Games

Games for your own household can start with a length of rope for jump rope or a piece of chalk (or charcoal) to make a hopscotch grid.  For a more permanent hopscotch game, use masking tape. 

HopscotchIf you use different colored buttons and one piece of paper for tic-tac-toe, your family won’t be using up pads of paper.

DominoesWhen I shop discount stores I look for items I can re-package:  a discount store package of jacks or dominoes put into a wooden box makes a nice gift for about $2.
Add instructions for 3 or 4 different ways to play Dominoes, or give them a link.
http://www.domino-games.com/domino-rules/
http://www.ehow.com/how_9241_play-dominoes.html 

I also look for items I can break up into multiple gifts:  a 4-pack of playing cards,
4 pair of dice, etc.  Party America has a great selection of card games in multi-packs.  However, the “cards” inside are small and flimsy.  Stick to buying their kazoos and magnifying glasses.

1cards61-BarrysClipartYou can also create a playing card set with:  1 or 2 decks of cards (you need 2 decks for games like canasta), dice, and gambling chips in a wooden box or metal tin for an upscale gift costing you about $3.
For a little more, add a copy of Hoyle’s book of rules.
You can download game rules at several sites such as:  http://www.mastersgames.com/rules/rules.htm.

Egg Carton Games
Game Toss
Color the inside of the egg cups using different colors of paint.  Give each color a number value:  green-1 point, yellow-2 points, purple-5 points or whatever colors you use.  Make small beanbags or use coins/metal washers to toss for points.  Set a number to reach to win the game (like 25 points) or give each player the same number of tries and the one with the highest score wins.
Note:  the kids can paint or decorate the washers if they like.   

Caterpillars/Ladybugs 
Cut the egg cups into rows for caterpillars or individually for ladybugs.  Decorate with paint, add pipe cleaners for antennae. 

Bell Ornament/Lantern Ornament
Cut the egg cups individually, decorate and tie a loop in the center to hang on the tree using yarn, ribbon, or string.
Glue two together at the bottom to create a lantern type ornament.

Hopscotch
With just a piece of chalk and a “marker” you can create a hopscotch grid to keep the kids entertained.  If you include sidewalk chalk and game rules as part of a gift, include versions of hopscotch from other countries.  In one country there are seven squares for the days of the week.

Christina Edwards - copyright free clipart

Christina Edwards – copyright free clipart

Jump Rope
You can use any length of leftover rope for a jump rope, or pick one up at your local discount store.  If you give one as a gift (or two for Double Dutch), try adding a booklet of jumping rhymes or a link:  http://www.jumpropeinstitute.com/kids.htm
Jump Rope Rhymes
Jump Rope Rhymes – Grandparents
Jump Rope Rhymes – Mudcat
Warning:
 
The Jump Rope Institute site has a link to http://www.gameskidsplaydotnet.  When you click on the jump rope rhymes page, some of the words are double-underlined.
This is an indication that link has been hi-jacked.  If you click on that link, do not click on any double-underlined words.

adapted from Picgifs

adapted from Picgifs

Marbles
Download:  Marbles Game List and Rules.
Download:  Marbles Game Rules – FunFamilyEducation.com    

Note:  When I grew up, marble names were:
Shooter/taw – boulder
Clear with colored “wheel” insidecat’s-eye
Clear colored marbles – peeries (probably a corruption of pure)
Steel or metal marbles – steelies
White with color patterns – aggie   

Plastic Containers (6-8 inch round)
Flying Saucers

Use the tops of the plastic whipped topping containers as flying discs.  Decorate with paint or permanent markers.

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