The wild days of bulldogs and Mr Wolf; PLAYGROUND.
Byline: Susan Riddell
Red Rover (also known as British Bulldog) - Two groups of children form a chain and stand opposite each other, a few metres apart. One side then tries to poach children from the other side to make their chain longer, chanting 'Red Rover, Red Rover, send (chosen one) over'.
If the chosen one breaks through the chain they go back to their original team, if not they join the enemy. This game was fraught with match-fixing.
If you wanted on the opposite team, you'd make a deal beforehand not to bust through the chain.
What's the Time Mr Wolf? -Someone goes Mr/Mrs Wolf and stands opposite a group of children who chant 'What's the time Mr Wolf?' in that way only primary school children can chant.
The wolf shouts a time ie '3 o'clock' at which point the chanters take three steps toward the wolf. This continues until the wolf shouts dinnertime.
The chanters flee and whoever is caught then becomes the wolf, and so it continues.
Dizzy Lizzies - Quite simply you spin in an open - preferably grassy - space until you fall over. They'd probably make you wear a crash helmet today. Handstands - Endless possibilities. There's the old-fashioned cartwheel, the handstand into a crab and the 'straight as a pencil'.
Also the more specialist categories: Jellyfish, Ballerina, Scissors and my particular favourite Murder in the Kitchen - a handstand while singing 'slash yourself, cut yourself, fall down dead,' at which point you'd play dead.
HOW IT WAS The school playground in 1935