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We Played Kick the Can

Updated on October 27, 2013

Remembrances of my childhood...

 Chances are that if you enjoyed playing Hide and Seek as a youngster, you may also have played a game called ‘Kick the Can’.  It was similar in the fact that there was someone who was “it”, and they always looked for those that would hide and then count them out at home base but with one major addition to the game…, the use of an old can from the trash.  The concentration on the can would sometimes take the place of the ‘counting to a hundred’.  Usually the largest guy would kick the can and the one that was ‘it’ would chase after it, retrieving it and then return with the can to home base, giving the others opportunity to go and hide.  There was one additional factor to the game however.  If the can was left unattended or the child that was ‘it’ ventured to far from the base, anyone hiding had a chance to run to the base, kick the can again before being called out releasing all those caught so far and causing utter chaos for the player that was it because now, he must start looking all over.

playing after dark added an extra suspense to the game

This game was definitely more challenging and as we gradually matured as children we desired a newer thrill leaving hide and seek to the younger crowd. Kick the Can demanded strategy. Some kids could run faster than others and some could just pick better hiding places. Of course playing after dark added an extra suspense to the game, because one would tend to rely more on sounds than sight. What was interesting was when we tried to play kick the can while the younger guys were playing hide and seek. It was more confusing than fun though so we wound up taking our game elsewhere.

Did you ever play 'Kick the Can'?

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...girls always giggle

One little fella’, Billy Richards was always the easiest one to catch. Billy, because of his size, was not all that good at hiding because he couldn’t climb over things like the rest of the guys. Another thing I noticed about Billy; he would inadvertently tell you where some of the other guys were hiding. Oh, he didn’t just come right out and say where they were, but if you watched his eyes, he would glance over in the direction of the other players knowing where they were because he saw them hiding while the one that was it was chasing the can. He may have been the smallest guy but he was intent on playing because he said if he didn’t play with us his mom had told him he would have to play with his little sister and none of the guys wanted to have to play with girls. At our ages, that would have been ‘yucky’, and none of the guys realized that in a few short years, this attitude would make a drastic 180 degree change. Usually there were some girls though that just stood around talking to one another with their little arms folded like their moms. Sometimes they would tell where the guys were also, and they wouldn’t beat around the bush but would come right out and say. Some of the guys thought the girls were just a little jealous because they couldn’t play, but the reason we wouldn’t let them play was because girls always giggle.

© 2010 SamSonS


Submit a Comment

  • samsons1 profile imageAUTHOR


    7 years ago from Tennessee

    thank your Pratonix for your visit and the nice statements you make.


  • Pratonix profile image


    7 years ago from Asia

    I love this story too. You bring out the nostalgia and relative 'innocence' of the good old days. Bless your loving heart.

  • samsons1 profile imageAUTHOR


    8 years ago from Tennessee

    thank drbj, always good to see you and I appreciate your comments...

  • drbj profile image

    drbj and sherry 

    8 years ago from south Florida

    As I recall, samsons, kick the can was a more sophisticated version of hide and seek with the opportunity to "get home free."

    Thanks for taking me back ... to the Mesozoic era.

  • samsons1 profile imageAUTHOR


    8 years ago from Tennessee

    thanks dahoglund for your comments, and as for rules, as kids - we just had fun, right...

    *and thank you Bro Dave, for your interesting comments and the word 'memories' often referenced by near family.


  • Dave Mathews profile image

    Dave Mathews 

    8 years ago from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA

    Oh My! "Spanky and Our Gang" What memories! As a child, I was in love with Alfalfa's girlfriend Darla. I never played kick the can, but it reminds me of what I wished at times I could do with one of my bosses, and kick him as hard and as far as I can.

    As Bob Hope would sing on his show, "Thanks for the memories."

    Brother Dave.

  • dahoglund profile image

    Don A. Hoglund 

    8 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

    I remebe kick the can but I don't remeber the rules. This might be because our games were pretty spontaneous and probably nobody actually knew the rules.

  • samsons1 profile imageAUTHOR


    8 years ago from Tennessee

    thanks for your nice comments, yes it was noisy, but that was just kids playin'...

  • Peggy W profile image

    Peggy Woods 

    8 years ago from Houston, Texas

    We definitely played hide and seek but never did play kick the can. Sounds like an extra if noisy added attraction to the game. Ha!

  • samsons1 profile imageAUTHOR


    8 years ago from Tennessee

    and thank you Rebecca for your comment, so good to hear from you...

  • Rebecca E. profile image

    Rebecca E. 

    8 years ago from Canada

    another smile of the day from you and your hubs, thanks!


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