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Games For All Occasions   By: (1872-)

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Alternative and inconsistent spellings in the original have been retained. Underlined words in the original book are shown as =bold=.




Copyright, 1909 By Brewer, Barse & Co.


"A Merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance."

The desire to play and frolic seems to be a heritage of mankind. In infancy and early childhood this joy and exuberance of spirit is given full sway. In youth, that effervescent stage of human existence, "joy is unconfined." But in middle age and later life we are prone to stifle this wholesome atmosphere of happiness, with care and worry and perhaps, when a vexed or worried feeling has been allowed to control us, even forbid the children to play at that time. Why not reverse things and drown care and strife in the well spring of joy given and received by reviving the latent spark of childhood and youth; joining in their pleasures passively or actively and being one of them at heart. So presuming that "men are but children of a larger growth," the games, pastimes and entertainments described herewith were collected, remembered and originated respectively with the view of pleasing all of the children, from the tiny tot to, and including the "grown up," each according to their age and temperament.

M. E. B.



Form a long line of children one behind the other. The leader starts running, and is followed by all the rest. They must be sharp enough to do exactly as the leader does.

After running for a moment or two in the ordinary running step, the leader changes to a hopping step, then to a marching step, quick time, then to a marching step, slow time, claps and runs with hands on sides, hands on shoulders, hands behind, etc.

Finally the leader runs slowly round and round into the centre, and can either wind the children up tightly or can turn them on nearing the centre and run out again. For another change the long line can start running and so unwind the spiral.


All stand in a line except one who is the leader who stands a short distance opposite the line.

The leader throws the bean bag to the child at the head of the line who returns it to the leader. The leader throws it to the next child, who throws it back to the leader, and so it is thrown back and forth to each child in turn. Any one in the line who fails to catch the bag must go to the foot of the line.

If the leader fails to catch the bag he must go to the foot of the line and the one at the head of the line takes his place.


This is a very simple game. Each player places a finger on the table, which he must raise whenever the conductor of the game says: "Birds fly," "Pigeons fly," or any other winged creatures "fly."

If he names any creature without wings, such as "Pigs fly," and any player thoughtlessly raises his finger, that player must pay a forfeit, as he must also do if he omits to raise his finger when a winged creature is named.


All the children except the one who passes the button sit in a circle with hands placed palm to palm in their laps.

The child passing the button holds it between her palms and goes to each one, in turn, slipping her hands between the palms of the children. As she goes around the circle she drops the button into some child's hands, but continues going around as long after as she pleases, so the rest will not know who has it.

Then she stands in the middle of the circle and says: "Button, button, who has the button?" All the children guess who has it, the one calling out the correct name first is out and it is his turn to go around with the button.


"The miller's dog lay at the mill, And his name was little Bingo, B with an I, I with an N, N with a G, G with an O, His name was little Bingo... Continue reading book >>

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