The following school house and yard games are derived from:
Bancroft, Jessie H. Games for the Playground, Home, School and Gymnasium. New York:  Macmillan, 1915.


The players are seated, with the exception of four or five who stand in front. Each of the standing students is given the name of a color. He then states that color. The seated players close their eyes. Then the standing players rearrange themselves. The seated students open their eyes. The one called upon must now recite the names of the colors in the order in which the standing players are now arranged. For example, red, green, blue, yellow rearrange themselves to yellow, red, blue, green.

For older students, use the names of geographical features, titles of books, names of wild flowers--the possibilities are endless--and the movement is very useful for kinesthetic learners!


This is an alphabet game that can be played forward and backward. The first player chooses an adjective beginning with a to describe the Minister's cat. For example, "The minister's cat is an avaricious cat." The second player repeats the words of the first, then adds an adjective beginning with b, such as "The minister's cat is an avaricious, brazen cat." The play continues all the way through the alphabet, and may reverse from z to a, if the letter x is excluded.


One player walks clockwise outside the circle with a handkerchief. Other players move clockwise as they sing:

		Itiskit, Itaskat,
		A green and yellow basket;
		I wrote a letter to my love
		And on the way I dropped it.
		I dropped it,
		I dropped it,
		And on the way I dropped it.
		Some one of you has picked it up
		And put it in his pocket;
		It isn't you --it isn't you-

The last line is repeated until the player with the handkerchief cries, "It' s YOU!" He then drops the handkerchief behind one of the players who must pick it up and immediately start around the outside of the circle clockwise. The player who dropped the handkerchief attempts to return to the opening first by moving counterclockwise. The one who is left out takes the handkerchief for the next round.


The player chosen as leader chants:

		One finger one thumb, keep moving,
		One finger one thumb, keep moving
		One finger one thumb, keep moving,
		One finger one thumb, keep moving,
			Tra la, la, la, la.

The leader brings the thumb and index finger or the right hand together as when a birds beak opens and closes. The other players imitate the same motion. The leader then adds the thumb and index finger of the left hand and chants:

		Two fingers and two thumbs, keep moving, etc.

As the game progresses through "four fingers, two thumbs; six fingers, two thumbs; eight fingers, two thumbs, eight fingers, two thumbs, one hand," etc, until it reaches "eight fingers, two thumbs, two hands, two arms, two feet, two legs, one head, keep moving!" The motions are performed very rapidly in sequence and provide excellent exercise.


Another is another old singing game with motions., the lyrics for "Looby Loo" are:

	Here we dance, looby, looby, looby.
	Here we dance, looby, looby, light.
	Here we dance, looby, looby, looby, loo,
	Every Saturday night.

	Put your right hand in
	Put your right hand out
	Give your right hand a shake, shake, shake.
	Hikumbooby round-about.

	Here we dance, looby, looby, looby, etc.
	Put your left hand in, etc.
	Put your right foot in. .  . etc. .

The entire circle rotates first to left for the first line of each chorus, them to right for the second line, left, then right again. Each player spins completely around on the line "Hikumbooby round about." This is a very ancient game with a rich folk history.


A beanbag is placed on the front desk of each row. On the signal, the first student picks up the beanbag holds it over his head and drops it on the desk behind him. The student in the second desk immediately picks up the beanbag, holds it over his head, and drops it on the desk behind him. The last student in the row catches the bean bag, stands and immediately hops to the front of the row where he takes the first seat, and the remaining students in the row each move back one seat. The procedure is repeated until each student in the row is back to his original seat. The first row to finish is the winner.

Illinois Learning Standards 19.A.1,.2; 19.B.2; 21.A.1a

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