In the age of electronics and the popularity of sports, it is becoming increasingly difficult to entertain ourselves without buying expensive equipment. Or is it? As it turns out, there are good-old classic games that we can play with our friends and loved ones without running to the store.
Never Have I Ever
Okay, so some of you may point out that this is widely used as a drinking game and, therefore, demands some equipment. However, the PG version of the game is all about keeping score, rather than taking a drink.
Any number of people can play. Taking turns, each person states something, starting with the phrase “never have I ever”. For example: “Never have I ever traveled outside the country”. Those that have done the deed in question admit so and either take a drink or, in a family-friendly setting, bend one of their fingers. In the case of the latter, when a person no longer has any fingers left to bend, they are out. The winner is the last one standing.
Imagine a celebrity. It doesn’t have to be a movie star, it can also be a figure from history. Others ask you yes-or-no questions while trying to determine who you are. You can only answer with “Yes”, “No”, or “I don’t know.” If you feel like it, you can add “Partially” or something to that effect. The others have only 20 questions to determine who you are.
This is a great warm-up for ESL teachers, but also others. One person issues commands and the others have to follow them or they are out. There is a catch, though. The commands are only valid if preceded by the phrase “Simon says”.
For example, if you say “Simon says: Jump up and down”, those that don’t obey are out of the game. Those that do, move on. However, if you say: ”Put your hands in the air”, those that obey you are out, since you didn’t say: “Simon says”.
This is a great children’s game that practice’s hand-eye coordination and it’s done in pairs. You can make it competitive, but you don’t have to. If you know the Pat-a-Cake nursery rhyme, you are already halfway there. Here is one of its versions:
Pat-a-cake, pat-a-cake, baker’s man.
Bake me a cake as fast as you can
Pat it and prick it, and mark it with B,
Put it in the oven for Baby and me.
While you are singing, alternate between clapping your hands together and clapping them with the person sitting opposite you. Much like the rhyme, there are different styles of playing pat-a-cake as far as clapping is concerned. By the way, the “B” stands for “Baby”, so you can change the letter for the first letter in a player’s name.
Red Rover is a team-strategy game that involves strength as well. There are two teams with an equal number of players on each, if possible. Each team is standing in a line and holding hands. One team chants: “Red Rover, Red Rover, send [Player’s name] over”. The player that was called tries to break the chain of the other team. If they are successful, they choose a person from the other team and bring them to theirs. If not, they become a part of the opposing team.