When Daddy was a little boy

There are some games that live through time and strangely some games are found on all continents, with but the slightest of variations. Here are some games that you and your friends can play during the winter vacations, games that your father must have played during his vacations.

Capture the flag

There are two teams. Team One has one half of the park or playground and Team Two has the other half. The teams were given a time period, like five minutes, to hide their flag in their part of the playground. During this period spies were sent out to see were the flag was hidden as well as “lookouts” to catch the spies (this is optional).

When the flag is hidden you call out that you were finished. Then you simply try to get the other teams flag. If you get caught and tagged by the opponent on their territory you have to go to jail and can only be freed by a teammate who grabs you when your opponent isn’t looking. The first team to capture the flag wins.


Two teams (minimum of three people per team) are required to play this game. First, to decide who will go first, you have to “shoot” for it (i.e. Scissors, Rock, Paper... game). The team that wins the “shoot” gets to hide first. The other team members have to cover their eyes and count to a 100 or so. Then they go and search for the members of the other team. When you capture a member of the other team, you took them to “jail” (one member of the team searching has to act as a guard).

The other team members who were in hiding have to attempt to free their team mates from jail. All you have to do is run up to the jail, tag it with your foot and scream “Freedom” or “Alli, alli Instant Free”. If the person who comes into free his or her team mates is caught by the person guarding jail, the guard will scream, “No chains can break these safety-locks” and that person will be put in jail with his team mates. If he doesn’t get caught, and is able to tag the jail and scream “Freedom” or “Alli Alli Instant Free” — Everyone in jail can make a run for it and try to hide again. Once all of the team members are caught, the other team gets to hide.

Kings and queens

One unusual feature is the ritual, which begins the game. You have to stand in a circle and the facilitator closes his eyes and drops the ball on someone’s shoe and that person is “IT” right then and there. “IT” can throw the ball directly at any one at any time, and if the second person is hit on any part of the body except the fists, that second person is automatically then part of “IT’s” team. The “IT” folks can of course pick up the ball with bare hands and then run with the ball or toss it to each other in order to position to get more “ITs”.

Another unusual feature of the game is the way in which the ball can be legally carried by “non-ITs” between ones fisted hands and also “batted” around to any part of the field with a fisted hand. Touching the ball with an open hand puts you on “ITs” side but noone is ever really “out” in the sense of just sitting around... it is just a superior game which continues until the second last person is hit. The very last “non-IT” person surviving is then hauled up on mates’ shoulders and duly celebrated as either the “King” or “Queen”.