I grew up in Woodhaven,Queens during the late 50’s and early 60’s. We used to play a varity of games, including Snake, Redrover, Red Light-Green-Light, but my favorite was Punchinello. Does anyone remeber this game? The person named Punchinello had to come up with some body contortion that no one could copy. The kids that matched the move stayed in and the ones that didn’t were out. Also, do any of the girls out there remember Baby Carraige Racing? My friends and I would find a good hill and let the buggies fly. What fun we had!
I also grew up in the Glenwood projects, 1952-1962 and I remember the “big kids” running around all night playing ringaleavio but I never knew what the hell they were doing. They were all over the place. I guess there was a jail somewhere. We moved before I became “old enough” to play, tho it seems to me it was all boys playing. What ARE the rules???
I did the majority of my growing up in East Flatbush (Brooklyn Avenue between Hawthorne & Fenimore Streets). We played ringoleaveo, spud, red rover and sardines. The object of Sardines was for someone to hide and then everyone had to look for him. Once you found the him, you had to hide with him. Sardines was really popular in my teen years because this was a good boy/girl came.
My friends and I were lucky. We grew up in and around “The Big Six Towers” in Queens which was a self-contained couple of acres of trees, pathways, playgrounds, huge flower planters, lots of grass, etc. where we played Ringalario. (No “eve”-io for us) We would run around for hours evading the other team and charging the jail. There were plenty of bushes to hide in so stealth was also part of the game. Of course, the elderly residents weren’t too fond of us racing around, and eluding the security guards used to become part of the game as well.
We played ringalerio in Howard Beach in the 1960s. It was played at lunch time in the schoolyard at Our Lady of Grace elemetary school. It was great – until someone got hurt and ringalerio was banned by the nuns. We still played after school for a long time. The rules were the defending team had to grab someone from the ‘it’ team and hold on until they said ‘ringalerio one two three’ three times. If you held on that person went to jail. You could free all your jailed team members by touching the jail before getting caught. When all of the ‘it’ team was in jail you switched sides. It was fun but also pretty brutal – lots of fat lips, skinned knees and bloody noses.