Well, I’m from Chicago and we played may of the games mentioned here. I want to actually write about these games in my Family Tree book so that my grandchildren would know how their grandmother played when she was young. I especially, like playing with the spauldeen and used it to play the Russian Ten, O’Leary, and Roly/Poly. Does anyone know the verses, order, and directions on how these games were played? I would love to know, since I’ve forgotten a lot! Thanks. thiele007 [at] hotmail [dot] com.
It is great to know there are others out there that remember this game. I grew up in Chicago in the 70’s and learned this at a summer camp at a YMCA near Fullerton and Central Park. We called it skully caps. My memory of the rules and board are sketchy and my husband thought I was crazy. Now I have proof and the rules of play to teach my son!
I grew up in Chicago and I remember that we always played Double Dutch and Chinese Jumprope with rhyming songs. I wish I remembered all of them because we would finish one rhyme and go right into singig another one as long as the jumper hadn’t missed yet. There had to be at lease 7 or 8 rhymes that we knew by heart. With Chinese Jumprope we would sing: Jump in jump out jump side to side jump on jump in jump out.
Back in the late 50’s on the Chicago South side at Fernwood School playground we used to play “Buck Buck – how many fingers up”. I never knew that it was also called Johnny on the Pony. Our best player at that time was Dick Butkus (Chicago Bears). When he would jump onto the other teams back’s, almost always would that other team cave in, giving us the win.
OK, I’m so glad that I’ve found this site. I have been looking for years to find the rules to games that I played when I was growing up in the 50’s in Chicago. I used to play the ball games that have been described in the messages from others. Please if anyone remembers the rules to “Roly-Poly”? We would draw a very large rectangle and divide it up by drawing a line down the middle and lines across to make up boxes. We would write something like Boys, Girls, Colors, Fruits, Movie Stars, etc. in the boxes. We would bounce a ball in each square while moving around to the last square. Somehow we would be able to kind of “own” a square and no one else could step on it. Anyone recall the rules to the game?
In the Bronx, New York, in the 50’s we played a game called Russian 10 which sounds a lot like the games two of the other posters wrote about. First we would throw the ball up (or against the wall?) Then followed a series of claps. (Some behind the back?) I seem to remember the one hand against the wall position as well. No one I’ve ever mentioned this to had heard about it. I find it fascinating that a similar game with almost the same name was played in Chicago in the 40’s.
A big shout out from Jim Marino way out in Chicago. Do you remember the Broadway Movie, Colonial, Savoia. Gone but not forgotten. I alway try to get to Geno’s for a cheese steak when we get back for a visit. Ever try to explain what and how you play halfball. Not very easy. This site is great. Other games. How about war games with bottle cap/top guns. Those guns made from clothes pins, sticks and rubber bands. Lots of epic battles on the streets of South Philly.And also lots of “you’ll shoot somebody’s eye out. Although I remember a few scrapes and cuts, no eyes were ever shot out. Also when we really had no money we plaed a game called Kitten and stick. Sometimes using a 6 inch piece of hose or a 6 inch stick sharpened on both ends. The object was to hit one end of the stick and cause it to bounce in the air, then hit it while in the air. Distance made the hits or scores. All of these were great. Stay in touch. Kitty where are you?
In Chicago in the 40’s we played a game called “Russia,” bouncing a tennis ball against a wall. I think #1 was to throw the ball onto the wall and catch it, #2 was to throw the ball and let it drop and then catch it, and #3 was to throw the ball and clap once. Beyond that, I’m not sure. Other tricks were throwing the wall and clapping twice, putting a hand on the wall and throwing the ball over the arm and catching one-handed (both arms?), and slamming the ball onto the ground in front of the wall to let it carom off and then catch it, and throwing the ball under a leg (both) and catching it. Can anyone help?