Traditional Kids’ Games series (3) Jacks & Sticks
June 1st is International Children’s Day. This week we will look into the games that children played before the age of computer and arcade games. Yes, lest we forget, there was a time when kid’s fun didn’t cause obesity or cost a lot of money. Kids used to interact with each other and laugh (out loud) together. They stayed active and sweat it out. They took turns. They learned that the only way to get better was to practice, practice and practice some more.
Today I feature Jacks and Pick-up Sticks. It’s hard to imagine that there was a time when children sat on the floor in a circle and spent many hours playing Jacks and Pick-up Sticks: taking turns, talking, laughing and sometimes just being quiet and concentrating on their next game plan.
Author: Mary D. Lankford Illustrator: Karen Dugan
This lively collection contains intriguing, fast-moving games of jacks from countries as varied as Zimbabwe, Israel, Singapore, and the United States. The introduction to each of the 13 countries is packed with interesting facts, while easy-to-follow rules invite readers to play Cinco Marias (Brazil), Maakgep (Thailand), and other fun-filled games. Full colour.(Amazon Book Description)
GAME OF JACKS
A Look at Its History
The game we know as jacks was played in the ancient world over 2000 years ago with small animal bones or pebbles. In early America the game was commonly known as five-stones or jack-stones. As time went on, one of the stones (the Jack) was replaced by a wooden ball, then a rubber ball; the other stones were replaced by small pointed metal pieces reminiscent of the original animal knucklebones. (Info Source)
A Look at Its History
Also called Jackstraws, Jerkstraws, Spilikins or Woodpile, Pick Up Sticks were originally made of ivory or bone, and was a popular game with both children and adults. When it became particularly popular in Colonial America, the sticks were made of wood. By the 20th century, the “sticks” were made rounded for easier use and started to be called Pick Up Sticks, after the children’s counting rhyme: “One, two, buckle my shoe; three, four, shut the door; five, six, pick up sticks….” The object of the game is to drop the sticks in a pile and then remove them one at a time without disturbing the rest. The game can either be scored by counting the number of sticks each player picks up, or using the color of the sticks determine their point value, with the player having the most number of points declared the winner. (Info Source)