games, children's

games, children's,

amusements or pastimes involving more than one child and in which there is some sort of formalized dramatic element, contest, or plot. Games are a cultural universal; for example, the string play called Cat's Cradle is common to cultures as varied as Eskimo, Australian, and African. Games differ from the serious pursuits of life in several ways: they are played according to tacit or explicit rules, and they are performed within a context that defines them as games (e.g., tin soldiers, house and marriage games, racing) although they may be derived from and imitative of everyday living. Because the rules vary from place to place, comparable game types are often difficult to identify precisely. Most common are contest games, in which players vie, either as individuals or as team members, to see who is best at a given activity. Such dissimilar games as I Spy, Bombardment, Red Rover, baseball, rope-jumping, tag, charades, and "Last one to the corner is a rotten egg" are all in the contest category. Amusements with predictable outcomes such as the Farmer in the Dell, often classified as games, resemble games but are considered to be children's folk drama. Game classification has been the subject of frequent and profound investigation. Among the foremost researchers in this field are the Americans Iona and Peter Opie. Some of the many types defined are games of dexterity, games of chance, showdown games, tug-of-war games, and games requiring specialized materials (jacks, marbles, mumblety-peg, dice). However, no generally useful system of classification has yet been devised. In many—if not all—cultures, formalized child's play provides a training ground where the child learns skills useful to him in later life, a counterpart to the play-training of young animals. Considerable controversy exists as to whether children's games have been to a great extent influenced by adults or whether they are passed independently from one generation of children to another. The importance of related variants and how they are transmitted are further continuing puzzles. It seems likely that complex games are developed locally from simple basic elements that have been widely diffused. Games reflect the social, economic, religious, and artistic life of the culture from which they develop and have, themselves, become an intrinsic part of human existence.


See I. and P. Opie, Children's Games in Street and Playground (1969); A. Milberg, Street Games (1976); G. Chanan and H. Francis, Toys and Games of Children of the World (1985); V. Sernaque, The Classic Children's Games (1988).

References in periodicals archive ?
The championships on Glasgow Green will also feature Highland dancing competitions, a Highland games, children's area and food village.
Founded in 1985 and headquartered in Beloit, Wisconsin, Patch is a designer, distributor and marketer of family entertainment products, specializing in games, children's puzzles, toys, activities and teaching tools.
Plus dance competitions, a mini games, children's entertainment, food, gift and craft stalls.
The Washington Heritage and Community Festival helps chart the history of Washington and includes music, dance, traditional crafts, games, children's rides, exhibitions and a range of activities and attractions.
There will be charity stalls, games, children's activity tent, Caribbean food and fairground, as well as a programme of performing arts, activities and music.
uk | CARDIFF A fun day out for all the family with storytelling, outdoor games, children's crafting, henna and face-painting, a forest school, handmade craft market with unique gifts and toys at the Cardiff Steiner School summer fair.
So, on Saturday at the all-weather venue, there were games, children's activities, arts and crafts, music, finding out about local charities, face painting, story telling and a worship area.
They are set to include a series of fun games, children's carnival rides, roaming acts, arts and crafts stations, live music and other enjoyable activities.
The text includes a glossary, an alphabetical list of the articles, a chronology of play from 30,000 BCE to 2008, and a reader's guide organizing the entries within several themes: adult games, board and card games, children's games, history of play, outdoor games and amateur sports, play and education, play around the world, psychology of play, sociology of play, toys and business, and video and online games.
Held on the school premises, the fun day is part of Ysgol Dewi Sant's annual spring fair and includes a wealth of family activities including craft stalls, games, children's fair ground rides, donkey rides and a Massey Ferguson tractor, as well as a historic 60th anniversary display inside the school.
She said the Arc welcomes monetary gifts, or donations of educational toys, games, children's books and art supplies.
Reviews of computer games, children's books and great competitions aimed at schoolchildren appear every Tuesday in our Time Off family leisure section.