I wonder if todays kids ever do that

gandle(4 NE)October 4, 2010

Play marbles, I doubt it. Sure haven't seen any games going on or even sacks of marbles for sale. Used to be a big thing, citys would hold tournaments and the winner would go to the national tournament.

We sure used to have a lot of marble games going on especially after school. Grandma would always warn me "now don't play for keeps", but I always did anyway. Seemed like all the boys and quite a few girls in grade school were fans of marbles. I suppose gone via computer games.

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rob333

Yes, my (almost, 11 year old (one week from today)) son loves to play marbles.

:)

    Bookmark   October 4, 2010 at 11:34AM
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oscarthecat(z7MD)

They used to have a marbles court behind our Jr. High. They held the Baltimore County Championships there. I don't know if it remains. Will take a look and see. Steve S.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2010 at 11:48AM
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calliope(6)

I remember playing them when I was really small. I had my own bag of them, with aggies and my fav shooters. My sis and I sometimes traded, but my Daddy also discouraged us from playing for keepers. But, when I played with the 'gang' who lived up and down the street, I played for blood. You bet I kept them. There was a 'difficult' boy up the street who wanted in on our game once and he had his first lesson in chauvanist piggery. I wiped him clean. He refused to hand his collection over and a fight began. I know we were rolling around on the ground, and I was on top of him pummeling him when my father came bounding out the back door, peeled me off of him like velcro and then made me give him his marbles back. rofl. He was also the one who would take his ball and bats home if he wasn't winning. I wonder what kind of adult he grew up to be?

I still have a big glass container of marbles in my kitchen I took from my folks house after they passed away. They look so pretty in the window with the sun shining through them and they always bring a smile to my face.

But, mostly the gals played jacks. I have played both jacks and marbles with my two older g'kids and bought them their own sets. I intend to do the same thing with my newest g'son.

Then we moved out of the country, and I was introduced to a children's game in Japan. We carried our own little bags of glass chips and all the kids I ran with would hold tournaments with them. I can't even remember what they are called anymore but they were Japan's version of marbles.

My old boss used to play a similar game in England they just call conkers. You didn't need marbles. Just a chestnut tree.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2010 at 11:55AM
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anneliese_32(6)

Have not seen any kids around here playing marbles, but all the driveways are concrete.
My sons did once in a while. I was not a great marble player. Learned from my mother who was death to anybody and since I never could win against her, I think I just gave up.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2010 at 12:21PM
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sara_the_brit_z6_ct

It's conker season right now Suzy! But it's not really like marbles (although your boss might have played a variation). You drill a hole through a conker (horse chestnut) and thread it on a string. One child holds out their conker at arm's length, dangling from the string, while the other tries to hit it with their own conker, using the string - sort of like a sling shot. The idea is to break the opponent's conker. Then your winning conker is known as a "oner" or "Twoer" depending on how many it's beaten.
Some kids used to devise all sorts of ways to harden their conkers - baking them, soaking them in vinegar. Nothing really works.

We played jacks every opportunity we got.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2010 at 12:52PM
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rob333

Jacks. Now there some nostalgia for me. We played jacks too. Seemed like we progressed beyond the basic level (like one set of jacks, i.e. 10 jacks), do double sets and then tricks (like around the world (you spun your hand around the ball and then caught it instead of just catching it). I had a great collection of both jacks and bouncy balls. Sara, you made me mist up.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2010 at 1:32PM
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calliope(6)

Thanks Sara for the conkers tutorial. rofl. It sounds like a game my mother would bound out the door to stop, asking us if we wanted to put an eye out.

And then, of course, were the yo-yos. I still have one somewhere and dig it out on occasion.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2010 at 1:56PM
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meldy_nva(z6b VA)

GS (age 8) plays marbles and was thrilled when DH found and gave hime some that had been stored 60 years ago.

I played a bit, yes, always for keepsies. I had a lovely deep blue glass one that the guys all wanted. Also played jacks, yo-yos, jump-rope, archery, croquet, and (when Mum wasn't around) mumblety-peg with Da. I suspect that "respectable" kids don't carry a pocket knife these days, but no one thought anything of it back then, even for girls. I wasn't much for whittling, never really got the knack of taking away what wasn't wanted.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2010 at 2:17PM
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sara_the_brit_z6_ct

Suzy - yes, we were forever being warned about losing eyesight, but I don't think anyone ever gets hurt. On the other hand, there was outcry in the press a couple of years ago when a school principal banned conkers, on safety grounds, and everyone started ranting about the 'nanny society' and that kids had been playing conkers for centuries without their parents suing anyone.

I bought Himself a yo-yo - he's pretty good, and DGS was fascinated.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2010 at 2:39PM
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mwoods

Kids still play marbles and you can easily find them in the stores,but I'm not so sure about jacks. I loved playing both of these as a kid,and the other biggy was flipping Topps baseball cards. If you matched the card that the other person flipped,you got to keep them both.I would be a wealthy woman if I had kept them...Mickey Mantle,Yogi Berra etc. We were doing this in 1953 and I just looked it up. My Mickey Mantle card would be worth over 9,000 dollars today as would many that I had. Wish I hadn't looked at this thread.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2010 at 3:23PM
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rob333

I ordered some jacks online, just because I am too busy to go buy some in person. I'm excited about getting to play again!

Meldy, pocket knives are still very common here. I doubt you could carry them in school, but then, you can't even carry a turned off phone. It could be that I see them because I'm around boy scouts every now and again, though. They come in awfully handy when you're camping.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2010 at 5:19PM
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west_gardener

Since I did not grow up in this country, it is so interesting to see what games you all played as children. We did not have marbles or jacks. But we did play checkers using sticks and stones, jump rope, do a snowball toss or see who could build the fastest snow fort so we could have a snowball battle. We had fun relay runs around the block. I learned how to whittle and carve wood, using my grandfather's knife. He watched me very carefully while I had that knife. He also told me that when I was old enough to respect a knife, he would get me one. Sure enough, he gave me one and I'm using it to make all kinds of things.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2010 at 7:51PM
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jazmynsmom(Z5 Madison-ish)

I played with marbles and I usually played for "keepsies." Half of the game was the rule negotiation process that proceeded it. But I was good, so this just meant I had a lot of marbles. My mom sewed me a yellow and white gingham check marble bag, and I took it to school in the non-snow-on-the-ground months for recess. I remember boulders (the big ones), jumbo boulders, cat eyes, purees, and steelies. Steelies eventually made me stop bringing marbles to school, as there were some rough boys who had jumbo steelies (big ball bearings? Pinballs?) and would "call dropsies" which meant they would drop their steelies from a height during the game if a certain set of conditions had been met, and this usually resulted in the destruction of the marble it hit... This was devastating if it was, say, a puree boulder.

Jacks were verboten in my house because my father found them painful to step on... and we couldn't be trusted to pick them up. Also, I have a sister five years my junior, and her toddler phase coincided with my interest in the game.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2010 at 9:03PM
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sara_the_brit_z6_ct

Did anyone play Fivestones? Clay cubes, about 3/4 inch square. Can't remember the rules, but it was vaguely related to jacks (but boys played Fivestones as well).

I remember being deeply impressed when I learned that Fivestones went back to the Romans, at least.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2010 at 9:14PM
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calliope(6)

Never heard of it until you mentioned it, so looked it up. Tiddlywinks! The game I played with my Japanese friends was like a version of tiddlywinks. We all had bags of little white disks with groves on them, and I remember mine had yellow streaks on them. One pressed down with one disk on the edge of the other to flip them onto an opponent's disks. I can't remember what it was called.

How about pick-up sticks? And we all carried chalk for hopscotch.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2010 at 10:44PM
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mwoods

When you played hopscotch,what did you use for your markers..which for some reason we called lagers. We would go through phases where we all used the same ones and finally decided that the best markers of all were two bobby pins hooked together. They would go right where you tossed them. I still see kids playing jump rope outside when I drive by elementary schools during recess and it's nice to see that that is still popular.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2010 at 8:35AM
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anneliese_32(6)

Coming from a different corner of the globe, I never did play jacks, but hopscotch and mumblety-peg (thanks to Mom again) we did. Amongst us girls the most popular game was playing a rubber ball, approx. 12" diameter, against a wall. You had 10 bounces ea. with gradually increasing difficulty, from with two hands up to throw, turn around, catch ball and return from behind your waist. If you dropped your ball, it was the next ones turn. It drove the poor owner of the wall nuts.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2010 at 10:11AM
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tisha_(z7 OKC)

I'm 33 now, but back when I was in grade school, we played marbles. We felt like we were "gambling" or something, so felt the need to be all secretive about it. lol

    Bookmark   October 5, 2010 at 10:50AM
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gandle(4 NE)

I had forgotten about steelies,ball bearings, and when I saw the word I instantly thought of Rosemary B. She not only was a good marble player but seemed to have an endless supply of steelies. She lived with her aunt and uncle, not sure why, and he ran the garage, repair shop in town so she had an in on the ball bearing-steelie-supply.

Came away with some favorite marbles chipped. Hadn't even thought about her in years, hope she wherevere she is, that she taught her grandkids and greats how to play marbles

    Bookmark   October 5, 2010 at 4:51PM
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tibs(5/6 OH)

I played marbles, there was only a few of us who did. My sister didn't, but then she wasn't much of the outdoor type. She did jacks, I never could see the point of them. How about Chinese jumprope? That was big rubber bands connected together somehow into one giant one, you didn't swing it, it just was wrapped around the legs of two girls, starting at the ankles. You would do complicated jumps and they would keep moving it higher and higher up their body. Anybody remember jumprope rhymes?

I'm going down town to see miss brown, she gave me a nickle to buy a pickle, the pickle was sour, she gave me a flower, the flower was yellow she gave me a fellew, the feller was sick, she gave him a kick, the kick was hard, she gave him a card. And on the card it said "Mabel Mabel set the table and don't for get the sugar, salt, vinager and red hot peppers." At the end you were jumping as fast as you could.

There was also one about "salute to the captain, curtsey to the queen, turn your back on the submarine, lots more to it.

Oh and the hand clapping games. "There was a long legged sailer with a long legged wife...and I don't remember any more.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2010 at 5:42PM
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tisha_(z7 OKC)

The jump ropes rhymes and the hand clapping songs were some of our favorite things to do. Most of ours were probably dirty, even though we didn't know it at the time. lol

Most of them now, when I sing them back to myself, give off a dirty-vibe, but they still pretty much don't make sense.

The least-offensive one I can think of is Mary Mack...

Oh mary mack-mack-mack
all dressed in black-black-black
with silver buttons-buttons-buttons
all down her back-back-back

she asked her mother-mother-mother
for fifteen cents-cents-cents
to watch the elephant-elephant-elephant
jump over the fence-fence-fence

he jumped so high-high-high
he touched the sky-sky-sky
and didn't come back-back-back
until the fourth of july-lie-lie

There was another part to it, but I can't remember it now. And like I said, it made no sense. LOL

Oh, and the Cinderella one...

Cinder-ella
dressed in yella
went upstairs to kiss her fella

she made a mistake
and kissed a snake

how many doctors will it take

and then we jumped and counted until we were doing the splits. lol

    Bookmark   October 6, 2010 at 1:16PM
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meldy_nva(z6b VA)

Cat's cradle, and clapping rhymes (and I don't remember any of them, just that Leslie used to hit palms really, really hard.

The version of Chinese jumprope we played used a piece of laundry line cord, looped around the ankle. I remember that some of the kids could double up, jumping their own and another's cord. Neat to see.

Jacks and marbles can be found at my local dollar store.

Looking back, I played checkers with some of the kids I babysat, but not at home. The family was more into card games: regular canasta fests (the winner would be excused from doing dishes for a week), and some contract bridge, and of course poker in several versions. I think I learned to add while playing canasta. I remember climbing onto a thick book on the dining chair and that a brother had to hand me the cards - and I couldn't manage a fan, so that's when I learned to memorize at one glance whatever I'd been dealt.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2010 at 7:20PM
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west_gardener

I remember now, we did a version of Chinese jump rope along with regular jump rope. We did clapping games. We also did some paper tricks, some sort of origami and string games. Fun thread.

Here is a link that might be useful: Kids games

    Bookmark   October 6, 2010 at 7:40PM
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rob333

My older, adopted, Filipino sister and I played the clapping game together. I'd done the Miss Mary Black and the Cinderella singing rhymes, but her's went like this:

All how they were pronounced, because of course, I've never seen it written (tagalog ? who knows?)

Flea
Flea fly
Feesta
Cumalala Cumalala Cumalala feesta
On and on and on a feesta
eeny meeny decimeny Do whatcha wanna meeny
Hotchy cocthy cumalotchy do what you want
Beep boton bop boton

And she didn't use a hoola hoop on her hips, she skipped with it around her ankle. She was an amazing person to me. Aint it grand to be an older sister and then later to have an older sister?

    Bookmark   October 7, 2010 at 9:20AM
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