Top 10 games that made childhood fun

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  • Saturday, 14 May 2016

THE traditional games of yesteryear are fading out as the younger generation find themselves busy with online games, downloading applications on devices, or using game consoles.

Two years ago, Metro Online highlighted games Malaysians used to play during their childhood days including Pepsi Cola, hopscotch, eraser battles and five-stones.

There are many more folk games, some of which only required a piece of paper and pen, and the use of our hands.

Here are some of them.

1. Bingo: The aim of the game is to get a row of number along the same row or diagonally across the five columns marked out before you can shout “bingo”.

1 Bingo

Bingo sets come in different forms.

Some sets had a roller ball that spits out the number and letter (B.I.N.G.O), which you can cross out from cards that have numbers written on 25 boxes across five columns.

The game is simple but takes a lot of patience.

The aim of the game is to get a row of numbers along the same row or diagonally across the five columns marked out before you can shout “bingo”.

Since not everyone has a Bingo set, and you cannot bring them to school, children improvised with what they had. They used Mathematics exercise books or just a plain piece of paper to jot down numbers of their choice, before starting the game.

Instead of rolling numbers, they would shout out numbers in the column that they want to cross out from their own list.

2.Categories: Collect full points for every word you have in each category that is dissimilar to your opponents. The aim is to be able to name an object or subject in each category with the letter given and to get more points than the rest. Your creativity and quick thinking helps a lot.

2 Categories

There is no maximum number of people who can participate in this game at one time.

You start off by drawing a table with different columns to represent a different category like name, animal, car brand, song, celebrity, country and colour.

The first column has to be reserved for a letter in the alphabet.

This letter will determine the subject, starting with the chosen letter, that you need to name under each category along a row.

At the end of the round, each person shouts out their answer and if you have the same answer, you get 50 points, and 100 if no one else has the same answer as yours.

If you leave a row blank, you get zero points.

The aim is to get more points than your friends.

There should be a time limit when doing each row so only the fastest catches the points.

3.Paper fortune teller-We did no have magic 8 balls while in school so our faith was determined by this paper fortune teller where fortune are written by our friends and we had to choose a colour and a number before the fortune is unveiled to us.

3 Origami fortune teller/ what colour do you want

The game comes to mind easily as the words “what colour do you want” are said out loud.

When looking it up online, it is called the origami fortune teller.

After folding an A-size paper into shape, each flap will have a “fortune” written on it.

It could be something as simple as “you will have a good day today”, to anything funny or creative you and your friends can think of.

Next is to place numbers on the flap that opens to each “fortune”.

Then the numbered flaps are folded in, and outer flaps of the origami fortune teller is coloured with four different colours – red, blue, green, yellow, or that of your choice.

Your friend will start by choosing their colour of choice, then proceed to choose a colour, then a number that leads to a fortune.

4.Hangman:This simple game involves one person guessing and the other drawing a the figure of a hangman every time his opponent guesses the wrong letter that spells out the word he or she must guess.

4 Hangman

This simple game involves one guessing a word, and the other drawing a figure of a hangman every time his opponent gets a wrong letter or subject.

You play it by picking a category, then a secret word that your friend must guess.

Draw lines to represent the letters that make up the secret word.

Your friend now needs to guess the vowels and consonants in the word to discover what the word is.

At every wrong guess, you draw first the rope and the stand, the face, then the body and limbs of the man hung on a rope.

5.Love Compatibility: All you need to do is put write your name down on a piece of paper, then below it, the name of the person you have a crush on. Then start marking off similar letters on each name till you get a total percentage of your love.

5 Love compatibility

All you need to do is write your name down on a piece of paper, then below it, the name of the person you have a crush on.

Then start marking off similar letters on each name.

For example, if you have an A in your name, count and mark off all As, then place the total below the names. Continue doing the same until you have marked off all letters.

Next, add the numbers, the first on the left, then first on the right and place that total below the first row of numbers.

Continue adding in that way until you get the final result.

There is also a similar game where the end result tells you if you and your crush will be friends, lovers, admirers, married or end up as enemies.

6. If you couldnt buy a jump rope, you can always make one using rubber bands by looping each band together. You can make it as long as you want, all you need is more rubber band.

6 Jump rope with rubber bands

Jump ropes made from rubber bands are popular with primary school children.

For this game, rubber bands are looped together to form a string.

The game is the same, two people twirling the rope off the ground while your friends try their best to hop over the “rope”, making sure their legs do not hit the rope.

It starts with the string at a low level and then goes higher and higher.

This game tests your speed, agility in jumping over the rope and quick thinking.

9.Chi Ku Pak: This is a hand gesture game that only requires you to be quick in thinking and have a good scare tactic.

7 Chi ku pak

This is a hand gesture game that only requires you to be quick in thinking and have a good scare tactic.

When watching people play this, it looks just like scissors/bird (chi), paper (pak) and stone (ku).

For this game, both hands are clenched when the game starts.

The first player shouts out a combination of chi, ku or pak (as you are playing with two hands) and if the opponent changes his hand to match what you have shouted out, it is game over.

The game continues until you can successfully eliminate both hands from the game.

10. The game of hide and seek is played by everyone as child. Children can get creative with the spots they choose to hide in to win the game.

8 Hide and seek

This game is so famous, there is even a movie named after it.

This game can have multiple players where one player has to close his or her eyes in a corner and count to 10.

In that time period, players have to find the perfect hiding place.

The last person found, wins.

7. M.A.S.H is yet another fortune telling game, or so we claimed it to be. It required us to place the things we most desired in a future husband (as mostly girls play this) from his name, car he drives, to in come and profession.

9 Mansion, Apartment, Shack and House

All you need is a pen, paper, your hands and a little imagination.

Start off by tracing your hand on a blank piece of paper, then just like the lines on your fingers, draw lines to create sections on each finger traced.

Each finger will represent a category of your choice from the name of your husband-to-be, the car he will drive, the amount of money he earns, your pets, and how many children you will have.

You can change the categories. In the middle of your palm, put down the words – M.A.S.H that stands for Mansion, Apartment, Shack and House – for where you will live in the future.

Now, you will get to fill up only the top two sections of each finger and your friend will get to fill the last section with whatever they want.

Once done, your friend will start by marking the paper with dots or draw short lines as he or she does that multiple times, you shout “stop” whenever you want.

Your friend will then calculate the number of dots or lines drawn, then use that to mark off an item in a section.

So if the count is eight, he has to count to eight from the first item on the first finger to the eight item,then mark that off.

This goes on until you find who your husband is, how much he makes, the place you live in and where, the number of children you have and the type of pet you own.

Then voila, you have your future written on the palms of your hands.

8.An old school game and a traditional game, the congkak can still be found in some game rooms or a persons home.

10 Congkak

This is a traditional game involving two players.

A congkak is a long cylindrical wood with a curved end that has two large circles called “home” and 14 smaller holes with seven on each player’s side.

Each of the holes will contain seven seashells or marbles.

The aim of the game is to get as many marbles or seashells into your house, which is located on the left of each player.

Toss a coin to see who starts first. The person who starts has to pick up all the shells or marbles from the first hole on their right and drop one shell/marble in each hole, including their own house.

Wherever the last marble drops in, you then pick up all the shells/marbles and proceed dropping one in each as you go along.

Remember not to fill up your opponent’s home with a shell/marble.

If your last shell/marble drops in an empty hole, on your side, you then get to collect all the shells/marbles from the opposite side, belonging to your opponent.

If it lands on a hole on your opponent’s side, you miss a turn.

Share your experience with us on playing these games or the games you used to play, on StarMetro’s Facebook page or write to us at

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