Keep those games alive!

Children are inventive, original and very messy. As they get older they start losing these nice qualities. Some manage to hold on. This is what I am trying to do with this blog. My brother - a great inventor of games - kept most of my childhood happily occupied with his original games. This blog started out as a way to keep those games alive. Do read the first few posts to enter his wonderful world. Reader contributions welcome :)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

And we bounce back!

So it's been a long while. The inventing genes have happily passed on to the younger generation, and I catch the kiddo doing his own bit of inventing. Here's one of the first games I saw him play all by himself.

This involves getting all the stuffed animals you have on a big bed, and engaging them in a free-for-all wrestling match. Every animal that lands on the floor is 'out'. The winner of course, is kiddo.

This was a year ago.

He's now 4, and is game for some cerebral activity. We were waiting at the doctor's and the "Keep Silent" board gazed at me reproachfully as kiddo's voice touched new decibels. What else could I do but invent a game. This is like a rapid fire quiz round. I rattle off names of colours and he says "YES" or "NO" depending on whether this colour is in the Rainbow. Variations include saying "Frog" instead of green, "Sky" instead of blue, etc. You could also think of anything other then a rainbow.

I don't think we noticeably reduced decibel levels, but we sure had fun waiting :)

Thursday, November 02, 2006

And this is it.

I'm done with the games for now... might be back, might not. So, boys and girls, seek your entertainment elsewhere!

Pic of LEGO Klutz Race car that I made after making sure the kiddo was asleep. Zooms 6 feet on rubberband power alone. The record, I am told, is 9 feet after waxing the axle.


Friday, October 20, 2006

My mother went to market...

Again, this one's a contribution by Bharath... (Bharath's mom, really). I have so many by him that he is a co-blogger on this site now!

When you have a bunch of kids visiting, this game is guaranteed to keep them all in one place! Have them sit in a circle, placing hands palms down on the floor.

Pick a GameMaster. The GM starts off by reciting, "My mother went to market to buy me some ribbons. What colour did she choose?", while ticking off each finger on the floor. One finger for each word in the recitation above. The person whose finger the GM has stopped at names a colour. Say "Green". Or if you want to be smartie pants, "Light Green".

GM continues along the fingers, spelling out the colour. The finger that the GM stops at is folded, and is no longer in the game.

The person who gets to fold all their fingers first wins. Then you can continue playing until there is one loser or start a new game.

As my intelligent readers have no doubt fathomed, the challenge here lies in coming up with a colour that lands on their finger! And a challenge to the GM is to decide if colours such as Orangeish Purple are permitted...

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

The 'tag' game

And I'm 'it'.

Tried to put it off for as long as I could, but
Adi said 'please' and you can get anything out of me if you say please. Especially in italics. There, that's already one thing about me. Now for 7 more.
Why 8, I wonder? Why not a nice round number like 5 or 10? Possibly to alert the subconscious of the 'Eight wonders', or 'The Mysterious Eight' (think Mandrake) and thereby get to the ego of the tagged, all subconsciously, of course. See, this can't just be any old 8 things - they have to be something so unique that people will gasp. So getting to the ego is important.

OK, I'll stop rambling. 7 more, right? Here goes:

When I was 12, I came out a circus crying because all I could think of when I saw the animals performing was 'How Cruel'. Came home and wrote an indignant letter to the newspaper, which never got published. Possibly because I used the word 'torcher'.

The fact above may have led you to believe that I am a great animal lover, have pets, and will pick up any dog/cat on the street. You could not be more wrong. While I have shed many a tear for the abused animal, I have never ever picked one up. For some reason, that is something I can't do.

I just finished hand stitching a cap for the kiddo.

The fact above may have led you to believe that I am an accomplished seamstress, and like
Sunshine, can make my own clothes. Again, you could not be more wrong. I can't sew a dress to save my life. Fact is, sewing is a stress buster. I get into a sewing frenzy every once in so many years, when I need to de-stress. I don't do it knowingly, I realise after a sewing bout how light I feel...

So that's done, right? All 8 facts done? No? Have always been bad at counting - there's another fact for you.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Paper Football

I felt just like a little kid who unexpectedly receives a box of chocolates, and having finished them, finds there is another layer underneath, when Bharath sent me this crazy game.

Here's his introduction to the game:

This is a paper and pencil game... a ruler or similar object with a straight edge helps a lot! Although you can play it by yourself... it's a lot more fun to argue and heckle another person as you snap your pencil to footballing glory.

Step 1:

Draw the goal post and half way line like this:

Step 2:

Each person then alternates to draw their players on the paper. Now if you want to make your field pretty, you can actually draw mini-players, or if you just want to get down to the game draw circles and colour them!

Bharath's tip: It generally helps to have one player in the goal

Step 3: THE GAME

How to kick the ball:

Use a pencil. Place it on your player closest to the half way line, with the pencil head on the player, and snap it in a quick motion towards the player you want to pass the ball to. The pencil makes a straight mark on the paper. Here, Bharath says:
The motion has to be a snapping motion... otherwise you can control the direction a little too well...

Next, use a ruler to determine if the ball makes it to the other player. If the mark is curved, settle it with a nice fight ;-)

If the ball doesn't make it, the opponent's player closest to all this action gets the ball.

So basically you keep passing until you decide to "take a shot" at the goal and evade the goalkeeper. If you do then you score.... Player with the most # of goals wins. :)


And the layer underneath? The paper cricket game! But that, dear children is for another day. Or, if you're curious, just peek into the first comment of the previous post!

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

101 ways to play cricket - Part 2

This one is all about Innovation.

Have badminton racket, but in the mood for cricket? No problem. Just play "French Cricket", as suggested by Arun Iyer, of Iyer Education. (Why French, Iyer?) To score runs, just rotate the racket around you. This is all Iyer Ed has to say, woefully short of the details. But does that faze me? Not a chance. Years of cooking up stuff for my exam papers comes back to me - time to see if the old skill still remains.
I assume even the bowler has a badminton racket with which to launch the shuttlecock - merely tossing it is no fun at all. So the batsman hits it, and furiously starts rotating the racket till the shuttlecock comes back. If he can't hit it, he's OUT! (Is that the way it goes, Iyer?)

Have a football, a cricket bat and no one to play with except a baby who can't quite throw? No problem. Get baby to kick the football, and hit with bat :)

Have nothing, but still want to play cricket? Adi, of delhidreams to the rescue. Crumple up newspapers, squeeze them very tightly with the help of rubber bands and you have a cricket ball! He says it comes to shape after a few beatings. For water-proof version, just wrap some polythene over it.

Now for the bat. Just use - anything!!! (Long notebook, table tennis or badminton racquet, bare hands) But the best one, he says was his mother's cloth-beating wooden 'thapi' - Perfect shape, size and necessary solidity.

And here's something a kid I know used to do - Having outgrown the hollow plastic bat bought off a roadside vendor, but not possessing a proper bat yet, this is what the kid did: Sliced the top off the handle of the bat, stuffed it with shredded paper, poured water in and left it in the sun for a day to let the paper harden. I am assured that great results were obtained.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

The Paper Video Game

The Inventor: Bharath, who is Bored out of his mind.

This is pure genius - read it in his own words and pictures (I merely lifted it from his blog)

Something original for a change. My very own game! I'm sure there must be plenty of other ppl that have made something similar to this, but until they come and pull me up on this, I am the proud and sole creator of the PAPER VIDEO GAME!

This was something that I had created sometime in 5th or 6th standard, when hand held video games were a craze in India. I wasn't able to get my hands on one, so well I created one with whatever resources I had plenty at the time - namely paper and pencils.

First how to create one. You need:
  • A piece of paper (ruled or otherwise)
  • Pencil and Eraser
  • A fertile imagination
  • Another tiny piece of folded paper/aluminium foil tightly curled into a small ball with a flat bottom.


First fold the sheet of paper as illustrated. There are two folds required. This gives it a kind of springy effect. Don't press too hard to make Fold 2. Otherwise the paper loses it's springiness.Repeat for all 4 edges of the sheet of paper.


Now draw your beautiful game on it. I generally created courses that my little paper/foil ball had to make across, with alternate courses and bonuses etc. Draw your controls on the paper and voila... You have your paper game like so!


Now place the little ball at the start and navigate it through the meandering courses with your controls. Like I mentioned earlier, making your paper/foil ball flat at the bottom gives you better control. Otherwise you tend to lose control if it is completely round.

Practice makes perfect. It is quite difficult to master this game, so a little patience is required in the beginning. But once you master the art of moving your little ball, you can never get bored at airports :).