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Sidewalk Games

Face it. Cartoons and video games are boring. You can only sit in front of the tee-vee for so long before your eyes glaze over. Between the ads for the latest plastic gizmos and excitingly-shaped wads of sugar (a piece of super sweet hard candy shaped like a pacifier? Puh-leese!), you may realize that the stuff between the ads isn't that interesting either.

Grab a piece of chalk, some bottle caps, and maybe even a bag of marbles. Have friends over. Eat, laugh, play in the sun, drink something icy, and chalk out your own game board. It's summer, after all. As in sun. As in fun. When you're done chalking circles, squares and secret messages on the sidewalk, head over to a field or a playground and try your luck with Amoeba Tag or Ghost in the Graveyard. Outside. It's the place to play. After all, who ever tried the Water Balloon Toss in the den and lived to tell the tale?

You can find rules to great games both online and in the library.

In the Library
Click on the titles of the books below to see what's available and place a reserve.

Anna Banana: 101 Jump-Rope Rhymes compiled by Joanna Cole.
Rhymes to keep the rhythm and the fun of jump rope going. Here are chants for all kinds of jump rope, and experts can try out the fast red-hot pepper rhymes. Have a hopping good time!

Double Dutch: A Celebration of Jump Rope, Rhyme, and Sisterhood by Veronica Chambers.
They call it "the queen of jump rope." Double-Dutch has its own national competitions and is an amazing team sport which was played in ancient Egypt and China. Great photos and samples of rhymes.

Games with Sticks, Stones, and Shells by Ruth Oakley.
See how kids throughout the world play hopscotch, jacks, and other games with sticks, stones, and marbles. Part of the Games Children Play Around the World series.

Hopscotch Around the World by Mary D. Lankford.
So, you think you know hopscotch? Here are 19 different ways to play from 16 different countries, including France, Nigeria, Bolivia, China, and the United States.

Hopscotch, Hangman, Hot Potato, and Ha, Ha, Ha: A Rulebook of Children's Games by Jack Maguire.
More than 250 classic games to play-- some for the sidewalk, some for the playground, some for the pool, and some for the car. Includes all rules and tips for choosing who goes first.

Marbles: 101 Ways to Play by Joanna Cole and Stephanie Calmenson with Michael Street.
You've got your aggies, your immies, your shooters, and swirls. Now, what do you DO with them? Marbles really are cool. You'll find here dozens of ways to play and tips for starting your own marble collection.

Sidewalk Chalk: Outdoor Fun and Games by Jamie Kyle McGillian.
Create an obstacle course for roller blades, bike, or scooter. Play games and encode secret messages. Crafty kids will want to try making their own chalk!

On the Web

Jump Rope Rhymes
"I eat my peas with honey,
I've done it all my life.
It looks a little funny.
But it keeps them on my knife.
How many peas can I get on my knife?
1, 2, 3, . . . . .

Lots of fun rhymes here!

Chalk and Sidewalk Games
Lots of chalk games and ball games.

Sidewalk Games
Hopscotch, Jacks, and Scully all work on the sidewalk, but there are plenty of games to take to the field: Capture the Flag, Human Knot, and Manhunt.