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Games from Olive's Childhood - Ages 10 Upwards

   

Each person is given half a picture-postcard or Christmas card and has to find out who has the other half.

 

Scrambled words to sort out, eg. tribdyah is birthday, and pawgrinp reapp is wrapping paper. These can be written on pieces of paper on several small tables, or pinned to the wall

 

Put a sticky label on each person's forehead or on their back. On it is written a word to guess, like an animal or occupation. Only ask questions to be answered yes or no, and one at a time. For instance, "Is my word useful? Is it a job? Is it alive? Do you find it in a house?"

   

Cut the Chocolate requires a dice, large packet of chocolate, knife, fork and plate, and several items of clothing, such as a coat, apron and pair of gloves. A dice is thrown by each child in turn, and when they get a 6 they rush to the pile of clothing, put it on, and start to cut up the large bar of chocolate on a plate on the floor, using a knife and fork - and wearing gloves! They have to cut it into the small squares marked on it, and can then eat it, as long as another child has not thrown a 6 in the meantime, and come to drag the clothes off them to get at the chocolate!

 

A pudding-basin of flour is packed down firmly, and inverted over a large plate. This is carried into the roomful of people on a tray, or with newspaper under it, to catch the flour. It is set down on the floor, and a coin placed on top of the pudding, with a knife alongside the plate. People are invited to cut a slice of pudding without letting the coin fall down. If it does, then that person has to pick out the coin with their teeth, hands behind their back, often with someone standing behind them to push their face into the flour! Usually they do not mind too much, as long as they can keep the coin.

 

Everyone in the room watches while eggs are put on the floor in various places. They are told to remember where the eggs are as they have to walk across the floor blindfolded. Usually about 6 hard-boiled eggs are used. Then all the players are sent out of the room and only brought back in blindfolded, one at a time for their turn. They do not know that in the meantime all the eggs have been picked up off the floor, and are very wary about which way they walk, placing their feet very cautiously. A guide walks alongside, telling them to be careful, which makes them even more nervous! When they reach the other side, the blindfold is removed, and they can see the bare floor, causing surprised laughter, which increases as they watch the others brought in for their turn.

 

Musical Chairs needs music and chairs! Everyone sits on a chair, then walks round the chairs while the music plays and one chair is taken away. When the music stops everyone rushes to sit on a chair, and the one without a seat is out. This goes on until there is only one chair left, and the two people have to walk round a helper at each end of the room, and run to the chair when the music stops. The winner gets a small prize.

 

Friends is a variation of musical chairs. Children sit on chairs in groups of three. However one group has only 2 people in it, and no chairs to sit on. When the music starts everyone walks around the room individually, but has to sit on the chairs as soon as the music stops. This means 2 people have nowhere to sit, and are out. Chairs are taken away a group at a time, and a three without chairs is out. So it goes on with more rushing to sit down in a threesome before the music stops, until only one 'three' is left as the winners, claiming a small prize.

 

Islands is similar to musical chairs but children step on a sheet of newspaper when the music stops, and these are gradually taken away till there is only one person left. If there are a lot of children, they can go round in pairs.

   

Everyone looks at 10 objects on a tray for 3 minutes and after the tray is taken away writes them down on paper. The objects are fimiliar things like a spoon, pen, comb, key, alarm clock, apple, ring, paperclip, matches, postage stamp, etc.

 

Set up a sheet at the front of the room with a collection of objects behind it. One by one, make noises with each object (e.g. zip, egg beater, spoon on dish, ballpoint pen click, bell, cellophane paper, opening a can, pouring water from cup to cup, scraping burned toast, saucepan lid on saucepan, etc) while hidden behind the sheet. The player that writes down the most correct object names wins.

 

Several different objects need to be prepared beforehand. They are then passed round, under a sheet, and felt by each person, but not seen, then written down. These could be such things as a matchbox, piece of cotton wool, paperclip, stick of firewood, orange, toast, comb, ring, saucepan lid, cup, etc.

 

This is a variation of Familiar Objects. Several objects are prepared well beforehand to represent different parts of Nelson's Body. The lights are turned out in the room, with only the hall light on, or a torch shining in the room, which makes it a bit scary to start with. Everyone sits round in a circle with a big sheet spread over their knees, and objects are then passed round from one to another. First comes Nelson's coat. That is all right. Then his medals, which are metal buttons or brooches. Then Nelson's shoe. Then the mud he stepped in on the way! This is a damp lump of flour and water dough. People start to squirm at this stage, and the giggling starts. Then Nelson's hat. Then his comb, and people are asked to feel for any hairs from his head, which are pieces of cotton thread glued on the comb, and any fleas, which are seeds glued on! People are reminded that Nelson lost an arm in battle, and round is passed a bone, much to the shrieks and horror of everyone. The bone is either a piece of smooth wood, or a stalk of celery, or if really well prepared, a bone from the butcher's which has been boiled or baked. A raw bone must definitely never be used. Then people are told that Nelson lost an eye in battle and the "eye" is passed around, being a peeled grape or piece of orange.

 

Only 2 people are involved, with everyone else watching. The 2 people sit opposite each other, with one the leader and the other having to copy exactly what the leader does without taking his eyes off the other's face. If they look away they are Out and do not get their little prize. Each is given a small plate, while still staring at the other's face. The leader gently rubs the underneath of the plate, and then touches his face, and repeats this action several times, with the other person copying it all carefully. What the copier does not know is that there is soot under his plate, and every time he touches it and then his face, he gets black marks on his face. The soot is produced by holding the plate over a candle till it is black. Soon everyone is laughing, especially when a mirror is brought for the copier to see his sooty face, which he had no idea was happening. The copier is awarded a small prize for being good natured. It was usually boys who are chosen for this game, not girls with make-up on.

By Olive Redmond

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