Looking for something to do on a summer day? Grab a piece of chalk, some bottle caps, and maybe even a bag of marbles. Have friends over. Eat, laugh, play in the sun, drink something icy, and chalk out your own game board. It's summer, after all. As in sun. As in fun. When you're done chalking circles, squares and secret messages on the sidewalk, head over to a field or a playground and try your luck with Amoeba Tag or Ghost in the Graveyard. Outside. It's the place to play. After all, whoever tried the Water Balloon Toss in the den and lived to tell the tale?
You can find rules to great games both online and in the library.
In the Library
Click on the titles of the books below to see what's available and place a reserve.
Anna Banana: 101 Jump-Rope Rhymes compiled by Joanna Cole.
Rhymes to keep the rhythm and the fun of jump rope going. Here are chants for all kinds of jump rope, and experts can try out the fast red-hot pepper rhymes. Have a hopping good time!
Double Dutch: A Celebration of Jump Rope, Rhyme, and Sisterhood by Veronica Chambers.
They call it "the queen of jump rope." Double-Dutch has its own national competitions and is an amazing team sport which was played in ancient Egypt and China. Great photos and samples of rhymes.
Go Out and Play! Favorite Outdoor Games from Kaboom!
A guide to more than seventy classic and contemporary playground games provides instructions for such favorites as kick the can, freeze tag, and sardines, in a volume that also includes tips for adults on how to encourage and facilitate outdoor play. Includes a chapter on sidewalk games.
Hopscotch Around the World by Mary D. Lankford.
So, you think you know hopscotch? Here are 19 different ways to play from 16 different countries, including France, Nigeria, Bolivia, China, and the United States.
Marbles: 101 Ways to Play by Joanna Cole and Stephanie Calmenson with Michael Street.
You've got your aggies, your immies, your shooters, and swirls. Now, what do you DO with them? Marbles really are cool. You'll find here dozens of ways to play and tips for starting your own marble collection.
Sidewalk Chalk: Outdoor Fun and Games by Jamie Kyle McGillian.
Create an obstacle course for roller blades, bike, or scooter. Play games and encode secret messages. Crafty kids will want to try making their own chalk!
On the Web
Jump Rope Rhymes
"I eat my peas with honey,
I've done it all my life.
It looks a little funny.
But it keeps them on my knife.
How many peas can I get on my knife?
1, 2, 3, . . . . .
Lots of fun rhymes here!
Sidewalk Chalk Games
Not all of these 30 "games" are competitive - although there are some classics, such as FourSquare. But you'll also find fun activities for the artistically inclined.
Hopscotch, Jacks, and Scully all work on the sidewalk, but there are plenty of games to take to the field: Capture the Flag, Human Knot, and Manhunt.