given by one of the players

One player is selected to begin the game and choose a word for the other players to guess. He or she says, "I am thinking of a word that rhymes with —. "If the targeted word is heart, for example, the player might say "I am thinking of a word that rhymes with cart."

The rest of the players attempt to discover the mystery word by taking turns asking questions in which they define words that rhyme with the word given. For example, if asked, "Is it something you create?" the player would answer, "No, it is not art." "Is it something sour?" "No, it is not art," and so forth.

If the player who is "It" is unable to respond to the question with an appropriate rhyming word, the questioner can reveal the desired response and is given the opportunity to ask a second question. If "It" is stumped a second time, the questioner reveals once again the desired response, but this time play moves on to the next questioner in line.

The first player to guess the correct word gets to choose a word for the next round.

Crazy Eights

WHERE TO PLAY

At a table

NUMBER OF PLAYERS

3 or more

EQUIPMENT

A deck of playing cards

OBJECT OF THE GAME

To be the first to get rid of all your cards

Shuffle the cards and deal seven to each player. Place the remaining cards in a pile in the center of the table. Players examine their cards and sort them by suit, keeping them hidden from their opponents.

The player at the dealer's left initiates the game by laying one card faceup in the center of the table. The next player must follow with a card of the same suit — a club on a club, for example. If a player doesn't have a card with the same suit or wishes to change the suit, then a card of the same value may be laid down, for example, a 6 on a 6, which then changes the suit to the face card.

Eights are "wild," meaning that they can be played at any time. The player putting down an 8, is allowed to choose a suit for the next player to follow.

When a player is unable to follow with a card of the same suit or rank, or an 8, he or she must draw a card from the center pile. If the card can be played, it is laid down. If not, the player must continue drawing cards until he or she gets one that can be played.

If a player picks up all the cards in the center pile without finding an appropriate card, he or she calls, "Pass," and the game continues with the next player.

The first player to discard all of his or her cards is the winner.

Crazy, Eights can be scored with points if you wish to play a longer game: When one player has gotten rid of all of his or her cards, the other players must tally up the points of the cards remaining in their hands. An 8 is worth 50 points; Jack, Queen, and King are worth 10 points each; Aces are worth 1 point; and the other cards are scored according to their numbers. The player with the lowest score after a predetermined number of rounds wins the game.

Crosswords

WHERE TO PLAY

Anywhere

NUMBER OF PLAYERS

At least 2

EQUIPMENT

Pencil and paper for each player

OBJECT OF THE GAME

To score points by forming words in a crossword diagram

Before beginning, each player draws a crossword diagram (consisting of five boxes across and five down) on a sheet of paper.

The player chosen to go first calls out a letter at random. Each player must place that letter in a square on his or her diagram.

The next player chooses another letter, which all must place in their diagrams, keeping in mind that they are trying to form as many words as possible.

The players continue selecting letters until all the squares have been filled. When the diagrams are complete, players add up their scores as follows: Horizontal and vertical words score 1 point for each letter. A five-letter word scores a bonus point. Two words may be formed in one line (D-O-C-A-T would score 5 points as do and cat), but a word that can be split into two separate words (like canon — can and on) may only be scored once. Remember, however, that if it is a five-letter word, you get a bonus point.

The player with the highest score wins.

Donkey
WHERE TO PLAY

At a table

NUMBER OF PLAYERS

3 or more

EQUIPMENT

A deck of playing cards; pencil and paper for scorekeeping

OBJECT OF THE GAME

To be the first to get 4 cards of equal value and to avoid becoming the "donkey"

One player should be designated the scorekeeper.

In preparation for the game, the dealer should construct a new deck of cards by pulling sets of four-of-a-kind, the number of sets determined by the number of players. For example, if there are three players, the dealer could pull out 3 sets of four-of-a-kind, the 4s, 8s, and kings for example. Set aside the remaining cards — they will not be used.

Shuffle and deal these cards to the players. Each player looks at his or her hand, keeping it secret. Since the object of the game is to get four cards of equal value, each player should examine the hand and choose one to discard. If a player has two Kings, a 4, and an 8, the 4 or 8 should be discarded.

Each player places the discarded card facedown on the table. When all have done so, each player should pass the discarded card to the person at his or her left.

Each player then picks up the new card and compares it with his or her hand to see if it will be of use. If it will, then it is added to the hand and another card is discarded. If not, it is placed back down on the table.

The passing of cards should proceed as rapidly as possible; one player will soon have obtained four matching cards. This player quickly places the entire hand on the table and places a finger next to his or her nose.

When the other players notice that the cards have been put down and that another player has given the nose signal, they must hurry, to put their fingers next to their noses also.

The last player to imitate the nose signal is designated the "donkey" of that round and is assigned a D. The scorekeeper should keep track of the letters as they are given out.

After a player has lost six rounds and has been assigned D-O-N-K-E-Y, he or she is the loser.

VARIATION

Another version of Donkey is called Spoons. It is played in the same manner except that a bunch of spoons (or any objects that are safe and easy to grasp), numbering one fewer than the number of players, is placed in the center of the table.

When a player collects four cards of the same value, instead of using a nose signal, he or she grabs for a spoon. The other players quickly grab the remaining spoons. The player left without a spoon in each round is assigned a letter: S-P-O-O-N-S.

The player staying in the game without spelling SPOONS is the winner.

Drawing in the Dark

WHERE TO PLAY

Indoors after sunset or in a room that can easily be darkened

NUMBER OF PLAYERS

2 or more

EQUIPMENT

Pencil and paper for each player

OBJECT OF THE GAME

To draw a picture according to a story told by one of the other players, without being able to see the paper

An adult or older child should serve as the storyteller. Give a sheet of paper and a pencil to each of the players. When everyone is prepared, turn the lights out and darken the room.

The storyteller must invent a short tale which will be illustrated by the other players. The story doesn't have to be very elaborate, but it should include a number of different figures and objects which will be drawn by the other players.

For example, the storyteller may begin, "Once there was a girl named Denise. Please draw Denise." All the players should do their best to draw a figure of a girl. After a minute or two, players should finish up their drawings and the story will continue.

For example: "Denise put her dog, Spot, on a leash and took him to a pet show. Now draw Spot and his leash, which Denise holds in her hand. Denise and Spot admired the beautiful trophy that sat on the judges' table.

Now add the trophy and a table to your drawing. Denise and Spot entered Spot in the Pet show. Spot didn't win the trophy, but Denise gave him a bone for being her favorite. Now put the bone in Spot's mouth and finish up your drawings."

When the drawings are complete, turn the lights back on. The illustration that comes closest to resembling the scene described, as determined either by the storyteller or a vote of the group members, is the winner.

Dress Me

WHERE TO PLAY

Anywhere. This is a great icebreaker for a party!

NUMBER OF PLAYERS

At least 4

EQUIPMENT

A big old shirt

OBJECT OF THE GAME
To move the shirt from one player to another while they hold hands

The first player puts on the big shirt and takes the hand of the next player. The rest of the players try, to take the shirt off the first player and put it onto the second without breaking their handhold.

The only way that this can be done is to turn the shirt inside out as it goes over the first player's head. Once it is over that player's head and onto the next player, another player joins hands with the player wearing the shirt, and the first player becomes a dresser.

Depending on the number of players, the line can be extended until all the players have had the shirt on and taken off. If there are enough players and shirts available, this can be played in teams as a race.

Drop Dead

WHERE TO PLAY

Anywhere

NUMBER OF PLAYERS

2 or more

EQUIPMENT

5 dice; pencil and paper for scorekeeping

OBJECT OF THE GAME

To score as many points as possible in 5 throws of the dice

Playing order makes no difference in Drop Dead. Each player is given five throws of all five dice in which to score as many points as possible. The score of each roll is determined by the total number of dots showing.

Dice that land with two or five dots showing, however, score nothing. In addition, when a 2 or 5 is thrown, these dice must be set aside and not rolled again. For instance, if on the first roll a player gets 2, 3, 4, 4, and 5, he or she must eliminate the 2 and the 5 from the next throw and from then on will have only three dice to roll.

The player continues through the five rolls, adding together all dice that reveal one, three, four, and six spots and setting aside the 2s and 5s. It is likely that some players will roll five 2s and/or 5s before they get through all five throws. If this happens, this player "drops dead" and is eliminated from the game. The player with the highest score wins. For a longer game, the scores for more than one round can be added together.

Dumb Crambo

WHERE TO PLAY

Anywhere

NUMBER OF PLAYERS

6 or more

EQUIPMENT

None

OBJECT OF THE GAME

To guess the word acted out by another player

Dumb Crambo is a cross between Crambo and Charades. Like Crambo, a rhyme is given as a clue to the word to be guessed, and like Charades, the mystery word is acted out before an audience.

The players are divided into two teams: the audience and the actors. The actors leave the room while the audience chooses a word that the actors must guess. When the actors return to the room, they are told, for instance, that they must find a word to rhyme with "fake."

The actors are allowed to consult about their first guess. When ready, they begin miming an action corresponding to their guess. For example, they might pretend to be raking leaves. The audience must call, "Not rake!"

The actors then choose another word. Perhaps this time they will pretend to swim, and the audience will call, "No, not lake!"

Eventually, the actors will discover the word and mime the appropriate actions; in this case, perhaps, taking something out of the oven, putting candles on it and lighting them, blowing them out, and then eating: a cake. The audience and actors then exchange roles.

The team that guesses the words in the fewest number of tries wins the game.

Fifty Points

WHERE TO PLAY

Anywhere

NUMBER OF PLAYERS

2 or more

EQUIPMENT

2 dice; pencil and paper for scorekeeping (optional)

OBJECT OF THE GAME

To be the first player to score 50 points by rolling doubles

Each player should roll one die to determine the order of play. The high roller goes first, followed by the others in descending order, or around the circle from the first player's left.

The first player rolls both dice. He or she scores points only when doubles are thrown. Two 1s equal 2 points, two 2s equal 4 points, two 4s equal 8 points, and two 5s equal 10 points. However, two 6s score 25 points, and two 3s erase a player's total point tally, and he or she must start again from 0.

Play continues in order until one player reaches or surpasses 50 points.

Ghost

WHERE TO PLAY

Anywhere; a good travel game

NUMBER OF PLAYERS

At least 2

EQUIPMENT

None, except pencil and paper if you have a lot of players and want to keep track of their penalty letters

OBJECT OF THE GAME

To continue adding letters to a word being spelled without completing the word by adding the final letter

The first player begins the game by thinking of a word and calling out its first letter, for example, P, thinking of perfect.

The second player must then add a letter that will continue the word without completing it, perhaps P-O, thinking of poker.

Each player must add a letter in sequence, avoiding the completion of the word. If the next player can't think of a letter to add, he or she may challenge the player who added the last letter.

For example, a player having difficulty, adding to P-O-N may challenge the adder of N. If that player comes up with pontoon, the challenger is assigned a G, on the way to collecting the letters to spell G-H-O-S-T, which results in elimination.

If the challenged player has bluffed or cannot come up with an acceptable word, he or she gets the G.

After someone has been assigned a letter, a new letter is chosen and another word spelled.

The last player remaining in the game after the others have become "Ghosts" is the winner.

VARIATION

In this version, players can add letters in both directions — to the beginning and end of words. Using the previous example, players could add an 0 after the P, giving P-O, or before it, giving O-P.

Go Fish

WHERE TO PLAY

At a table

NUMBER OF PLAYERS

2 or more

EQUIPMENT

A deck of playing cards

OBJECT OF THE GAME

To be the first to get rid of all your cards

Shuffle the cards and deal five cards facedown to each player. Each player should examine his or her hand without letting the other players see it. Place the remaining cards, the "fish pile," facedown in the center of the table.

As in Happy Families, players try to collect four cards of the same value. Play begins with the person at the left of the dealer, who may ask any other player for a particular card that will help to complete a group of four cards of equal value.

That player must give the corresponding card to the asker if he or she has it. The asker is allowed to continue requesting cards until someone doesn't have what he or she asks for.

The player who doesn't have the right card tells the asker to "Go Fish." The asker then must draw the top card from the fish pile and add it to his or her hand.

The player who said, "Go Fish" becomes the next asker. When four cards of equal value are gathered, they are laid on the table in front of their collector.

The first player with no remaining cards in his or her hand wins the game. In case of a tie, the player with the most groups of four wins.

Going to Boston

WHERE TO PLAY

At a table or on the floor

NUMBER OF PLAYERS

3 or more

EQUIPMENT

3 dice; paper and pencil for scorekeeping

OBJECT OF THE GAME

To score the highest number of points by rolling the dice

Each player takes three rolls per turn. Beginning by rolling all three dice at once, the player sets aside the die with the highest score. The other two dice are rolled again, and the die with the highest number is again set aside. The third die is then rolled.

The sum of the three dice equals the player's score for that round. When all players have rolled, a round is complete, and the player with the most points wins the round.

The winner of the game is the player who won the most out of a predetermined number of rounds.

Gossip

WHERE TO PLAY

Anywhere

NUMBER OF PLAYERS

At least 10; this game benefits from having more rather than fewer players

EQUIPMENT

None

OBJECT OF THE GAME

To pass a message down the line and see how well the original idea was transmitted

Players form a line or a circle, with one player designated to start a "rumor." This first player very quickly whispers a statement or story into the ear of the next player in line. The story is rapidly passed down the line from ear to ear. The last player to receive the message most recite exactly what he or she has heard (it will probably have little to do with the original statement). Then, this new message is compared to the "original" version.

This game is also called Russian Scandal, Chinese Whispers, Telephone, and Telephone Operator.

Guess the Number

WHERE TO PLAY

Anywhere; a good travel game

NUMBER OF PLAYERS

2

EQUIPMENT

None

OBJECT OF THE GAME

To guess the number your opponent has chosen

Specify a range of numbers, according to the ages and abilities of the players: 1 to 100, or 1 to 1,000, for example.

The player selected to go first secretly chooses a number within the designated range of numbers. (Players concerned about forgetting their number, or about a cheating opponent, may choose to write down the selected number in each round.)

When the first player indicates that he or she has a number, the second player is allowed to begin guessing the number. The second player makes a guess, and the first player states whether the mystery number is higher or lower than the guess.

Keep track of the number of guesses made by the second player and then the number made by the first player when the positions are reversed. The player who discovered the mystery number in the fewest guesses is the winner.

The way to guess most efficiently is always to choose a number halfway between the given range. For example, if the number is between 1 and 100, the best first guess is 50. If the player with the number says "higher," the other knows now to guess 75, in order to eliminate the largest group of numbers.

Of course, for the most entertainment value, you should allow the players to discover this for themselves, or the game may wear out too quickly!

Guggenheim

WHERE TO PLAY

Wherever there is a fiat surface to write on

NUMBER OF PLAYERS

2 or more

EQUIPMENT

Paper and pencils

OBJECT OF THE GAME
To fill in the blanks of the grid with answers for the categories within a certain time period

Each player needs a pencil and a piece of paper. On the paper, draw a grid with six boxes across and six down (thirty-six boxes in total). Choose five categories of items. Use your imagination: flowers, movie stars, baseball teams, etc.

List the categories in the boxes going down the far-left column of the grid, leaving the box in the upper-left comer blank. Next, randomly choose five letters of the alphabet and list them in the top row of boxes going across the grid.

After determining the time limit (usually between two and five minutes, depending on the ages of the participants and the level of difficulty desired), the players should fill in the boxes with names of items that match the categories and begin with the letters designated at the top of the grid.

For example, if the first category is fruits and the first letter is B, banana is a correct answer. When the time limit has passed, the player who has correctly filled the most boxes wins.

Ha, Ha, Ha

WHERE TO PLAY

In any room large enough to accommodate a fairly tight circle of seated players

NUMBER OF PLAYERS

As few as 2, but the more the merrier!

EQUIPMENT

None

OBJECT OF THE GAME

To keep a straight face while the other players try to make you laugh

The players form a circle. One player begins by saying, "Ha"; the next continues, "Ha, Ha"; and the next follows with, "Ha, Ha, Ha"; and so on around the circle, each player adding a "Ha" to the string.

Each player must pronounce the "Ha Ha"s as solemnly as possible, to avoid laughter as long as possible.

Any player who laughs or makes any mistake must drop out of the "Ha Ha" circle. However, he or she now gets to try in any way (except for touching) to make the players remaining in the circle laugh.

The most serious player, by keeping a straight face, wins the game.

Hangman

WHERE TO PLAY

Anywhere

NUMBER OF PLAYERS

2 or more

EQUIPMENT

Pencil and paper

OBJECT OF THE GAME

To guess the secret word before an entire man on the gallows is drawn

One player is chosen to be the "hangman." He or she selects a word and records a series of dashes on the paper to represent the letters of the word. If the word is mystery, the hangman will draw seven dashes: __.

The first player tries to guess a letter that might be in the word. If the guess is correct, for example, a Y, the hangman fills in the corresponding blanks: Y __ Y.

If the player makes a wrong guess, however, the hangman begins to draw the victim on the gallows. For the first incorrect guess, the base is drawn. Subsequent incorrect guesses add the upright, then the arm, the support, the rope, the figure's head, body, right arm, left arm, right leg, and left leg. If the left leg is added to complete the drawing before the word has been discovered, the hangman wins.

When a player makes an incorrect guess, the hangman records the letter so that the other players don't repeat the mistake.

Any player who guesses the word before the figure is completely drawn, beats the hangman.

Phrases as well as single words can be used to increase the level of difficulty.

Happy Families

WHERE TO PLAY

At a table

NUMBER OF PLAYERS

3 or more

EQUIPMENT

A deck of playing cards

OBJECT OF THE GAME

To collect the greatest number of "happy families" (4 cards of equal value)

Shuffle, and deal the entire deck facedown to the players. Don't worry if some players get an extra card.

Players should pick up their cards and look at them in secret, separating them into "families" (i.e., all the cards of the same value should be put together).

The player at the dealer's left starts the game by asking one of the other players for a certain card (a 5 or a Jack, for example) that he or she needs to complete a "family." If that player has the requested card, it must be turned over to the player who asked for it.

A player is allowed to continue asking for cards as long as he or she keeps getting them. When someone doesn't have the requested card, the next player becomes the asker.

When all four cards in a family are gathered by a player, they are laid on the table in front of that player. After all the families have been collected, the player with the most families wins.

Hearts

WHERE TO PLAY

Indoors

NUMBER OF PLAYERS

3 to 6

EQUIPMENT

A deck of playing cards; pencil and paper for scorekeeping

OBJECT OF THE GAME

To score the fewest number of points by avoiding taking tricks with hearts in them

Shuffle the cards and deal them evenly to the players. Any extra cards are placed in the middle of the table, to be taken by the player who wins the first trick. Players should arrange their cards in secret by suit.

The player to the left of the dealer begins the game by placing one card faceup on the table. (Many play that the person with the 2 of clubs begins the game by playing that card first.) The other players must follow with cards from the same suit.

The player who puts down the highest card wins the trick. Players who don't have cards of the correct suit must put down cards of another suit but cannot win that trick.

Since no one wants to collect hearts, the best strategies are to lead with low hearts when you have them (Ace is high) or to dispose of them when you don't have a card to play from the correct suit. Keep high cards of any suit for winning tricks without any hearts in them.

A player may not put down a heart until hearts have been "broken," meaning until someone lays down a heart because he or she does not have a card in the suit that was led.

When all the cards have been played, players count up the number of hearts in their hands and are given 1 point for each heart card.

The player with the fewest number of points wins the round, and the player with the lowest score after a given number of rounds wins the game.

VARIATIONS

There are many ways to make Hearts more challenging.

Black Lady Hearts is scored in the same way as regular Hearts except that the Queen of Spades is worth 13 points rather than 1 point. Some players also play with the Jack of Diamonds scored as negative 10 points.

In Spot Hearts, the heart cards are scored according to their face value, making it imperative that players try to avoid the highest heart cards in particular. For example, a player with a 6 and a Jack of Hearts scores 17 points for the round (6 plus 11 points for the Jack).

In Greek Hearts, players pass three cards they don't want to the player at the left before the game begins. The game is scored like Spot Hearts.

An interesting twist that can be added to any of the spot-scoring games is called Shooting the Moon. If any player manages to capture all the hearts (or, to make it more difficult, all the hearts plus the Queen of Spades), he or she is not penalized. Instead, all the other players are given 150 points.

Hot and Cold

WHERE TO PLAY

In a room where an object can be easily hidden

NUMBER OF PLAYERS

At least 4; good for young children

EQUIPMENT

An object that can be easily hidden; perhaps a small piece of fruit or candy, which will then serve as the prize — you may want to have a prize for each player so that all may enjoy winning the game

OBJECT OF THE GAME

To find the hidden object with the help of the other players

One player is chosen to be the searcher and is sent out of the room. The remaining players hide the chosen object from sight, and the searcher is called back into the room.

As the searcher begins looking for the object, he or she is directed to it through hints given by the other players. If the searcher is far from the object, the others call, "Cold." If the player is near the object, he or she is "warm," then "hot," and "burning" as he or she draws closer. "Freezing," "cool," and other variations in temperature can be used.

How Do You Do, Shoe?

WHERE TO PLAY

Anywhere

NUMBER OF PLAYERS

8 or more

EQUIPMENT

None, except the shoes on your feet

OBJECT OF THE GAME

To pass your shoes around the circle and get them back again

The players remove their shoes and place them in front of them as they sit in a circle on the floor.

At the signal of the leader, all the players pick up their shoes and begin passing them around the circle in one direction as fast as possible.

When the leader calls, "Change!" the shoes should be moved in the other direction. When the leader calls, "Find!" all players should try to get their own shoes as they are passed around. The shoes are kept going around the circle until everyone has their own pair back.

Huckle Buckle Beanstalk

WHERE TO PLAY

In a room that has lots of potential hiding places for a small object

NUMBER OF PLAYERS

At least 5

EQUIPMENT

A small object to hide

OBJECT OF THE GAME

To locate a hidden object as quickly as possible without revealing its whereabouts to the other players

One player is selected to hide the object, while the others leave the room. The object should be hidden so that it is not immediately obvious but can still be partially seen.

The players return when the object has been hidden and begin looking for it with their eyes only — no touching is needed because the object should be at least partially in view.

The first player to spot the hidden object says, "Huckle Buckle Beanstalk" to signify that he or she has seen the object and then sits down without revealing its whereabouts to the other players. One by one, the other players spot the object and call, "Huckle Buckle Beanstalk." When all the players have found the object, the first spotter can hide it for the next round.

Hunt the Key

WHERE TO PLAY

Anywhere

NUMBER OF PLAYERS

8 or more

EQUIPMENT

A small object: a key, a pebble, a coin, etc.

OBJECT OF THE GAME

For the "hunter" to discover who has the key and for the other players to try to conceal the location of the key from the "hunter"

The players form a closely knit circle seated on the ground. One player is chosen to be the "hunter" and must sit in the center of the circle.

While the hunter's eves are closed, a key (or similarly small object) is given to one of the players in the circle. The players begin passing the key around the circle without actually showing the key, while the hunter watches. At the same time, those players without the key should pretend that they are passing it in order to fool the hunter.

When the hunter suspects someone of having the key, he or she calls the name of that player. The passing stops, and the called player must reveal whether he or she has the key.

If this player has the key, he or she becomes the hunter. If the hunter has guessed incorrectly, the game continues.

I Packed My Bag

WHERE TO PLAY

Anywhere

NUMBER OF PLAYERS

2 or more

EQUIPMENT

None

OBJECT OF THE GAME

To remember a growing verbal list made by the players of all the items packed in a bag

The first player initiates the game by choosing an item to complete the phrase, "I packed my bag and in it I put a(n) — "For example, "I packed my bag and in it I put a toothbrush."

The second player continues the game by repeating what the first person packed in the bag and adding something of his or her own: "I packed my bag and in it I put a toothbrush and a volleyball."

Each player in turn adds another word to the string and repeats the preceding items in order, until it sounds something like, "I packed my bag and in it I put a toothbrush, a volleyball, a comic book, a banana, a deck of cards, a baseball cap, and a tent," and so on.

Any player who forgets an item or recites the list out of order is dropped from the game. The player who remembers the longest string of objects wins.

I Spy

WHERE TO PLAY

In any setting with an assortment of objects

NUMBER OF PLAYERS

4 or more; a favorite of children through the elementary grades

EQUIPMENT

None

OBJECT OF THE GAME

To guess the identity of the item "spied" by another player

One player is chosen to "spy" an object he or she sees in the room or the immediate environment. He or she begins the game by stating, "I spy with my little eve something beginning with t" (or any other letter of the alphabet).

The other players call out their guesses, in no particular order. The "spy" tells them whether or not they are correct. "Table?" "No." "Tack?" "No" "Teapot" "Yes."

The player who first guesses correctly is allowed to "spy" the next object.

arInitials

WHERE TO PLAY

Anywhere — great for long car rides!

NUMBER OF PLAYERS

2 or more

EQUIPMENT

None

OBJECT OF THE GAME

To give answers to other players' questions using words beginning with the letters of your own initials

One player is selected as the "questioner" for the first round. The questioner asks each player a question in turn. The players must respond to the question with an answer formed from the initials of his or her own name.

If the questioner asks, "What is your favorite food, Robert Canton?" Robert may reply, "red cherries" or "rich crayfish." If the questioner asks, "How do you like to spend Saturday morning, Sheila Sanders?" Sheila might answer, "sleeping soundly" or "selling supermarkets." Answers need not make sense. In fact, ridiculous replies increase the fun!

To play Initials competitively, the questioner queries the other players until they begin dropping out, after hesitating or failing to provide answers, or repeating previously used answers. The last player remaining in the game is the winner and can serve as the questioner for another round.

Letters by Numbers

WHERE TO PLAY

Anywhere

NUMBER OF PLAYERS

3 or more

EQUIPMENT

None

OBJECT OF THE GAME

To be the first to identify which letter of the alphabet corresponds to a number that has been called out

Choose one player to be the caller. He or she begins the game by calling out any number between 1 and 26. The other players try to be the first to find the corresponding letter of the alphabet. 1 equals A, 2 equals B, 10 equals J, and so on. To facilitate the determining of correct answers, the caller should write out the alphabet and the corresponding numbers, and keep this list hidden from the other players.

The first player with the correct answer wins a point. Wrong answers mean the loss of a point. The game can be played for time, so that the player with the most points in a given period wins, or it can be played until a given number of points are reached.

VARIATIONS

The game can be reversed for Numbers by Letters: the caller cries out a letter, and the corresponding number must be found. Z equals 26, Y equals 25, M equals 13, etc.

To keep players on their toes, the caller can alternate: first a number, then a letter, another letter, a number, and so on.

Magazine Scavenger Hunt

WHERE TO PLAY

Indoors. This could be played on a train or airplane by a small number of children

NUMBER OF PLAYERS

2 or more

EQUIPMENT

Old magazines; pencil and paper for each player or each group

OBJECT OF THE GAME

To find the items on a scavenger-hunt list in a magazine rather than in a house or outdoors

Depending on the number of players, Magazine Scavenger Hunt can be an individual or group activity. If there are more than six players, divide them into groups of two or three. Each group should have pencil and paper to keep track of items as they are found.

Before the game, the party, planner should make a list of ten to fifteen items to be searched for within the magazine. In order to be fair, it is best to specify common objects and make sure the articles are appropriate to the magazines available.

Each individual or group has ten to fifteen minutes to leaf through the pages of the magazine in search of the required items. The page number of each discovery should be noted by one of the group members.

If any individual or group finds all the designated objects within a given time period, they win. If time runs out before all the items are located, the individual or team with the most complete list wins.

VARIATION

A simplified scavenger hunt can be also be played with magazines. Instead of designating a list of items, specify, a certain letter. Players are given five minutes in which to list all the items they can find beginning with that letter. The player with the most items wins.

Magazine Storytelling

WHERE TO PLAY

Indoors

NUMBER OF PLAYERS

2 or more

EQUIPMENT

Old magazines; scissors; glue; paper

OBJECT OF THE GAME

To write a story, using materials cut from magazines

Each player or group is given a set of materials: old magazines, scissors, paper, glue, and crayons or pencils.

Within a given time period — ten or fifteen minutes — the players must compose stories from pictures and words cut from magazine pages. These clippings should be glued to pieces of paper to form a book which can be read when the time is up.

The stories can be judged according to various categories: most clever, best use of pictures, funniest, etc. A topic for the story might be assigned before the story making begins.

Instead of stories, players can also write letters using the magazines: love letters, letters to Santa, the president, etc. Players can even write letters to real people, which can be mailed when the game is finished.

Mathematical Baseball

WHERE TO PLAY

Indoors

NUMBER OF PLAYERS

10 can play at a time. Others may substitute after each inning

EQUIPMENT

None

OBJECT OF THE GAME

To score runs by correctly answering multiplication problems which will advance runners around the bases

Designate a small playing field: four bases in a baseball-field diamond, about six to eight feet on each side. Divide the players into two equal teams. One team takes the "field": there will be a pitcher, a catcher, and first, second, and third basemen. The other team is the "batting" team.

The first batter steps up to home plate. The pitcher calls out a multiplication problem (suited to the ages and abilities of the players) — for example, "Six times two." If the batter answers correctly first, he or she advances to first base. If, however, the catcher has the right answer first, the batter is out.

The next player comes to bat, is given a problem, and is either put out or advances to first base. Any other players on base are also advanced if the batter answers correctly.

The pitcher may attempt to put out players on base by calling a problem their way. If the baseman answers correctly, the runner is out. If the runner has the right answer, he or she is allowed to steal a base.

After three outs, the teams switch places. From inning to inning, players on one team can also exchange roles so that all may have a chance at being the pitcher.

The team with the most runs after a predetermined number of innings wins the game.

Memory Game

WHERE TO PLAY

Anywhere

NUMBER OF PLAYERS

At least 2 (plus a leader)

EQUIPMENT

A large tray and a towel or cloth to cover it; an assortment of about 25 small objects (a marble, a pen, a coin, a ring, etc.); pencil and paper for each player

OBJECT OF THE GAME

To remember as many of the objects seen on the tray as possible

Before beginning, a leader should be chosen. He or she spreads the objects on a tray and covers them with a towel so that no one can see them before the game begins. The tray should be placed in a central position so that all players can see it well. Each player should have a pencil and a sheet of paper.

The leader removes the cover from the tray for about one minute. All the players should try to memorize the objects seen. When one minute has elapsed, the leader covers the tray again.

When the tray is covered, the players list all the items they can remember from it on a sheet of paper. Players have three minutes in which to remember and record the objects. The most complete list wins.

VARIATION

An uncomplicated version of Memory, Game can be played by two travelers (especially on an airplane).

Select a magazine photograph filled with detail — perhaps a picture of a kitchen or an outdoor scene. Allow the players to study the photograph for a minute, then ask them to list as many objects from the photo as possible. The player with the longest list wins.

Muggins

WHERE TO PLAY

Indoors

NUMBER OF PLAYERS

4 to 8

EQUIPMENT

A deck of playing cards. For more than 4 players, adding another deck lengthens the game.

OBJECT OF THE GAME

To be the first player to get rid of all your cards

Muggins is a Victorian card game that is easily learned and can be played by game lovers of all ages.

Shuffle and deal out four cards, faceup, in the middle of the playing table and then deal an equal number of cards to each player, facedown. Any leftover cards are placed in one of the four center piles.

Starting at the dealer's left, each player turns over the first card in his or her pile. Players are allowed to get rid of a card when it can be played onto a card in one of the middle piles. Cards are playable when they are of a value one card higher or lower than the one in the player's hand: a 9 can go on an 8 or a 10, a Queen on a King or a Jack, and so forth. Ace is low — it can't be played on a King, nor can a King be played on it.

The first player is limited in that he or she has only the central cards to play onto. If it is possible, he or she plays the card, and then the next player takes a turn.

Whenever a player cannot use the card just turned faceup, it is placed in a faceup pile next to that player's facedown pile. Following players may now put cards onto that pile when possible.

When there are enough piles, players may find it possible to play a card on more than one. Rules of sequence must be followed in this case. A player must first play a card onto a center pile, if possible. If the player can play onto more than one of the other players' piles, he or she must go to the one closest on the left.

Players watch carefully as their opponents play their cards. Anyone spotting another breaking a rule of sequence or playing an incorrect card shouts. "Muggins!" The player caught in error must accept a penalty, consisting of taking the top card from all the other players' facedown piles and adding them to his or her own facedown pile.

When a player runs out of facedown cards, he or she turns the faceup pile over and uses that. The first player to get rid of all his or her cards wins the game.

Muggins should be played as fast as possible. Calling out "Muggins!" is the spice of the game, so try to guard against overly careful players by gently prodding them into action.

Musical Chairs

WHERE TO PLAY

In a room that can hold enough chairs to accommodate the number of players

NUMBER OF PLAYERS

6 to 20 is most manageable

EQUIPMENT

1 chair for every player except 1 (example: for 10 players, use 9 chairs): music (radios and cassette players are the easiest to use, but record players are also suitable)

OBJECT OF THE GAME

To be the last remaining player sitting in a chair when the music stops.

The chairs should be placed in a straight line with every other chair facing in the opposite direction. (If there is a large group of players, chairs can be placed back to back to save room.)

Before beginning, a leader should be chosen, and the players should distribute themselves evenly around the chairs. When the leader begins the music, the players march in one direction around the chairs.

After a moment, the leader surprises the group by turning the music off. This is a signal to the players to find a seat as quickly as possible and sit down. The player left without a chair is eliminated from the game.

One chair is then removed in order to keep the number of chairs one less than that of players. The leader then starts up the music again, stops it, and the players repeat the dash for seats.

A player and a chair are removed with each round until two players are left to duel for the last chair. The player to capture this final chair wins.

Musical Clapping

WHERE TO PLAY

Anywhere

NUMBER OF PLAYERS

At least 2

EQUIPMENT

None

OBJECT OF THE GAME

To guess the song being clapped out by another player

Choose one player to clap out the first song. The clapper secretly picks a song that he or she thinks will be familiar to all the other players. When everyone is ready, the clapper begins clapping the rhythm to the mystery song.

The other players call out their guesses when they think they recognize the song. The first player to identify, the song by its rhythm gets to select and clap out the next song.

VARIATION

Musical Clapping can be played as a team competition if you have enough players and if you can stand the noise! One team claps out the song's rhythm while the other team guesses.

My Ship Sails

WHERE TO PLAY

At a table

NUMBER OF PLAYERS

4 or more

EQUIPMENT

A deck of playing cards

OBJECT OF THE GAME

To be the first to collect 7 cards of the same suit

Shuffle the cards and deal seven, one at a time and facedown, to each player. Set aside the remaining cards — they will not be used. Players should examine their cards in secret and arrange them into groups by suit, being careful to note if they have a concentration of cards in one particular suit.

My Ship Sails begins when each player discards one card. Since the object of the game is to collect seven cards of the same suit (seven diamonds, seven clubs, seven hearts, or seven spades), players should get rid of cards that are useless to them, i.e., of the wrong suit.

After all the players have discarded one card (facedown), they should simultaneously pass this card to the left. When all the cards have been passed, each player picks up the new card, adds it to his or her hand, and discards another. The same card just picked up can be discarded immediately if it is of no use.

The game continues as players discard and pick up new cards. The first player to collect seven cards of the same suit proclaims, "My ship sails!" in order to win.

VARIATION

Instead of gathering seven cards of the same suit, try, to collect a sequence of seven cards, all numbers, or numbers and face cards in combination, regardless of suit. For example, 7-8-9-10-Jack-Queen-King would be a winning sequence.

Odd Bean

WHERE TO PLAY

In any space large enough to accommodate the group of players comfortably, seated on the floor or around a table

NUMBER OF PLAYERS

At least 2

EQUIPMENT

A bag of dried beans, enough so that each player may have 12; small bags to hold the beans

OBJECT OF THE GAME

To collect all the beans from the other players

This game is related to Jan-Ken-Pon (see Scissors, Paper, Stone), but the winner is determined by the number of beans he or she has at the end of the game rather than by a score tallied on paper.

Each player is given a bag filled with twelve beans. The first player hides a number of beans in one fist and asks the next player, "Odds or evens?"

If the next player correctly guesses whether the fist holds an odd or even number of beans, he or she collects those beans from the first player. If the guess is wrong, the second player must forfeit the same number of beans to the first player.

The second player then places a number of beans in his or her hand. He or she turns to the third player and asks, "Odds or evens?" and the game continues.

Any player to lose all of his or her beans must drop out of the game. The winner is the player with the most beans when a set period of time expires, or, if time permits, the player who has collected all the beans.

Old Maid

WHERE TO PLAY

At a table

NUMBER OF PLAYERS

3 or more

EQUIPMENT

A deck of playing cards

OBJECT OF THE GAME

To get rid of all your cards by matching pairs, and to avoid being left with the odd Queen

Remove the Queen of Hearts from the deck. Shuffle the cards and deal the entire deck around the circle of players. Each player examines his or her hand, matches any pairs of equal value (two Jacks, two 6s, etc.), and places them facedown on the table. When all players have gone through their cards, play begins.

The player at the left of the dealer starts by pulling one card from the hand of the player immediately to his or her right (in this case, the dealer).

If the card drawn can be paired with any of the cards already in the players' hand, the two are removed and laid with any previous pairs facedown on the table. If not, play resumes with the next player.

The next player on the left draws a card from the hand of the player on his or her right. Play continues in this manner around the circle until one player is left with the odd Queen. This player is the "Old Maid" and loses the game.

Orchestra

WHERE TO PLAY

Indoors or outdoors

NUMBER OF PLAYERS

5 or more

EQUIPMENT

None

OBJECT OF THE GAME

To follow the motions of the orchestra leader

One player is designated as the conductor. All of the players, including the conductor, choose musical instruments that they will pretend to play.

The players should sit in a circle on the floor with about a foot of space between them. The conductor should be visible to all.

The conductor starts up the orchestra by pretending to play the instrument that he or she has chosen. Once the leader has begun, the other players join in by simulating the motions that their instruments require. Violinists draw their bows, drummers beat out a rhythm, tuba players puff out their cheeks, and so on.

When all the players are motioning musically, the leader switches to the actions for one of the instruments played by another orchestra member. All the players except for the one playing that particular instrument must switch to the same motions as the leader.

The player whose instrument is now being imitated must stop playing and put his or her hands over the ears. For example, if the conductor switches from the flute to the piano, all the players must join in as piano players, while the original piano player sits with hands over ears.

After a few seconds, the conductor returns to his or her own instrument. At this moment, all the other players, including the one with hands over ears, return to their original instruments.

After a while the conductor will change to another instrument, and the other players will follow suit, as described above.

As in Simon Says, players are eliminated from the game when they make improper motions. Players who continue with their original instrument after the leader has begun imitating it must leave the game. The same goes for players who forget to switch instruments at the proper time.

The last remaining player in the game wins and can become the conductor if another round is desired.

Pass the Present

WHERE TO PLAY

Anywhere indoors

NUMBER OF PLAYERS

4 or more

EQUIPMENT

A small prize; gift-wrap paper (tissue paper is fine — the wrap need not be fancy); Scotch tape; a radio, record player, or cassette player

OBJECT OF THE GAME

To remove the last laver of gift-wrap and reveal the prize

Before the game, a leader is selected and the prize is wrapped in ten or more layers of paper.

The players sit on the floor in a circle. When the leader starts the music, they pass the gift around the circle as quickly as possible. When the music is stopped, the player holding the present is allowed to remove one laver of paper.

The music starts up again and is stopped, until the gift has been completely unwrapped. The player who is fortunate enough to take off the last layer gets to keep the prize.

Password

WHERE TO PLAY

Anywhere

NUMBER OF PLAYERS

5 at a time. Others can substitute in later rounds.

EQUIPMENT

Paper and pencil (optional)

OBJECT OF THE GAME

To help your partner guess the mystery word by giving him or her synonyms or related words

One player should be designated as the quiz master. The other four players are divided into two sets of partners.

The quiz master chooses a word, which he "passes on" to just one player from each team. The word can be written down on a small slip of paper or can be whispered.

The player chosen to go first is allowed to give his or her partner one clue, which is a synonym for or is related to the mystery word, or he or she can "pass," if the word is too difficult.

For instance, if the word is lemonade, the first clue might be drink. If the partner guesses lemonade correctly, that team is awarded 1 point. If the guess is wrong — soda for example — the other team has the chance to offer another clue and guess the word. The next clue might be citrus.

When the word is finally guessed, the clue givers and the guessers exchange roles.

The first team to gain a predetermined number of points, or the team with the most points after a given time period, wins. Using short time periods might be a good idea if the quiz master is anxious to join in the guessing.

Questions

WHERE TO PLAY

Anywhere

NUMBER OF PLAYERS

2 or more

EQUIPMENT

None

OBJECT OF THE GAME

To answer every, question with a question, until one player forgets or makes a mistake

The game begins when the first player asks a question. The second player must respond with another related question, and then the first player with another question, and so on.

For example, if two players are traveling, the game might begin as follows:

Susan: When are we going to get to Boston?

Jimmy: How many miles do we have left?

Susan: Do you have an atlas?

Jimmy: Don't you have one?

Sujan: Why don't you remember to bring it when we travel?

If a player pauses too long between questions, forgets to ask a question, or asks a nonsensical question, he or she is out of the game.

If there are more than two players, determine the order in which players will offer questions before beginning play.

Racetrack

WHERE TO PLAY

Anywhere

NUMBER OF PLAYERS

4 or more

EQUIPMENT

Old magazines; scissors; cardboard; glue; a large sheet of paper or cardboard; pen or pencil; 1 die

OBJECT OF THE GAME

To drive your "car" 100 miles by rolling its way through the diagram

For a fancy, version of Racetrack, begin by making a large, roadlike trail of squares numbered 1 to 100, representing the miles to be covered.

Cut photos of cars from old magazines — one for every, player, and two of each make, if possible. For example, if you have four players, clip out two Volkswagens and two Fords. The two players with cars of the same make will be partners. To make the cars more stable as playing pieces, they can be glued to cardboard, but this is not necessary.

Roll the die to determine the order of play, with partners alternating. The first player throws the die and moves his or her car the number of miles indicated by the die. Play progresses with each player getting one roll each turn.

When a car lands on a square occupied by a car owned by someone other than his or her partner, the car already in the space is sent back to the beginning. Cars belonging to two partners may occupy the same space, however, and as long as they do so, no other car may pass them.

The first car to reach the last space (100 miles) is the winner. This space must be reached with an exact roll of the die.

Rain

WHERE TO PLAY

Anywhere; most effective in a quiet indoor spot

NUMBER OF PLAYERS

At least 3. A large group can whip up a great storm.

EQUIPMENT

None

OBJECT OF THE GAME

To imitate the sound of a rainstorm

The players sit on the floor and begin the game by closing their eyes and becoming absolutely quiet. When all is still, the leader initiates the rainstorm by rubbing his or her palms together. When the player sitting at the leader's left hears this very soft sound, he or she joins in. The player on the left of the second player then joins, until all the players around the circle are producing the same sound.

When everyone is moving their palms together, the leader then makes the storm grow a little louder by snapping his or her fingers. The second player then switches to this sound, and so on around the circle.

After everyone is snapping fingers, the leader changes to slapping the thighs, to make the sound of heavy rain. Thunder can be added by stomping the feet on the floor, until the room is filled with the sound of a furious summer storm.

After the sound reaches its peak, the leader begins to calm the storm by reversing the order of the noises made and returning to a softer sound. (He or she may have to nudge the player at the left in order to get his or her attention in the midst of the peak of the storm — remember, eyes are still closed.)

The group follows the leader back through thigh slapping, finger snapping, and palm rubbing, until the room is returned to complete silence once again.

Rigamarole

WHERE TO PLAY

Anywhere

NUMBER OF PLAYERS

3 or more

EQUIPMENT

None

OBJECT OF THE GAME

To remember a string of alliterative phrases as it goes around the circle

Rigamarole is a memory game that combines mental recall and tongue-twister agility.

The player elected to start begins the game by inventing an alliterative phrase of three words starting with the number one and followed by an adjective and a noun each beginning with the letter o — "one obnoxious oriole," for example.

The next player must add another phrase following the same guidelines, opening with the number two, while repeating the original phrase: "One obnoxious oriole, two tricky, teenagers."

The following player attaches a third alliterative saying beginning with three. The string of phrases keeps going around the circle of players until ten have been made up.

Rigamarole can be played as an elimination game, but you will doubtless run out of players before you get to ten phrases in a row. It is probably more fun just trying to keep the game going, rather than worrying about finding a winner.

VARIATION

Those who find that they'd like more of a challenge may create phrases in which the length of the phrase (number of words) corresponds to the beginning number (including that number): "Four fussy, frighted finks" (four words).

Rolling Stone

WHERE TO PLAY

Indoors

NUMBER OF PLAYERS

4 to 6

EQUIPMENT

A deck of playing cards

OBJECT OF THE GAME

To be the first player to get rid of all your cards

Before beginning the game, separate some cards from the deck so that there will be only eight cards for each player. For four players, remove the 2s, 3s, 4s, 5s, and 6s. For five players, take out the 2s, 3s, 4s, and 5s and for six players, remove the 2s, 3s, and 4s. Ace is high.

Set aside the removed cards and shuffle the remaining ones. Deal the shuffled cards to the players, one at a time and facedown, so that each player has eight cards. Players secretly examine their cards and arrange them according to suit.

The player at the dealer's left initiates the game by laying a card from his or hand faceup in the center of the table. The next player to the left places a card of the same suit on it if he or she has one, and so on with the following players.

When a player does not have a card of the proper suit, he or she must collect the center pile and add the cards to his or her hand. This player starts the game again by putting a card out for the new center pile.

When all the players have put down a card of the same suit, that pile is set aside and is no longer used in the game. The last player to put down a card may start the new round.

The first player to discard his or her entire hand is the winner.

Scissors, Paper, Stone

(Also known as Rock, Paper, Scissors)

WHERE TO PLAY

Anywhere

NUMBER OF PLAYERS

2 at a time

EQUIPMENT

None

OBJECT OF THE GAME

To anticipate the gesture your opponent is going to make in order to make a gesture that will defeat it; can also be played to determine who will be "It"

Scissors, Paper, Stone is an efficient way to choose who is going to go first or who will be "It" and is also fun when played for its own sake.

The idea of the game is to make a hand gesture representing scissors, paper, or stone that will defeat the gesture made by your opponent.

The three gestures are: two fingers held in a victory, sign (scissors), an open hand (paper), and a closed fist (stone). Scissors "beat" paper by cutting, paper overcomes stone by wrapping, and stone conquers scissors by dulling.

Players hide their hands behind their backs and at the count of three, bring them out in front, making one of the gestures. Each round is scored. The first player to reach a specified number of points is the winner.

Scissors, Paper, Stone is often called by its traditional Japanese name, Jan-Ken-Pon or Jan-Kem-Po.

VARIATION

A game similar to Scissors, Paper, Stone is Odds and Evens. Instead of making gestures to represent objects, the players hold out fingers, numbering from zero (a closed fist), to five (an open hand). One player is odd and the other even. At the count of three, the players reveal a number. If the total of both players' fingers is odd, the odd player wins a point. If the total is even, the even player receives the point.

Or, one player at a time calls out "odd" or "even" as the fingers are revealed. If the number corresponds to the call, that player wins a point.

Seeing Green

WHERE TO PLAY

Indoors

NUMBER OF PLAYERS

Any number

EQUIPMENT

Scissors; glue; bright red construction paper; two sheets of white paper for every, player

OBJECT OF THE GAME

To see green shamrocks against a white sheet of paper after staring at red shamrocks

Seeing Green is an optical lesson as well as an amusing St. Patrick's Day activity.

At a table, players cut several shamrocks out of red construction paper and paste them on a larger sheet of white paper. (It is a good idea to have one shamrock already cut out as an example for the players.) Players don't need to spend more than a few minutes on this. Large shamrocks (at least four or five inches high) are most effective.

When all the players have sheets of red shamrocks, they should be instructed to stare at them, eyes fixed on one point, while they slowly count to fifteen: "One shamrock, two shamrock, three shamrock," and so on.

After counting to "fifteen shamrock," the players flip over the papers and now stare at the plain white side of the sheet. After a few seconds, players will see a ghostly image of a green shamrock, rather than a red one.

Since red is the complementary, color of green, staring long enough at any red object will produce a green afterimage. (The artist Jasper Johns used this physiological effect in a painting of an American flag. After staring at a flag with green stripes and an orange field of stars, one sees the traditional red, white, and blue flag against a white wall.)

Sentences

WHERE TO PLAY

Anywhere

NUMBER OF PLAYERS

3 or more

EQUIPMENT

If played aloud, no equipment is needed. With paper and pencil, the game can also be played in written form.

OBJECT OF THE GAME

To form as many words as possible beginning with the letters in a given word

One player chooses a word (of four to six letters) to be used for the first round.

Each player must create a sentence formed from words that begin with the letters in the original word, in proper order. For example, if the given word is dream, an acceptable sentence would be Don't ride elephants after midnight.

The next player then chooses a new word, and the game begins anew.

Points are awarded for every sentence formed within a time limit of two or three minutes. The player with the most points after either a predetermined number of words or a given time period wins.

VARIATIONS

More complicated rules can be added to make the game more challenging:

Clever players can try to make the sentence have some relation to the given word. Younger children, however, may prefer nonsensical answers. If nonsensical answers are desired, an extra point can be awarded for the most humorous answer.

Shadow Buff

WHERE TO PLAY

Indoors in a room that can easily be made dark. Great for dark, rainy days!

NUMBER OF PLAYERS

At least 5

EQUIPMENT

A sheet; tacks or tape; a lamp with a strong, high-wattage light bulb; a table; a chair

OBJECT OF THE GAME

To guess the identity of the other players from the shadows they cast upon a backlit sheet

Set up the play area by stretching a sheet tightly between two walls and attaching it with tape or tacks. A few feet behind the sheet, place a strong light (perhaps a lamp without a shade), leaving enough room for one player at a time to pass between the sheet and the light.

Elect one player to be "Buffy." Bully is seated on a chair on the other side of the sheet. When Buffy is in place, dim the lights.

One by one, the other players pass between the sheet and the lamp, trying to cast shadows upon the sheet. Buffy must attempt to identify the players as they go by, but the players must strive to disguise themselves by making distracting motions or gestures as they move through.

When Buffy guesses the identity, of one of the players, they trade places and the game continues. Make sure everyone gets a chance to be Buffy.

Slap Jack

WHERE TO PLAY

At a table (a round one is best but is not essential) or on the floor

NUMBER OF PLAYERS

3 or more

EQUIPMENT

A deck of playing cards

OBJECT OF THE GAME

To capture all the cards in the deck

One player shuffles the deck and deals out all of the cards to the other players in a circle, beginning at his or her left. Players must leave their cards facedown in front of them without looking at them.

The player at the dealer's left begins the game by laying one card faceup in the middle of the group, accessible to all. One by one, in quick succession, the players each lay a card on the center pile.

When a Jack is revealed, the first player to slap that card gets to shuffle the entire pile into his or her own hand. The game is continued by the player to the Jack-slapper's left.

If a player makes a mistake and slaps a card other than a Jack, he or she must forfeit a card to the player who laid down the last card.

A player who has lost all of his or her cards is given one last chance and may remain in the game in an attempt to slap the next Jack and regain a hand. If the attempt is unsuccessful, however, the player must leave the game.

The player who captures all of the cards is declared the winner.

VARIATION

A less physical but no less rowdy version of this game is called Snap. Instead of slapping the Jack, the first player to yell, "Snap!" upon its appearance wins the center pile.

Sneeze

WHERE TO PLAY

Anywhere

NUMBER OF PLAYERS

At least 6 for the best effect; for children under 7

EQUIPMENT

None

OBJECT OF THE GAME

For all the players to call out different syllables at the same time, approximating the sound of a sneeze

The surprise of Sneeze only works the first time the group "sneezes," but younger children will like the noise enough to want to keep sneezing throughout the party.

The leader assigns all the players a syllable, explaining to them that it is important to remember their sounds. To make it even more mysterious, the leader may whisper the sound secretly into each player's ear.

The syllables to be assigned are "ash," "ish," "osh," and "choo." When everyone has a sound, the leader asks them all to call their sounds out in unison as loudly as they can at the count of three. When everyone yells, the noise sounds like a very loud sneeze.

Snip Snap Snorum

WHERE TO PLAY

At a table

NUMBER OF PLAYERS

3 or more

EQUIPMENT

A deck of playing cards

OBJECT OF THE GAME

To be the first to get rid of all your cards

Shuffle the deck and deal all the cards facedown. Depending on the number of players, some may get an extra card, but it won't matter. Players should look at their cards while keeping them hidden from each other.

The game begins when the player to the dealer's left selects a card from his or her hand, lays it down faceup in the center of the table and says, "Snip." The player with the card of the next higher value and of the same suit lays that card down on top of the first and calls out, "Snap." Then, once again, the player with the card of the next higher value and of the same suit lays that card down and says, "Snorum." This process continues with the same guidelines, with the fourth player saying, "Hi cockalorum" and the fifth player completing a sequence with the word "Jig."

After a sequence is completed, the player who put down the "jig" card begins another Snip-Snap-Snorum sequence.

The cards range in value from Ace as the lowest to King as the highest. Therefore, if a King is placed down at any point along the sequence, it is considered a "Jig," and a new sequence should begin. In addition, if cards of higher values have already been played, the last card that can be placed down in the pile will count as a "Jig," and a new sequence should begin.

The player to get rid of all of his or her cards first is the winner.

Spelling Bee

WHERE TO PLAY

Anywhere

NUMBER OF PLAYERS

At least 2, but it is more fun with a large group

EQUIPMENT

The game runs most smoothly when someone has prepared a list of words appropriate to the age level of the players beforehand, but it can be played without a list in a pinch. A dictionary, is helpful for inspiration and to settle disputes.

OBJECT OF THE GAME

To spell as many words as possible correctly

An adult or mature child should serve as the spelling master.

To begin the game, the spelling master gives the first player an opportunity to spell a word correctly. If the player is correct, a point is awarded. If not, it is the next player's turn, and he or she is given a new word to spell.

The player with the greatest number of points after a predetermined number of rounds is declared the winner.

VARIATIONS

Spelling Bee can also be played as an elimination game. A player leaves the game after incorrectly spelling a word, and the last remaining player wins.

If there are enough players, Spelling Bee can be a team competition and scored or played as an elimination game. When played for points, extra points can be won by correctly spelling a word misspelled by the other team.

Spit

WHERE TO PLAY

Sitting on the floor makes Spit easier to play, but playing at a table is equally fun

NUMBER OF PLAYERS

2

EQUIPMENT

A deck of playing cards

OBJECT OF THE GAME

To be the first to get rid of all your cards

Two players sit on the floor or at a table facing one another. One player shuffles the cards and deals out the deck equally. Each player prepares for the game by laying out a row of cards in the following manner:

First, moving from left to right, place three cards facedown and a fourth card faceup.

Second, again moving from left to right, lay a card facedown on each of the first two cards, and one card faceup on the third.

Next, lay a card facedown on the first pile of cards and a card faceup on the second pile.

Lastly, put one faceup card on the first pile, so that all piles are completed with a faceup card. The remaining cards are placed in a facedown pile at the left of this row.

Both players chant together, "One, two, three, Spit!" At the word "Spit," both players lay the top card from their pile of extra cards side by side and faceup in the center of the playing area.

As quickly as possible, both players try to play cards from their rows on both center cards. A card may be played if it is of a value one higher or one lower than the center card. For example, a 3 or a 5 may be laid on a 4, and a King or a 2 may be laid on an Ace (suit does not matter).

When a faceup card from one of the piles in a player's row is played, the facedown card beneath it may be turned up and played if possible. Both players will be putting down cards at a breakneck pace, trying to get rid of as many as possible. However, when neither player has another suitable card, the sequence starts again.

The players replenish the cards in the piles in the previously described manner with cards from the extra pile. Then, the players call out, "One, two, three, Spit!" and discard the appropriate cards once again.

As the end of the game nears, players may run out of spare cards altogether and may need a card to "spit." If a player has fewer than the ten cards needed to make a complete row, that's fine — he or she should lay out the available cards and use a faceup card from the leftmost pile as the "spit" card.

Play continues in this manner until one player has discarded all of his or her cards onto the center piles. This player is the winner.

Square Tic-Tac-Toe

WHERE TO PLAY

At a table or on the floor

NUMBER OF PLAYERS

2 at a time

EQUIPMENT

Pencil and paper; 10 coins — 5 each of two different types (5 dimes and 5 nickels, for example)

OBJECT OF THE GAME

To place 3 of your coins in a row on a variation of the traditional Tic-Tac-Toe diagram

Each player should have five coins of the same denomination. Choose one player to go first.

With the pencil draw a diagram of a square crossed with four lines.

The two players alternate in placing one coin at a time on the intersection of two or more lines. The first player to place three coins in a row, whether across, up and down, or diagonally, wins the game.

Play Square Tic-Tac-Toe as a "best of" series — best of three, five, or seven games.

Stairway

WHERE TO PLAY

Anywhere

NUMBER OF PLAYERS

2 or more

EQUIPMENT

Pencil and paper for each player

OBJECT OF THE GAME

To form a "stairway" of words of increasing length from a letter chosen at the start of the game

One player selects a letter from which to form the "stairway." Each player should try to form words by adding one letter at a time to the original letter within a given time period of five or ten minutes.

If the given letter is A, a stairway might look like this:

A

AT

APE

ACHE

ASPEN

ARTIST

ANIMATE

ADDITION

ACROBATIC

APOSTROPHE

The builder of the longest stairway wins the game.

To avoid frustrated players, it's a good idea to ignore the difficult letters like Z and to make sure an easily discovered two-letter word can be found for the chosen letter.

Taste

WHERE TO PLAY

Anywhere

NUMBER OF PLAYERS

3 or more

EQUIPMENT

Paper cups; an assortment of beverages; a scarf or rag to be used as a blindfold; paper and pencil

OBJECT OF THE GAME

To identify as many drinks by taste gone as possible

A blindfolded player is given an assortment of different beverages in paper cups to sample and identify. The larger the variety the better — different flavors of soda pop, fruit juices, mineral water, and so on.

Another player records the sampler's guesses. The player who identifies the most (brand names get added points) is the winner.

This is a particularly good, thirst-quenching activity after a more rigorous outdoor game!

Tic-Tac-Toe

WHERE TO PLAY

Anywhere; an easy travel game

NUMBER OF PLAYERS

2 at a time

EQUIPMENT

Pencil and paper

OBJECT OF THE GAME

To place 3 of your marks in a row

Before beginning, draw a simple diagram consisting of two vertical lines crossed by two horizontal lines.

One player takes X and the other O. Determine which player will go first.

The player to go first marks his X or O in one of the boxes formed by the diagram. The other player then places his or her mark in one of the boxes. Both players attempt to get a row of Xs or Os, horizontally, vertically, or diagonally.

Continue alternating marks until one player has made a row of three marks, in which case he or she is the winner; or until all the boxes are filled and no one has a row, in which case the game is a draw.

Attentive players will soon learn that there is an advantage to making the first mark and that the center box is always the best choice. Experienced players will eventually reach a point where all games are draws.

VARIATIONS

Play Tic-Tac-Toe so that the first player to get a row of marks is a loser. The diagram can also be increased in size by adding more lines.

Tic-Tac-Toe is also called Noughts and Crosses in England, referring to the Os and Xs.

Tip-Tap-Toe

WHERE TO PLAY

Anywhere

NUMBER OF PLAYERS

2 to 6

EQUIPMENT

Pencil and paper

OBJECT OF THE GAME

To tally the highest score by pointing to numbered sections on a diagram; like playing darts on paper

Before beginning the game, a diagram must be drawn. Divide a circle with lines to create ten to twelve pie-shaped wedges. Number the wedges in ascending order around the circle.

A player (with good math skills!) should be appointed scorekeeper.

One by one, the players close their eyes and touch a pencil to the diagram. They are awarded the number of points indicated in the section touched by the pencil. Once a section has been touched, it is crossed out and is no longer worth any points to the following players.

As in darts, players are allowed only one try, each turn to score points. If they hit a crossed-out wedge or go outside the circle, they must wait until the next turn. Any player to hit the exact center of the circle automatically wins the game.

When all the sections have been crossed out, the points are tallied and the highest score wins.

Tongue Twisters

WHERE TO PLAY

Anywhere

NUMBER OF PLAYERS

2 or more

EQUIPMENT

A watch with a second hand or a stopwatch

OBJECT OF THE GAME

To repeat the tongue twister as many times as possible without making a mistake

One at a time, the players recite a tongue twister as many times as possible before tripping over their tongues. Whoever recites the most twisters before making a mistake wins!

All the players can be tested with the same twister, or they can try different examples for variety. Here are a few well-known tongue twisters:

Truly rural

Toy boat

Lemon liniment

Red leather, yellow leather

She sells seashells by the seashore

Whistle for the thistle sifter

Six thick thistle sticks

The bootblack brought the black boot back

The sixth sick sheik's sixth sheep's sick

Sarah sits by six sick city slickers

Fresh flesh of fresh fried fish

How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

Twenty Questions

WHERE TO PLAY

Anywhere

NUMBER OF PLAYERS

3 or more

EQUIPMENT

None

OBJECT OF THE GAME

To guess the object chosen by 1 player by asking for clues gained from no more than 20 questions — the fewer, the better!

One player is selected to think of an object (secretly). After choosing, he or she tells the others whether it is Animal, Vegetable, or Mineral.

One by one, the other players ask questions requiring yes or no answers that will help them to discover the identity, of the object. They are only allowed to ask a total of twenty questions. If a player guesses incorrectly before the twenty, questions are asked, he or she is eliminated from the game; however, that guess does not count as a question. If the object is not revealed after the allotted twenty, questions, the player who chose the object wins.

VARIATION

Virginia Woolf is another version of Twenty Questions. Instead of choosing an object, the player selects a well-known person. The figure can be from history or from fiction, and can be alive or dead, as long as he or she is famous enough to be known by all those playing the game.

A third variation of Twenty Questions is Where Am I? The first player chooses a place to be and something to do there. For example, he or she might be at an amusement park on the roller coaster, water-skiing on Lake Tahoe, or looking out on Manhattan from the top of the Empire State Building. As in Virginia Woolf, the location should be familiar to all the players. (This version is somewhat trickier since the players are actually trying to uncover two unknowns!)

Up, Jenkins!

WHERE TO PLAY

At a table

NUMBER OF PLAYERS

At least 8

EQUIPMENT

A quarter

OBJECT OF THE GAME

To discover the person who has the quarter

Divide the players into two equal teams and seat the teams on opposite sides of the table. Choose a leader for each team. One side should have possession of the quarter.

At a starting signal, the team with the quarter passes it back and forth with their hands beneath the tabletop.

After counting slowly to ten, the leader of the team without the quarter calls, "Up, Jenkins!" The players of the opposing team must immediately raise their closed fists above the table.

The leader of the other team will then call, "Down, Jenkins!" With this signal the players on the team with the quarter must slap their opened hands down upon the table. The other team should listen carefully for the sound of the quarter hitting the table before it is covered by a hand.

The team without the quarter takes a moment to discuss in secret whom they think might have the coin. They make a guess among themselves and then return to the game.

One by one, the leader calls the names of the players from the other team, trying to eliminate those he or she believes do not have the quarter. Each player must pick up his or her hands from the table when named.

If the quarter appears before the last player is called, the team with the coin may hide it again. If the other team is correct in identifying the player who is hiding the coin, they may now hide it.

Score can be kept according to how many times a team discovers the location of the quarter within a given time limit of ten to fifteen minutes. The leaders can be rotated if other players want to get the chance to call, "Up, Jenkins!"

VARIATION

To add to the challenge, the guessing team should attempt to identify not only the coin holder but under which hand the coin is hidden as well.

War

WHERE TO PLAY

Anywhere. This is a good game to play seated on the floor

NUMBER OF PLAYERS

2 at a time

EQUIPMENT

A deck of playing cards

OBJECT OF THE GAME

To capture all the cards — though no skill is involved

Shuffle the deck and deal the cards evenly between the two players in neat piles, facedown.

The two players simultaneously take the top cards from their piles and lay them faceup in between them. The player who lays down the card of higher value (suit doesn't matter) wins both cards and places them, facedown, at the bottom of his or her pile. Aces have the highest value.

If, however, the cards are of equal value (two 6s, or two Jacks), a "war" is fought. Each player places three cards facedown on his or her original card, chanting "one, two, three," and the fourth faceup, declaring "war!" The player who places the card of the greatest value on the piles wins all the cards in the center. If they are still of equal value, the players repeat the process, laying another card facedown and a second faceup, until one player wins the piles.

Eventually, one player will accumulate all fifty-two cards and win the game. This may take a long time, though. Players anxious to finish can set a time limit to end the game — two or three more minutes of play, for example — before counting cards to determine the winner.

Western Union

WHERE TO PLAY

Anywhere

NUMBER OF PLAYERS

At least 8

EQUIPMENT

None

OBJECT OF THE GAME

To pass a "message" around the circle by squeezing hands without being caught by "It"

The players join hands to form a circle around "It," who stands in the center and covers his or her eyes. One player selects another player in the circle as the recipient of a "telegram" and announces, "I am going to send a telegram to — [the name of one of the players in the circle]."

With this announcement, he or she squeezes the hand of a player on either side in order to begin the transmission, and "It" opens his or her eyes, hoping to see the message being transmitted by squeeze. If "It" catches someone squeezing, that person must become "It." The direction in which the telegram is being sent can change at any time.

When the player announced as the recipient of the telegram gets the message (in the form of a squeeze), he or she announces so, and the process must begin again until "It" catches someone.

VARIATION

A more continuous version of this game is called Electricity. One player sends a squeezed "shock" that keeps traveling around the circle until "It" discovers it being passed.

What Are We Shouting?

WHERE TO PLAY

Anyplace where shouting won't disturb anyone. Playing this near a library is not a good idea!

NUMBER OF PLAYERS

10 or more; suggested for younger children

EQUIPMENT

None

OBJECT OF THE GAME

To guess the phrase being shouted by the opposing team

Divide the players into two equal teams. The team elected to shout first leaves the room to choose something to shout. They should select an easily recognizable phrase or title from suitable sources such as nursery rhymes, the names of television shows, or song lyrics. The phrase should have as many words as the team has players. For example, a team of five people should choose a five-word phrase. Each player should then be assigned one word from the phrase to shout.

After picking a phrase, the shouting team should return to the room where the other team is waiting. At the count of three, each player should simultaneously shout his or her word.

The opposing team must try to make sense out of the shout and guess the selected saying. The shout may be repeated once, but then the other team must attempt to guess. For example, if the chosen phrase is "Mary had a little lamb," and one player heard "Mary" and another discerned the word "lamb," the mystery phrase should be easily discovered.

If a team guesses correctly, it is awarded a point and can become the team that shouts. If it guesses incorrectly, the shouting team gets a point and is allowed to pick another phrase and begin again. The team with the greatest number of points after a given time period wins.

Word Lightning

WHERE TO PLAY

Anywhere

NUMBER OF PLAYERS

2 or more

EQUIPMENT

A watch with a second hand or a stopwatch

OBJECT OF THE GAME

To think of as many words as possible beginning with a given letter in 1 minute

One player assigns a second player a letter. The second player has one minute to call out as many words as possible that begin with that letter, while the first player keeps count and watches the clock.

With more than two players, a third person can watch the clock while the other counts the number of words called out.

Play continues until every, player has had a turn calling out a list of words. The player who thought of the most words wins.

Yacht

WHERE TO PLAY

Anywhere, even while traveling if the ride is fairly smooth

NUMBER OF PLAYERS

2 or more

EQUIPMENT

5 dice; paper and pencil

OBJECT OF THE GAME

To roll the dice in certain required combinations within 3 rolls

Elect a scorekeeper, who should draw a chart of the possible combinations of dice rolls (1s, 2s, 3s, etc.) and the players' names for ease in recording. The various combinations and corresponding scores are as follows:

1s Add all the 1s thrown in three rolls.

Highest possible score: 5 points

2s Add all the 2s thrown in three rolls.

Highest possible score: 10 points

3s Add all the 3s thrown in three rolls.

Highest possible score: 15 points

4s Add all the 4s thrown in three rolls.

Highest possible score: 20 points

5s Add all the 5s thrown in three rolls.

Highest possible score: 25 points

6s Add all the 6s thrown in three rolls.

Highest possible score: 30 points

Four of a kind

Add all the spots

Full House

Three of a kind plus two of another. Add all the spots

Little Straight

Four numbers in sequence (example: 1, 2, 3, 4). 20 points

Big Straight

Five numbers in sequence. 30 points

Choice

Total spots of all five dice

Yacht

Five of a kind. 50 points

One player begins by rolling all five dice at once, attempting to complete any one of the required combinations from the previous listing within three rolls. After the first roll, the player should examine the dice for the most likely combination to pursue. If a player has two or more of a number, he or she should set those aside and toss the remaining dice, attempting to roll more of the same number.

For example, if the player's first roll yields a 1, a 3, two 4,s and a 6, that player would be smart to attempt to continue rolling 4s. He or she would put aside the two 4s and roll the other three dice again. If another 4 comes up, that would also be put aside, and the player would be given one more roll (with the two remaining dice) to get more 4s.

Each combination is scored and recorded on the scorekeeper's chart. Once a player has fulfilled a combination, he or she cannot repeat it and must try for the others. After the first players attempt at a combination with three rolls of the dice, it is the next player's turn to roll.

As the end of the game grows nearer, some players may get some scores of zeros, since the more difficult combinations are likely to go unfulfilled.

The player with the highest score when all the combinations have been attempted is declared the winner.

Copyright © 1990 by The Philip Lief Group, Inc.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Contents

Foreword by Bob "Captain Kangaroo" Keeshan

Introduction

Helpful Hints to Get the Ball Rolling

ONE INDOOR GAMES FOR SUNNY DAYS AND RAINY DAYS

Action Spelling

Aesop's Mission

Animals

Art Consequences

Assassin

Bango

Battleship

Beetle

Beggar My Neighbor

Bingo

Botticelli

Boxes

Buzz

Cat's Cradle

Categories

Charades

Cheat

Clockwise Dice

Coffeepot

Colin Maillard

Concentration

Cootie Catcher

Crambo

Crazy Eights

Crosswords

Donkey

Drawing in the Dark

Dress Me

Drop Dead

Dumb Crambo

Fifty Points

Ghost

Go Fish

Going to Boston

Gossip

Guess the Number

Guggenheim

Ha, Ha, Ha

Hangman

Happy Families

Hearts

Hot and Cold

How Do You Do, Shoe?

Huckle Buckle Beanstalk

Hunt the Key

I Packed My Bag

I Spy

Initials

Letters by Numbers

Magazine Scavenger Hunt

Magazine Storytelling

Mathematical Baseball

Memory Game

Muggins

Musical Chairs

Musical Clapping

My Ship Sails

Odd Bean

Old Maid

Orchestra

Pass the Present

Password

Questions

Racetrack

Rain

Rigamarole

Rolling Stone

Scissors, Paper, Stone

Seeing Green

Sentences

Shadow Buff

Slap Jack

Sneeze

Snip Snap Snorum

Spelling Bee

Spit

Square Tic-Tac-Toe

Stairway

Taste

Tic-Tac-Toe

Tip-Tap-Toe

Tongue Twisters

Twenty Questions!

Up, Jenkins!

War

Western Union

What Are We Shouting?

Word Lightning

Yacht

TWO GAMES TO PLAY ON GRASS AND PLAYGROUNDS

Army

Around Ball

Baby in the Air

Badminton

Barnyard Peanut Hunt

Baseball

Blindman's Buff

Bronco Tag

Brooklyn Bridge

Buck, Buck

Call Ball

Capture the Flag

Cat and Mouse

Chimp Race

Circle Golf

Contrary Children

Cops and Robbers

Cowboys and Indians

Crossing the Brook

Dizzy Izzy

Drop the Handkerchief

Duck Duck Goose

Egg Toss

Farmer in the Dell

Follow-the-Leader

Foul-Play Race

Frisbee Golf

Hat Grab

Hide-and-Seek

Home-Plate Baseball

Hot Potato

Human Hurdle

I Draw a Snake Upon Your Back

Ice Cubes

Jack Be Nimble

Johnny-Jump-Ups

Kick the Can

Kickball

King of the Hill

Kitty Wants a Corner

Leapfrog

Lemonade

Log Roll

London Bridge

Maypole

Moving Statues

Mulberry Bush

Newcomb

Obstacle Course

Obstacle People

Octopus

Pom Pom Pull Away

Prince Tiptoe

Rabbit

Races and Relays

Red Rover Ring-Around-the-Rosy

Ring-a-Levio

Run for Your Supper

Sardines

Sewing Up the Gap

Simon Says

Spud

Statues

Tag

Tetherball

Threading Grandmother's Needle

Tiger and Leopard

Toesies

Touch Football

Tug-of-War

Twine the Garland

Ultimate Frisbee

Volleyball

Water-Balloon Ball

Wink

Wrestling Games

THREE GAMES TO PLAY ON PAVEMENT, STEPS, AND STOOPS

Ball Punch

Basketball Games

Battleball

Beanbag Toss

Bombardment

Bounce Ball

Circle Dodge Ball

Cross-Over Dodge Ball

Danish Rounders

Dodge Ball

Errors

Firing-Squad Dodge Ball

Four Square

Fox and Geese

German

Goal Kickers

Greek Ball Game

Handball

Handball Tennis

Hopscotch

Hunter and Rabbits

Jacks

Jump Rope

London

Marbles

Monkey in the Middle

Mother May I?

O'Leary

Pottsie

Prisoner's Base

Running Bases

Seven Up

Sidewalk Golf

Skully

Steal the Bacon

Stickball

Stoopball

Tunnel Relay

Two Square

FOUR GAMES TO PLAY IN WATER

Ball Between the Knees Race

Black and White

Chicken Fights

Fisherman

Marco Polo

Mount Ball

Poison Balls

Sharks and Minnows

Still Pond

Tunnel Swimming Race

Underwater Football

Underwater Tag

Water Ball

Water Bridge

Water Follow-the-Leader

Water Keep Away
rWater Volleyball

Watermelon Scramble

Whirlpool

White Whale

FIVE PARTY GAMES FOR ANY OCCASION

Auction

Balloon Ball

Bobbing for Apples

Broken Hearts

Burst the Balloon

Cobweb Confusion

Easter-Egg Hunt

Egg Polo

Feelies

Good Resolutions

Orange Race

Peter Piper

Pin the Tail on the Donkey

Piñata

Scavenger Hunt

Treasure Hunt

SIX TRAVEL GAMES FOR FUN ON THE ROAD

Alphabet Objects

Alphabits

Automobile

Billboard Alphabet

Bordering Plates

Find All Fifty

Free Association

Going on a Picnic

License-Plate Poker

License-Plate Spelling

Miles to Go

Name That Tune

100 Points

The Preacher's Cat

Ten Pairs

Travel Scavenger Hunt

Appendix A Games Listed by Player Age

Appendix B Games Listed by Number of Players

Index

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 8, 2004

    Excellent game book for teachers & parents

    What a great book! I checked it out from the library, but now I am buying my own copy. My kids & I had a blast trying out new games, and we also rediscovered some games we had forgotten. Would make a great Christmas gift.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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