Many of us did not grow up in large cities. We might have seen pictures of large cities or visited them. For those of us who did not grow up in these environments, we really don’t have any sense for what it is like. Many of us had playing fields and plenty of space to frolic in. We could run or organize games with our friends without any fear of limited space or danger. For children in large cities, however, there is very limited space in which to play. Not only is there little slace, but often there are lots of dangers in a big city. When you visit a big city you might become aware of some of these dangers. Think of all the traffic. Large cities are also notorious for terrible crime and violence. This hardly sounds like a good place for children to play. However, there are lots of children who have found great ways to play on the streets. Little do we know but there are many many games played on the streets of the largest cities in the world. They don’t require a large playing field or expensive equipment. They mostly just require some ingenuity and creativity. When you don’t have grass you need to find a suitable alternative and you need to find a way to make it safe. The kids in large cities have found these alternatives in some fairly unlikely places. The games they have invented are pretty cool and they have a great time playing them. Here are a couple of the world’s great outdoor street games:
1. Stickball. All that stickball is is a street version of baseball. It was really developed in New York and some places around it. Most of the time you use a tennis ball or some sort of bouncy ball and a broom stick for a bat. The game is easy to set up because all you need to do is find things like bases. This could be a car or a particular square on the sidewalk. Almost anything can function as a base as long as it is easy to see. The rules for how to play vary a great deal depending on the area. Different places have different rules. The game is definitely not held to the rules of baseball.
2. Ring-O-Levio. This might sound like a strange name for a game, but it has been a very popular one. To play this game you need to divide a group into two teams. One of the groups disperses while the other counts to a high number (it needs to take a while). The point of the game is for the pursuing team to find the fleeing team and catch them. You catch someone when you hold onto them and shout “Ring-O-Levio 1-2-3” three times. If while you are shouting this the person can break free they are not in jail. Otherwise the caught person goes to a spot called the jail.
Once everyone is caught on the fleeing side the other team wins. However, the fleeing side can free everyone from jail if one person can break into the jail and yell “everyone is free.”
These are just two great outdoor street games. There are hundreds of these sorts of games being played in the cities of the worlds every day. They are a great deal of fun, although not the safest games in the world. Good luck with all of your outdoor street games!