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
This site has illustrations and instructions for playing marbles.
Related Websites:
2) American Marbles
3) American Marbles Ringer Rules
4) Don't Lose Your Marbles at Kids'Turn Central
5) Play Marbles at eHow,1053,3999,00.html
6) How to Play Marbles
7) How to Play Rolley-Hole Marbles
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
3) This is Scully
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
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
Related Websites:
3) Outdoor Games
4) Leisure For Kids
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)
This project provides information about the history of the game, a glossary of terms, official rules, and equipment.
Fun at Recess
This site was developed primarily as a school-day resource, but it contains information about many outdoor games.
More Sidewalk Games
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
3) Boxball at Spaldeen
Greiner Rules of Four-Square
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 . . .
3) Official Rules of Four Square
4) Play Four Square at eHow by B. Sember,1053,13523,00.html
Hopscotch at Games Kids Play
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
This site has the rules for a game that only requires a can.
Related Website:
2) Kick the Can
3) Kick the Can
4) Play Kick the Can at eHow Play,1053,309,00.html
Play Footbag (Hacky Sack) by A. Nunn at eHow,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,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,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
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
Stickball Hall of Fame from the Museum of the City of New York
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://
3) New York Emperors Stickball League Rules and Regulations
4) Stickball at Streetplay
Stoopball at Streetplay
Here you find the procedures for playing stoopball.
Related Website:
2) Stoopball at Spaldeen
Other Outdoor - But Off-the-Sidewalk Games
Play Capture the Flag by A. Nunn at eHow,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,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,1053,3050,00.html
Play Human Knot by A. Nunn at eHow,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,1053,8626,00.html
3) Play Bocce Ball at eHow,1053,3109,00.html
4) Play Disc Golf by A. Nunn at eHow,1053,2491,00.html
5) Set Up a Croquet Court at eHow,1053,3119,00.html
6) Play Croquet at eHow,1053,3111,00.html
7) Play Tug-of-War by C. Ely at eHow,1053,7943,00.html
Play Manhunt by A. Nunn at eHow,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,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,1053,7359,00.html
3) Catch a Flying Disc Between Your Legs by M. Samelson at eHow,1053,7358,00.html
4) Freestyle Frisbee Page
5) Throw a Draw in Flying Disc Golf by M. Samelson at eHow,1053,5626,00.html
6) Throw a Fade in Flying Disc Golf by M. Samelson at eHow,1053,5271,00.html
7) Throw a Flying Disc Backhand by M. Samelson at eHow,1053,5199,00.html
8) Throw a Flying Disc Forehand by M. Samelson at eHow,1053,5198,00.html
9) Throw a Flying Disc Like a Discus by M. Samelson at eHow,1053,5201,00.html
10) Tomahawk Throw a Flying Disc by M. Samelson at eHow,1053,5200,00.html
11) Play Ultimate at eHow,1053,3112,00.html
12) Ultimate Players Association
Websites For Teachers
Hopskotch Migration by M. Marks (Grades 2-6)
This lesson uses a hopscotch activity to teach about bird migration.
sidewalk games
rope games
'safe' zone
Spaldeen ball
bottle cap
flying disc
hacky sack
organized sport
choosing sides
four square
Created by Annette Lamb and Larry Johnson, 7/01. Updated 01/02.