Childs Play the Traditional Way

For those special children occasions try a nice traditional party which can be exciting and inexpensive.

Blind Man’s Buff

A player wearing a blindfold is led into the midst of the other players and turned around three times. With arms outstretched, the blindfold player must try to catch one of the other players, who move about not making noises and trying to stay just beyon reach. The first player caught becomes the blind man, and the game  begins again.

Scavenger Hunt

Players must find everything on a list of about 15 items, some easy to find and the others more difficult. Players hunt in pairs or groups, and are given a time limit(e.g. 45 minutes). The winning team is the one that gets back first with all the items, or else the team that has found the most items at the conclusion of the time limit.

Oranges and Lemons

Two tall players secretly decide who will be the ‘lemon’ and who an ‘orange’, and then standing face each other with their hands joined above their heads to form an arch. The other players join hands and skip through the arch, singing the traditional rhyme-

Oranges and lemons,

say the bells of St Clements.

You owe me five farthings,

Say the bells of Saint Martins.

When will you pay me?

Says the bells of the old bailey.

When I grow rich,

say the bells of shoreditch.

When will that be?

Say the bells of Stepney.

I do not know,

say the bells of Bow.

Here comes a candle

To light you to bed,

And hear comes a chopper

To chop of your head.

At the word ‘head’, the two players forming the arch bring their arms down to trap the player passing underneath. The trapped player must choose to be either an orange or lemon, and then stands behind whoever of the two represents the chosen fruit. This must be done all very quietly so that no one else can hear. The trapped players stands with arms around the waist of the lemon or the orange, and the game continues until all of the players have been caught and are standing behind the orange or the lemon. Regardless of how many players are on each side, the game ends with a tug-o-war between the oranges and the lemons.

Pass the Parcel

Before a party a small gift is wrapped in coloured paper and then in as many layers of scrap paper as there are players. An older person acts as master of ceremonies, playing some music while all the participants sit in a circle and pass the parcel from hand to hand. At the precise moment the music stops, the player holding the parcel must take off one layer of wrapping paper, then pass the parcel to the next player when the music begins again. One layer of wrapper is removed each time the music stops, until the last layer comes off and the gift is revealed. The player who unwraps the final layer keeps the prize.

Egg and Spoon Races

Competitors must run the course carrying hardboiled eggs in soup spoons. If the race is run as a relay, each runner must transfer the egg to the next runner in the team’s spoon without touching it.

Three-legged Races

Pairs of competitors stand side by side with their inside legs tied together. Thus handicapped, they can compete in running, hopping and jumping races.

Sack Races

Competitors line up with folded sacks at their feet. At the starting signal, competitors clamber into their sacks and jump or shuffle to the finish line.

Stepping Stones

Each participant has two pieces of a 30cm square. The object is to complete the course with one foot or the other always on one piece of cardboard. Anyone that touches anythng other than the ‘stepping stones’ must go back to the start. Avariation is to have pairs of contestants, one moving the cardboard for the other.


One player touches another, then runs away, shouting ‘tipped you last’. The tipped player must catch and tip another, who then takes on the roles of the pursuer.

Lucky Spot Contest

At the beginning of proceedngs, announce that htere is a luckjy spot in the playing area. Show the players where the spot is, and explain that later, on a given signal, the player on, or closest to the spot will win the prize. Timing is important: delay the signal until near the end of the gathering to sustain interest.

Hop Scotch

There are many variations of the game, but all involve marking out a court with several numbered compartments on the ground, throwing a small flat object called a pluck (such as a stone) into each compartment in numerical sequence, and then hopping up and down the court from compartment to compartment. With classic hopscotch players form a queue, with the first player at the starting line throwing the puck into the first compartment of the court. The players then hops into the compartment, turn around, kicks the puck out of the court, and hops back to the starting line. Next the player throws the puck into the second compartment and hops once into compartment 1 and then into 2. The player then turns and kicks the stone into compartment 1 and out of the court. The player throws the stone one compartment further each time, working up and back down the compartments to the starting line. A Player is ‘out’ if the stone is thrown onto a line; if the player fails to throw or kick the stone into the right compartment; or if the player hops on a line, rests the raised foot on the ground, or falls over before getting back to the starting line. The player must then go to the back of the line and the next person in the queue gets a turn. On their next turn, players start from where they left off.

Kick the Can

A bit like hide and seek. Designate one child as the seeker. This seeker places a can in the centre of a circle and another child kicks it out. This is a signal that the game has started and all the children except the seeker hide. Once the seeker has placed the can back into the circle the seeker then can look for the children. When a child is seen, the seeker runs back to the circle, bangs the can and calls out the name of the child. The found child must then return to the circle as a prisoner while the seeker goes out and seeks the other children. Other players can free prisoner’s by creeping up and and kicking the can out of the circle while the seeker is not looking. The main rule is that no one can be caught if the can is outside the circle.

Clapping Games

A sailor went to sea sea sea 
To see what he could see see see 
And all that he could see see see 
Was the bottom of the deep blue sea sea sea

Up down slap, clap, up down slap, clap, up down clap, 3 claps to partner, then repeat for each line

Pat a cake, Pat a cake, baker’s man, 
Bake me a cake as fast as you can; 
Roll it, pat it, mark it with a B, 
Put it in the oven for baby and me.

Up down slap, clap then repeat

For these chants each word is met with a slap or clap, the faster the chant the faster the clap. The one that loses the rhythm or claps in the wrong place is out.


This is either done as an individual or with two children holding each end of the skipping rope. As the children become more skilled more ropes can be added to the mix. 

Rock the cradle

The two turners swing the rope backwards and forwards like a cradle three times then full circle three times, repeating these actions until the skipper misses a jump and must change places with one of the turners.

Fox and Goose

Players line up behind each other on one side of the rope, usually with the eldest at the front of the line. While the rope is turned, players run under the rope in turn and line up on the other side. Each time they go through the leader jumps a different way such as a turning jump and the rest have to copy. A skipper who touches the rope takes the place of the turner. 

Skipping Rhyme

Andy Spandy sugardy candy,
French almond rock!
Bread and butter for your supper’s
all your mother’s got!


A circle of 3 metres is drawn on the ground and 13 marbles are placed in the centre. Shooting from outside the circle with slightly larger marbles, players try to knock the 13 marbles out of the circle. Marbles are flicked using the forefinger and thumbnail, the hand must be clear of the ground. Any marble that is knocked out of the circle becomes the property of the shooter. 


At one end of a hallway line up nine bottles in a triangular pattern- four in the back row, three in the middle row and two in the front row- leaving a little space between bottles. Stand behind a line four or five paces from the bottles and roll a soft ball along the floor. Score one point for each skittle you knock over.

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