One of my treasured childhood memories is that of playing hopscotch with my friends. We would spend hours drawing out the squares on the sidewalk with colored chalk. Then the search was on for just the “marker.” It goes without saying that the games we played as children are far different from the games our grandchildren are growing up with.

So, why not give them the best of both worlds? Let their parents spend hundreds of dollars on video games. 

We’ll give them tried-and-true childhood fun. Games that have delighted childeren for generations.

When our children were growing up their dad and I would sit on the front porch as the children would line up across the front yard. Then he would play “Simon Says” with them. “Mother May I?” Was also one of our family favorites. 

Just the other day, our three-year-old granddaughter wanted to play Hide-and-Seek with me. She hid under a blanket in the living room each time. I could hear her giggle, as I opened the refrigerator and said, “I bet she’s in here…”

It wasn’t until then that I realized we spend too much time watching movies with our grandchildren. It’s time we start playing more games.

Those our parents played. In case you’ve forgotten how to play Kick the Can, here’s a refresher.

How to Play Kick the Can

“Prepare to play kick the can by designating one person as “it.” Then place the can in the center of the yard or other playing area. Designate another area of the yard as “jail.” It shouldn’t be too close to the location of the can.

The player who is “it” covers his or her eyes and counts to a predetermined number. “It” then goes in search of the other kids. When one is sighted, “it” runs to the can and calls out the person’s name, saying, for example, “Thomas is in the can!” Thomas then has to go to “jail.”

If the person who has been spotted is able to run to the can and kick it before “it” reaches the can, he or she is still free and can hide again.

A player who has not been spotted can “kick the can” and free all the players who are in “jail.” The game continues until all players are in “jail.” Then the person who was captured first becomes “it.”

In one of the variations of this game, the players must be tagged instead of being merely spotted.

This makes for a more physical game. Grandparents who want to run the smallest risk of injury to a grandchild should stick to the sight-based version.

Another variation is played at night, with a street lamp replacing the can. The person who is designated “it” searches for the other players in the dark and runs to the street lamp to tag them.

In another variation, a player who has not been spotted who “kicks the can” frees only one person, usually the one who has been in “jail” the longest”



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