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The 30 Best Childhood Games to Share with Kids Today!

2018-02-07 by Melissa & Doug
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Quick! What was your favorite way to play as a child?

Recently, Melissa started gathering groups of us here at Melissa & Doug for “Play-Full Life Chats,” where we explore how we can add more play to our lives. Reminiscing about all the ways we had fun as children inspired us to try some of our favorite, almost-forgotten childhood games! Needless to say, it was a ton of fun for us grown-ups and also for the kids in our lives who had never heard of these little gems!

We are now opening up our “Throwback Childhood Challenge” to you! Think of some of the simple, quick, and easy ways you liked to play as a kid and video yourself sharing it with your child, friend, spouse, or anyone! Then nominate friends of yours to take the challenge!

Check out some example videos here:

What Are the Best Childhood Games?

Here are 30 of our favorite childhood games. The best childhood games are those that spread by word of mouth and are fun for all ages. From simple hand games like Cat’s Cradle to classics like Hide and Seek, most of these childhood games don’t require much, if any, equipment or elaborate rules. (Side note: It’s interesting how many regional variations pop up when you start talking to people about how they played as children.) Take a look at the list and see how many you remember playing and which ones you might want to share.

Best Childhood Games to Share with Kids Today

30 Childhood Games We Loved and Want to Pass Along to Our Kids

  1. Cat’s Cradle
  2. Clapping Games (“Miss Mary Mack,” “Miss Suzie,” “Patty Cake,” and so many more!)
  3. Cops and Robbers
  4. Card Games (Rummy, Go Fish, Old Maid…)
  5. Crab Walk Soccer
  6. Dress-Up
  7. Fort Building
  8. Hangman
  9. Hide and Seek
  10. Hopscotch
  11. Hot Potato
  12. Hula Hoop
  13. Jacks
  14. Jump Rope
  15. Keep It Up (Keep Up the Balloon)
  16. Lava on the Floor
  17. Leapfrog
  18. Leg wrestling
  19. Marbles
  20. Musical Chairs
  21. Paper Football
  22. Piggyback Races
  23. Restaurant
  24. Road Trip License Plate Game
  25. Rock, Paper, Scissors
  26. School
  27. Secret Agent/Spy Games
  28. Tag (and all its variations! Eraser Tag, Flashlight Tag, Freeze Tag, TV Tag, etc.)
  29. Thumb wrestling
  30. Wall Ball

Let’s pass along the play! Pick one of the above or one of your own to share. Capture it on video, challenge a friend to do the same, and tag us at #ThrowbackChildhoodChallenge!


Melissa & Doug

Our team of play experts occasionally enjoys sharing news about our company, new product launches, and some of the #CountlessWaysToPlay with our toys, crafts, and games. At Melissa & Doug, we’re on a mission to inspire the innovators of tomorrow through kid-powered play!

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