Top 10 Childhood Outdoor & Garden Games

A long, long time ago in a pre-digital age, children’s entertainment took simple forms – and forms that tended to involve exercise and running about.

In that distant era, pre-TV, computers and computer games the exhilaration of mad chases round school grounds, play parks or even just the back garden ruled.

At Climbing Frames UK, we’re feeling somewhat nostalgic for the games of our youth so we thought we’d make today’s blog a Top 10 list of the games we most enjoyed as youngsters.

1. Tig. Could there be a more simple game than tig? One person gets to be ‘it’ and it is his or her job to tap or tig someone as quickly as possible who would then become ‘it’. Obviously, the ability to run away very fast is a plus in this game.

2. High Tig. A variation on the above where, if players can position themselves off the ground – on a bench or on a climbing frame, say – they can’t be ‘tigged’.

3. British Bulldog. Another variation of tig and possibly one of the more aggressive childhood games. One person is the bulldog and the rest of the players stand at either end of a playing field or ground. They need to run to the other side and the bulldog tags them as they run. Those who are tagged then become bulldogs themselves and the winner is the last person to remain untagged.

4. Hide and Seek. Strictly speaking, this one can be played inside as well as out, but the premise is that one person shuts their eye and counts to 10 or higher, and everyone else finds some place to hide. The seeker then tried to find everyone.

5. Hopscotch. Not quite as basic as the others as you need a series of squares drawn in chalk or paint. Players then take a rock, throw it and whatever number the rock lands in is the number the player jumps to and back.

6. Skipping. We’re not being sexist here, but certain types of games have gender preferences and skipping is probably preferred by girls. It can be done individually or in a group with two people holding the rope and one person jumping over it.

7. Tree climbing. There are all sorts of scenarios the imaginative child can conjure up for tree climbing (or by using a wooden climbing frame for that matter). The tree or frame can be a castle, a hide-out, a look-out or a small-scale house.

8. Chinese skipping. For this game, you need to make a ‘rope circle’ out of rubber bands. Two people stand about three or four foot apart with the rope pulled taut around their ankles. A third person then jumps the rope using a series of moves. If they manage the moves, the rope is then moved up to knee level and so on.

9. Imagination. Probably the best game of all? You can create any kind of game with your imagination. You can pretend to be warriors fighting dragons, explorers on the moon, Vikings invading a village or you can use props such as wooden playhouses to create a new imaginary world.

10. Rounders. This is a bit of a cheat one, as you could argue that football and netball also count, but rounders tend to be played on a more informal basis. There are two teams – batters and fielders – and the object is for players to complete circuits of the field through four bases without being put out by the ball they batted being caught or touching a base post.

Well, that’s our round-up. Do you think we missed out any?

Chris has been working in the outdoor toy industry since January 2008, with Selwood Products Ltd View Chris's full profile here:

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