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21 Childhood Games Everyone Should Play Again

Can you remember how to play?

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1. Duck, Duck, Goose


One person goes around the circle, tapping people on the head and labelling them "duck" or "goose". If you're called "goose", you jump up and chase the person who called you it around the circle, trying to catch them before they can sit in your spot.

2. Never Have I Ever


Get to know your group of friends a little better by taking it in turns to declare something you've never done. There are a few different ways to play; in one version you start by holding 10 fingers up and have to put one finger down every time you've "done" a statement.

3. Murder in the Dark

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The ~spookiest~ of all kids games where you act out a murder mystery in the dark. One person plays the murderer, another the police officer, and the rest are suspects (or victims). When all the lights are off the murderer walks around "killing" people with a tap on the shoulder. It's then up to the police officer to solve the crime.

4. Cops and Robbers


Usually played outside, participants are divided into two equal groups: cops and robbers. Somewhere is picked to be the jail, and the cops have to try to catch all the robbers. The game finishes when all the baddies are in jail.

5. Musical Chairs

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A kids party classic! Remember to remove one chair every round. Keep going until someone wins by sitting on the last chair, or everybody is fed up with you not letting them listen to a whole song.

6. Chasey


What better way to get fit than by running around after your friends? It's fun irrespective of whether you call it chasey, tiggy or tag. Sometimes certain objects or colours are designated "safe zones", giving the player immunity if they touch it and claim "Barley!"

8. Octopus


One player – the "octopus" – starts in the middle. The other players line up along one side of an outdoor area and try to run to the opposite side without being caught by the octopus. Tagged people become "seaweed" sitting down where they were caught and helping the octopus tag others.

10. Hand Clap Games

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Ohhhh the memories! Grab a friend and start clapping – you'll be surprised how much you remember. Popular versions include Miss Mary Mack, Down Down Baby, My Aunty Anna, and Apple on a Stick. For bonus points, "Close your eyes and count to 10, if you muck it up then you start again!"

11. Truth or Dare


This one's still fun no matter how old you are. To refresh your memory, gather a group of people and have one person pick either "truth" or "dare". Another player then gets to decide what "truth" they must tell or what "dare" they must do.

12. Dead Fish


Sometimes called Sleeping Lions, this is the perfect game for if you really can't be bothered doing anything at all. It literally involves lying on the ground and not moving. You move, you lose. A win for laziness all round!

14. Hide-and-Seek


The name says it all here. One person closes their eyes and counts to 100 (or whenever they get bored tbh) while the others all hide. The person who was counting then goes around looking for the hiders.

15. Sardines


A backwards version of hide-and-seek where only one person hides and everyone else goes off separately to find them. If you find the hider, the idea is to squish into their hiding spot with them. The game finishes when everybody is tightly packed in the one hiding spot – like a can of sardines!

16. Forty Forty


Another variation of hide-and-seek where the seeker has a base. They count to 40 while the other players hide. They then have to spot the hiders while the hiders try to sneak back to base without being caught. To catch someone, the seeker must touch base and call out who they've spotted and where. "Forty forty, I see Devon behind the tree!"

17. Spotlight


Again, what this game is called and how it's played varies depending on where you grew up. It's kind of like the nighttime version of tag, where the person who's "it" is armed with a torch and has to shine the light on other players to tag them. (In some other versions, everyone has a torch.)

18. Musical Statues

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This one's easy – put on some sweet tunes and carve up the d-floor. Then, when the music stops, you must freeze in whatever position you were in. If you move or wobble, you're out.

20. Poison Ball

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Team one starts in the middle. Team two lines the edges of a square playing area. The outside team throws balls at the players in the middle who have to try to dodge. If they get hit they must join the team on the outside. The last player left in the centre wins.

21. Chinese Whispers


Pass a message between a group of people by whispering in their ears (repeating is cheating). The last person says aloud what they heard, and the first person reveals what the original message was. Hilarity ensues!