These days kids can find an abundance of stimulation from a range of devices that are as easily accessible as the spare change in their pocket. So why not take a step back in time and try one these schoolyard games for girls – rhymes included. After all, who doesn’t enjoy a sing-a-long with their friends?
Here are five schoolyard games that have been loved by girls for generations.
What’s not to like about playing elastics? The outlay is only a few dollars, it can easily fit inside your pocket and all that jumping and singing is bound to release some endorphins. The elastic is stretched around the ankles of two girls while another jumps in, out and on while singing rhymes such as, “England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Inside, Outside, Inside, On”. Each time, the elastic is raised until it’s impossible to jump. Click here for more rhymes to sing with your elastic.
Watch this short video for a demonstration on how to play elastics.
“Cinderella dressed in yellow, went upstairs to kiss her fellow, by mistake kissed a snake, how many doctors will it take?” This rhyme makes me want to grab the nearest skipping rope and find the answer. Whether your girls want to skip on their own or in a group, it’s a great way to keep fit and healthy while having fun – and singing. This teddy bear rhyme is a classic.
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, Turn around.
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, Touch the ground.
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, Touch your shoe.
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, That will do.
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, Go upstairs.
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, Say your prayers.
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, Turn out the light.
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, Say good night!
More jump rope rhymes here.
Hopscotch incorporates counting and the use of motor skills while getting girls active – this game is genius. You will need chalk to draw up your hopscotch field and a rock or marker of some sort for each person. The first player throws their marker into square one, hops over that square and continues hopping until square eight, turns around and hops back, picking up their marker on the way and so on. A player is out if their maker does not land in a square, they lose their balance and place a second foot on the ground, or they land on a line.
Girls love clapping games. From ‘Down By The Banks of the Hanky Panky to Pat-A-Cake, Pat-A-Cake, these rhymes have been around for generations but my absolute favourite was 'Miss Mary Mac'.
Miss Mary Mack
Miss Mary Mack, Mack, Mack
All dressed in black, black, black
With silver buttons, buttons, buttons
All down her back, back, back
She asked her mother, mother, mother
For fifty cents, cents, cents
To see the elephants, elephants, elephants
Jump over the fence, fence, fence
They jumped so high, high, high
They touched the sky, sky, sky
And didn't come back, back, back
Till the fourth of July, July, July
There is something about hoola hoops, once mastered, you find yourself overjoyed with self-satisfaction. But don’t allow your head to get too big just yet; the hard part is keeping the hoop spinning. If you need to give your hips a break, see how you go with your arm. There are no rules to hoola hooping, just spin, wiggle and have fun!