Idiots Guide: Top 10 Childhood Games & Obnoxious Pranks

The fact of the matter and/or closely guarded adult secret is that many childhood pranks and/or ‘silly games’ are kinda of…well, almost always pretty damn cool…and sometimes funny as all hell! Yes. I said it. No. We at Idiots Guide do not advise trying these games and/or pranks at home. For the record anyway. ūüôā ¬†What children might do when we aren’t looking is exactly that….Things that happen when we (adults) are not looking. Idiots Guide decided to take a leisurely stroll down the ‘Dennis the Menace’ memory lane to remember and catalog 10 of our favorite childhood games and occasional pranks from the golden days of yesteryear, for your enjoyment!

#10. Ring & Run 

The Game: Move clandestinely towards (Sneak up) to a neighbors house without being seen…Then start ringing the door bell (or frantic knocking) as if there was an emergency. Then you and/or your group of scalawags do an about-face and run as fast as you can away so as not to be seen. Hide behind a bush or obstacle and watch the confused look on the face(s) of whomever answers the now vacant doorway! ¬†*Additional Mean Prank: Leaving a brown paper bag filled with feces (dog or human) on fire on the doorstep for the victim to extinguish and discard.

#9.  Musical Chairs


The Game: a circle of set-up chairs with a kid standing in front of each chair, except that there’s one chair too little. Once the music starts the kids start walking/running around the chairs in unison. Once the music stops abruptly the kids are to try and sit down in the chair closest to them. There is always one kid left without a chair, that kid is then disqualified form the game (he/she is out). One chair gets removed and the entire process begins again until there is one chair and one child left standing as the winner!

#8.  Cowboys & Indians


The Game: This historically inaccurate and ¬†culturally fraudulent game that pits the ‘good guys’ (Cowboys) against the ‘bad guys’ (Indians) was a ton of fun nevertheless. In the past our children were typically exempt from issues of political correctness. It could be argued that the subconscious effects of gunplay are deeply rooted in American culture through games like this one. Did I mention it was a lot of fun?

#7.   Marco Polo


The Game:¬† Specified kid in a swimming pool thread water with eyes closed trying to find others by using their ears with cues from others yelling ‘Polo’ in response to the searcher yelling ‘Marco’. Trust me, It’s more fun than the plot might suggest. The benign act of simply being in a pool was a great deal of fun, when you added the ‘Marco Polo’ aspect to it, it became an even richer experience.

#6. ¬†Tag : ‘You’re It!’


The Game:¬† A small group of kids engage in running around a grassy area trying not to be ‘tagged’… Because the consequence of being ‘tagged’ means that you are automatically ‘It’ until you can ‘Tag’ the next kid slow and/or not elusive enough to avoid being ‘tagged’. You got that? Look, you just didn’t want to get tagged, ok? This was a game that required a ton of running around in circles, what better way to work off youthful energy? For reasons that aren’t exactly clear, there was a great deal of laughter involved with this game.

#5.  Hop Scotch

girl on the hopscotch

The Game:  There was a lot of fun to be had in this fairly simple game that had players toss a coin and/or small object onto any number within a group of numbered spaces painted or drawn into a pattern of outlined rectangles on the concrete, followed by a hop and/or jump through the intervening spaces to retrieve the coin and/or object. Excellent for improving coordination on children.

#4.  Water Balloon Terrorism 


The Game:¬† Fade In: A hot summer’s day. Kids and/or immature young adults find a random rooftop and/or bridge and/or elevated stairwell to use as a base camp for dropping pre-filled water filled balloons onto the heads of unsuspecting pedestrians below. I’d be lying if I tried to say that this prank was anything but hilarious, because it really was hilarious. It wasn’t exactly ‘victimless’ since people got wet, but typically that was the extent of the damage…

#3.  Pillow Fights


The Game: ¬†A small group of kids numbering from two (2) to around six (6) standing on a bed and/or in a bedroom, each armed with a pillow. Then they start swinging the pillows around hitting anybody and everybody in striking distance with said pillow. Rinse and repeat until either the pillows broke open and the stuffing started flying around the room, or as such time as a parent or guardian broke up the festivities. It was as simple as that, and as fun as that. Oh, what fun we had…

#2.  Tug of War 


The Game: ¬†Is a test of strength, it pits¬†two opposing teams against one another in a pure test of team will backed up by it’s strength. The teams pull on a long rope while on opposite ends. The goal of this being that one team can pull the other team across a predetermined distance. Like most of the games on this list, it’s simple but a lot of fun with the winners getting bragging rights and an opportunity for obligatory chest beating.

#1.  Hide & Seek 


The Game: ¬†If I had to guess, I would guess that ‘Hide and Seek’ is the oldest game in the children’s playbook. A simple game of tracking other kids where¬†any number of children clandestinely hide themselves in and around the yard and/or house, in an effort to avoid being found by one or a number of ‘Seekers’. One kid is picked and/or designated to be ‘It’ by keeping their eyes closed and counting to ten (10) or some predetermined number while the other kids do their best to hide form sight. The ‘It’ child then begins to try and find all of the hidden players. This is a game that provided hours of fun, and an occasional resting place where some kids would fall asleep in the interim. True story.