playing outside was a huge part of my childhood. i lived on a lovely peaceful housing estate around one of the better primary schools in the town. my friends lived within walking distance and we would play out every day during the lighter nights during spring and summer, and whenever we could in the autumn and winter.
one of my favourite games was “kerbsie” or “kerbie” as A calls it. a game played between two friends, with one ball. surely you all remember kerbie?! well, for those of you who don’t, here’s a quick explanation…
each player stands opposite each other at each edge of a kerb and they take turns to hit the kerb with the ball. first player throws. if they miss, then the second player has a turn. if the ball hits the kerb straight on and bounces back to the player whose turn it is, then they score a point. having scored, they keep the ball and take a second turn from the middle of the road instead of the kerbside. each bounce from the middle counts as one point as well and this continues until that player misses.
“hide and seek” was another fave. i have rather fond memories of hiding behind the shed in the garden or underneath the car on the drive! i’m pretty sure i don’t need to give an explanation of that one!
|Hop Scotch – image from
“hop scotch” was a game regularly played during break time at school. in the school playground, we had a hop scotch grid painted onto the asphalt surface. we’d use stones or sticks from the woodland area inside the school grounds as markers and hop and jump around for ages.
we also played “tag” or “you’re it”, “kiss chase”, “clap hands”, “conkers”, “rock, paper, scissors”, “bulldog”, “jump rope” and “elastics”. oh, not forgetting “knocky-eye-doors”! we had a lively childhood!
i think above all games, my ultimate favourite was a game we invented ourselves, called “yobsie”. in the school playground, there was not-quite-full-size football pitch painted onto the surface, where the large rectangle was split into three equal parts. the two end sections contained a semi-circle which is generally used as a defence section. we would gather two teams of five-ten players and split into the two end sections.
the aim of the game was to bounce the tennis ball inside the semi circle and hit the fence behind the pitch, hit the fence with no bounce or clear the fence, to earn points for your team. however, if a member of the team caught the ball without a bounce, or you ball bounced outside the semi circle, the opposing team gained points instead.
A and I live on that same estate now as adults and there is still lots of children that play out as I remember doing so on these same roads. our road is a quiet cul-de-sac with lots of big open green areas, which is great for the kids to play football or rugby on. we’ve also grown concerned as to they types of games that children play nowadays. one that we overheard whilst painting the garden fence that they had named “get the nazi” got us doubting our hearing. although, i am pleased to see so many children playing outside instead of being cooped up in the bedrooms playing on consoles and computers.
what do you remember playing as a child? did you enjoy playing outside?