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Hopscotch, Hangman, Hot Potato, & Ha Ha Ha: A Rulebook of Children's Games Paperback – August 1, 1990


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 and up
  • Grade Level: Preschool and up
  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Touchstone; 1st Fireside Ed edition (August 1, 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671763326
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671763329
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6.9 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #449,359 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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About the Author

Jack Maguire author of Creative Storytelling and What Does Childhood Taste Like? conducts storytelling programs and workshops in the New York City area.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Chapter One

Indoor Games for Sunny Days and Rainy Days

Action Spelling

WHERE TO PLAY


Indoors or outdoors

NUMBER OF PLAYERS

4 or more

EQUIPMENT

None

OBJECT OF THE GAME

For players to spell words correctly, substituting motions for some letters

This is a more playful version of the traditional game Spelling Bee.

Before the game, the players should select one player to act as the spelling master and then agree on a set of motions that will replace certain letters of the alphabet. A could be a jumping jack, L a handclap, and T a kick.

The number of substitutions made for letters should depend upon the age level of the players. To make the game simpler for younger children, the gestures and letters can correspond: a jumping jack for J, a kick for K and so on.

The game begins when the spelling master gives the first player a word to spell. That player must correctly spell the word, using the appropriate motions for the letters indicated. A player spelling pilot would say "P-I, then clap hands for L, say "O," and then kick to represent T if a clap signified L and a kick T.

The next player spells a word given by the spelling master, substituting gestures for letters as needed.

Action Spelling can be played for points or as an elimination game.

VARIATION

Another way to play Action Spelling is to substitute certain motions for vowels and consonants. For example, a hop on one foot could represent a vowel, while a jumping jack might signify a consonant.

Aesop's Mission

WHERE TO PLAY


Anywhere

NUMBER OF PLAYERS

4 or more

EQUIPMENT

None

OBJECT OF THE GAME

To discover the letter that "Aesop" has forbidden before being eliminated from the game

One player is designated as "Aesop," and the other players are the "animals" of Aesop's fables. Aesop must secretly choose one letter that must be avoided by the players.

Play begins when Aesop asks the first player a question that can require only a one-word answer. A crafty Aesop will try to ask a question that is likely to be answered with a word containing the forbidden letter.

For example, if the forbidden letter is s, Aesop might ask, "Which is your favorite season of the year?" hoping the player will respond with "summer" or "spring."

If the player responds to Aesop's question with a word containing the prohibited letter, he or she loses one life. The next player is given a chance to guess the forbidden letter before being asked a question.

After losing three lives, a player is dropped from the game. The players try to discover the taboo letter before using up all three lives. The player who guesses the forbidden letter first becomes the next Aesop.

Animals

WHERE TO PLAY


At a table

NUMBER OF PLAYERS

At least 3

EQUIPMENT

A deck of playing cards

OBJECT OF THE GAME

To win another player's cards by calling out his or her animal noise before that player calls yours

Shuffle and deal the cards facedown around the table. Next, each player should choose an animal to imitate. When everyone has a different animal, go around the circle a couple of times to practice the appropriate noises.

One player might meow like a cat, another bark like a dog, another hiss like a snake, or moo like a cow, and so forth. All players should try to remember the animals chosen by the others as well as their own.

Play begins at the dealer's left. Everyone around the table discards one card faceup (in sequential order), forming separate discard piles for each player.

When one player lays down a card that is of equal value to another card in someone else's discard pile (two Jacks, for instance), those players with the matching cards try to call out the animal noise of the other.

For example, if the "cow" lays clown a 6 that matches the 6 on the pile of the "cat," he or she tries to meow before the "cat" moos. The first of the two players to make the right sound is awarded the discard pile of the other player.

A player who makes a wrong noise, or calls out a noise at the wrong time, must pay the penalty of the top card from his or her discard pile or hand, if there is no discard pile.

The game is continued by the loser of each round, who lays down a new card.

Any player to lose all of his or her cards is eliminated from the game. The player to collect all the cards is the winner.

Playing until final elimination is recommended only for patient players. It might be a better idea to keep track of a predetermined number of rounds and designate the winner as the player with the greatest number of cards at the completion of all the rounds.

Art Consequences

WHERE TO PLAY


Seated at a table

NUMBER OF PLAYERS

3 or more

EQUIPMENT

A few sheets of paper and pencils

OBJECT OF THE GAME

To draw an imaginary, figure and create an amusing work of art through group effort

If numbers permit, the players should be divided into groups of three or four. The first player in each group begins by drawing the head and neck of a real or imaginary figure on the top one-third of the paper. When done, he or she folds the paper back so that nothing can be seen of the drawing except a few lines that will allow the next player to continue the figure.

The next player then draws in the shoulders and part of the arms and torso. When done, he or she folds the paper back again so only a bit of the bottom section of the drawing is visible -- enough to allow the next player to take up the drawing.

The drawing is passed along and finished by the final player, who then unfolds the paper to reveal the entire figure.

When there are two or more groups of "artists" there can be a competition for the best creation: silliest, scariest, most true to life, etc.

Surrealist artists of the 1930s called this game The Exquisite Corpse and used it to create a number of serious works of art.

Assassin

WHERE TO PLAY


Seated in a circle on the floor or around a table

NUMBER OF PLAYERS

6 or more

EQUIPMENT

Pencil or pen and scraps of paper

OBJECT OF THE GAME

For the "assassin" to eliminate all the other players from the game by winking at them, while avoiding being caught

Cut up or tear off a small piece of paper for each player. Mark one of these sheets with an X, fold, shuffle, and distribute them among the players. The players should open them secretly. The player whose paper is marked X will be the assassin.

After all the papers have been checked, the players form a circle around a table or seat themselves on the floor. Players examine the faces of the others around the circle, trying to discover who the assassin is. When the assassin winks at another player, that player must say, "I've been hit" and must drop out of the game.

If a player catches the assassin in the act of winking, the game is over, and the sharp-eyed player is the winner. But if the assassin succeeds in winking at all the players (except the last, who, by process of elimination, will soon learn who the assassin is), he or she is declared the winner.

Bango

WHERE TO PLAY


At a table

NUMBER OF PLAYERS

At least 3

EQUIPMENT

A deck of playing cards

OBJECT OF THE GAME

To be the first to match your hand to the card values called by the dealer

This game is a very simplified version of Bingo, well suited for children under eight.

One player shuffles the deck and deals five cards to each player at the table. The players place their cards faceup in front of them.

The dealer then turns over one card at a time from the pile of remaining cards and calls out its value. Any player with a card of matching value can turn that card facedown.

The first player who can turn all five cards facedown shouts, "Bango!" in order to win the round.

Keep track of the number of rounds won by each player if you want to declare a grand winner at the end of the game.

Battleship

WHERE TO PLAY


Best played at a table, but can be played as a travel game if the ride is steady

NUMBER OF PLAYERS

2, or 4 if you want to play with partners

EQUIPMENT

Paper and pencil for each player or team. Graph paper makes playing easier, but it is not essential.

OBJECT OF THE GAME

To sink your opponent's battleships by making successful "hits" on a grid

To prepare for the game, two grids, which represent naval battlefields, need to be drawn on each player's sheet. Each grid should have 10 blocks down and 10 blocks across for a total of 100 blocks. The blocks need not be very big -- a quarter of an inch is large enough.

Across the top row of each grid, number the blocks 1 through 10. Down the left edge of the grids, letter the blocks A through J. Label one grid for the player and the other for the enemy.

Players then must place battleships on the grid for their respective "sides" by drawing lines through consecutive blocks to indicate their ships' positions. Each player has four ships: an aircraft carrier of four blocks, a cruiser of three blocks, and two destroyers of two blocks apiece.

Players mark their battleships on their grids without letting the enemy see their positions. The blocks must be located on a straight line: horizontally, vertically, or diagonally. A battleship may not be split up.

When the grids are drawn and the battleships are in place, the players should determine who fires first. The player chosen to begin gets eleven shot...

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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 15, 1999
Format: Paperback
I love this book! I have used it so much I had to order a second copy. As a teacher, I have used many of these games to play with my class during recess, on school trips, and after a lesson is finished. The book is easy to use for any age or interest level. These are the games I remember playing as a kid. I highly recommend you buy it!
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By L. Schmucker on August 8, 2001
Format: Paperback
I couldn't put this book down -- it's like reading a best seller! It brought back wonderful memories of my childhood. Games I always wanted to share with my kids, but couldn't remember exactly how to play them are not a problem now. I'm also a new Girl Scout leader (starting my 2nd year) and I know, already, this book will provide hours of fun. **One of the best reference books for entertaining children (and adults) I've come across.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Sunny Skies on April 19, 2006
Format: Paperback
I LOVE this book and I'm not a teacher NOR do I have children (just lots of nieces and nephews)! I've always been a board game fan and this book brings back memories of all the fun we used to have as kids. This is a great book for parents to get kids away from video games and get outside and have fun while being active. It covers almost any children's game you can think of in a manner that touches on all the detail I've forgotten over time. It's divided into chapters such as: Indoor Games; Games to Play on Grass and Playgrounds; Games to play on Pavement, Steps and Stoops; Games in Water; Party Games and Travel Games.

There are games I played that I didn't remember the names or the rules...they're all here. Card games like Old Maid, Fish and Hearts; Paper games like Hangman, Boxes (where you make the dots and connect the lines to form boxes) and String games like Cat's Cradle. There was even the game that you folded the paper and wrote stuff on the inside and you sliped the paper box thing over your fingers to answer the other person's questions. Here it's called Cootie Catcher but I can guarantee we didn't call it that! LOL

Writing this review makes me want to go play some hopscotch! See ya' later.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Joe Bell on September 30, 2002
Format: Paperback
The best one book for playing games with elementary students. New games, old games, cooperative games, competitive games, variations on games- it's all here. The best money I've spent on a game book- and I've bought four!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By J. Pearson on May 6, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a great source for the rules to the games you use to play, but can't remember how! I gave this as a gift to my son's 2nd grade teacher. I always try to give a gift that the classroom can benefit from, and hopefully spark their imagination and get them moving. This book has all the rules to those classic playground games. A great gift idea.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Cornerstone School on January 13, 2007
Format: Paperback
What a great book, I teach P.E. and do afterscool care, I use this book all the time. It has great games for indoor and outdoors. Get it you won't regret it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By epban on March 21, 2008
Format: Paperback
This book got so much use when I was a girl scout leader and with the neighborhood kids, especially parties! Has great games that I loved to play in the days before computers, playstations, cable TV, etc.
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By LA on December 27, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I would have loved this as a kid when I had a lot of time on my hands. I bought it so that I could find new ways of entertaining my boys without TV or computers, but it's just too much info for me to go through. However, the book is well classified and games are described concisely enough. It tells straight up how many can play, where to play, what you need (if anything), the object of the game, and short, yet clear instructions on how to play. Great for pre-teens that can read.
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