Tag, You’re It! Top Outside Games We Played In The 80’s

April 15, 2013  |  
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When you were a kid, all you needed was your crew and a warm sunny day to have a ball. There was no sitting in the house, bored stiff with nothing to do. You would run wildly, like your life depended on it, from the kid chosen as “it” or play one of these other classic childhood games. Which were your favorite?

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Freeze Tag

The “it” person would run around and try to tag everyone they could get their hands on. If they get someone, that kid was frozen and could not move under any circumstances until someone else came by to unfreeze them.

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Red Light, Green Light

The streetlight kid would stand at one end of the street with a crew of kids at the other. The streetlight kid would shout – Green light! One, two three . . . .Kids would run to reach the streetlight until he hollered Red light! Everyone had to freeze. If you budged, you had to go back to the beginning.

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Mother May I

Kids would ask “mother” if they could take two steps, a giant skip, or a hop, etc. to get close enough to tap the mother. She would say “Yes you may.” If you failed to ask permission without saying Mother May I, not only would you be rejected, but you’d have to start from the beginning again.

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Hide and Go Seek

If you were “it” you’d negotiate a count off number with the rest of your friends. You would then cover your eyes and count to said number while the rest of the your friends ran to a hiding place. You would then hollar – Ready or not, here I come and go on the prowl to find your friend’s hiding spots.

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Duck Duck Goose

Everyone sits in a circle while one kid goes around, tapping the head of each person and says “Duck” along the way. Then the person taps a head and hollers “Goose!” He runs and the goose has to get up and give chase with the intent of tagging him before he gets  back to the space where the goose was sitting.

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Hop Scotch

A series of large squares drawn with sidewalk chalk could make for hours of fun. You would throw a stone or bean bag into a square, careful not to touch a line or you’d lose your turn. Then you would hop the squares with only one foot, skipping the one you have marked. If you touched a line with one foot or put your other foot down, you lose a turn. If you finish, for round two, you place your marker on another square and repeat.


You would run around the yard, trying to flee the “it” kid. If he tagged you, he’d say – Tag, you’re it! Then you would run around trying to tag someone else.

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Simon Says

Simon would order his friends to do something specific, beginning each request with Simon says. If you did what he said without him saying Simon Says, then you had to go back and start over.

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What Time Is It, Mr. Fox?

Mr. Fox is at one end of the field with his back turned to the group of kids at the other end. They holler -What time is it, Mr. Fox? He responds with a time (12 o’ clock or 1 o’ clock). The group of kids take that many steps. This repeats until they are close enough, and Mr. Fox shouts “Midnight!” The kids turn and run while Mr. Fox gives chase, trying to catch as many as he can.

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Red Rover

Separate the group into two teams, (Team A and Team B) each team forming a straight line. Someone from Team B is called over to ‘bust through’ the arms of two people from Team A. If they are successful, they go back to their Team B line. If they fail, they become part of Team A.

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Ring Around The Rosie

Gather in a circle, singing the entire song before everyone falls down!This is especially fun for little tots.


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  • pickneychile

    Yeah we played all of these! I forgot about what time is it Mr. fox until I read it. Awww memories! We also used to play octopus tag, jailbreak (cops n robbers), capture the flag, flashlight tag, tv tag, superman tag, etc lol.

  • What?

    We played TV Tag.

    • What?

      Spiders and Flies

  • Melissa

    Who remembers rock teacher. A bunch of kids sit on the bottom of a staircase. The rock teacher holds a rock in their hand and you have to guess which hand it’s in to move up a step. The person who reaches the top of the Stairs win

  • Trisha_B

    I was born 1990 & played all of these. I stayed outside until it was dark everyday lol. I had my video games, but those only really got played when it was raining & i couldn’t go outside. Kids born after like ’95 don’t know these. Kids lack vitamin D b/c they don’t go outside to play lol. They are just zombie’s in front of the TV. Plus w/ all these crazies out, it’s scary to have the kids outside now-a-days

    • Ugh!

      A lot of the kids born in the late eighties/early nineties were like that too. That’s when child obesity kicked in. There were tons of fat kids paying Sega and Nintendo 64 all day, chomping on Mickie D’s. LOL!! The eighties kids and back were slim and trim because they were more active. You would only see a few chubby kids here and there but they were’nt huge like nineties kids and the kids now, DAMN!

  • the guest

    I remember Kick the Can and Ringolivio Ringolivio

  • universal

    those were the dayz………………

  • Q

    Bloody Mary

  • Ms.Brilly

    What about Hot Peas and Butter? LOL

    • Guest1002

      Yes hot peas and butter was the game. Also lets not forget 1 2 3 red light. Kids today don’t have fun like we did back in the day.

  • nolimit_soldier

    Anyone remember hide and go get it? I think I was a good 10 years old playing that w my homies and the neighborhood girls. Only thing is I chased after the same girl EVERY TIME (I eventually got her pregnant 5 years afterwards) lol smh..*the memories**

    • Ah the joys of urban diversity.

    • ThisChick

      So you finally got it huh? lol