Red Rover, Red Rover . . . Children's Games

Anyone remember this game? I had a dream about it last night, though I haven't played it in years. And as I understand it, it's been banned from most playgrounds because of the possibilities for injury. I can understand, I suppose—I broke my best friend's collar bone when we were playing King of the Mountain—but it's a shame there's a whole class of playground game no longer allowed or valued . . . I mean, they keep telling us we and our children need more exercise, but then they tell us not to run because we'll get hurt.

Turns out Wikipedia has, as it does about most things, an entry on Red Rover. I was curious because I've never been sure how common or widespread a game it was. Well, and then this sent me down the rabbit hole of looking up all those other games we used to play as kids. A lot of those listed at the bottom of that Wiki page are things I've never heard of, or games I've heard of but never played and am not even sure how to play . . . And then a lot more of them are games I simply haven't thought about in ages. Mary Mack and London Bridge and all those. Do kids ever play any of these any more?

I always liked Red Light, Green Light and Simon Says, probably because I was a bossy child and enjoyed telling people what to do. I didn't like games like Musical Chairs and Duck, Duck, Goose because there was something inherently offensive to me about games where people were either left out or singled out. I didn't realize that then, of course, but I see it clearly now. I have a strong dislike of anything that smacks of favoritism.

Seven Up, too. Remember that? "Heads up, seven up!" Teachers used to have us play this when they were tired of teaching and/or we couldn't go out for recess. That was the point I'd ask to be allowed to go to the library instead.

There's not really any more point to this post. Just a curiosity. One has to wonder about dreams, and why something so old would surface now, what bizarre subconscious process would prompt such a thing.

Think I'll go teach the kids how to play Red Rover now.

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