Games pupils play

11th November 2005 at 00:00

* Girls enjoy clapping games, rhymes having altered little over time. TV shows such as 'The X Factor' also have an impact.

* Marbles and card games enjoy bouts of popularity . Less commonly played are fivestones or jacks.

* Hopscotch pitches are often marked in playgrounds today.

* There's a multitude of ball games, such as four square and champ but two balls against the wall has disappeared completely.

* Gymnastics such as leapfrog, handstands or cartwheels have also stopped.

This could be because of health and safety concerns.


* Football. Ever popular among the boys. Rotas encourage different groupings, probably to avoid total domination by older boys. You could have girls-only sessions, although many join in mixed games.

* Skipping. Girls use traditional rhymes which involve counting. How many skips can you achieve? Others can be invited to jump in and out of the rope.

* Stuck in the mud. Variations are played around the world . Whoever's it or on must catch the others, who freeze until they are released by another player crawling through their legs, or sometimes by running under outstretched arms.

* British Bulldog. Another boys' favourite as it's fast and physical. The players run between two bases trying to escape the captor who stands in the middle. When I used to play this, the captor would have to hoist the captive off the ground for three seconds but nowadays you just have to touch the runners.

* Dodge ball. Played among smaller groups. It entails trying to hit your opponent with the ball (make sure it's lightweight). Great for developing hand-eye co-ordination and learning to take turns.

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