Weekend Question Thread

What was your favorite game as a child?

My cousins and I used to play Hungry Hungry Hippos for HOURS on rainy days. This was before we discovered other, way more fun games, like setting off firecrackers in the woods and going down toboggan runs on slicked-up pieces of cardboard.


11 thoughts on “Weekend Question Thread

  1. I LOVED Hungry Hungry Hippos, myself. I cringed to see the teensy travel versions of it, though…kids need the full-on experience of heavy flipping of some hippo jaw, and a teensy version of that is meh.
    We played Chutes and Ladders, Candy Land, and then, as I got older, a marathon game of Monopoly with my parents had me hooked on that for a long while.
    And, as far as outdoor games, kickball was IT for me. In fact, I wish we weren’t such a bunch of girly girls in grade school and more of us had gotten into the guys’ baseball games at recess. I certainly hope, if recess hasn’t been totally eliminated, the kids are getting their own games together and ALL of them are playing regardless of whether they’re boys or girls, but, having seen what recreation is like at my son’s after care at school, I kinda doubt that.
    In fact, I just got into a school listserve discussion over where the hell Title IX went. Don’t get me started again…

  2. Risk was fun, also liked Masterpiece–made going to the Art Institute of Chicago a real trip, Clue…when we’d visit with my grandmother, card games were popular (bourre, Po-Ke-No)…
    My three speed bike with the banana seat and trails/dirt roads in the area make me happy I grew up before kids’ play time was so structured…
    That said, I also liked baseball, both structured little league and sandlot, the latter being everything from whiffle ball to two on two or three on three, complete with “imaginary runners” and closed fields to compensate for missing players and open spaces.

  3. I had four sisters, and many cousins, and winters were long.
    The best party game for nine year olds is “Hot Potato”, in which you continually toss a sturdy windup alarm timer (optionally shaped like a potato) from one to another. If you’re holding it when it goes off, you lose. If you drop it, you lose. If your toss is dishonest or hard to catch, you suck. Often you can get uncles to play. This game is so much fun you can end up breaking lamps and furniture — and eventually the timer breaks, and Hot Potato season comes to its inevitable end.
    We played vicious high-speed Monopoly (collected fines and taxes are handed to anyone who lands on Free Parking).
    We played four or five of 3M’s bookcase games; Twixt (pegs and span-six connectors) and their chalkboard-based Stocks and Bonds were excellent games.
    For several years we played Western/Whitman’s interesting and well-devisedStock Market over and over; we wore out the ’63 edition and had to buy the ’68, and it was probably the only game in which no one of us could learn to win consistently.
    We played the depression-era card game “Pit” which involves a lot of silly yelling.
    I think that of all the classic card games to play with no-longer-little-kids, we had the most fun with Hearts.
    But the best game ever is called “Crush, Kill, Destroy”, which I made up myself after watchingthis episode of Lost In Space. It’s played with ten or twelve cousins in Grandma’s basement, in the dark, about an hour after Christmas dinner. The person who is “it” must lumber slowly from place to place, in the dark, declaiming “Crush. Kill. Destroy.” over and over, and if he or she touches you and says your name, you’re it.
    Today, if I knew a bunch of kids whom I thought would regularly play games together, I’d teach them to play Settlers of Cataan.

  4. Chess with my brother (who often won, but screamed and stomped and sulked for hours if he lost, so that got a bit tiresome, eventually). Yahtzee. Life, Snakes and Ladders, Candyland and Monopoly every so often. Checkers when on the farm (blowing things up with cherry bombs when on the farm, too–the game requiring the most skill was seeing who could blow empty tuna fish cans over the remnants of the old horse-drawn combine harvester). Sandlot softball. For an extremely short period of time, hula-hoop contests. Things like that.

  5. Joel–I remember Pit, at least I think I do. It made a small comeback in the 1970s. Pretty simple: cards representing commodities, a cool little bell. If I remember, you tried to corner a market.
    Also recall Stocks and Bonds, but nobody ever wanted to play it…oh well.
    Anyone recall a game called Probe? Guess your opponents’ words. Another pretty simple one.
    And…if you got tired of games, you could have some fun with Mad Libs…

  6. Early on my absolute favorite was my Hopalong Cassidy game, which went nicely with my Hopalong Cassidy lunchbox, my Hopalong Cassidy two-gun set, and Hopalong Cassidy telescope. Hoppy and me, we were just like THAT.
    Then it was Monopoly, played in vast days-long marathons fueled by root beer and potato chips, followed later still by cut-throat games of hearts.

  7. board game i’d have to say mouse trap.
    but my grandfather started us cousins on simple card games. concentration, go fish, king in the corner gin rummy and then when he thought we were old enough, he gave us the good stuff and we were ever thus addicted to sheepshead. tho, now that he is gone and some have less access to play.

  8. I had a slightly older brother, so we played a lot of games with balls, catch with softball, baseball and football, batting practice with baseball and softball. Kicking a foot ball for “field goals”. Shooting baskets with a basketball. I don’t think a day went by all year without us tossing some kind of ball back and forth, from about age 10 on up. If there was too much snow on the ground for that, we were out going down hills with our sleds. On a good snow day we would be out from 10 in the morning to 8 at night, coming home only to eat, going down the same hill over and over and over…

  9. Yahtzee, Mille Bornes, Old Maid, Monopoly (before I learned how to play *really* cutthroat..CDOs, anyone?).
    Mad Libs were great fun on road trips..erase, re-use, try to come up with better words.
    Fave Noun: “Owl Farm”.
    Gales of laughter from the back seat, good times.

  10. We played lots of these games at my house, but the best games were the ones my brothers and I made up. Generally this involved creating something (such as a card house using all available cards), then making up a story by placing little LEGO or Fisher-Price people around our creation, then destroying it in a spectacular manner using marbles or toy guns or something. “Oh no! The bus driver died! And so did the astronaut! But what about the king?”
    I think, in these uncertain times, that makes me a potential terrorist.

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