Playground shenanigans – La Merciade

If you ask a child what their favorite part of the school day was, they’ll most likely say recess. It was definitely one of my favorite times of the day as it gave me a change of scenery and kept me from constantly sitting in class. One of my favorite playground games by far was four squares. I’m a competitive person, so that’s where I spent most of my recess. Of course, when you’re in elementary school, the skill level isn’t the best for four squares. But, when I was in seventh and eighth grade, there was serious competition for it.

My eighth grade English teacher took the four squares very seriously and he always played against us when we dared to take on the challenge. There was a club that played once a week after school that students could join, and I swear it was this teacher’s favorite day of the week because he had to compete against his students. He was also very good at it and talked nonsense while he was at square one, which was most of the time. It was always a competition to see who could kick him out of the box and become the ultimate server. My only complaint about the game is the number of possible rules. Every time someone got to square one, they went over the rules they wanted to follow, and it was always confusing remembering what each person wanted. I think if there were universal rules, it would make the game much faster.

My other two favorite games were knockout, dodgeball, kickball and tag. Now, I’ve never played basketball, so the knockout was a weird interest for me. I just found it relaxing even though I was very bad. Dodgeball and Kickball were definitely my favorites in middle school because everyone was older and more athletic than in elementary school. Tag, however, was a whole other story in elementary school. I was lucky to have three different playgrounds where we could go during recess. Two of them were the typical playground with lots of slides and monkey bars for the kids so they were always fun obstacle courses to play on. The other playground really only had swings and tarmac. When we went there, the tag game was always very intense because it was just an open area and whoever was faster always won.

Another good throwback game is four corners and seven up, which is what we always played in classrooms when we took a break. They usually got pretty intense because people were always trying to cheat and then everyone was calling each other. From peeking at people’s shoes to peeking around corners, kids could get tricky enough to win. The playground games I played as a kid will forever be in my memory because of the fun times they gave me when I was younger.

Harold B. McConnell