My Childhood Games from the 1980s (Part 1)

This lengthy post and the upcoming one(s) are specially for little B (when she can read at least half a decade later), who may in case be curious about the games her deprived mummy used to play as a kid, sans iPad, sans iPhone, sans PSP, Nintendo DS and Xbox and all the wonderfully cool stuff that kids play with these days.

1) bottle caps and rubber ball

2) five stones or four stones (modified version for small six-year old hands)
The ‘stones’ are actually hand-sewn cloth ‘dumplings’ filled with sand, dried green beans or uncooked rice.

Similar to the above game, minus the ball.
You toss and catch the ‘stone’ instead of the ball.

3) skipping rope

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Played with at least three players skipping to some amusing, some horrible, chants like:

‘teddy bear teddy bear turn around
Teddy bear teddy bear touch the ground
Teddy bear teddy bear show your foot
Teddy bear teddy bear let them go’

Banana banana banana quick
Banana banana banana split

‘father mother i am sick
Call for the doctor quick quick quick
Father say,’nevermind!’
Mother say,’go and die!’

4) zero-point

5) Pepsi-cola 1-2-3

Kids form a circle and say in unison, ‘Pepsi Cola’ and jump back ‘1-2-3’ times, as far back as they can go. They shout out their number and try to step on somebody’s foot in one leap. Anyone who gets stepped on is out of the game and an eventual winner emerges.

6) Follow-the-cracks
In my distant memory, the basketball court in my primary school used to have long cracks all over it, something like this:

My friends and I used to play Police and Thieves on it, with the rule that we were only allowed to follow the path of the cracks. Tap and untap.

7) scissors-paper-stone/ shi tou jian dao bu/ lom-cham-pass
If ever we were undecided about something, we would resort to this game. And the winner would have the final say.

Scissors wins paper
Paper wins stone
Stone wins scissors

8) Pick-up-Sticks
Pick up as many sticks as you can, one by one, without moving the rest.

I guess this game is unlikely to die off soon since they have it immortalised in an iPad version…

…with all sorts of what-nots to pick up.

9) Donkey, Old Maid, Snap and Happy Family

I disliked these games, though, as I usually ended up ‘Donkey’ or ‘Old Maid’ due to my Snail-reflex. They bring back memories of bawling and being a sore loser. Yes, I was such a crybaby. Nostalgic games, though…;)

10) mi-mi-mi-re-mi-fah-soh
This was a hand clapping game. Non-competitive but fun, as we would try to sing the clapping tune as fast as we could while incorporating all the complicated hand gestures.

Todd Warnock/Lifesize/Getty Images

11) collecting and trading stickers

The most exotic stickers were affordable to only the elite few. The more unusual the stickers, the more stickers could be traded for them. As my parents didn’t endorse this expensive and frivolous hobby, I took to making my own stickers out of felt and double-sided tape, which proved to be highly coveted. Nobody knew where I bought my unusual collection. 😉

12) Game n Watch (a.k.a the ancient PSP)
Donkey Kong with double screens were among the most popular.

So, Little B, this concludes Part 1 of Tales of Mummy’s Childhood Games. Go to sleep now, I will tell you more tomorrow. No, keep that. I don’t want to play ‘Donkey’ with you.

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