Games can be as simple as throwing a ball to each other and having to do forfeits if they drop it. A forfeit can be something like standing on one leg and saying a nursery rhyme, or turning round in a circle with your eyes shut.
One child hides while the others hide their eyes. Then everyone tries to find the hidden child. Very young children enjoy hearing an adult talking loudly about how difficult it is to find them, and 'could they be under here' or 'might they be over there?'
A centuries old game from when thimbles were in constant use. A thimble is a little metal finger-cap to protect someone's finger while hand-sewing. All the children go out of the room while one person hides a small object, like a thimble. Then the children come in and try to find it.
It can also be played the other way round, with a child going out of the room while the rest agree where the object is to be hidden. Then the child comes in and starts to look for it, with the rest saying, "You're getting warmer," when near the object, or "You're getting colder," when moving away from it.
One child stands facing a wall and turns round quickly every so often trying to catch the movement of the rest of the children who are trying to creep up and touch grandmother on the shoulder. The child who succeeds then becomes the grandmother.
A Victorian parlour game in which one child is blindfolded and stands with arms outstretched trying to catch the other children as they run past in the room. Whoever is caught wears the blindfold next.
An adult is needed to hold each end of a short plank of wood. A blindfolded child sits on the wood to be taken up in the air for a plane ride. The wood wobbles around so the child has to hold on tight, then a book is lightly touched on top of the child's head to pretend they have touched the ceiling. Then the adults shout out that there is an engine failure, and "get your parachute on". The child is told to jump out of the plane. The wood is only a few centimetres off the floor but most children think they are right up by the ceiling and take a big jump. They are very surprised to be so near the floor and everyone laughs. Usually the younger children go first, and are allowed to stay in the room to watch the others being fooled.
Everyone sits in a circle on chairs. A child is blindfolded, turned around 3 times, and given a cushion to put on the lap of someone sitting down and then says, "Squeak piggy, squeak." The person makes a noise and the child has to guess who it is. If successful, that person is then blindfolded. Once blindfolded people are then turned round 3 times, so they have no idea who is sitting where, but do not make them so giddy they fall over.
Some preparation is needed beforehand. A lollie or small prize is wrapped up, then wrapped in a piece of newspaper. A lollie is attached to this little parcel and wrapped in another layer of newspaper. The layers continue with a lollie in each wrapping. A forfeit can be included with each lollie. The parcel is passed round the circle of children to music, and when the music stops suddenly the child holding the parcel unwraps it and finds the lollie and does the forfeit, before passing it on again to the continuing music. An adult watches to see that all the children get a lollie, by holding up their hand to stop the music at a strategic point.
A big donkey is drawn on paper. A tail is made from paper or knitting wool, with a drawing-pin in it. Then each child is blindfolded in turn, turned around 3 times, and has to pin the tail on where they think the tail-end of the donkey is. This causes laughter from the other children who can see the funny places where the tail is pinned.
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.
By Olive Redmond