The Topic:
Sidewalk Games

Easier - Adults and children like playing games. Many city kids live in crowded neighborhoods. When they play outside, their playgrounds are often vacant lots, sidewalks, or even the streets.
 
Harder - Recreation was largely unknown in American culture until near the end of the Nineteenth Century. At that time, large cites were burgeoning with immigrant populations living in overcrowded tenements and row houses. Urban children who a few decades before had been working in sweatshop factories, now improvised their play to fit a limited space. Stickball and stoopball were direct derivations of baseball that were played in the streets (less crowded than today's thoroughfares). Ropejumping, marbles, and hopscotch could be fit onto a sidewalk area.
 
Outdoor or streetplay remained popular pastimes for youth, especially in the warmer months, until the advent of organized summer recreation programs, television, and later video games. Today both adults and children keep some of the traditional sidewalk games alive.
 
How to Play Marbles at Land of Marbles
http://www.landofmarbles.com/marbles-play.html
This site has illustrations and instructions for playing marbles.
Related Websites:
2) American Marbles http://www.marbles-american.org/
3) American Marbles Ringer Rules http://marbles-american.org/rules.html
4) Don't Lose Your Marbles at Kids'Turn Central
http://www.kidsturncentral.com/topics/sports/marbles.htm
5) Play Marbles at eHow http://www.ehow.com/eHow/eHow/0,1053,3999,00.html
6) How to Play Marbles http://web.ukonline.co.uk/conker/conkers-and-ghosts/marbles.htm
7) How to Play Rolley-Hole Marbles
http://www.state.tn.us/environment/RT/marbles/marbles.htm
 
Scully
http://www.gamecabinet.com/rules/Scully.html
Scully is a game played on a sidewalk and uses a small, drawn-out court about 3 x 3 feet in area. Each player needs a personal Scully 'chip,' which are actually bottle caps placed top side down.
Additional Information:
2) Skully Central at Streetplay http://www.streetplay.com/skully/
3) This is Scully http://www.teako170.com/scully.html
 
Spaldeen
http://www.spaldeen.com/
Here you find the rules to several sidewalk games played with the pink-color Spalding High-Bounce ball.
Related Websites:
2) Games: Rubber Balls at Streetplay http://www.streetplay.com/thegames/haveaball.htm
 
Streetplay
http://www.streetplay.com/
Celebrate the games of urban summers gone by-such front-stoop institutions as marbles, bottle caps, stickball, and many more.
Not To-Be-Missed Section:
2) Games http://www.streetplay.com/thegames/
Related Websites:
3) Outdoor Games http://www.parentcenter.com/general/fun/games/7410/7432.html
4) Leisure For Kids http://www.focusmm.com/kids/leisure1.htm
  
After visiting some of the websites, complete one or more of the following activities.
 
Learn A New Game. Have you ever played Scully, Spaldeen, stickball, marbles? Look through the websites and identify a game that you have never played before. Collect any apparatus that is needed for the game. Get together with some friends and try playing the new game. Organize your own tournament!
 
Create A Sidewalk Games Mural. Create a scene that shows kids playing a game or games outside on the sidewalk, playground, or the street. The scene could be set in a historical time period. Display your completed artwork. You might even do your drawing in chalk on the sidewalk!
 
Interview People About the Games They Played Growing Up. Learn about how to conduct interviews at sites like Oral History. Then, interview several people from as many different generations as possible to find out their favorite games as a child. Interview parents, neighbors, grandparents, other relatives, and older friends.
 
Organize A Games Club. Get together a group of friends and create your own games club. Decide the type of games you are interested in, rules and procedures to follow, and how often and where the group will meet. You might require that each member, teach the group a new game. Or you may want to concentrate on one activity. Have fun!
 
Make a Poster. Use the websites to learn more about a game. Create a poster showing people how the game is played. Draw your own pictures or use a digital camera to show the game step-by-step.
 
Websites By Kids For Kids
Frisbee Golf, Anyone? (1999 Internet Challenge Project)
http://library.thinkquest.org/25034/
This project provides information about the history of the game, a glossary of terms, official rules, and equipment.
 
Fun at Recess
http://library.thinkquest.org/J002150/
This site was developed primarily as a school-day resource, but it contains information about many outdoor games.
 
More Sidewalk Games
BoxBall
http://members.aol.com/hairythumb/boxball/boxball.html
First, to get started playing boxball, you need a 'Spaldeen' or a tennis ball will do. Next, you need to find a flat area that can be divided into four large boxes. Then you need to find at least two or three other agile friends.
Related Websites:
2) Boxball at Streetplay http://www.streetplay.com/thegames/boxball.htm
3) Boxball at Spaldeen http://www.spaldeen.com/boxball.html
 
Greiner Rules of Four-Square
http://home.earthlink.net/~amgreiner/4square.html
To play four-square, all you need is a good soccer-size ball with a strong bounce and four or more people. (A medium- or lightweight ball is recommended.) If you do not live near a playground or some other place where a pre-drawn court is to be found, you can always bring along some chalk and mark your own court.
More Information About Four-Square:
2) Four Square . . . http://www.rice.edu/armadillo/Mlist/archivemar94/msg00126.html
3) Official Rules of Four Square http://members.aol.com/stedr/rules.htm
4) Play Four Square at eHow by B. Sember
http://www.ehow.com/eHow/eHow/0,1053,13523,00.html
  
Hopscotch at Games Kids Play
http://www.gameskidsplay.net/games/other_games/hopscotch.htm
Use chalk to draw a hopscotch pattern on the ground or use masking tape on a floor. Create a diagram with 8 sections and number them. Each player has a marker such as a stone, beanbag, bottle cap, shell, button, etc.
 
Kick the Can Variation 1 at Games Kids Play
http://www.gameskidsplay.net/games/chasing_games/kick_the_can_2.html
This site has the rules for a game that only requires a can.
Related Website:
2) Kick the Can http://www.parentcenter.com/refcap/fun/games/7410/7520/12619.html
3) Kick the Can http://www.focusmm.com/kids/leisure/k_can.htm
4) Play Kick the Can at eHow Play
http://www.ehow.com/eHow/eHow/0,1053,309,00.html
 
Play Footbag (Hacky Sack) by A. Nunn at eHow
http://www.ehow.com/eHow/eHow/0,1053,2492,00.html
Playing Hacky Sack or Footbag develops agility and coordination and is a fine game to play alone or with friends.
  
Play Jacks at eHow
http://www.ehow.com/eHow/eHow/0,1053,2964,00.html
This classic childhood game doesn’t require much . . a little bouncy ball, at least 10 jacks, and a hard, level playing surface.
 
Play Kick the Can by A. Nunn at eHow
http://www.ehow.com/eHow/eHow/0,1053,309,00.html
You can play Kick the Can with three or more friends in any outdoor area that has safe, reasonable places to hide, day or night.
  
Sidewalk Games
http://www.family.go.com/Features/family_1998_06/famf/famf68games/famf68games4.html
With one or two pieces of chalk, you can turn a stretch of pavement into a grid for a round of summer games.
Similar Website:
2) Sidewalk Games http://www.primeline.net/~sauglit/sidewalk.htm
 
Stickball Hall of Fame from the Museum of the City of New York
http://www.mcny.org/stickball/stickb1.htm
The game of stickball, an early variant of baseball, was developed by city children whose playground was the neighborhood street.
Other Stickball Sites:
2) Amateur Stickball League by B. Haberman and M. Silvestri Http://members.tripod.com/Brianhabe/haberman.html
3) New York Emperors Stickball League Rules and Regulations
http://www.eteamz.com/stickball/news/index.cfm?cat=18300
4) Stickball at Streetplay http://www.streetplay.com/stickball/
 
Stoopball at Streetplay
http://www.streetplay.com/thegames/stoopb01.htm
Here you find the procedures for playing stoopball.
Related Website:
2) Stoopball at Spaldeen http://www.spaldeen.com/stoopball.html
 
Other Outdoor - But Off-the-Sidewalk Games
Play Capture the Flag by A. Nunn at eHow
http://www.ehow.com/eHow/eHow/0,1053,311,00.html
Capture the Flag is played outdoors with two teams. The game works best with teams of three or more players and can be played almost anytime, anywhere.
 
Play Horseshoes at eHow
http://www.ehow.com/eHow/eHow/0,1053,3110,00.html
This site provides guidelines for a traditional American pastime. They have been adapted from the official rules of the National Horseshoe Pitchers Association of America.
Related Website:
2) Set Up a Horseshoe Court at eHow
http://www.ehow.com/eHow/eHow/0,1053,3050,00.html
 
Play Human Knot by A. Nunn at eHow
http://www.ehow.com/eHow/eHow/0,1053,2487,00.html
Cooperation and a mutual mild loss of dignity will help play this simple game.
Other eHow Outdoor Games:
2) Play Beanbag Balance by B. Sember at eHow
http://www.ehow.com/eHow/eHow/0,1053,8626,00.html
3) Play Bocce Ball at eHow http://www.ehow.com/eHow/eHow/0,1053,3109,00.html
4) Play Disc Golf by A. Nunn at eHow
http://www.ehow.com/eHow/eHow/0,1053,2491,00.html
5) Set Up a Croquet Court at eHow
http://www.ehow.com/eHow/eHow/0,1053,3119,00.html
6) Play Croquet at eHow http://www.ehow.com/eHow/eHow/0,1053,3111,00.html
7) Play Tug-of-War by C. Ely at eHow
http://www.ehow.com/eHow/eHow/0,1053,7943,00.html
 
Play Manhunt by A. Nunn at eHow
http://www.ehow.com/eHow/eHow/0,1053,310,00.html
Manhunt is a large-scale game of hide-and-seek that can be played in any outdoor area with definable borders, day or night.
 
Throw a Flying Disc (Frisbee) by M. Samelson at eHow
http://www.ehow.com/eHow/eHow/0,1053,17487,00.html
Tossing a frisbee is not necessarily a 'grip it and rip it' activity; you need to attend to balance, angle and touch before you let it fly.
Related Frisbee Sites:
2) Catch a Flying Disc Behind Your Back by M. Samelson at eHow
http://www.ehow.com/eHow/eHow/0,1053,7359,00.html
3) Catch a Flying Disc Between Your Legs by M. Samelson at eHow
http://www.ehow.com/eHow/eHow/0,1053,7358,00.html
4) Freestyle Frisbee Page http://www.frisbee.com/
5) Throw a Draw in Flying Disc Golf by M. Samelson at eHow
http://www.ehow.com/eHow/eHow/0,1053,5626,00.html
6) Throw a Fade in Flying Disc Golf by M. Samelson at eHow
http://www.ehow.com/eHow/eHow/0,1053,5271,00.html
7) Throw a Flying Disc Backhand by M. Samelson at eHow
http://www.ehow.com/eHow/eHow/0,1053,5199,00.html
8) Throw a Flying Disc Forehand by M. Samelson at eHow
http://www.ehow.com/eHow/eHow/0,1053,5198,00.html
9) Throw a Flying Disc Like a Discus by M. Samelson at eHow
http://www.ehow.com/eHow/eHow/0,1053,5201,00.html
10) Tomahawk Throw a Flying Disc by M. Samelson at eHow
http://www.ehow.com/eHow/eHow/0,1053,5200,00.html
11) Play Ultimate at eHow http://www.ehow.com/eHow/eHow/0,1053,3112,00.html
12) Ultimate Players Association http://www.upa.org/
 
Websites For Teachers
Hopskotch Migration by M. Marks (Grades 2-6)
http://www.tnrcc.state.tx.us/exec/sbea/tes/lessons99/hopskotch.html
This lesson uses a hopscotch activity to teach about bird migration.
 
sidewalk games
stickball
Scully
hopscotch
chalk
rope games
marbles
'safe' zone
ball
playground
game
base
home
street
safety
Spaldeen ball
'pinkie'
neighborhood
stoopball
frisbee
outside
running
stoop
tournament
bottle cap
flying disc
hacky sack
competition
athlete
organized sport
sport
team
choosing sides
score
urban
fun
recreation
throw
catch
jump
four square
recess
 
 
 
Created by Annette Lamb and Larry Johnson, 7/01. Updated 01/02.