If you're a parent, you've probably uttered following words to your kids at some point this summer: "You know, when I was a kid we didn't have (insert electronic device here). We played outside." We say it as if it were a much healthier and wholesome thing, as if we all went outside and laughed and everyone got along. But when I really think back, these games tended toward the brutal.
Here are a few outside games guaranteed to give your kids more than carpal tunnel on their video game arm.
Crack the whip: Everyone joins hands--how nice!--in a big line. This is where your mom pats herself on the back and then stops watching. The most popular (read: bossy) neighborhood child gets to be the leader, who proceeds to run quickly in the curviest line possible. Do not let go of anyone's hand! The people at the end become the whip crackees, and their necks are flung back and forth in a way that would make "Wipeout" seem like a walk in the park.
Red Rover: This game is for a large group of children, so we played it in school with credentialed instructors supervising us. Half the class stands on one side of the field, and half on the other side. Again, you all join hands and then one side chants, "Red Rover, Red Rover, send (one kid's name) right over!" That kid then runs as fast as he can and tries to break through the other team's wall of arms. The force of the running child will certainly break your hands apart, so you have to hold each other's forearms. This is guaranteed to break a radius, if not an ulna, but if you're the one to let Jimmy break through, your popularity on the playground will take a serious nosedive.
Mother May I: This game will not hurt you physically but someone will always end up with a bruised ego. The leader stands at the end of the driveway and everyone else lines up at the other end, with the goal of reaching the leader first. Then it goes something like this:
Leader: Best friend, take 10 giant steps forward.
Best friend: Mother may I?
Leader: Yes you may.
Leader: Little brother, take 8 baby steps forward.
Little brother: Mother may I?
Leader: No you may not. You may take 5 giant steps backward.
Little Brother: Mother may I?
Leader: Yes you may.
I won't even go into King of the Hill or pink bellies. What was your favorite "wholesome" childhood game?