Wednesday, March 23, 2011
What Was Your Favorite Game To Play When You Were Young?
My favorite game that I played when I was a youngster was "Jacks" with my cousin Janis. We played often .....and for hours. This photo is from Wiki Commons and the information on how to play the game is from Wikipedia.
Traditionally, jacks are metal objects bearing six tips at right angles to one another, four of which are usually rounded, with two opposite tips more pointed. This ensures the jack is relatively easy to pick up. Also required is a small rubber ball, used as a sort of timing device: the jacks are manipulated in the time it takes the ball to bounce up in the air and return to the height of the hand that catches it.
The players decide who goes first, usually through "flipping" (when the set of jacks is placed in cupped hands, flipped to the back of the hands, and then back to cupped hands again; the player who keeps the most from falling in his/her turn, goes first); or perhaps via ip dip, (or Eeny, meeny, miny, moe), or a variant. Then the jacks are scattered loosely into the play area. The players take it in turn to bounce the ball off the ground, then pick up jacks, and then catch the ball before it bounces for a second time. The number of jacks to be picked up is pre-ordained and sequential: at first you must pick up one ("onesies"), next two ("twosies"), and so on. Depending on the total number of jacks included, the number may not divide evenly and there may be jacks left over. If the player chooses to pick up the leftover jacks first, one variation is to announce this by saying "horse before carriage" or "queens before kings." The playing area should be decided between the players since there is no official game rule about that.
The winning player is the one to pick up the largest number of jacks. If playing with fifteen, that goal is rarely, if ever, achieved. If ten jacks are used, the person who gets to the highest game wins. Game 1 is usually single bounce (onesies through tensies); game 2 is chosen by whoever "graduates" to game 2 first, and so on. Some game variations are "double bounces," "pigs in the pen," "over the fence," "eggs in the basket" (or "cherries in the basket,") "flying Dutchman," "around the world," etc. Some games, such as "Jack be nimble," are short games which are not played in the onesies to tensies format.
We also played "Pick Up Sticks" I remember playing them with magnetic middles and without magnets.
This is a game for two or more players. The object of the game is to pick up the most sticks.
To begin the game, a bundle of sticks are somewhat randomly distributed so that they end up in a tangled pile. The more tangled the resulting (dis)array, the more challenging the game. In some versions of the game, any isolated sticks, or sticks lying alone, are removed.
The first player attempts to remove a single stick, without moving any other stick. In some versions of the game, player uses a tool to move the stick away from the pile; this "tool" may be one of the sticks, held aside before the game begins. In other versions, players must pick up the sticks by hand. In either case, players must not move any other sticks while attempting to remove the chosen stick; if any other stick moves, his or her turn ends immediately. Players who successfully pick up a stick can then have another turn; the player keeps removing sticks until he or she causes a secondary stick to move.
The game is over when the last stick is removed. The winner is the player with the highest number of sticks picked up.
Another game I remember playing was "Marbles". I am going to give a link to the rules of marbles. My cousin was just about 18 months older than me and we got along pretty well. We were more like sisters, I think because neither one of us had a sister. We always lived close enough to each other to spend a lot of time at each others homes. I don't remember ever having a fight with her when we were young. I am sure if we had been real sisters...we would have had plenty. The thing I remember about marbles was that they were so pretty to look at and to collect. All of these toys were very simple and inexpensive. I wonder if my grand children would have an interest in playing these when they are old enough.........