Games we played in my childhood
When I first attended school in 1933 in first grade we had several different games that we played at school. One of the favorites was run sheep run and as I remember it one child was it and stood at the corner of the school house and would shout at the other children run sheep run. The children had a goal they were supposed to get to before it could catch you. If they caught you then you were it for the next time and you had to shout run sheep run and you would try to catch someone so that you would not be it any more..
Another game we played was anti I over..This involved throwing a ball over the school house or wood shed and there were children on both sides of the house or shed. If someone on the other side caught the ball they would come around the house and tag someone. If they missed catching the ball they shouted pigs tail.
We had swings and a slide at the school and we used to pump the swings and see how high we could go. Sometimes we would get 3 children on either side of the teter totter and that got interesting as sometimes one of us would fall off. Never did get any broken arms or legs but I do not know why.
In the winter time we would ski to school and also bring our sleds. We had a hill in back of the school at dist 64 and we would ski down that small hill and also use our sleds. Of course when we got to the bottom we had to walk up to the top pulling our sleds or carrying our skies. Our skies were fastened to our rubber boots with a strap and some of use skied to school in the winter of 36 as the snow was so deep and the roads were not plowed out. We walked ½ mile to school come hell or high water as that was just part of our lives. We went to school even if it got 20 below but we were dressed for it and I do not remember being cold. We had snow suits and good rubber boots over our shoes.
In the spring and fall the children that were big enough played work up soft ball. We played it at first recess and noon hour and second recess. Got half way good at hitting the ball and also pitching as you had to take your turn at every position. Sometimes we just had 7 players so you got to do everything. When the batter was out then he went to the bottom of the pack and everyone moved up one position. Think we had 3 batters and then a pitcher, catcher and first baseman. The rest were out in the field trying to get the ball and throw it to get the batter out.
The other thing we did in school was on Friday we worked on crafts all afternoon. We used a coping saw to cut out wood. I remember learning to embroidery in school and one time we wove a small piece out of wool and I still have the purse I made so many years ago. Just could not throw it away and have kept it with me all these 89 years.
Most of us were helping with the chores by the time we were 8 or 9 years old. My brother Richard was born when I was 8 and I helped take care of him when I was 9 years old. We just did that and I was also milking cows when I was 9 years old. When I was 10 I was making lunch for the 4 of us that were in school. My brother Donald liked oatmeal cookies and my Mom was so busy that she did not have time to bake every day. So when Don was in high school he would come home and mix up a batch of oatmeal cookies and Mother would bake them. He liked about 10 cookies and an orange for his school lunch. He may have exchanged some of the cookies for something else when he got to school.
I learned to ice skate when I was about 11 years old and skated on the ice in a ditch close to our house. First I skated by pushing with one foot but then I taught myself to skate using both feet. When I went to Owatonna and worked for the Supt of the High School I bought Mrs Burt’s skates for two dollars and the city provided an outdoor rink for us to skate on. They also had a bon fire there so we could warm up. This rink was on the straight river. We really did a lot of physical activity when I was a child growing up.
The other thing I did as a child was to ride a horse. My Dad bought a small horse when I was about 12 years old and she did not do any farm work. She stayed out in the pasture and when I wanted to ride her I had to first catch her. Depending on how she felt I would spend quite a bit of time catching her. Then I had to get her up to the barn and put a bridle on her and then I could go riding. I did not have a saddle so rode her bare back and I just let her walk and sometimes she would trot a little. Was not all that much fun but there was not much to do on a hot summer day and so would ride her a couple of times a week. Still am not that crazy about horses and never did ride one with a saddle on it.
My brother Richard and I used to play Chinese checkers and he was good at it when he was 5 years old. Another game we played was jacks. You had a ball and about five jacks and you had to bounce the small ball and pick up the jacks. Lawrence, Don and I used to play it on a rug in front of the coal burning heater in the living room. We had to be sure to pick them up as the jacks were metal and you could get hurt if you stepped on one with bare feet.
That is about all the games I can think of besides card that I played when I was young.