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I have amazing memories of so many games I would play as a child growing up in the early 90’s, when  the PlayStation and the Xbox felt like a leap into the future for kids at the time. In today’s digital world, children are exposed to more tech than I could have dreamed of during my childhood, and it is just phenomenal how far the world has come in such a short while. Although the world is unarguably a better place because of technology, children of today may never understand what it feels to look forward to the end of a school term just to hang around with friends and play ‘fire on the mountain’ all day! I bet just thinking about it right now makes you wish you could relive the fun times you had as a child. Let us take a riveting trip down memory lane to some of the games that kept us busy as children before emergence of the Playstation and the Xbox.

Fire on the mountain

Kids form a wide circle and chant “There is fire on the mountain! Run! Run! Run!”, until a signal for ‘RUN’ is given. Then everyone takes off in different directions until another signal — “Fire is up!” Immediately, each player scrambles to get a partner from the group, and at the end of the struggle, the player without a partner is punished and ousted. This continues until there are only two people remaining and the pair is crowned the winner.

Police & Thief

In this game, the kids are divided into two groups — the police and the thieves. They then imagine something has been stolen, and the police group will try all they can to catch every single member of the thief group. Only then will the game come to an end.


The famous hide and seek game. Everyone goes into hiding while one player sings the Boju-Boju anthem (Boju means ‘Cover your eyes’ in Yoruba), after which the player will begin to search everywhere for another player. Anyone who is caught will be the next to seek.
The hide and seek game.


While the boys took their time to play the stressful games, girls loved to skip.


Another game the girls loved is Ten-Ten. In this game each girl picks a partner and they both begin to move their legs in rhythm as they sing the Ten-Ten song. The goal is to ensure that neither girl is putting out the same leg as the other — that is, a girl must not raise her right leg when her opponent already has her right leg out. When this happens the opponent scores a point.

Who Is In The Garden

“Form a big circle, like your mother’s cooking pot”, was the first thing you heard when a group of children were about to play this game. Then they all would sing the famous “Who is in the garden” song, after which someone would yell “Follow me”. This would continue until one player is left standing. The last player then counts from 1-10, while other players find a safe place to hide. After his/her count, the last player goes in search of them. Tell us about your favourite childhood game in the comments section.   Feature Image Source: Radio Collorado College

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This article was first published on 17th December 2018


Achem Samuel is a writer and a musician, he is passionate about God and also an ardent fan of tech, sports and music.

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9 thoughts on “Do You Know? 6 Childhood Games We Played Before PlayStation & XBOX”

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