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Brits Reveal Playground Games They Miss Most From Their Childhood

Image: Shutterstock

Skipping, hide and seek and ‘tag it’ are the playground games Brits remember most fondly from their school days, it has emerged.

A study exploring the halcyon school years of the nation’s grown-ups has revealed the break-time activities they miss most from the playground.

Other popular playground games which made the top 10 include ‘What’s the time, Mr. Wolf?’, rounders and rock, paper, scissors.

One in five fell in love with a keen-eyed, competitive game of marbles, while 19 per cent enjoyed the free-for-all chaos of British Bulldog.

The study was commissioned by Play Absurd by online casino Casumo.com, to mark their coverage of some of the UK’s most absurd sports, including the British Marbles Championship in Crawley. Spokesman Greg Tatton-Brown said: “School is a place for learning, but some of life’s most important lessons are taught outside the classroom and in the social mixing pool of the playground.

“Our achievements at break time may seem insignificant now, but back in the day a hard-won game of marbles or a shattered skipping record are likely essential experiences in forming the kind of people we become in adulthood.”

It also emerged more than four in five Brits think break time play helped to teach them valuable life lessons.

Overall 57 per cent think playground activities helped them to develop team working skills, and 44 per cent think it aided the development of their hand-eye coordination.

A humble two in five believe hard knocks on the playground taught them to be gracious in defeat, while 38 per cent think striving on the playground helped to make them more determined and confident in later life.

The results also revealed some firm gender lines between particular playground activities.

Games such as skipping, cat’s cradle and hopscotch were far more popular with female students, while marbles, conkers and British Bulldog were the favoured activities for boys.

Hide and seek, kiss chase and tag were able to cross gender boundaries and be popular with all kids at break-time.

As for games Brits think wouldn’t be allowed to take place on modern playgrounds, conkers was first for a ban, followed by wrestling and kiss chase.

Image: Shutterstock

British Bulldog and leapfrog are also activities considered too physical to have a place on modern playgrounds.

Sixty per cent think modern kids are mollycoddled too much at school and should be allowed some more rough-and-tumble play.

Playground games with more freeform rules were popular with over a third of British school kids of old, while one in five enjoyed organised games and sports more than the activities they made up with their friends.

Twenty nine per cent regularly concocted their own absurd games on the playground during their breaks.

If Brits had the opportunity to go back to their school years and do them all over again, 40 per cent would work harder.

Twenty eight per cent would worry less about their school work in hindsight, and one in four would study different subjects to follow a different career path.

Greg added: “Our study seems to indicate that British pupils, who are now all grown up, rather enjoyed the creative, fun and occasionally hazardous nature of break time play back in their childhood.

“Whether an absurd test of skill and technique, like a game of marbles, or a more physical engagement across the playground, these activities are precious to Brits all over the country and provided some of the best fun to be had in a school setting.”

To find out more about Play Absurd and see how YouTuber Joe Charman got on in the British Marbles Championship, click here.



  1. Skipping              
  2. Hide and Seek  
  3. Tag / It 
  4. Hopscotch          
  5. Marbles              
  6. Red Rover / British Bulldog         
  7. Conkers              
  8. What's the time Mr. Wolf? / Statues / Grandmother's footsteps
  9. Rounders           
  10. Rock, paper, scissors     
  11. Cat's Cradle       
  12. Kiss chase           
  13. Catch    
  14. Stuck in the Mud             
  15. Piggy in the middle         
  16. Jacks     
  17. Leapfrog             
  18. Double Dutch   
  19. Simon Says        
  20. 40-40-In / Blocky 123 / 52 Bunker             
  21. Cops and Robbers          
  22. I spy      
  23. Ring a Ring o' Roses        
  24. Pogs     
  25. Duck, Duck, Goose         
  26. The floor is lava
  27. Wrestling            
  28. Wink Murder    
  29. Thumb War       
  30. Beanbag toss   

"How children are biologically programmed to prefer playing with toys aimed at their own gender." Read more.

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