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3 of my favorite childhood games

Updated on February 5, 2013

Get out, get some exercise

If there is one thing I really miss it is all the outdoor games we used to play when I was a kid. Not the board games, or the organized sports teams but the simple games we made up in order to pass the time away. Some are going to find this hard to believe but back when I was a child we didn't have electronic games,or games you played on a device like an xbox. We had pong. If you don't know what Pong is it is really hard to explain how a dot bouncing around a screen can be fun.

Anyway, my friends and I actually went outside, (gasp) in the fresh air and had a good time fantasizing our different adventures, like journeys to the moon or battles against invading forces. When we weren't doing live action role playing we were playing games like flashlight tag, army, bicycle jousting and other games which have escaped my mind.

One of our favorite games was flashlight tag. For those who don't know flashlight tag is a game you play in the dark, with or, for a better game, without a flashlight. Some people also call this game capture the flag. The rules of the game are simple. Each team has a home base where their flag is guarded by a team member.

The object is to capture the other teams flag before they capture yours. The teams move around the playing field trying to avoid being touched by a member of the opposing team or they are captured and must stay where they are until they are unfrozen by one of their team mates. There is one inherent danger with playing flashlight tag in the dark, running into things you cannot see.

Another game my friends and I loved to played was army, which is similar to flashlight tag, but in our game to win we had to capture all the other teams soldiers before they captured yours. If I remember correctly you could free your captured team members by sneaking into enemy territory, getting to where they were held, then tagging them to free them.

My friends and I also liked to play a game we called bicycle jousting. This game can be a little dangerous so here is my obligatory don't do this at home warning. In bicycle jousting you took cans of soda and left them out in the sun. Once they were nice and warm you took a can and shook it up, then two bike riders would ride at each other.Once you got close enough you would slam the can on the ground where it would explode. The one who got the most soda on them would be the loser of the round.

Of course we always played the obligatory game of kickball, or sandlot baseball and any number of other outdoor games.

The point of all these games for my friends and was not the games themselves,but the idea that we got out of the house, spent some time together and created bonds which hopefully lasted a lifetime. This is what more children today need, to get out of the house and play games which do not take a power cord and a hand held controller.


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