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Tell Unicef UK the playground games you loved as a child - £300 voucher to be won!

687 replies

EmmaMumsnet · 14/01/2019 09:56


Unicef UK are launching this years Soccer Aid Playground Challenge and would love to hear about the playground games you used to play at school and what games your children play now. The playground is the highlight of the school day where children can burn off all their energy and play with their friends; share below what you loved to play when you were at school and if any of the games have passed down generations.

Here’s what Unicef has to say: “This year, we’re asking all schools across the UK to join us for the Soccer Aid Playground Challenge to help raise money to help give more children around the world a childhood full of play. The idea is simple – teachers team up with their pupils, design an obstacle course that they will take on together, and fundraise to help children in danger in June 2019. Ask your school to sign up here and we’ll send everything you need for kick off - including fundraising and teaching resources to bring Soccer Aid to life for the whole school.”

Alex, Head of Sports for St Dunstan’s RC Primary School, Manchester says: “The Playground Challenge was the perfect way to get the whole school together for a great cause. Everyone (including staff!) had the best time raising money to help children all over the world.”

So what playground games did you love as a child? Were you Queen of hopscotch? Or perhaps you practised your circus skills with stilts? Maybe you created your own playground football league or were seriously skilled at skipping? Do you know if your children still play the same games now at school?

Everyone who posts below will be entered into a prize draw where one Mumsnetter will win a £300 voucher of their choice (from a list)

Thanks and good luck!


Terms and conditions apply

Tell Unicef UK the playground games you loved as a child - £300 voucher to be won!
Tell Unicef UK the playground games you loved as a child - £300 voucher to be won!
Tell Unicef UK the playground games you loved as a child - £300 voucher to be won!
OP posts:
Angiemum24 · 14/01/2019 12:03

Skipping was a big one but also rats really. Swinging on the monkey bars, what’s the time mr wolf, catch, tig. General running around laughing with friends.

meow2019 · 14/01/2019 12:11

British bulldog!

Hanab · 14/01/2019 12:23

We played lots of hopscotch , elastic, jump rope and just made up games. My kids when in primary school only played ball games or tag. I wish secondary school had Astro turf pitches. At least it would keep the youngsters in school and active. Some kids like my own need that physical activity to be able to concentrate in class. No lie! My son esp, his head is always on sport. If he plays it albeit kicking a ball or ‘making’ hoops ( for a half hour even) it allows him to concentrate better in an enclosed enviroment like a classroom. Sorry off topic 🙈

HeadsDownThumbsUpEveryone · 14/01/2019 12:30

We had a huge skipping rope that stretched across about 2/3 of the playground. When the lunchtime staff got it out everyone, no matter how old used to come and have a turn. We used to sing all kinds of rhymes as we jumped in and out of the rope. Now as a teacher every time I see 2 children turning the rope and another child jumping in the middle I am instantly taken back to that playground and all those lovely lunchtimes jumping over a piece of long rope. Grin

BlooperReel · 14/01/2019 13:46

British bulldog, It, What's the time Mr Wolf, Rounders, we also played something called 'Ting Tang Tommy' (probably lots of names for it, where one child would stay at 'home' everyone else would run off and hide around the playground/estate and the aim was to get back and touch home (usually a lamp post) without the person who stayed home spotting you, if they did see you they had to shout 'ting tang tommy I see Blooper hiding behind the red car/in Mrs Smith's garden/wherever you were' and you'd be out. Absolutely loved it, felt like you were in the SAS Grin

BristolMum96 · 14/01/2019 15:04

Hopscotch and hula hooping!

JC4PMPLZ · 14/01/2019 15:07

American Elastic
Solo and collective skipping
juggling with balls against the wall - dont know what it is called - or a tennis ball in a stocking and singing songs....
also the hand clapping games....My mama told me, full stop comma dash, if I was goody......

NewModelArmyMayhem18 · 14/01/2019 15:53

I was going to say British Bulldogs too - very rough though.

If it was just girls playing it was usually American Elastic or Hoola Hooping!

scrappydappydoo · 14/01/2019 15:59

British bulldog until it got banned - each term they’d give us a lecture on safety and let us play it and then 2 weeks later it was banned.
Skipping and clapping games
Catch and kiss chase!
I did spend quite a lot of year 3 doing handstands against a brick wall.
Once I hit secondary it all stopped Sad

NewModelArmyMayhem18 · 14/01/2019 16:09

We went from playing active games in the playground at primary school to cards in the classroom at secondary level!

AutumnCrow · 14/01/2019 16:12

'Elastics' as we called it. Loved it so much.

Lots of rhyming games - no equipment required - like Little Bubble Car and The Big Ship Sailed Through The Addy Addy O.

QueenOfPharts · 14/01/2019 23:11

I was just thinking about this the other day and trying to explain some to dd.
Loved hopscotch, skipping games, French elastics (some of the songs/rhymes still go round in my head ). Also loved Redrover until someone broke their arm and it got banned at my school. Its a shame because everyone would join in and nobody got left out.

QueenOfPharts · 14/01/2019 23:15

Oh why did I think it was French elasticsBlush? also forgot about kiss cuddle or torture...I always wanted to play it but the boys werent too keenGrin

ImportantWater · 14/01/2019 23:22

Polo, where one person standing at one end of a running area calls out a category like cars, or colours, all the children standing at the other end come up with a word from that category like Porsche or red, the other kid picks one and both have to race up and down, crying Polo when they finish. Winner becomes next category chooser.

Please Mother May I (take 3 pigeon steps/ 5 ballet steps etc)

Please Mr Crocodile May we cross the water to see your lovely daughter in a flying saucer? Only if you’re red/ yellow. Step forwards. Can’t remember how the game ended, some kind of chase!

Knives, forks, spoons...a handstand game.

Sticky toffee

A rhyme that went eggs, bacon, chicken and cheese, what do you want before you sneeze, around the world in 80 days, on your flying carpet. Every element meant something different (flying carpet was being spun round), you chose one, then had to freeze in position. The person who was it then came round and decided what you looked like in your frozen position (ballet dancer, horse rider...) and whispered it in your ear, then shouted “clockworks begin!” and we all acted out our thing, with the best one becoming the “it person for the next round. I would love to know if anyone else played that one!

HannahLI · 15/01/2019 11:31

I think my two favourite playground games were elastics and skipping. It was always fun with the stretchy elastics and we loved playing with it for hours and jumping around in patterns, similarly we loved skipping and particularly having two ropes going at the same time and having several of us all in at once. It felt like a great way to burn off energy.

3boysandabump · 15/01/2019 11:43

Beat the letter was our favourite at school but that would probably be frowned upon these days. Actually thinking about it we were banned from throwing snowballs because it was dangerous but beating each other up to try to find out a mystery word was ok? 🤔

Also loved red rover, please mr crocodile, polo, the farmer wants a wife, shuggy boat and catchy kissy.

Hand clapping games and skipping were also quite popular with the girls.

My kids seem to just run round acting out computer games like fortnite 🙄

Oh and kerbsy was another well loved one because why play with your ball on the nice safe field when you can throw it back and forth across a road 🤦‍♀️

m0jit0 · 15/01/2019 12:19

Kerby!! It's a 2 player game across a road (we lived in a culdesac with 7 houses so ideal for this game). One person stands either side of the road and with a foot ball / basket ball you have to bounce it towards the other person with the aim of the ball bouncing off the kerb and coming back to you. When you get a bounce back you come in to the middle of the road and try and get more bounce backs to score points. I realise my description makes it sound much more complicated and much less fun than it actually is lol

ButterflyOfFreedom · 15/01/2019 12:25

British Bulldog & Dodgeball- until they both got banned!!

asuwere · 15/01/2019 12:25

Skipping, elastics, hopscotch, what's the time Mr Wolf. I always feel sad for my DC now as there are so many rules for playtime - eg. not allowed their own skipping ropes!

Natsku · 15/01/2019 12:31

All the classic playground games - British bulldog, 40/40 in, What's the time Mr. Wolf?, Kiss chase, Stuck in the mud, Tag, Cops and robbers. Wasn't that keen on the skipping games or hopscotch.

RaininSummer · 15/01/2019 12:34

My favourites were oranges and lemons when 'here comes the chopper to chop off your head' would make us squeal and run around like mad things. Also 'In and out the dusty bluebells' was a fun circle/singing game. We also loved playing jacks by the time we were 11 but that didn't involve running around.

sharond101 · 15/01/2019 12:36

We loved elastics, skipping, peever, hopscotch and Red Rover.


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GreenDinosaur · 15/01/2019 13:03

We had British Bulldogs banned too, and playground rugby. They were pretty dangerous but no one died.
I loved skipping, leapfrog, clapping games, what's the time Mr Wolf etc.

We also had one called "Nit Chase" where the person who was it had to pretend to have nits and chase the others to catch someone to give them the nits and make them it. Grin

jacqui5366 · 15/01/2019 13:06

I used to love 'what time is it Mr Fox'
Mr. Fox is at one end of the playground with his back turned. You shout -What time is it, Mr. Fox? He responds with a time (12 o’ clock or 1 o’ clock). when Mr. Fox shouts “Midnight!”. Fox gives chase and tags as many as he/she can - lots of fun

mollysmammy · 15/01/2019 13:15

Me and my best friend started a 'gymnastic club' (okay, there were only two of us in it!) but we used to were our gym shorts under our dresses, and do cartwheels, flips etc. My Daughter now does gymnastic (proper classes, and has already earned a lot of badges!)

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