Wednesday, April 13, 2016

A-Z of Melody McDonald J is for Jump Ropes and Jacks

Although Melody spent a great deal of time with Steve Evens, she also spent an even greater deal with her girlfriends during breaks at school. And one of the things she liked to do, other than play tetherball, was play jump rope. She was pretty good at jumping rope all by herself – probably because it was one of things that people said she couldn’t do (aka the magic words).
But, it was more fun, indeed, to play up rope with her friends, especially as they graduated from a simple back and forth with the rope, as we sang “Bluebells, cockle shells, easy ivy overs” and then they began swinging the rope over the jumper’s head. The rope turners would then star going faster and faster, counting. If one of the jumpers made it to 50 without tripping, she would then exit without having to turn the rope.
Melody’s favorite, though, was double Dutch. That was tricky, and it took her a little while to gain enough speed and confidence to give it a try. Melody’s biggest problem was that she had way too much energy, and she could actually go an entire break without stopping.
And then, Chinese jump rope made it to Bay View Elementary School. Melody and her friends took advantage of her father’s newspaper delivery job and used the rubber bands to make huge chains that they could do all the intricate footwork involved in Chinese jump rope. It was easy to get tangled up in those double rows.

Another game that she enjoyed was playing jacks. She was very good at jacks and rarely had to start over from the beginning. Even when they got to the last stage, when they had to gather up all ten jacks AND the ball BEFORE the ball could hit the ground. This was one game where being a tomboy stood her in good stead, because she used the same skills she used for playing marbles (she won all the puries in the neighborhood games.)
Did you have any favorite games that you played as a child?
 Copyright © April 12, 2016 by Mary Purpari. All Rights Reserved.


  1. That's quite some game. Loved playing marbles, hide-and-seek and housie:)

  2. Thank you for dropping in. I wish I could still play those games ☺. I played hide-and-seek, too. I was always getting into trouble with that game, because I found some hard to get into places to hide that were even harder to get out of! But when my dad played with us, oh my! That was when we got the best places.
    We had a HUGE playhouse that my dad and grandfather built for us. Completely furnished, too!

  3. I remember Double Dutch but not Chinese jump rope. Sounds complicated! We played Jacks too and board games. Barbie and her whole family - Ken, Skipper, Midge - were popular as well.

    1. I forgot to mention that the loop created with the chain (very long it was) went around the ankles of two people standing opposite and the entire thing was done at ankle height. It wasn't really that hard, but you had to make sure your foot didn't get stuck as you were turning around, because you could trip and that could hurt if the other girls didn't have quick reflexes.
      I was thirteen when Barbie came out--she was the first doll I ever really wanted. I also had a Ken, but the others came out when it didn't really interest me anymore. Sonia had a bunch of Barbie dolls, though--every single one different from the others. Except the face.
      Thank you for dropping by. ☺


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