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Five Hundred Games and Pastimes : eBook

Five Hundred Games and Pastimes
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A book of suggestions for children's games!

This book has been made in the hope that the question which forms its title, "What shall we do now?" may come to be put less frequently. It is so easy for children to ask it, so hard for grown-up persons with many other matters to think about to reply to it satisfactorily.

In the following pages, which have something to say concerning most of the situations in which children find themselves, at home or in the country, out of doors or in, alone or in company, a variety of answers will be found. No subject can be said to be exhausted; but the book is perhaps large enough. Everything which it contains has been indexed so clearly that a reader ought to be able to find what he wants in a moment. Moreover, by way both of supplying any deficiencies and of giving each copy of the book a personal character, an appendix of blank and numbered leaves (with a few spaces in the index) has been added, in which the owner may record such omitted games and employments as he has found good.

There are, of course, many fortunate girls and boys who do not require any help whatever, who always know what to do now, and do it. For them some sections of this book may have little value. It is for that greater number of less resourceful children who whenever time is before them really are in need of counsel and hints, that it has been prepared.

Blind Man's Buff

"Blind Man's Buff" is one of the best, oldest, and simplest of games. One player is blindfolded,
is turned round two or three times to confuse his ideas as to his position in the room, and is then
told to catch whom he can. If he catches some one, yet cannot tell who it is, he must go on again
as blind man; but if he can tell who it is, that person is blindfolded instead. Where there is a
fireplace, or where the furniture has sharp corners, it is rather a good thing for some one not
playing to be on the lookout to protect the blind man. Sometimes there are two blind men, who
add to the fun by occasionally catching each other. But this is rather dangerous. There is also a
game called "Jinglers" where every one is blind except one player with a bell, whom it is their
object to catch. But this is more dangerous still.

A good variety of "Blind Man's Buff" is the silent one. Directly the man is blindfolded, and
before he begins to seek, all the players take up positions in corners, on chairs, or wherever they
think most prudent, and there they must stop without making a sound. The task for the blind man
is thus not catching the others, but, on finding them, deciding upon who they are. As chuckling
or giggling is more likely to tell him than his sense of touch, it is tremendously important to
make no noise if you can help it. Sometimes this game is played (without any standing on chairs)
by a blind man armed with two spoons, with which he feels the features of those whom he runs
against. In this case it is practically impossible to avoid [Pg 4] laughing. The sensation produced
by the bowls of two spoons being passed over the face in the attempt to recognize its owner is

French Blind Man's Buff
In French "Blind Man's Buff" the hands of the blind man are tied behind his back and his eyes
are left uncovered. He has therefore to back on to the players before he can catch them, which
increases his difficulties. Blind Man's Wand
Here the blind man has a stick, one end of which is grasped by the other players in turn. The
blind man puts three questions to each player, and his aim is to recognize by the voice who it is
that replies. The aim of the players, therefore, is to disguise their voices as much as possible.
Sometimes, instead of merely asking questions, the blind man instructs the holder of the wand to
imitate some animal—a cock or a donkey, for example.

The player who is blindfolded is first placed in the middle. The others walk from him to various
positions all around, carefully measuring the number of steps (long or short) which take them
there. The blind man is then told how many steps will bring him to a certain player, and he has to
guess the direction toward him, and the length of step. This player, if found, becomes blind man.

Still Pond! No More Moving
The player who is blindfolded is placed in the middle and all the other players touch him. He
counts out loud as rapidly as possible up to ten, during which time the players rush as far away
from him as possible. Directly he reaches ten he [Pg 5] cries out "Still Pond! No more moving!"
and the players must stand perfectly still. He then says "you may have three steps," or any
number beyond three which he wishes to give. The players save these steps until he comes
dangerously near them and then try and use them to the best possible advantage, to escape. It is
not a step if one foot remains in the same place. After a player is caught and identified by the one
who is "it" he in turn is blindfolded.

Shadow Buff

A sheet is stretched across the room. One player stands on one side, and the rest, who remain on
the other, pass one by one between the sheet and the candle which throws their shadows upon it.
The aim of the single player is to put right names to the shadows on the sheet, and the aim of the
others is, by performing antics, to keep him from recognizing them. If it is not convenient to use
both sides of a sheet, the single player may sit on a hassock close to it with his back to the others,
while they pass between his hassock and the candle.

The Donkey's Tail
A good-sized donkey without a tail is cut out of brown paper and fixed on a screen or on a sheet
hung across the room. The tail is cut out separately and a hat-pin is put through that end of it
which comes nearest the body. Each player in turn then holds the tail by the pin, shuts his eyes
honestly, and, advancing to the donkey, pins the tail in what he believes to be the right place.
The fun lies in his mistake.

The Blind Feeding the Blind
This is boisterous and rather messy, but it has many supporters. Two players are blindfolded and
seated on the floor opposite one another. They are each given a dessert-spoonful of sugar or flour
and are told to feed each other. [Pg 6] It is well to put a sheet on the floor and to tie a towel or
apron round the necks of the players. The fun belongs chiefly to the spectators.

Deer Stalking
This is a game in which only two players take part, but it is exciting to watch. Both "Deer" and
"Stalker" are blindfolded. They are then placed at opposite ends of a large table, and at a given
moment begin to move round it. The stalker's business is, of course, to catch the deer, and the
deer's to avoid it; but neither must run out into the room. Absolute silence should be kept both by
the audience and players, and if felt slippers can be worn by the deer and its stalker, so much the

Blowing Out the Candle
A very funny blind game. A candle is lighted and placed in position about the height of a
person's head. A player is then placed a few feet from it, facing it, and, after being blindfolded
and turned round three times, is told to take so many paces (however many it may be) and blow
the candle out.

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Short Description: A book of suggestions for children's games!
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