Childhood Games (The Weird Kid Edition)

I get inspired for blog posts in all sorts of different ways. Sometimes they come from a funny thing I experienced in my day-to-day life, sometimes they come from a song, other times I just ramble and don’t make a whole lot of sense.

I was on Twitter and read a Tweet from @mommywantsvodka that said: “Some kids remember playing Tag and Little League. I remember The Wall and Twin Peaks. /end nostalgia”

It got me to thinking about unconventional games I used to play as a child, and that is what inspired me to write this post.

Jurassic Park
I grew up living 10 minutes away from four of my cousins, and we were raised more like siblings. We loved to play together and my (9 month) older cousin E and my 3+ years younger cousin B and I all liked to play Jurassic Park. My cousins had a lot of backyard, with a wooded area surrounding their house. When we’d play J.P., I would always be Ellie, of course. At first, E wanted to be Alan Grant but then we realized that they were boyfriend/girlfriend in the film and that would have just been weird, so he came up with his own character whose name escapes me. But he was Mexican. *shrug*
B always wanted to make up his own character too, but being the asshole older kids that E and I were, we made him be the dinosaurs.
ALL the dinosaurs.
We would run around screaming while B chased us making growling noises. The woods to the left of the house were the “Raptor Forest” while the woods to the right was the “Dilophosaur Area”. The swingset was a helicopter, and the storage shed was a safe area where the dinosaurs couldn’t get us for some reason. I remember that when we’d play, Alan Grant was always missing and I was always very distraught and screaming for him.

Can’t Touch the Ground
This one’s pretty self explanatory. You couldn’t touch the ground. Ever, or you died, because the ground was lava. There was also a variation of this in the swimming pool, where you couldn’t touch the bottom of the pool OR the sides, because naturally, the sides were spiky and would impale you and again; instant death.

Don’t Wake the Dragon
This was similar to Can’t Touch the Ground, except one person would be “the dragon”. You’d start the game off with “the dragon” sleeping and everyone tiptoeing around. When the dragon woke, there was usually a lot of screaming and panic while everyone scrambled to get their feet off the floor in any way possible. As long as you weren’t touching the floor, “the dragon” could not get you. If “the dragon” got you, you were mocked and taunted properly before you became “the dragon” and the game started over. We’d climb on whatever we could find; couches, chairs, tables, the piano in the living room, etc.

This one was me by myself. I used to take my bike out and ride it around in circles pretending that I was driving the bus in the movie Speed. I couldn’t stop pedaling or my bicycle would explode and I would die. I would yell things that I’d heard from the movie and I’m fairly certain the neighbors thought I was insane.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
This one was a game I played in school. When I was in 1st grade, TMNT were all the rage. I loved Leonardo; he was my favorite because his mask was blue. All the little boys in my class would run around fighting each other and I wanted to play so badly, but they informed me that there WERE no girl Nina Turtles, so they made me be April O’Neill. I got to run around interviewing everyone.

I like looking back on all of the games that my friends/cousins and I played and invented. It brings back warm fuzzy memories for me but also, as a parent, it makes me wonder what our parents thought watching us pretend and play. I can picture myself in a few years, standing at my kitchen sink and watching Nellie and her friends barreling through the backyard in the throes of some wild imaginary adventure. It puts a smile on my face and makes me realize how much I have to look forward to in my years to come as a mom.

So how about you? What were some of your favorite childhood games? Did you invent any yourself?