Traditional children’s games still fun in a modern age
Times might have changed so much over the decades and yet when it comes to traditional children’s games, there is a number that has stood the test of time, and for great reason. Not only are they fun and entertaining, but also great for making new friends, being active and living carefree. These games might have been born from the creativity of our ancestors due to boredom and the lack of having anything else to do, but today they are still enjoyed by the younger generations during camping, social events and play-time with friends.
Rotten Egg (Vrot eier)
This game is great for larger groups. One child takes up the role of the rotten egg, while the rest of the group forms a circle, seated on the ground. They must all be facing the middle, while “the rotten egg” walks around behind them, while secretly dropping a marker behind an unexpected “victim”. The marker can be anything from a sock to a leaf or flower. The trick is for the “rotten egg” to make his or her way all the way around the circle again towards the unexpected player and then that person becomes the next “rotten egg”. In the case of the child becoming aware of the marker behind his or her back, they must get up and run and try to catch the “rotten egg” who is then chasing to go and sit down in the empty space. If not successful, then the new “rotten egg” starts the process all over again.
For generations, Simon has been giving instructions. This is another wonderful game filled with exciting anticipation for someone in the group to make a mistake. One person plays the role of Simon, while the rest of the group follows instructions. Every time that Simon says something, the action must be followed by every member in the group, but if an instruction was given without the well-known Simon says beforehand, they shouldn’t do it. The ones in the group that did act then, falls out of the group until there is only one winner left.
This is a version of tag that is played in a swimming pool. One player has to close his eyes and then call out “Marco”. The group then replies with shouting out “Polo”. By following the sound of their voices, he must try and tag the next “Marco” of the next round, while they try to get away from their friend, reaching out to touch them with eyes shut. This is a lot of fun for children who are confident in the water and can swim.
Bag Jumping (Sak Spring)
This is a great activity to do when camping and many children can partake. Each player needs a large strong bag. If the children are small enough, an old pillowcase might even work. The children with both feet in the bag, holds the bag up as far as they can and then lines up at the starting line. Following is a race down a set track to see who managed to jump the first all the way across the winning line with both feet inside the bag.
Wolf-Wolf What is the Time?
This game is another where the anticipation for the moment of truth often brings around many laughs and nervous giggles. A line of children follows one child, playing the wolf, as he or she walks around in an open space. They will keep on asking, “Wolf, Wolf what is the time?” to which the wolf can respond with any given time. The game continues until the wolf decides to call out, “Dinner time!” The wolf then turns around and starts chasing the kids in order to catch as many as possible.
Handball (Handjie tennis)
This is probably the game that is still the most played at primary schools all over the country. The rules vary from one group to the next and the children have the freedom to adjust this, as long as that the entire group agrees to the rules. A group of 2 or four kids can play tennis in a reserved space and then use their hands to hit the tennis ball instead of rackets. Knowing who is out of the game and replaced by a new player, is determined by the group’s own set of rules.
A brilliant game that not only brings silence in the group but also loads of silliness. The group of children is seated in a circle and then one starts to whisper a message in the next child’s ear. This message then travels around the entire circle, being passed on from one to the next only through a whisper in the ear. When the final child is reached, the message is said out loud, which normally brings about bouts of laughter, since the initial message has gone lost completely.
So much fun and so little time to be young.