Do kids even play those games any more? Our entire grade school class — all 30 of us — used to play kickball every frickin' day at recess. Yeah, back in those days we had a half hour recess at some point during the day, plus another half hour or more at lunch time after we finished eating. Kickball was always the game of choice, although we also played dodgeball, Red Rover, fox 'n' geese, and the ever-popular tag.
Beyond the two above, I don't think I had any particular favorites. So instead of playing Carole's game (yeah, I crack myself up) I will just reminisce about the other games we played.
Board games: we lived on a farm, I was an only child, and my parents were generally too busy working to play games with me. Occasionally I could coerce my mother into a few games of rummy or go fish, or crazy eights. When I went to my grandparents' house nearby, I played Chinese checkers and dominoes with my grandmother. I can still remember her saying, "I'll take a nickel" whenever she made five points. When my cousins would visit we might add Monopoly to the mix.
In college I played my fair share of cards. For awhile I even played bridge, until my fellow players pointed out that I tended to bid according to some system unknown to anyone else on the planet. I got annoyed that they dare to criticize me and quit the game.
Honeymoon bridge, which requires only three players, was more my speed, as was spades. One year my roommate taught me canasta, and we would play for hours. A bunch of us also used to play hearts a lot, usually while drinking wine and smoking do–, er, eating popcorn. (This was the early 70s.) Hearts was a killer game when we played. Lots of dramatics, full volume cursing, wailing and gnashing of teeth when the dreaded queen of spades appeared.
My very favorite game, though, (I guess I DO have a favorite) was smear, taught to me by my best friend in college. She was from Hibbing, MN, on the Iron Range, and I have never met anyone not from Da Range that had ever heard of the game, let alone know how to play it. We played with a number of other friends also from Da Range, and those games got cutthroat. Table talk and attempted cheating reigned. The game itself is brutally simple — exactly right for me, who doesn't like to have to think too hard when playing any game — and lent itself well to the wine-drinking and *popcorn eating* of the day.