Fun old-fashioned games

1. Tag

Number of players: Three or more

How to play

One person is “it.” The other players get a headstart to run and then “it” and chases after them until he touches one; the caught player now becomes “it.” See the rules for tag and more of our favourite outdoor games.

2. Hopscotch

Number of players: One or more

How to play

Draw a hopscotch board on the sidewalk with chalk and give each player a marker—a beanbag or rock works well. Each player, in turn, throws his marker on the board, starting in square one. He hops on one foot in each square to the end of the board, hopping over the square containing his marker, then turns and hops back, retrieving his marker. A player loses a turn if he steps on a line. The first to get his marker to 10 wins.

3. Homemade bubbles

1/2 cup (125 mL) liquid dish soap

4 cups (1 L) water

1/2 cup (125 mL) glycerine (available

at drugstores)

Gently mix together water, detergent and glycerine in a container with a lid. Allow the mixture to stand for a day or two. The longer you let the mixture set, the bigger the bubbles will be.

4. Skipping

Number of players: Three or more

How to play

Two players hold the ends of the rope and turn it while the other players take turns jumping over it in time to a favourite tune. Click here to find a few of our favourite classic skipping songs.

5. Four-Square

Number of players: Four or more

How to play Draw a large square (about two square metres) on the asphalt or driveway with chalk. Divide it into four equal squares and number them one to four; one player stands in each square. The player in square four bounces the ball once in her own square, then hits it to any other player.

The ball must bounce once in his square, then he hits it to another player. If a player misses the ball or it lands out of bounds or fails to bounce in the square, he goes back to square one and the others rotate up a square. The player who spends the most time in square four is the champion. For a non-competitive option, see how long players can keep the ball going.

6. Orange Crush

Number of players: One or more

How to play

Bounce the ball while singing:

Orange: Bounce the ball off the wall and catch it.

Crush: Throw it against the wall and let it bounce before you catch it.

Pepsi: Bounce it on the ground, then the wall.

Cola: Throw it against the wall by tossing it under your leg.

Add variations, such as clapping or hopping on one foot.