Mr. J — Several smaller courts should be made with teams of 5-8 kids. Otherwise, a single game would take forever. And trust me, it’s skellzies. I played this in the early seventies in the South Bronx. Oh, and if it becomes popular, keep an eye out for kids using the coasters from school chairs as skellzie caps. They can be cut out, and then the rubber is dug out. They make perfect caps; heavy and slick. We used to take bottle caps, and then rub them on smooth concrete to a polish. Then we would take either crayons or green army men and melt them into the bottle cap for weight.
I just painted 3 skelly courts in my day schools yard. I am going to teach 100 6th grade boys how to play skelly. I have over 100 bottle and Snapple caps, crayons and magnifying glasses. I am a science teacher at the school and I will be relating the game to Newton’s Laws of Motion. I will teach them the art of weighting the pieces and hiding the washers under the melted crayon. I learned the game in the Pomonok housing projects of Queens, NYC in the 1950’s. This game never goes away and it is addicitng!
I grew up in Canarsie and played this game in the playground for years. My brothers and I would melt the crayons for the caps in my easy bake oven. I was telling my husband about this (only married over a year and an old friend of my brothers) and he had heard the stories from my brothers. We live in Maine and are going to get some chalk and play on our driveway. What a great memory!!!!
I was describing the game to my grandson, telling him how I played the game at the Dyckman Projects in Washington Heights in the 50’s, and how my middle finger would be bleeding and raw all the time because of the ragged edge of the soda bottle caps and how we would rub the bottoms on the sidewalk to smooth them out from the bumps of the soda can opener……he was amazed that they didn’t have screw on bottle tops…..he also didn’t know what a radiator was when I told him that that’s how we melted the crayons into the bottle tops and sometimes the wax would overflow down the sides of the radiator and my mother would yell at me.
we called it killer caps on the Jersey side…me and my sisters loved that game..we had our mom paint it on our nice blacktop yard….I live in Colorado now and not one person I know or that I have met over the years ever heard of this game… yet we were entertained for hours…sometimes we put a board in the middle of the street in front of our grammar school…I remember filling my caps with crayons on the stove ..there was this little strip where the pilot light was ..I would put my cap on there add a penny or 2 for weight and then make cool designs with a nail while the crayon melted… melting crayons..this was as much fun as playing the game…ahh to be young again…now I will teach this game to my grand babies…thanks so much for this site..i thought the game was only in my head….nice to know I’m not wacko(well maybe just a little)
What a fun site brings back such wonderful memories of youth! I grew up in Brooklyn during the 70’s and during the summer all the kids on the block (and it seemed everywhere in NYC) would play Skelsies (or Skully), morning til night, we’d even play it under city street lamps. The most popular cap that we used was typically a milk jug cap and we would fill it with either melted crayon or putty clay as well. But, I haven’t seen any children play this game in years, seems as if the game has disappeared. But, what great memories of a fun game played on the streets of my youth.
I played Skelsies in the 70’s in the Vladeck Housing projects on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. I played so much in the summer that my knees were permanently black with dirt all summer long. I discovered the gray lids from the 35mm film worked great with a little melted crayon. I would float a dime in the middle for style and weight. There were quite a few fights due to the Slappsies which shot the opposing cap down the block. I miss the simpler times. Now with giutar Hero you just don’t get the neighborhood feel. Thanks for the warm memories.
I grew up in NJ in the 80s but one of our teachers grew up in Hell’s Kitchen in the 50s and taught us this great game. I remember the time I spent at night trying to perfect the best skelly cap using a soda bottle top, penny in the bottom and melting (and trying to swirl) various colors of crayons. My skill at this rewarded me with my first business venture, charging 50 cents to a dollar for my product!! I can’t wait to teach my children this game!!