Night Games

If there’s one thing that could make me wish to go back to my pre-adult years, nightgames with the neighborhood would be it. Here’s a list of a few of my favorites. What are yours?

Steal the Flag
Everyone’s favorite came in two flavors – speed and stealth. We preferred stealth, but I’ll explain the fast version first. Here’s what you’ll need:

– Two “flags” (Bandanas, old dish towles, or old t-shirts work fine)

– Two teams of kids (or adults who aren’t particularly concerned with appearing mature)

– A field with trees or shrubs on either end (on which to tie the flags and set your ‘prison areas) and some sort of dividing boundary line in the middle (like the line between this landmark and that, or you can mow or spray a line if you want to get technical)

And the game is simple. Hang flags on opposite ends of the field. You can protect your flag from thieves, or try to steal it from the other side. If you’re tagged while on the other team’s turf, you’re stuck in jail till one of your team members can rescue you (tag you without being caught themselves). If you can take the other guy’s flag to your turf without getting caught, you win. This is the speed version because everyone can easily see everyone else, so you’ve got to run like mad if you want to win.

As for the stealthy version? Don’t play it in a field, and wait till dark. Play it over a few acres with lots of landmarks (or houses, fences, sheds, etc) where you can hide out and sneak around – and also define team boundaries. Wear black or camo, and for goodness sake, ditch the white sneakers. Just be sure the property owners and neighborhood watch know what you’re doing, or someone might call the cops.

You’ll need: A place to play, and a group of players. The more the merrier – so long as they’re showered 🙂

How to play: Choose one person to hide (aka, “IT”). The rest stay behind and count for a designated number of seconds. Then they simply go out to find the hiding place, and when they do, they join in and hide in the same place. After a short while you’ll realize why this game is called Sardines, and why hygiene is critical for play. Last person to find ‘it’ becomes ‘it’ the next round.

Poison Sock
You’ll need: A group of players, and one old/mismatched sock that’s been rolled into a ball for each player. The name originated from playing with my oldest brother’s stinky socks. I don’t recommend that method.

You’ll also need a place to play. This one can be played indoors if the room is fairly large and indestructible (you will be throwing the socks), but your best bet is to play it outside on soft grass.

This is another game that has a simple premise but is alot of fun, day or night. You throw the socks at each other (and you can pick up whatever socks have landed). If you get hit in the head or torso, you are out, so you’ve got to dodge the hits, catch them, or block them. If you are hit in a limb, you lose use of that limb and have to find a way to compensate in your play. Last one ‘alive’ wins.

More coming soon – in the meantime feel free to add your own.