Didn’t it seem so much easier to have a good time when you were a kid? Every new experience was just an opportunity to create a new game, all according to logic that only other kids could understand.
It’s hilarious to look back at what these Redditors constructed in their own imaginations!
[Sources listed at the end of the article.]
My sister and I invented something called the sausage game, where we would roll ourselves up in blankets and then slide down the basement stairs.
We survived to adulthood.
I used to have a crazy imagination as a kid. I remember the day after watching Jumanji for the first time (which terrified me), I tried to recreate the game with a shoebox.
I drew different animals in the shoebox and rolled a dice and whatever animal the dice landed on was going to appear in my house. I remember playing it in a room under the staircase with my cousin and when I heard someone walk down the stairs I thought that a lion was coming to get me.
To this day I don’t know why I decided to scare myself by making the game. I must have been less than 7 years old when it happened.
When the movie version of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone came out, my two friends and I would recreate the scene where the trio enters the room and finds the three-headed dog. During recess we would walk under an arch in the playground, look up at the same time to see imaginary Fluffy, then do a delayed reaction scream before turning around and running away. We did this over and over.
I don’t know why we didn’t just play wizards or something. It was just this scene.
On multiple occasions after snowstorms we would build a wall of snow in the road of our quiet little street. Not much traffic but once in a while we would get a confused driver who had to turn around and take another road.
These usually ended with our parents realizing what was happening and yelling at us out the front door. Once a firetruck came, at which point we promptly scattered and it had to turn around. Shorty after, my neighbor plowed right through the thing in her tiny Saab.
At the time this was the funniest thing we had ever done. Now I realize we were just being little brats.
We used to love the game, “Burn Dad’s Steak.”
When dad was shooting the breeze with his buddies at backyard barbecues, we’d surreptitiously turn the grill up to eleven when he wasn’t looking.
In our defense, our health teacher that year made us all paranoid about the dangers of undercooked meat and we were afraid dad’s penchant for ordering his steaks ‘still mooing’ would result in a serious case of salmonella. We did what we could.
I wouldn’t call them friends, but every time I wanted to use the swings, there would always be other kids there racing.
On the swings.
Even back then, I had no idea how that was supposed to work, and everybody refused to tell me. I think one time they explained it by saying, “We’re seeing who can go the highest the fastest,” but that’s two completely different measurements!
Someone, please, tell me how you’re supposed to RACE on the SWINGS!
My brother and I would play “Can Shoes.” We would step on a soda can and, since our feet were small enough, the can would wrap around our foot and the indentation would make the “shoe.”
Then we’d just run around with the Can Shoes. Sometimes tissue boxes, too.
I used to make up imaginary video games. I didn’t have any real video games so I would sit in my completely empty 1/2-meter tall treehouse and pretend I had video games.
In my head it was awesome, real video games don’t even come close to the stuff that goes on in a 7-year-old’s head for entertainment. Even my friends would sometimes join in and we’d have fun, especially if we were on a bus or something. But when I asked my parents to play… well they refused to play because adults have no imagination.
My best friend and I had this game that we called Invasion of the Robots.
I have no idea what it was about or what we did, and there were no rules. We just kinda ran around yelling at each other about Robots. I have no idea how we enjoyed this, but we did it for years.
Me, my cousin, and my brother were a crime-fighting group.
We had a name based on the first letters of our names, JJC, and a theme song (it includes our names so I can’t write the lyrics).
We had roles: I was the brains. My cousin was oldest so he was leader/muscle. My brother was agile so he was the acrobatic one who was supposed to do flips and stuff.
So far so good.
Then we pretended another group of random kids were in need of being saved and ran up to them trying to pull them out of the jungle gym. In our heads we were liberating the playground or whatever, but when I think back we just bothered a bunch of kids who were just minding their own business.
My family regularly traveled to visit extended family. Our family vehicle was a cargo van, no seats in the back, just a metal interior. So my brother and I would usually lay down in the back on sleeping bags and read books for the drive.
But we invented a fun game where we would crawl into the sleeping bags backwards, then stand up and try to remain upright. Points accumulated for how long we could stand, unable to see and unable to use our arms, before the van turned a corner and we would be thrown off our feet.
My sister and I put beanbag chairs on our heads so that we looked like giant mushrooms. Then we’d spin around and effectively turn into bumper cars.
We called it Mushroom Heads.
Me and my friends used to play a game that was called ‘Pikadon.’ It was basically exactly the same as pretending to be Pokmon except my friend said, “We can’t call the game Pokmon, we might get sued for copyright issues.” So Pikadon it was.
The “penis” game. In a public place, one person says it quietly and then the next person has to say it louder, and so on. The winner is determined when everyone playing chickens out on saying it any louder.
Note: A few times, this ended with someone getting on the loudspeaker at a grocery store and broadcasting the word “penis” over their store-wide speakers.
At family get-togethers we would have gladiator pillow fights. The younger kids would each build a ‘chariot’ out of pillows on one edge of a blanket, sit in it, and wield a single large pillow.
The older kids would then grab the other end of the blanket and pull the little kid around on the hardwood floor while they smacked away at the other little kids’ chariots with their pillow.
Wall to Wall Dodgeball. Play between two houses that are about 20 feet apart. One person is “it” – the kid with the ball. The other kids run from one wall to the other. Objective: don’t get hit by the ball while running from one wall to the other. The walls are “safe” meaning you can’t get hit with the ball while you touch a wall. Once hit, the player sits out until nobody’s left.
What makes this game ridiculous? Kids could choose to stay at a wall and not run. Also, the kid who is throwing the ball can miss the runner, causing the ball to either bounce out to the street, or down the steep hill in the houses’ back yards. So impractical.
Me and two friends invented three-player Pictionary.
One player draws on his turn, the other two guess what the picture is. If someone gets it, he and the drawer get to roll for points. You never get to draw more than once, you always just rotate.
Towards the end of the game, it sometimes becomes very foolish to guess if the drawer has almost won, because you know he’ll be awarded points too. So instead he would just start drawing inappropriate stuff, since no one is guessing anyway. Hilarity ensues.
Our game involved kicking a gymnastics ball around in a pit next to our house. It was a large ball, the kind designed to sit on. There was a stone wall and an incline so the ball would always bounce back to us. Also, some cars were parked in there.
I don’t think there was a goal to it, we just kicked the crap out of that ball until we punctured it one day.
We had two games.
The first was called “Beat The Flush.” You needed to flush the toilet so that you finish peeing as close to the time the flush finishes as possible. Single-player game.
The other was “Guess The Crunch.” We would crunch down on a snack food using the microphones on our video game consoles and the other friends in the chatroom would have to guess the snack, usually a type of chip. Surprisingly nuanced as a Cheeto has an airy crunch, whereas a Pringle sounds more rigid. Bonus point if you could guess the flavor.
When I was around 9, my brother and I invented a game called Dizzy Devils. Basically, we spun around the yard with our eyes closed.
The game ended when I knocked my face into the cable box on our front yard and chipped a tooth.
My two sisters and I would put on multiple layers of socks and engage in an endurance race all around our home. We would slide like we were wearing rollerblades. We would be as close as possible to the walls and do multiple loops. There was no winner or loser (which is weird for kids now that I think about it).
Our mom would face palm every time. I guess she was kinda happy we did some of the cleaning during this activity.
In french we called it “Gliss’ extreme” which would translate to “Xtreme Slide.”
My sister and I used to throw action figures up in the air, trying to get them stuck in a tree.
When we were in school we played “stick person war.” Basically, we had a sheet of paper and we drew stick people fighting. Everyone had a different color–my stick people were blue.
After a few months, the game evolved into lots of paper sheets glued together and we were all fighting against the orange stick people in this imaginary world. We had a map of islands for every team, each of which had a complex backstory and an entire history.
Me and my cousin would run and jump around my grandma’s backyard, pretending like we were in the Olympics.
We also played Waterworks, where we would go to her house, and just play with water. Like, we’d fill a container with water, and wash Barbie’s hair.
Sometimes we’d play Cooking Show, where we were the charismatic child hosts. The food was crappy because the only knives we were allowed to use were butter knives. The show mostly consisted of us cutting up carrots and celery for 45 minutes.
My best friend and I had a game where we collected all the toys we owned and then “drafted” them onto two separate teams, one was his and one was mine.
The game was a lot like Yu-Gi-Oh minus the cards. Every toy had an ability and an attack and defense number between 1-10. Regular attacks consisted of you selecting a toy, and attacking an opponent’s toy, and if your attack exceeded their defense, they would get knocked out. If your attack was less than their defense, you just inflicted the damage equal to your attack.
Some of the most interesting abilities:
A marble had the ability to be lobbed by a player, dealing damage to any opponent toy it hit.
Power Rangers action figures could deal double damage to a toy that was the same color as them.
And perhaps the most interesting one: The Rubik’s cube. This could be played as a normal 3 attack/3 defense monster, but in addition every turn, you could make one move on the Cube. The theory being that with enough turns and enough games the cube would one day be solved, that person would instantly win the game and be declared undisputed winner of everything ever. It was never solved.
Who else remembers “The Game”?
1. If you think about the ‘THE GAME’ you lose.
2. If you lose you MUST say that you have lost to the nearest person that is playing ‘THE GAME’.
3. If the person doesn’t remember the rules of ‘THE GAME’ remind them about the rules.
4. Everyone is playing even if they don’t know they are, NO EXCEPTIONS.
5. You WIN if you can make everyone else LOSE.
6. If you lose, “Respawn” and try again.
My cousins and I used to play this game called the “Teletubbies.” We would all gulp down the same amount of water and shake our body as hard as we could. The person who made the loudest noise with the water in their stomach was the winner.