Childhood Memories Friday: Recess Games

Childhood Memories FridayA comment on a recent Childhood Memories Friday post reminded me of recess games. Ah, the recesses of my elementary school years. Nowadays, kids get just a single recess. But when I was young, we had morning recess, noon recess, and afternoon recess as well. And we still seemed to learn plenty, imagine that!

4-square was popular, as was jumping rope (Double Dutch, where two girls turned the ends of two ropes at once, was a fun challenge). There was the occasional game of Red Rover, although this usually involved both boys and girls, which didn’t happen a lot. During my earliest years, we liked to play “quicksand monsters.” We girls pretended the boys were quicksand monsters, arising from the sand beneath the monkey bars (side note: didn’t quicksand seem to figure much more prominently in your imagination during childhood than it has as an adult?). Once they came running out, we ran to the swings and took off, hoping to escape them.

I also enjoyed sitting in the abundant grass with a group of friends, searching for four leaf clovers. I still remember my horror on day, when the recess bell had sounded and I stood in line, showing the four leaf clover I’d found that day to an admirer. She took it and tore off clovers as she said, “Three leaf clover, two leaf clover, one leaf clover!” I was horrified!

And despite the games, most recesses found me more likely to be engaged in a good conversation with some girlfriends than in any game.

How about you? What games (or other pursuits) did you enjoy during childhood recess times?


6 thoughts on “Childhood Memories Friday: Recess Games

  1. I always enjoyed WATCHING Chinese jump rope! I never understood how to make it all work (nor cats-cradle with string). 4 Square, jump rope, tether ball—each of the 3 elementary schools I attended had their own favorite game. Those whizzer tops in the late 60s or early 70s dominated one year, I remember. I had two of them! Nice memories.

  2. I began my schooling by going to first grade at Holland School. Mother said I came home and said I liked everything about school except for recess. In later years I simply despised Red Rover and Dodge Ball! I was an easy target in both games. I never excelled at any sport and consequently I disliked them in general.
    It is NOT fun to do something you know you are not good at doing!

  3. I think I spent most of my time talking to friends. I did jump rope some times. I don’t recess would have been my favorite, either.

  4. I really did like Dodge Ball and Red Rover in my elementary school days!
    We also played Cowboys and Indians, which would be totally politically incorrect now. The 1950s were much more fun!

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