The Definitive Ranking Of Every Playground Game

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The playground was Thunderdome, essentially.

16. Wallball


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Flickr: scottt / Creative Commons

Wallball, AKA “Butt’s Up”, “Ballsies”, “Rump Rounders”, “Buttock Blocker”, “Red Butt,” “Blackjack”, “Assies’ Rehab & Tea”, “Slaughterhouse”, “Fumble”, “Butt Ball”, “Beartrap”, “Asses Up”, “Suicides”, “Stitch”, “Peg”, “Fire in the Bum”, “A-Ball”, “Buns Up”, “Booties Up”, “No Fear”, “Red Bum”, “Jetters”, “Red Ass”, “Red Out”, “Sting”, “Error”, “Off the Wall”, “Kirby”, “Spread,” or “Burn” wins the award for most nicknames.

15. Foursquare


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Flickr: altuwa / Creative Commons

Foursquare would’ve been a lot more fun if anyone could ever agree on the rules.

14. Tag


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Flickr: joeshlabotnik / Creative Commons

Honestly, tag is barely a game. It’s something adults came up with to trick kids into running around for an hour.

13. Duck Duck Goose

Duck Duck Goose

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Flickr: scottt

Also called “Duck Duck Gray Duck” if you’re a weirdo.

12. Hide and Seek

Hide and Seek

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Flickr: thomasrhull / Creative Commons

The only person who ever enjoys this game is the seeker. What’s fun about hiding in a fucking bush for twenty minutes while some idiot in dungarees hunts for you?

11. Hopscotch


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Flickr: daveparker / Creative Commons

Are there actual rules to hopscotch? Literally nobody knows. The last person who knew the rules of hopscotch died in 1873.

10. Crack the Whip

Crack the Whip

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J.Seward Johnson Jr.

Super dangerous, but also super hilarious when someone on the end of the whip faceplants.

9. Scavenger Hunts

Scavenger Hunts

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Flickr: span112 / Creative Commons

Also known as “collecting garbage from a list,” scavenger hunts were a nice, leisurely break from the usual brutality of the playground arena.

8. Red Light, Green Light

The Definitive Ranking Of Every Playground Game

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Jarek Tuszynski / Via

Also called “Statues,” this one was pretty fun… until an argument over whether or not someone moved dissolved the entire game.

7. Red Rover

Red Rover

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Flickr: carolinaterp / Creative Commons

Red Rover was an exercise in pain, plain and simple.

6. Snowball Fights

Snowball Fights

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Flickr: cosmic_smudge / Creative Commons

Elegant in its simplicity and every so slightly sadistic, snowball fights are the go-to winter game.

5. Water Balloon Fights

Water Balloon Fights

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Flickr: paul-w-locke / Creative Commons

Just a tad better than snowball fights, because getting hit was actually a refreshing treat.

4. Jump Rope

Jump Rope

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Flickr: bbarr / Creative Commons

Jump Rope is GREAT. It combines jumping and singing, and jump ropes can also be used as a deadly weapon if someone on the playground pisses you off.

3. Tetherball


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Flickr: amywhelan / Creative Commons

Tetherball was awesome except you always got stuck playing against that one whiny brat who claimed you touched the string with your hand when you totally didn’t.

2. Freeze Tag

Freeze Tag

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Flickr: tm22 / Creative Commons

Somehow adding a single strategic element to tag turns it into one of the best playground games ever.

1. Parachute


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Flickr: thebiglunch / Creative Commons

Parachute was the best game. Every time the teacher brought it out of storage, it felt like Christmas.

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