Children's Games Revisited

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Most people remember some of the games they played as kids. From early Patty-Cake to Duck Duck Goose to Capture the Flag, we took pleasure in moving our hands and bodies, chanting rhymes, raising shouts and squeals, and repeating it all again and again. In games involving competition, we learned to put out our best effort, cheer for "our side," and in some games the flexibility to switch sides or take former "other" team members in.

People who become mothers and fathers, aunts and uncles and cousins and grandparents, get to revisit beloved games and pass them to another generation. Yet even adult work teams can let down and play, teaching each other their versions of their long-lost favorites.

Note: we are defining "games" loosely here, including songs with hand motions, simple games for toddlers, and active, more complicated activiies played by older children.


Fun; getting to know each other; taking a break; appreciating diversity; reflecting on messages and lessons to inform future projects . . .

Group Size


Many of the simple games require no props.

Set Up

Invite everyone to come prepared in comfortable, casual clothing. Brainstorm together a list of children's games. Here are some to get the list started: Ring Around the Rosie Little Sally Saucer The Noble Duke of York Duck Duck Goose The Hokey Pokey The Itsy Bitsy Spider Red Rover

Have different volunteer to lead one game each, of their choice. Be sensitive to ability levels of all participants, and choose or modify games so all can be included. Discuss that, like folk songs, there are usually different versions of each game, so the leaders choose how their selections are played.


One leader at a time gives directions and guides the activity.


Discuss other versions remembered by participants. Reflect on the process of choosing, leading, following, and participating. Discuss any insights that can be useful in the team's regular interactions.


Can you help make this activity better? Do you know an alternate way to lead this activity? Click "edit" above and help improve this site for everyone!