Free Fun Retro Games














































Act The Word

Air Ball

Here is a new and original game, and one in which the children of today will take keen delight. Accustomed as they are to playing netball, and similar pastimes, Air Ball will be welcomed almost like an old friend at a party. Recently, where we introduced it, the children became so interested that Air Ball was the favour almost the whole evening.

To play the game, first to secure a good Air Ball. Having done this pick, say seven a side, but five will do very well. Place six chair facing another six chairs in two rows with about a metre and a half between each column of chairs. Six of each side then sit on the chairs, these players are being “forwards”. At the back of the chairs on each side stands a boy who is named a “back”. 

Animal Zoo

This is another noisy game, greatly enjoyed by young people of all ages. Pair off the guest, boy to girl and tell each pair what their animal “call sign” is to be – “moo” for a cow; “Miaow” for a cat and so on before the game commences have scattered around the rooms which are in use for the party, small pieces of confetti or similar tokens. At the word “go”, each boy goes off to try to find a piece of paper, and when he has succeeded he picks it up and proceeds to call his partner by means of his own “call sign”. His girl partner has then to try to locate him and when she finds him, he hands her the piece of paper and tries to find another piece and the same procedure is repeated. Obviously, for this game, it is very necessary for several rooms, preferably upstairs and downstairs to be used, because if the girl can see her partner, she will not have to bother to listen for the “call sign”. After the girl has retrieved one of the tokens from her partner she must remain where she is until such time as she identifies his “call sign” once again; she must not attempt to follow gm from room to room. The couple with the largest number of tokens is the winner.

When the game commences the ball is thrown into the centre of the “forwards” who must hit it with their hands towards the opposite “back”. The duty of each “back” is to prevent the ball from touching the ground on his side of the chairs. If he does, it counts a goal to the other side. 

Avoid The Hassock Dance

Here is a game that will afford endless amusement to players and spectators alike. Place a hassock on end in the middle of the room and form a circle about it. Begin by dancing around. Then one player must try to draw the other on to the hassock, so as to knock it over. Should anyone touch it and cause it to fall over, he must retire, and the others continue until two only are left in, in which case the conqueror wins. The fun is great, an often when you have one of the circle right against the hassock, he will jump over and back again in his endeavour to avoid knocking it over.

No “forward” is allowed to get off his seat. If he does, it is a foul; and the umpire (who should be appointed before the game begins) must give a “free hit” to the other side. This is done by throwing the ball in the air high enough for the “back” to high and if he can so hit the ball that it falls to the ground on the opposite side, it counts to a goal no “forward” must attempt to top it when it is a “free hit” but the “back” may defend his goal.

Each game should continue for ten minutes. If the party is large enough, make up several teams; so that the winner of the first gameplay the next team, and so on. The unbeaten side becomes the winning team.


Balloon Relay Race

This game needs twelve players, six newspapers and six inflated balloons. The players for pairs and face each other at opposite ends of the room. The idea is for the players at one end to “flap” the balloon along the floor, by lapping the newspaper up and down to cause a draught, until it reaches his partner at the other end. The other player then takes the newspaper and “flaps” the balloon back to the starting point. The pair first completing the course is the winner. This takes a certain amount of knack, as the balloon can drift in almost any direction except the one intended. 

Balancing The Bottle

This trick is difficult, though every now and then you will find a boy who is able to do it. But the fun is great, whether it is accomplished or not. This is how it is done:

Almost fill a champagne bottle with water – about three-quarters full. Place a sixpenny piece on the floor on a piece of paper so that it can be clearly seen, then poised the bottle very nearly on the back of your head. The object is to get down, pick up the sixpence with your lip, and again rise without upsetting the bottle. It sounds as if this could not well be done, and that a bottle or two would be broken, but that is not so. If the bottle topples over, the hand will naturally fly up and catch it; should it fall to the ground it will not break. The bottle now being well back on the crown of your head, bend forward, so that when you reach the ground the bottle will be in an upright position. The sixpence should be a little more than your own length away from you when you start. Having settled the bottle comfortably on your head, you begin to bend your knees carefully until you can reach the floor with one hand. Then get the other hand on the floor, to steady yourself. Now creep forward on your hands, until you can free your legs, which will bring you into a flat position on the ground then begin to draw yourself up to the sixpence with your hands. Once you are there, you will have no difficulty in getting hold of the sixpence with your lips. To do this, place them around the coin with your teeth closed and suck in your breath. You will, as a result, find the coin come up into your mouth. Having got so far, you must be just as careful going back. Raise yourself on your hands, and gradually get into the same position as you were in getting own – knees bent, hands touching the ground, etc. now be careful, for it is so easy to spoil it all by inattention. If it is though inadvisable to use a coin, a handkerchief might well be substituted.

Birds Of The Air

To make this game a success, a grown-up had better take command, as some appropriate patter must be used.

All competitors must face the speaker, with the right hand placed upon the left arm. each time the speaker mentions the name of a bird, the right hand of all the players must be raised and fluttered in the air to imitate a bird; should birds, in general, be mentioned both hands must be fluttered by all... when an animal or anything that cannot fly is mentioned, the right hand must remain on the left arm.

Of course, the speaker tries to make the players go astray as a forfeit must be paid by anyone doing the wrong thing. All being ready, he begins to tell them a story after this style:

“I had just turned out of bed and was on my way to the bathroom. It was a beautiful spring morning, and the birds were singing charmingly. I opened the window and on the lawn was a lovely thrush, trying to pull a worm out of the ground. A blackbird darted out of a bush and made a rush but neither of them obtained the worm. When I went out the air was full of song from all kinds of birds; and in the tree on my right, a squirrel was leaping about.”

Let us review this little speech:
“I had just turned out of bed and was on my way to the bathroom. It was a beautiful spring morning, and the birds (here all hands should flutter) were singing charmingly. I opened the window and on the lawn was a lovely thrush, (all right hands should flutter) trying to pull a worm out of the ground. A blackbird (all right hands should flutter) darted out of a bush and made a rush but neither of them obtained the worm. When I went out the air was full of song from all kinds of birds; (all hands should flutter) and in the tree on my right, a squirrel (right hand replaced on left arm) was leaping about.”
It is obvious that the more frequently the speaker varies his allusions from animals to birds, and vice versa, the greater will be the number of forfeits he obtains.

Blindfolded Obstacle Race

First of all, prepare the course. In a large room place, a number of “obstacles” around the room – chairs, tables, forms, or any similar article of furniture can be used. Get the competitors to join in pairs and tie the inside legs of each couple together (as for the conventional three-legged race). The competitors have a good look at the course and then blindfold them. Now turn the pairs round and round, so that they are not sure quite where they are facing. While this is being done, arrange for a confederate to remove all the obstacles very quietly, so that the main part of the room is clear. Then tell the players they may start the race. This is most amusing to watch as the blindfolded pair will try most carefully to avoid the “obstacles” which the audience knows full well is not there.

Bursting The Ballon

Ask for five or six volunteers. Give each one of them a glass of water, a dry cracker biscuit and a balloon. The idea of the game is that the player must drink the glass of water, eat the biscuit and then blow up the balloon until it bursts. The first person to achieve this is the winner. This is more difficult than it sounds since the act of drinking and eating make the player feel very “full” and they find it very difficult. 

Cat and Mouse

In playing this game, first, form a circle holding hands up to make an arch between each. One layer called the “cat” goes around the outside of the circle and touches anyone he pleases. He one-touched becomes a “mouse” and must dart away in any direction he wishes in and out of the arches. The cat follows in exactly the same track. Should the cat go through a wrong arch he must pay a forfeit, but he still remains a cat. Should he catch his mouse, himself, the one caught then becomes the cat. 


We cannot say with authority when the charade was first played; it is, however, without a doubt, one of our oldest games, and always popular. Players love charades and at a party generally, wish to know when they are ob played.

By way of the preparation a few shawls, hats and jackets will suffice. If some false hair is available so much the better. It is best to select the players for the principal parts, as special intelligence is here needed. The word chosen for the charade must be of two syllables. We give her a few words that are suitable: Willow, milkmaid, hardship, earshot, mistake, madcap, playerhood, grandfather, grand player, namesake, waistcoat, joyful, full-blown, handsome, quicksand, nutmeg, quick time, roundhead, tearful, tunnel, tartar, outside, inside, homesick, armchair, bonfire, daybreak, surname, perform, intent, leap year, footman, wayward, tintack, lifelong, lifelike, cutlet, cupboard, starting, thoughtful, damage, watchman, encase, indent, inform, Moonstruck, indoor, outdoor.

Now for an example.

Say we take the word “Milkmaid”. The first scene must then introduce the word “Milk”. The stage setting should be a drawing room with a lady sitting on a settee.


Lady of the House                  MRS FLAIRUP

Maid                                       JACKSON

Visitor                                    MRS KNOWALL


JACKSON: Mrs Knowall has called, madam.

MRS FLAIRUP (rising): How do you do, Mrs Knowall? I am so glad to see you. (Says aside to JACKSON) Bring in Tea.

MRS FLAIRUP: Come and sit down and we will have a cosy little chat before tea.

(They talk ordinary conversation)

Enter JAKSON with tea. She upsets milk.

MRS FLAIRUP: How dare you be so careless, Jackson. You have stained my dress.

JACKSON: It was an accident, madam.

MRS FLAIRUP: That will do, Jackson.

MRS KNOWALL: Milk stains so. I should sponge it with very hot water.

MRS FLAIRUP: Yes, I think I must. It is so annoying to spoil a new dress in these terrible times, but I am afraid I spoke a little too severely to Jackson. I was annoyed.

MRS KNOWALL (rising) I think I must be going. It has been such a pleasure seeing you again I hope you will pay me a visit before long.

MRS FLAIRUP, also rising, rings the bell;

MRS KNOWALL departs.

End of the first scene.



Lady of the House                  MRS FLAIRUP

Maid                                       JACKSON

(In this scene we must introduce the word “Maid”. Setting same as last – a drawing room. MRS FLAIRUP reading a book).


JACKSON: If you please, madam, I have come to give you notice; and I wish to leave as soon as possible.

MRS FLAIRUP: Why, Jackson, what is all this about? I thought you were very comfortable here and would stay with me for quite a long time.

JACKSON: Yes, madam, I am very comfortable here; and I was happy up to yesterday. But I have never before, in all the places I have had (which I must say are not many, as I always kept my situations), been “told off” as I was yesterday – and in front of visitors, too. I was never so insulted in my life.

MRS FLAIRUP: Now Jackson, calm yourself and remember to whom you are talking. You know I was very much annoyed. I wore that new dress yesterday for the first time, and to be so spoilt – well it would annoy anyone

JACKSON: I grant all that, madam, but I gave never been “told off” before in front of visitors.

MRS FLAIRUP: Well, Jackson, forget it. I am sure we suit each other very well and you know I should have great difficulty in getting another maid -they are so scarce. I will consider raising your wages at the end of the month.

JACKSON: Very well, madam; if you put it that way, I withdraw my notice.


End of the second scene.



MRS SNOWBALL                  Who keeps a dairy

JACKSON                               Mrs Flairup’s maid

(In this scene we must introduce the whole word “Milkmaid”. Setting a dairy, with the woman – MRS SNOWBALL – behind the counter).



JACKSON: Good morning, Mrs Snowball; a beautiful morning.

MRS SNOWBALL: Yes, you’re right, t is; but what brought you out so early?

JACKSON: Well, I had a bit of a tiff with the missus yesterday, and I told her off and gave her notice. But of course, she didn’t want me to go, as I am a good servant, and knows my job from A to Z. So, she asked me to stay on with a rise in wages. I say Yes, I would. This morning she says “Jackson, would you like to go for a walk? You look pale as if you want some air.” So, I say, “Yes, madam.  And she says, “Well, will you run along and pay Mrs Snowball’s bill? It is overdue.” So here I am to pay your bill.

MRS SNOWBALL: I think you did right in staying. Although there are plenty of places going, there are very few decent ones, and your lady is a good sort.

JACKSON: You’re not looking very grand, Mrs Snowball.

MRS SNOWBALL: Oh, I am alright; only a little worried one of our milkmaids has gone and poisoned her finger, and I can’t for the life of me get another. I don’t know what we shall do.

JACKSON: Well, worry doesn’t make it any better. You are sure to find someone to help you for a short time until she is better. Well, I must be going. Goodbye, Mrs Snowball.


End of Charade

The audience will most likely guess the word as it is a fairly easy one. But this charade is not at all difficult to play.


One person must go out of a room, leaving a confederate who remain. He, the confederate, must make a little speech on photography, and ay that he is prepared to take a photograph of anyone in the room, although it will not be visible to those in the room. The Master, who is out of the room, will readily recognise who it is.

He then secures a piece of paper, or a piece of music and asks who would like to have their photo taken.

When one has been chosen, he tells her to pose herself and look happy. He next proceeds to sensitize the piece of music, or paper, by rubbing it. He then holds it in front of the player who is to be photographed, telling her to keep quite still and look pleasant. After a moment or so he says it is taken and must now develop it. This he does by holding it to the fire, lamp or gas, for a few moments. He then says it is a fine photo and the Master is asked to come in.

One entering the room, the photo is handed to the Master, while his confederate (who has retired to a seat) at once assumes the attitude of the player he has taken – such as legs crossed, hands folded in lap, head to one side. The Master notices his attitude, looks for a player sitting in that position, and of course, at once recognises who it is. He then says “What capital photograph! There can be no doubt as to who it is.” and finally mentions the name.

Although this is all very simple, it will give rise to a deal of wondering as to how it is done, and you will surely be asked to do it again.


  1. Place a poker on the ground so that you cannot jump over it (it should rest against the wall)
  2. Bite an inch off the poker. (Hold the poker an inch from your mouth, and bite).
  3. Play a tune on the piano
  4. Sing a verse of a song
  5. Recite
  6. Put your right hand where your left cannot reach it (Place it on the left elbow).
  7. Kiss the boy or girl you like best in the room.
  8. Sing in one corner, cry in another, laugh in another, and dance in another.
  9. Dance a jig
  10. Kiss your shadow
  11. Kiss a book inside and out, without opening it. (Kiss a book inside the room, and then take it outside and kiss)
  12. Place two chairs Together. Take off your shoes and jump over them. (You put two chairs together. take off your shoes and jump over the shoes.)
  13. Place a candle so that everyone in the room can see it, but you yourself cannot. (On your head).
  14. Say the alphabet backwards.
  15. Hop around the room on one leg
  16. Repeat five times quickly, “The Horn of the Hunter was Heard on the Hill.”
  17. Touch thousands at the same tie. (Place your hand on your head.)
  18. Kiss yourself in a looking-glass.
  19. Spell “Constantinople” backwards.
  20. Put yourself through a keyhole. (Write “Yourself” on a piece of paper and pass it through the keyhole.)
  21. Jump over the moon. (Draw the moon on a piece of paper and jump over it).
  22. Kiss your hostess’ hand.
  23. Lie down on the floor, fold your arms, and get up again without unfolding them.
  24. Sit on the fire. (Write the words “the fire” on a paper and sit on it).
  25. Leave the room with two legs and return with six. (walk out of the room and return with a chair).

Dumb Acting Rhymes

For this game half of the players go out of the room. Those inside choosing a word which must be a verb (i.e., play, run, hit, dance, etc). the players ow enter the room and are told a word which rhymes with the word chosen.

players Thus say the word taken is “dance”. They are told that a word has been selected rhyming with “lance” the players must dumb-act the word they think it is. They will most likely act like a horse prancing about when they will be immediately hissed, as the word is not “Prance” but if they begin to dance they are clapped, and the other side goes out of the room to take their turn. 

Electric Shock

 In this game, one player must volunteer to leave the room and remain outside till requested to return. When she is to touch an article agreed upon in her absence by all the other players. The object being chosen (say, the fender), the player is called in and once commences her quest. Complete silence is to be kept excepting that one person must say “No” in a low tone of voice to everything the seeker touches that is not the object selected. When she places her hand on the fencer (which she will in due time) everyone must shout “Yes!” as loudly as possible. This it is which will, in the exceptional quietness give the “electric shock”.

Finding The Half Penny (Coin)

The players here a sit around a table, keeping their hands well under it, excepting one of the players who are the “finder”. A halfpenny is given to them, which they must pass one to another. Should the halfpenny be passed to the player next to the “finder” that player must at once pass it back again. Directly the “finder” says “Hands up” all hands must be placed on the table, closed. He then points to a hand, which must at once be opened. Should the halfpenny not be there, the hands are again placed under the table, and round goes the halfpenny again until he says, “Hands up”. If he guesses rightly, the one who had the halfpenny becomes the “finder”. 


Hissing and Clapping

Let the players it in a semicircle with a vacant chair between each, the same number leaving the room. Each player occupying a chair name a player outside the room. Then one player at a time enters and has to sit down in the hair next to the player who she believes has chosen her.

If she is right she is clapped and retires to another part of the room, but if she is wrong she is hissed and goes out of the room again when another player is called into the room and goes through the same performance until all have chosen correctly.
All the players sitting must try to persuade each player as she enters to sit on their vacant chair, say in the following fashion: “Do come and sit in my chair, Amy dear.
This is the chair; you know it is I who wants you.” 

Hunt The Ring

This game causes great amusement among young children and is also keenly enjoyed by grown-ups.

To play the game, pass a piece of string through a small curtain ring, join the end to form a circle, then let your little friends stand around, taking the string in their hands. At the word “Go” they run the string through their hands. This of course, constantly changes the position of the ring. One of the players must stand in the middle of the circle, and at intervals, may touch any hand he thinks fit. Directly he touches a hand, it must be lifted. Should the ring be there, the player hiding it must go into the centre of the circle, the other taking his place. 

Hunt the Slipper

This, perhaps, is the oldest game on record; yet it is always popular. The players sit on the floor in a circle, with their toes touching. Then a person outside the circle brings a slipper to be mended (a small one) and leaves it. Returning in a few moments, she asks for the slipper, but it is not finished. She thereupon goes away and returns later, and again asks for the slipper, it is not finished yet, but she demands it, as she cannot wait any longer. The slipper cannot be found! Then commences the hunt. It is passed from one to the other until the owner secures it.  

Hunt the Thimble

A really good game for both young and old. To play it, send everyone out of the room except the person who is going to hide the thimble – a silver or better still a gilded one. Place it so that everyone may see it without moving anything then ask all to come I, and hunt for it.

If one should see it, he must NOT CALL OUT “There it is” but must pass on without saying a word and sit down when he came to a chair.
All this sounds very simple, but it is not so easy to find the thimble if it is hidden with a little thought
You can have the piano playing if you please, softly when no one is near the thimble, and loudly when close to its hiding place. But the game is, perhaps, best played without any music. Those failing to find the thimble will pay a forfeit. 

Indoor Hockey


For this game, you need a soft woollen or cloth ball and two walking-sticks. Choose two teams of six aside and set them on chairs facing each other with about four metres between each team. Place two other chairs at either end, in the centre of the space between the teams; these are the goal-posts and appoint one goal post to each team. Give each member of the team a number, one to six, numbering one team from left to right, and the other from right to left, so that both number ones are at opposite ends of the two rows. One person is appointed an umpire and he or she throws the ball into the very centre of the space between the rows, and at the same time calling a number – say “three”. At this, both number threes leave their seats, pick up the walking stick (which is always returned to the number one after each “try”), run to the centre and with the crook of the stick, try to hit the ball into the opposing goal. The player managing to get the ball under the chair goal post belonging to the other team, core a “goal” for his side. When this has been achieved both players return the stick to their number one and resume their own places in the team. The game then continues, the umpire throwing the ball and calling numbers as before. 

Keep the Feather Flying

To play this game a small circle must first be formed, all sitting close together. Then take a fluffy chicken’s feather and cut off the stem the game commences by someone letting go the feather above the heads of the players in the circle. The object of each I to prevent the feather from touching them. If it touches any player, that one must pay a forfeit. Therefore, directly the feather comes near a player he endeavours to blow it away to another player, and so the excitement increases. Remember the feather must be very light.

Musical Chairs


Any number may join in the game. Suppose twenty people are playing; you must have nineteen chairs placed side by side alternately back to front. The players then dance around the chairs to lively music, and to some extent they must keep time with the music – that is, if it is slow, they must move slowly; if fast, they must quicken up and go around the chairs at a smart trot. When the music ceases (as it must at frequent intervals), each player attempts to sit down. As there are only nineteen chairs for twenty players, one is left standing. That person retires, one chair is taken away and the music starts again. This continues until they are all out but one, who becomes the winner.

To make this a really great success, the person at the piano must enter into the spirit of the game. He should commence with a few slow chords, then break into a rollicking dance, and finally stop playing altogether. When ready again, he should strike two chords – stop – and so on, varying it each time. Do not forget to take away a hair whenever a player goes out. 

Mystery Parcel

Prepare this in advance, Put a small prize into a box, wrap it up in brown paper, and tie it around with string. Wrap this parcel, in its turn, in paper and secure it with string. Continue in this manner until you have a very large parcel.

To play the game, have the guests sit around in a circle and arrange for someone to play the piano or have a long-playing record. The idea is for the parcel to be passed from person to person, so long as the music is playing, but as soon as it stops, the person holding the parcel must untie the string (do not make the knots too difficult) and remove the paper without tearing it. When the music starts again, the parcel must be immediately handed on a before. The last person opening the box which contains the prize keeps their trophy.  

News Item

Divined the guests into an equal number of girls and boys, seating the boys on one side facing the girls who are sitting about two chair-widths away. Give each boy a small newspaper cutting and each girl a pencil and piece of paper. The idea of the game is for the boy to dictate the news item to the girl sitting opposite him and for her to get it down with the minimum number of mistakes. As all the boys will be shouting out different news items at one time, this is not quite so easy as it sounds, and it requires quite a lot of concentration on the girls’ part to listen only to their own partner and ignore the rest of the hubbub. The first pair to get the message written down completely with not more than six mistakes is the winner. 

O'Grady Says

 This game causes endless fun and results in a rich croop of forfeit.

One of the players must take command and call himself “O’Grady”. 
Everything O’Grady says must be obeyed or a forfeit given. It should be remembered that before any order is obeyed, it must be prefaced by the words “O’Grady says.” 

Line the players up, and then let O’Grady commence as follows:
“O’Grady says Quick March”. And all the children must march around. “O’Grady says Hands up”. All hands must be put up. “Hands down.” All hands must remain up, as O’Grady did not give the order “O’Grady says: Salute.” “O’Grady says: wave heads.” “O’Grady says: Stand on right leg.” ” Stand on left leg.” and all remain on the right leg until a further command is given, as O’Grady did not call out the order. For every mistake, a forfeit must be paid.

Passing The Ball

For this game, you will need two tennis balls, or similar size playing balls. Seat the guests in two teams facing each other, so that they can sit with their legs outstretched without touching any member of the other team. Now place a ball on the ankles of each of the first members of the two teams. The object now is for each player to pass the ball on to the outstretched ankles of the next player, without dropping the ball on the floor. This may be achieved by turning the legs slightly sideways and gently dropping the ball on to the next player’s ankles, or by holding the legs immediately over those of the next competitor and opening the ankles slowly and carefully and letting the ball drop gently through. If the ball falls on to the floor, it must be returned to the first player in the team and the game started again. The team who first manages to pass the ball from end to end without dropping it is the winner.  

Pick and Cup

This is an excellent game and must be played very fast. Form sides, equal numbers; sit down on the floor opposite each other about two metres apart. The first player is a Pick, the next a Cup, the next a Pick, and so on alternately, but the first and last player must be a Pick.  The Cups hold their hands together so as to form a Cup. Place on the floor at the same end of each column, an apple, button, marble, stone, orange, and a bean or any other trifling articles that may be at hand. The article at the end of each column must be identical in number and kid. An umpire must be chosen who starts the race – for the race it is. At the word “go” the end boy or girl of each column Picks up one of the articles from the floor and places it in the Cup next to him. The next must Pick it out of the Cup and place it in the next Cup and so on until the last payer, who is a Pick, place it on the floor

Directly the first player has Picked up one article and placed it in a cup, he or she must Pick up another immediately and pass it in the same way, until all the articles are set going. The Picks must work at lightning speed, else the other side will win. The side that first has all the articles on the floor at the opposite end of the column from which they stared, wins!

Round The Poker

This is a game that causes much merriment and is very popular with the boys. Place a table at the end of the room and a cigar-box on the table, end up. On the top of this deposit chocolate. Then take the first boy, who must be about four metres away from the table, and tell him to put his forehead on the knob of a poker which you have placed before him. (the poker must be touching the floor.) then tell him to turn around four or five times, let go the poker quickly, walk straight to the table and pick the chocolate off the cigar-box. He must go straight there; if he stops he is disqualified. Should he knock the chocolate down, it does not count. He must pick it up cleanly with his fingers. You will find few able to do this. Some wills tumble in quite a different direction; some will hardly be able to move at all. If a player succeeds in picking up the chocolate, it becomes his.  

Round The World

In this game, all must be seated in a circle, excepting one player in the centre who is blindfolded. Then each person is given the name of a city or country which he is told to remember. The player in the centre now begins by calling out “London to Edinburgh”. This means that the two people who represent London and Edinburgh must jump up and change seats. The player in the centre endeavours to catch them as they pass. if he is successful the one captured is then blindfolded and proceeds to call out some other change – such as “Liverpool to New York”.

The game is often played with the person in the centre of the circle not blindfolded, and when she calls out “London to Edinburgh” they endeavour to sit down in one of the vacant seat while they are changing the payer ten left without a seat takes her place, as in the case of the blindfolded player. 

Shopping Expedition

This is a very noisy, robust game and care should be taken not to let it become out of hand. Appoint two people, one as a story-teller and one as a collector. Divide the rest of the guests into teams, five or six persons to a team is the ideal number. Each team now chooses one of its members to be a team leader. To play the game, the story-teller tells a little tale about a shopping expedition he, or she, recently undertook and in telling the story mention several things that he either saw or bought. Each time one of these items is mentioned, the people in the game try to find a similar article which they give to their own team leader, who in turn takes it to the collector. The first team leader to present the object to the collector scores a point for his team. Thus, the story may go something like this: -

“The other day, I found that I had an odd dollar (where everyone looks for a dollar coin to hand to their team leader), so I decided to enjoy myself with a shopping adventure. Taking a bus and paying for a ticket (again, the search commences through pockets, handbags etc to find a bus ticket), I went down into the High Street. In the first shop, I bought a ladies’ handkerchief … “and so on until the story finishes.
Rules to remember, which must be strictly enforced, that only team leaders may take the objects to the collector; objects must be handed to the collector, not thrown; time must be allowed after the mention of each item to allow all the team leaders to return to their tea; team leaders or members of teams may take any item mentioned from people in their own team but on no account must they raid” other teams. 
The story-teller should limit his “shopping list” to items likely to be in the possession of the players, but he can greatly add to the fun if, for instance, he claims to have bought an odd pair of shoes or two different coloured socks.
The collector should keep an accurate account of the points awarded to each team, and his verdict, in the final analysis, a to the winning team must be accepted. 

The Bird-Snatcher


For this game, you need your audience in a close circle. One of the party must be the “Snatcher”; and it is best to choose him from the older ones, as a good deal depends on the story that he tells.
All the players in the circle take the name of a bird. This they must remember. The only name that may not be used is the Bat. All hands must be placed on knees. Should the “Snatcher” mention say a Blackbird, the player who has that name must at once place his right hand behind his back. If the” Snatcher” names a Bat, all hands must go behind the back and must remain there until another bird is mentioned. The object of the “Snatcher” is to capture a hand during the moving of hands. If he does so, the one caught must pay a forfeit and becomes the “Snatcher”.
The Snatcher begins in this fashion:
“The other day, as I was walking down a lane, the whole countryside seemed to be alive. Animals darted here and there, and bird and loud and sweetly. I came to a very tall tree an there was a beautiful “Thrush”. (Here he Snatcher makes a dive for the Thrush’s hand; but failing to secure it, he goes on).  In the hedge was a Robin.” (Again, a dive for the hand, which he misses; and thinking its time for a change, continues.) “But in an old, decayed oak tree, I saw a large Bat.” All hands attempt to fly behind backs, but he captures one. A forfeit is demanded, and this person must become the Snatcher. Every player failing to put both hands behind this back when the Bat is mentioned must pay a forfeit. 

The Blind Man's Stick

First form a circle of your friends. Then let one be blindfolded and stood in the centre, with a stick in his hand. The circle must keep moving around. The one in the centre keeps the stick low and with it touches one of the circle. The player touched, at once takes hold of the stick, when the whole circle must stand still. the blind man now imitates some animal, and this must at once be copied by the person holding the stick. The blind man then guesses who it is. if successful, they change. 

The Blind Man's Treasure Hunt


First, send everyone out of the room. Then place a number of parcels (which you must make up beforehand) on a table in the centre. Now bring in one child blindfolded, lead her up to the table, and let her handle all the parcels. She may choose one only, which she takes away with her, having strict instructions not to open until told to do so. The speculation as to what it contains causes great excitement. Of course, you must have enough parcels to go around, and these should be both large and small. In one put say a piece of coal, in another a bean, in another a walnut, and so on. Here and there you place in something nice, such as a mall box of sweets, a small bottle of scent, a pencil, a brooch, or a ring.

When all have chosen a parcel (and by the by you will not most of them select the larger and those that they find are hard) you call them into the room and one by one you tell them to open their parcel. Great fun will be caused when a large parcel is opened and found to contain a small piece of coal or potato as the case may be.  

The Dwarf Witch

Here we have something which, if trouble is taken to prepare properly, will not only create laughter and bewilderment among the little one but will also mystify the grownups. Some time back we saw this trick performed at a party the whole audience being amazed. Perhaps it would be well to relate it just as we witnessed it on that occasion.

The scene was a dining room with a bay window, across which was drawn heavy curtains, meeting in the middle. A small table was placed where the curtains met, the legs of the table being hidden by baize, which was pinned around. Two people performed this trick. One had his face made up to look like an old witch with long grey hair and a witch’s hat. The same person had placed a pair of socks on his hands so that the upper part extended well over the wrists and his hands into slippers. A dark red pinafore was pinned around to look like a skirt and bodice. He stood behind the table where the curtains met, putting his slippered hands on the table. The curtains were pinned just behind his head, and directly under the table, so that all the audience could see was the head down to the hands, which were resting on the table to represent feet. Now the witch was complete, all but the arms and hands. The other person, standing behind, then pushed his arms through the armholes of the pinafore, but only just far enough to appear in keeping with the size of the witch – just sufficient to enable the hands to reach the witch’s face. A pair of long mittens were next placed on the wrists we hen had a perfect dwarf. The voice was disguised, ad the hands move in harmony with what was being said. Now and then the hand was raised, to scratch the head or face; and when the witch coughed, the hand was raised to the mouth fortunes were told, people coming right up to the dwarf and placing their hands in hers without detecting the trick. While the witch was telling the fortune a finger of one of the hands was pointing to the lines in the person’s hand. The two actors used their imagination and the old witch chuckled, laughed and danced with her slippered hands, to the delight of all.
It is well to have a stage manager, who might announce early in the evening that the hostess has engaged the famous witch ‘Zaza’ measuring only two feet in height and whose age was a hundred and fifty-six, to tell the fortune of anyone in the room. This will give rise to much speculation and wonderment and all will be looking forward to the time when she will appear
When this time arrives, set chairs for the grown-ups and a few for the players. The manager should make an appropriate speech and at its conclusion say, “Now I will introduce to you the wonder of the age – the renowned witch ‘Zaza’” at the same time drawing back a little curtain, which you must fix over the witch previously.  Of course, there will be much clapping of hands and roars of laughter, during which the witch must bow, chuckle and dance. Our advice is to have one or two rehearsals when success will be certain. 

The Egyptian Oracle


This wonderful square has been handed down from the old Egyptians. To trace it back to its original source would be a task well-nigh impossible. The marble of it is that it really seems to answer questions. The square, formed of letters, should be copied on a large piece of cardboard and hung up in a room dimly lighted. If possible, let the person who works the Oracle be in Egyptian dress and carry a wand. He commences by asking if there is anyone present who would like to consult the Egyptian Oracle, which answers any question. As everyone will want to do so, they must be dealt with one at a time. 
The Oracle must first ask for the question. having obtained it he writes it down on a piece of paper and hands it to the one who is asking the question. The next requests him to come up to the square and choose a letter. The questioner may select any letter on the square. The Oracle then hands him a pencil and asks him to put down the following letters as called out. We will presume that the question asked is: “Shall I retire from business?” The letter chosen is “S”. The Oracle then places his wand on the letter “S” second column, fourth line, and calls out, “S”. He next takes every fifth letter from there, reading from left to right until he comes around again to the letter from whence he started. Always remember the first letter come to on the top line, as the answer will begin with that letter. Having begun with “s”, the next letter will be “I”, next “t”, next “W”, next I, next L, next L, next D, Next O, next W, next R, next O, next N, next G, next W, next H, next Op[, next D, next O, and finally E. Taking them in order, they read “sitwilldowrongwhodoe.” This does not make sense until you know the key. As the first letter reached on the top line of the square was the third W, you start with that letter which makes it read, “Who does it will do wrong.”
The greater the air of mystery you throw around it the more you will impress your audience. This Oracle can be used with great success at bazaars, etc. 








































































































The Judge 


To get the most fun out of this game, it is well for boys to choose girls as partners; but if this is not possible, they can take boys. Form as many couples s you please, and let them all sit in a row, with space between each couple, so that the Judge can easily know who should answer his questions. When all is ready the Judge must walk, with a stately air, up and down the row of couples – assuming a very grave face and bearing. He may stop at any couple and speak to one of them. Should he address a boy, he (the boy) must not answer, but his partner (girl or boy, as the case may be) must reply. Should the person addressed the answer, forfeit is demanded. This game causes great merriment. Let us give an example; 
The Judge stops before a boy and girl couple and says, in a most stately voice, “Sir, you are a fine specimen of manhood, with a clear eye and intelligent face. Tell me what profession in life you would like to take up.” The boy must not say a word, but the girl answers, “If you please, sir, dressing dolls.” Then of course, when a girl is addressed, her partner, if it is a boy, says something equally unsuitable. A good deal depends on the Judge. If he is clever, and make suitable speeches for each couple, the game can be a great success.  

The Master's Order


Sitting round in a circle (which may comprise any number) one player must begin by saying to his neighbour: “The Master has sent me to you.”  “For what?” replies the one addressed. “To work with me and do as I”. at the same time the speaker must begin to beat his knee with his right hand. The second player gets to work in the same way, at the same time turning to his neighbour and repeating the statement made to him, until the whole circle is working.
The second tie round the same thing is said, only the left hand beat the left knee.
Third time round all right feet wag. Fourth time round all left legs wag. Fifth time around all heads must wag so that in the end the whole circle is working. Of course, any lapsing must be paid for in forfeits. 

The Mystery of Numbers

The Mystery of Numbers

The study of numbers is a most fascinating subject and although perhaps not suitable for very young people, those who are old enough to understand arithmetic will take great interest in the following surprising results, some of which will require a good deal of solving.


Let us take the figure 9. Multiply it by any other number and add the digit of the product together. It will then be found that the unit value of the sum will always be nine


9x9 produces 81, equal to 8 and 1, or 9

9x8 produces 72, equal to 7 and 2, or 9

9x7 produces 63, equal to 6 and 3, or 9

9x6 produces 54, equal to 5 and 4, or 9

9x5 produces 45, equal to 4 and 5, or 9

9x4 produces 36, equal to 3 and 6, or 9

9x3 produces 27, equal to 2 and 7, or 9

9x2 produces 18, equal to 1 and 8, or 9

In the series of figures 9876543210, if we add together the first and last, second and eighth, third and seventh, we get the same effect, thus:

9 and 0 gives 9

8 and 1 gives 9

7 and 2 gives 9

6 and 3 gives 9

5 and 4 gives 9.

Also, if we add the figures from 0-9 together, we get the sum of 45, which again make 9.


Here is an ingenious way of finding the sum of three rows of figures upon the first line being shown:

Ask anyone to set down a row of figures from left to right. It does not matter how many, but the effect is improved by limiting it to four figures, as, for example, 1,426.

Immediately these figures are written out may know that the sum of the figures (including 1,426) which are to be written will amount to 11,425. This is obtained by deducting 1 from the right-hand figure and placing it in front of the left-hand figure so that the 6 becomes a 5, and the 1 becomes 11, the figures 42 remain unchanged. Write the total 11,425 on a separate piece of paper.

Now get another person to write a row of four figures under those already set down. He writes, let’s say, 2,452. You now write the third row yourself and in doing so, you make your figure and that immediately above it, equal to 9. Thus:

                   The figures are written down …        1,426


                   So, you write …                                  7,547


                   And the total will be                             11,425 as predicted.


If we want to find the total of five rows of figures, we get the first line written down, then subtract 2 from the right hand and transfer it to the extreme left. The second row is written by another person. This third row you write yourself, making up the nines each time as already explained. The fourth row is contributed by another person, and the last row is written by yourself, again making up to the nines. The total will then be the same as that predicted by you.


Thus, let the first row be                    32,678; the total sum will be 232,676.

And the second row                           65,432

Your row will be                                  34,567 making up to a line above it to nines

Another writes                                    23,546

ou write                                               76,453


The total being                                    232,676, exactly as predicted.

For the total of seven rows of figures, you must deduct 3 from the right and figure of the first row and transfer it, as before, to the left of the row, and you must yourself write the third, fifth, and seventh rows so as to total with the line above to nines.

This may be extended indefinitely for any number of rows but for every two rows of figures, added to the first row, you must deduct one more.

Thus, for three rows, you deduct 1 from the right and transfer to left.

For five rows, you deduct 2 from the right and transfer as before.

For seven rows, you deduct 3 from and transfer it.

For nine rows, you deduct 5 from and transfer it.

The number of rows must always be an odd number, but the number of figures in the row does not affect the result. For the show the purposes it is best not to exceed four figures for the row.


Let anybody think of a figure, but without naming it. Tell him to multiply it by 3 and add 1 to the product. Now let the sum be multiplied by 33 again, and to the product add the number thought of.

Let the results be declared. Then, to know the figure thought of you merely take away the last figure and the other, or others, will be the number thought of.

                   The Number thought of                         7

                   Multiplied by 3                                     21

                   Add 1                                                  22

                   Multiply by 3                                        66

                   Add number thought of                         7



Rejecting the units, we have 7 left, which is the required figure. Now let us try a more difficult one.



Arrange the figures 1 to 9 so that they will amount to 100 when added together. Very few persons will be able to do this without a good deal of experiment and thought.


This is one way of doing it:


This is another:



















Other ways of solving this problem are left to the ingenuity of the reader.



A lawyer has once left executor to a will in which he was instructed to divide the testator’s horses among three persons in the following proportions: - namely

Half to A, a third to B and a ninth to C.

When the will was signed there were eighteen horses in the stables, but between the signing of the will and the death of the testator one of the horses died, so that only seventeen remained to be divided in the proportions provided for in the will, which could not be done. But the cute lawyer saw a way out of the difficulty, and one that satisfied everybody. He gave a horse out of his own stable, making the number of horses to eighteen, as originally, and then divided the horses according to the will, at the same time receiving his own horseback.

Of the eighteen horses –

A receives half, or         9

B receives a third          6

C receives a ninth         2



The lawyer’s horse        1





The number 3 is a magical number. It happens to be the number of years from 4BC to AD33, during which the Founder of Christianity ministered. If you multiply this number by any of the figures of the arithmetical progression of 3 – i.e. 3,6,9,12,15,18 etc, - you will derive a product which is composed of a triple repetition of the same figure. Thus:































Write down the figures 1 to 9 and add them together.

Thus 1 plus 2 plus 3 plus 4 plus 5 plus 6 plus 7 plus 8 plus 9 equals 45.  From 45, take 50 and leave 15.

45 is XLV, from which take L (which is 50), and you have left XV.

Take 1 from 19 and leave 20.

19 is XIX, from which take I and you get XX, or 20, left.

Add 5 and 6 together to make 9.

Take six matches and place them vertically on the table. Now take five matches and place them so that the first, laid diagonally, makes the letter N; the second, placed diagonally between the fourth and fifth uprights, makes another N; while the three remaining matches, placed horizontally against the last upright, will make the letter E. The figure when completed will spell NINE. So that y adding five matches to six matches you make the required number.

Place three sixes together so as to make seven.

Six and six/sixths, or 66/6.




15,873 X 7    =      111,111

31,746 X 7    =      222,222

47,619 X 7    =      333,333

63,492 X 7    =      444,444

79,365 X 7    =      555,555

95,238 X 7    =      666,666

111,111 X 7  =       777,777

126,984 X 7  =       888,888

142,857 X 7    =      999,999


The value for 1/7 expressed in decimals is .142857

The value for 2/7 expressed in decimals is .285714

The value for 3/7 expressed in decimals is .428571

The value for 4/7 expressed in decimals is .571428

The value for 5/7 expressed in decimals is .714285

The value for 6/7 expressed in decimals is .857142

The value for 7/7 or 1, is only                         .999999

The figures for each seventh are repeated in different order, and in every case the last figure of the series is the result of multiplying digit by 7. Thus 1/7 gives 1 x 7 or 7, and the series is .142857, ending with 7.

And 2/7 is 2 x 7, or 14, the series being .285714, ending in 4. And this continues throughout the series so that the correct order of the decimal may always be known. Thus:


1 x 7 is 7, which is the last figure in .142857

2 x 7 is 14, and 4 is the last figure in .285714

3 x 7 is 21, and 1 is the last figure in .428571

4 x 7 is 28, and 8 is the last figure in .571428

5 x 7 is 35, and 5 is the last figure in .714285

6 x 7 is 42, and 2 is the last figure in .857142

7 x 7 is 49, and 9 is the last figure in .999999


Ask a person to think of a number but not to mention it. Ask him to double it. Tell him to add an even number you, yourself choose (taking care to remember what that number is). Next, ask him to half the whole, and then to take away the first number he thought of. The answer in each case will be half the number you told him to add.


The number thought of is                              20

Double it is                                                  40

Add, say 10                                                 50

Half this is                                                   25

The number thought of                                 - 20

Leaves                                                         5, which is half of the 10 added.



Let a person put down the number of the month in which he was born, thus: January 1, February 2, March 3, April 4, May 5 etc. Double this number. Add 5. Multiply by 50. Add age last birthday. Subtract 365. Add 115. He must then tell you the figures that are left as a result of the operation. If there are two figures, the last will be age and the first will be the month I which he was born. If there are three figures, the last two will e his age and the first will be the month. If there are four figures, the last two will b his age and the first two will be the month.



Born in July                            7th month

Multiply by 2                          14

Add 5                                      19

Multiply by 50                        950

Add age, 16                             966

Subtract 365                           601

Add 115                                  716

Result July (7), aged 16. 

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