I love games. And new innovative games always spark my interest.

IN INDIA: The outdoor games I played in school including — chor-police (thieves and cops), hide n seek and saankli (game of catch that involves forming a chain of seekers)—involved a lot of running. I remember how we would swallow lunch just so that we could spend recess time playing these games. We even created our own games, some of them were rather rough with players pushing each other to grab a ball and score.

We also played games that involved some amount of jumping — hopscotch and gutter-gutter (jumping and running from one manhole to the other to stay safe from the seeker), Sunday-Monday-Tuesday (jumping from one step to the other).

The other popular outdoor games that used props include the traditional games of marbles, lagori (flat stones) and gilli danda (two sticks: Hit the short stick with the long one).

IN USA: I have come across a few interesting games for kids and adults that use props and thought of doing a quick post on them. These games can be repurposed to suit the age-group playing – from toddlers, tweens and teenagers to adults.

  1. Brick Jenga: 54 bricks are stacked on each other. Players take turns to remove bricks without disturbing the stack. Each removed brick is placed on the top to build the tower again.

    Brick jenga at A Lowcountry Backyard
  2. Ping-pong toss: Players bounce ping pong balls off the table to aim them into the cups. Each cup has a different score labelled with a sticker.
    A game of ping pong toss. Each glass has a number indicating a score.


    This appears to be a different type of ping pong toss game. Instead of glasses, color-coded buckets can also be used.


  3. Hook and ring game: Swing the ring to loop it around the hook and score.

    Hook and ring toss
  4. Cornhole: Aim the bean bags into the holes. The wooden boxes with holes are placed on two sides. Players have to aim the bags into the opposite box.

    Corn hole
  5. Ladder toss: Throw bolas (Two rubber balls connected with a nylon string) onto a ladder.

    Ladder toss
  6. Disc golf: Players throw a disc (frisbee) down a fairway into a basket.

    Disc golf board
  7. Toilet paper roll toss: I got a chance to play this game at a cuboree organised by The Boy Scouts of America. Players aim a toilet paper roll into a toilet bucket.

8. Target ball. Players have to hit the target with a ball.img_1143

9. A super-sized Connect Four game. Players take turns to drop color-coded discs into a large grid (board) with many holes. The player who forms the first horizontal, vertical or diagonal line with four colored discs is the winner.img_1146

10. Hit the target game for younger kids.img_1148