As kids, we sure did play a lot of fun games on the playground. We were lucky when someone brought toys from home, but most of the time we just ran, jumped, and played these classic games. We hope that some of these games and songs will live on, but a lot of kids today don’t even know what they are.

1) Hopscotch

We’ve heard that this one goes all the way back to the Romans, when soldiers had to do it to show how fast and strong they were. Sometimes they even had to carry weights. But as kids, we just thought it was fun! We know that you can draw different hopscotch patterns with chalk, but we almost went with the classic one.

2) Dodgeball

This crazy game often turned into a free-for-all of throwing balls, which is a big reason why many schools don’t let kids play it anymore. If the rules are followed, this isn’t a bad game, and we all know how well kids follow rules, right? Still, dogegeball was a lot of fun until a ball hit you in the face.

3) Marbles

Marbles was a game that took a lot of skill and is no longer played. Another thing that got lost in the “stay-inside” culture was marbles, which could keep a group of kids busy for a long time during recess or in the afternoon. We have fun memories of playing boss-out or ringer with these beautiful glass marbles and playing for keeps.

4) Duck Duck Goose

The fox gets to pick the goose out of all the ducks, and this game was so much fun! We would play duck duck goose in the mornings before school if we had time. Quite a few of the older kids always wanted to play this game. Maybe it’s hard to get tired of this game!

5) Jump Rope

There are way too many jump rope songs and games to list them all. Miss Mary Mack, Cinderella Dressed in Yella, Miss Brown, Red Hot Pepper, My Mama and Your Mama, etc… As kids, it was so much fun to jump rope and sing. We were proud of how many rounds we could do, going faster and faster until someone got caught in the ropes. We used to love jumping rope so much, but kids these days don’t seem to care much about it. This game was fun for both older and younger girls, as shown in the picture below.

6) Red Rover

This is another game that can be dangerous if played too roughly, but we loved it at recess! As soon as the other kids sang your name, it was time to do your homework. This one was good if you were small but much stronger or faster than you looked. When you broke the line, you had to drag two kids back to your side. This made the game a bit like a police game. It was almost as if they were being arrested.

7) Tag

So, maybe tag isn’t dead after all. But since we had so much free time outside, tag was our go-to game. We played this whenever we were bored and didn’t have anything else to do. Depending on who you played with in a group, the rules would get more complicated. We argued about the rules for a long time. And it was for people of all ages. To stop playing tag, you had to be pretty old.

8) Jacks

This was one of the most classic schoolyard games, and all of the pieces fit nicely into your pocket. This game kept us busy for hours, from choosing who would go first to trying to get as many jacks as possible. They still make these, but most kids don’t hang out on the sidewalk with other kids in their neighborhoods anymore, so this game isn’t played nearly as much as it was when we were kids.