1. Lifestyle
    2. Family
    3. Relive your childhood by playing these fun old-school indoor and outdoor games with your kids

    Relive your childhood by playing these fun old-school indoor and outdoor games with your kids

    Team ParentCircle Team ParentCircle 8 Mins Read

    Team ParentCircle Team ParentCircle


    Written by Team ParentCircle and published on 25 August 2021.

    Wasn't school more fun when the sound of the bell had us dashing outdoors to pick the best sides for kho-kho? Relive the good old days with these popular games and draw in your kids for a good time!

    Pre-schooler to 18+
    Relive your childhood by playing these fun old-school indoor and outdoor games with your kids

    Taking a trip down memory lane, a smile always pops up on our faces when we fondly remember our school days. Days of non-stop chattering, chanting lessons, and strict teachers! The games we played during those years brought joy that no device could bring today. Step out with your kids and reconnect with them and yourself as we teleport you to school! Off you go!

    Indoor games

    Yes, we confess! Most of these indoor school games were played in the backbenches when the teacher was too focused on the blackboard writing or during library hour. School time games are passed down from generations but still have not lost their touch. These games can still bring on the fun element in any dull moments, be it traveling by car, inside your home on a rainy day or waiting for a doctor's appointment. Check out the list of indoor games from our childhood days spent in the corridors of schools!

    Name place animal thing

    This delightful game can be played anywhere, anytime be it on a long train ride, a rainy day or a family picnic. A letter from the alphabet is called out and the players need to come up with a name, a place, an animal and a thing, all beginning with that letter. They jot it down in their notebooks under the respective columns. Each entry gets 10 points. If entries are similar, all those who have similar entries get 5 points. After several rounds, the points are added and the one with the highest score wins. It's not just a fun game, but also a lovely way to brush up on proper and common nouns and a challenge especially when you get tricky letters like Q and X!

    Four cups/paper fortune teller

    Which color do you want? remember this? To play this, a bit of origami is involved (to turn a sheet of paper into four cups). The origami craft in itself would be a fun activity to do together with your child. Once you have made it, parts of the cups are labeled with different colors and numbers. On the inside are eight flaps, each one concealing a silly message meant to be the fortune of a player You will become a superstar one day or You will turn into a goat.

    Dots and boxes

    A popular pen and paper game, dots and boxes is absolutely simple to play! In this two-player game, rows and columns of dots are made on a plain sheet of paper. How many rows and columns you want depends on how long you want to play. Each player takes a turn and joins two dots by either making a vertical or a horizontal line. The aim of the game is to make a closed shape a square or a box. The objective is to conquer the land by closing the squares. The person with the maximum number of claimed squares wins. It involves a bit of strategy and just a pen and a paper.

    Pro tip: carry a blank notebook while traveling with your child and play Dots and Boxes and Four Cups while on the go to break the boredom!

    Tic tac toe

    In the days of Tik Tok, a humble tic tac toe holds its own unique place. Also known as noughts and crosses, this famous game needs just paper and a pencil. It is a two-player game where you need to get three noughts or crosses in a row on a three-by-three grid. Almost everyone knows how to play this addictive game. Are instructions even necessary?!


    Can your child spell? If yes, then try this one! The objective of this word game is to guess the secret word before a certain hand-drawn character is hung. A great way to learn spellings and new words, and a fun game to keep the family engrossed.

    Raja rani chor police

    This four-player game involves figuring out who the chor (thief) is. Chits are made with Raja, Rani, Chor and Police written on them. Each character is assigned some points. Then the chits are folded and tossed. Each player picks up a chit. The person who has picked up the police chit has to guess who the thief is. If the police catch the thief, he gets rewarded with a certain number of points, else the thief gets the points. Several rounds are played. The player to accrue the maximum number of points is the winner.

    Ring around the roses

    Holding hands, singing a song and all falling down. Perfect for tiny tots they will love it if you join them too! "Ring Around the Roses, A Pocket Full of Posies, A-tishoo, A-tishoo, We all fall down!" So, get ready to go around in circles a zillion times, every time your toddler asks you to! A great way to bond, laugh and be merry.

    Outdoor Games 

    These outdoor games were simple and fun and were usually played during lunch breaks or after-school hours in the playgrounds or porches.

    Pro tip: On a lazy weekend or a holiday, get the whole family outdoors and try one of these! The more the merrier!


    A variation of tag, this game was a favorite among kids. We used to play it at home and school and to get a twist we used to play variations such as bandhi chain, and khuli chain. In bandhi chain the chaser and the players tagged by the chaser had to join hands to form a chain and catch the remaining players. Whereas, in khuli chain, the players caught by the chaser didn't have to join hands to form a human chain. They could catch anyone. This game is both interesting and challenging. Right now, I'm transported back to my childhood days when we used to play this game till dusk arrived, recalls Aman Arora, an accounting professional from Raipur.

    Lock and key

    This is a fun game. The chaser starts chasing the rest of the players. When he manages to catch one, he taps that player on the head and shouts, 'lock'! The locked player will remain stationary in one position till the other players manage to reach him, tap him and shout, 'key'. Then the chaser continues to chase the other players and tries to lock them all. This is a good game to get the kids all breathless and sweaty!

    Oranges and lemons

    Also called by other names such as Poshampa, this simple playground game involves two children locking hands and holding them in the air to form an arch. The kids run under the arch, while a song is being sung: "Oranges and Lemon sold for a penny, all the schoolgirls, all so many. The grass is green, and the rose is red. Remember me when I'm dead, dead, dead (a bit morbid, I guess)". Or the other song that goes thus, "London Bridge is falling down, falling down". And then, the human arch collapses when the song ends, and one kid gets caught in the arch and is out of the game. The game resumes till only one child is left.

    Dog and the bone

    This team game is bound to bring back fond memories for many of you. We had a Sunday ritual of playing the dog and the bone. During that one hour, all our focus would be on that one piece of cloth for which both teams would fight. The losing team would treat the winning team with orange ice candies the victory treat. The orange candies still have a special dog and the bone impact on me. Kids these days will neither understand the fervor behind that white cloth nor the genuine smiles behind the orange candies, shares Manasi Tiwari, storyteller and lawyer.


    This game is not unique to India but is a common favorite it is called Aeroplane, Kith Kith, Nondi and Kunta Pille in some parts. It involves throwing a small flat stone or a similar object on a numbered square and then hopping and progressing through all the numbers. Irresistible.

    Lemon and spoon race

    This is extremely easy to play and good fun. With a spoon in your mouth and balancing a lemon upon it, you must race to the finishing line without dropping the lemon. The first one to reach wins! Get, set, go!

    Hide and seek

    A big favorite among children of all ages, here, one player closes her eyes for a brief period (often counting to 100) while the other players hide. The seeker then opens his eyes and tries to find the hiders; the first one found in the next seeker, and the last one to be found, is the winner of the round.

    Parent speak

    "The best part about games like book cricket, dots, police and killer, four cups, hangman, and Name Place Animal Thing, was the sheer creativity and simplicity. All you needed was a piece of paper, a book and a pencil. We used to play these games during spare moments we got a lunch break, free period, library hour and sometimes even when class was going on, right under the teacher's nose! Good times!" - Arshia Zafrulla, a mother of two, recalls her school days. 

    Spend some quality time with your family and include these games to take the fun quotient a notch higher. Go on, relive your childhood memories with your children with these fun school games and make new memories.


    We're back with the 2021 edition of the #GadgetFreeHour! So, take the pledge to switch off all gadgets and spend time with family on Nov 20, 2021 between 7:30 PM to 8:30 PM Pledge Now