What games did your great-grandparents play outside at lunchtime or during gym class? Play, Comprising Games for the Kindergarten, Playground, Schoolroom and College, a book for teachers in 1920, lists lots of games you might not have heard of today, but that look like a lot of fun. Try the two historical games below. For more ideas, read the book by clicking on the title above.

Plug Ball

Two lines are drawn from the wall about twenty feet apart, and the two teams line up with all of the basketballs and medicine balls in the gymnasium equally divided. They throw the balls back and forth, and whenever the ball touches the floor in the territory of either side it counts a point for the side making the throw. The balls must be thrown across the intervening space, and failure to do this counts a point for the other team. Two scorers should officiate, one counting the points made for each team. The team scoring twenty-one first wins. This is a game for very large classes, and the number of balls used should be equal to about one for every seven or eight players.

In and Out the Window

This is one of the many circle games best adapted for children, but often played with enthusiasm by older people. The class forms a circle, joining hands with the exception of two, who take their places, one inside and one outside the circle. The child on the outside of the circle must catch the other, but he must follow the exact course of the one chased. The one chased will go in and out under the arms of the players forming the circle, which suggests the name of the game. When caught, two more are selected, and so on.

>>>> The children in Harold William Thorpe’s chapter books for children have adventures while learning about Wisconsin history and friendship. Check out the Good Friends Storybooks now and download sample chapters.

If you like this you'll love the O'Shaughnessy Chronicles!

When a sibling unexpectedly inherits his grandfather’s dairy farm, Will O’Shaughnessy turns to selling Fords in rural, pre-World War I southwestern Wisconsin.

A richly wistful epic tale of a bygone era....Readers will yearn for more. ~ Midwest Book Review