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Catch the Tail

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

A primitive playground game guaranteed to raise a chortle, Catch the Tail also works well at parties.All players form a line with each holding the player in front's waist. The object of the game is for the head of the line to try and catch the tail - and the object for the tail is to escape. This necessarily, turns the players just behind the leader into his helpers and those near the tail player


Sunday, May 28, 2006

Aeroplanes is a trick party game that can probably only be played once (unless one keeps participants out of the room until it is their turn)Two strong men are required to hold a plank of wood a few inches above the floor. The partygoer /'pilot' / 'victim' is then blindfolded and helped onto the plank. He stands on it and supports himself by placing his hands on the shoulders of the two

Counting Out Rhymes. No.3

Friday, May 26, 2006

Who is going to be 'it'? There is only one way to decide: a counting out rhyme.If you are young now then I expect you will be using a contemporaneous rhyme such as this:Ip /dip /dation /My /op - er - at - ion /How /many /trains /are /at /the /stat-ion /Then that person gives a number. Carry on counting around the circle and the person you land upon is it. Now one from school days long ago:Intery

Party Animals

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Party Animals is an entertaining game that soon has people descending into helpless laughter.Everyone sits in a circle. The leader passes a toy dog to the first person on his left and says to them,"I found this dog.""This what?" says the first person"This dog." says the leader.The first person then passes the dog to the second person and repeats,"I found this dog.""This what?" says the second

Thimble Soccer

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

One dull, rainy afternoon whilst Nanny was sewing I spied a whole set of metal thimbles in her sewing basket...shortly afterwards Thimble Soccer was born.Find an old table that doesn't mind being scratched and chalk out a soccer pitch onto it. Fashion some goal posts out of cotton reels. It can be useful to form a border all the way around the table using cardboard strips to stop the ball coming

Blindman's Circle

Monday, May 22, 2006

A perfect game for small parties requiring stealth and cunning. In Blindman's Circle the partygoers sit in a circle. In the middle one person is blindfolded and sits on a stool. All players are allocated a number which they must remember. The middle player calls out two numbers of his choosing - those two people must now swap places without being touched by the middle man. He must remain seated,


Sunday, May 21, 2006

Another strange game devised by myself in my youth. Bucketheads is an hilarious yet asinine game for two (or possibly more) people. Two players place an object on the floor preferably somewhere near the edge of the room. The object can be anything that is easily recognisable.They then go to the centre of the room and each places a plastic bucket over their heads. The bucket should act as a

Slapsies / Slaps

Saturday, May 20, 2006

If Rock, Paper, Scissors is the king of playground hand games then Slapsies is its boorish, dysfuntional, half-brother. I first remember it being played in the 1940's but its popularity fluctuates and presently it is making something of a comeback. For two people, both hold their hands as if praying but with arms stretched in front and fingertips touching. Each takes it in turn to try and slap

Human Croquet

Thursday, May 18, 2006

It's a lazy August afternoon and you are sitting on the veranda sipping a cool Pimms when the party host shouts, "Anyone for Human Croquet?" The perfect summer garden game, Human Croquet necessitates a large number of people. Ten pairs of people form the hoops by facing each other, raising their arms in the air and clasping hands; leaving enough space between their bodies for the 'ball' to pass

Circular Skipping

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

A game that I fear has almost died out; to win at circular skipping requires timing and not a little stamina.One person has a good rope a few yards long, the end of which has a small weight attached. This man must crouch down and spin the rope around a few inches above the floor (he will have to keep changing hands to keep the rope spinning). The competitors form a circle outside of the rope and

Drinking Competition

Monday, May 15, 2006

A endearingly simple yet always engrossing party game. Drinking Competition seems to have fallen out of favour in recent times. It can be played either by everyone simultaneously or as a relay for two or more teams. Each person is given a water tumbler filled to the brim with water and a teaspoon. The first person to drink all the water using only the spoon is the winner. This will take

Feeding Time

Saturday, May 13, 2006

A great long lost childrens' party game ; in what other game can you find sweets and bray like a donkey. Best played in the home, divide the partygoers into teams of two. One team member takes on the role of an easily imitated animal:cat, dog, horse, cow, chicken, etc. The other team member is its keeper and is given a paper bag. The party host will have beforehand hidden copious quantities of

Table Hockey

An energetic and fun game for a rainy day. Table hockey requires an old smooth table that doesn't mind if it gets a scratch or two, a supply of teaspoons (not Mama's best silver ones), cotton reels and a checkers counter for the puck.Teams can contain 1, 2 or more players (5 is the most I've played in but it was a rather large table); each has a teaspoon which he holds with the rounded side

Ankle Battle

Friday, May 12, 2006

Another marvelous game from my childhood. To be successful at Ankle Battle you will need the balance of a cat and strong muscles. It's a game for two players at a time. Each faces the other then each grasps their left ankle with their left hand. Then each player holds his opponents right hand in a firm grasp. Hopping on their right foot, and not releasing either their left ankle or their

Vacant Chair

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

A rarely played variation on Musical Chairs. Here the chairs are formed into a circle with one more chair than persons - the Vacant Chair. The person standing in the middle of the circle must try to possess this chair-without-a-sitter. To stop him all the other players should move round continuously, one chair at a time so that the vacant chair is always changing. Once he gets a seat, the person

Hens and Chickens

Tuesday, May 9, 2006

Almost everyone must be familiar with 'What's the Time Mr Wolf?' but when I was knee high to a Beagle the game we loved to play was Hens and Chickens. One person is chosen to be the fox and must sit down and look sly and hungry. The others are the hens and chickens and form a line past the fox, chanting:"Chicany, chicany, crany, crow,I went to the well to wash my toe,And when I came back a

Deer Stalking

Monday, May 8, 2006

A rip-roaring party game for two people to play at a time. Most of the fun is in the watching. Two party-goers are blindfolded - one is the 'hunter' and one is the 'deer'. They are placed next to a round table but opposite each other and both facing in a clockwise direction. The aim of the game is for the 'hunter' to catch the 'deer'. A time limit of a minute should avoid too much exhaustion...if

Spotty Death

A charmingly physical game for a party and one in which you need the agility of a gazelle to win. Place or chalk a large red spot on the floor. Partygoers link hands in a circle around the spot. Without breaking the circle each must try and get their neighbours to stand on the spot. If anyone's feet touches it they are out and the game continues until there is one victor.The merriment is

Orange Battle

Sunday, May 7, 2006

A perennial favourite game at all the best parties - Orange Battle has it all: skill, intense competition and copious supplies of citrus fruit. Simply supply all partygoers with two tablespoons and an orange. They must balance the orange on a spoon in one hand whilst holding the other spoon in their other hand. The objective is to knock opponents oranges onto the floor whilst protecting your own.

Piggy Back Polo

Friday, May 5, 2006

Fantastic to play in the garden Piggy Back Polo is an energetic and immensely entertaining game. Pair up the players - one large and one small. The larger player gives the smaller one a piggy back. Each rider holds a walking stick upside down. The aim of the game is to knock a tennis ball into the opponents goal.Play on a summer's day with lashings of Ginger Beer for the competitors.strange games

Two Dogs and a Bone

Thursday, May 4, 2006

An energetic game for 12-20 players. A skittle (the ' bone') is placed on a chalk mark in the centre of the room.The players are split into two equal teams and given numbers to remember. So, if there are 12 players there will be numbers 1 to 6 on each team. The teams line up opposite their opposing numbers at either end of the room and equidistant from the 'bone'A caller shouts out a number of

Mother Magee

A party game that never fails of cause a commotion of laughter.Everyone stands in a circle. The first player turns to his left and says, "Mother Magee is dead!"The person on the left must reply, "How did she die?""Like this," says the first and closes one eye. The second player closes his same eye and repeats the dialogue to the next person but adds his own affliction."Like this," he says and

Counting Out Rhymes Number 2

Another comparison of playground counting out rhymes - the only sane way to determine who is 'it'. First a marvellous contemporary one.Cin : der : ella : dressed : in : yellawent : to : the : ballto : kiss : a : fella :by : mis- : take : she : kissed : a : steak :how : many : kisses : did : she : make the person who is being pointed at shouts out a number. Continue counting around the circle till

Collapsing Bridges

Wednesday, May 3, 2006

A fun indoor game for two evenly matched competitors.One player, 'the bridge' forms a bridge like structure by kneeling with his hands also on the floor, shoulder width apart and a good distance from his knees. The other man, 'the boat', must pass under the 'bridge' (usually achieved by a rapid scuttling motion) up to 3 times. On one of these times the 'bridge' will collapse, crushing the boat

Puss in the Corner

Tuesday, May 2, 2006

An excellent game for small parties Puss in the corner will have you in paroxysms of delight.The traditional way to play this game is to have one person in each corner of the room. The fifth person, 'Puss', is dressed up as a cat.Corner people agree, using shouts or hand signals, to change corners. As soon as they leave their corner and rush to the next they can not return. Puss must try to get

Jingle Jangle

Monday, May 1, 2006

This party game is a variation on that perennial favourite Blind Man's Buff. I first played this game at the party to celebrate Cedric Toffingdon's going up to Oxford.One person wears a hat that jingles - the 'Jingle Jangle man'. A jester's hat is perfect although any hat with bells will suffice. The rest of the partygoers all wear blindfolds. The first person to grab hold of the Jingle Jangle

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