Quilting, Farming, Variety

Sunday, June 1, 2014

A Box Holding a Child's Game

This afternoon I took this little box from a drawer,

and inside was the wonderful child's game of Jacks.  As grade-school girls we practically wore out the seats of our pants playing Jacks on the porch at the back of the school during recess.  I think I was fairly good at playing; wonder how quick I would be at catching the ball now?

There are several different games to play, including the most common ones I remember: picking up onesies, twosies, etc., where you throw the ball up, let it bounce once, and pick up one, two, or more and put them in the other hand.  This picture shows an excellent throw for picking up one jack at a time since they are scattered far apart.  As the game progressed upward in the number being picked up, the jacks would be thrown more carefully to make sure more could be picked up easily at one throw.

Pigs in the pen required one (or more) jack to be swept under a tent formed by the hand not throwing the ball:

Eggs in a basket meant picking up one (or more) jack and putting it in the palm of the hand not throwing the ball:

I wonder if jacks can still be purchased and would little girls find it a boring game compared to the electronic games of today.  It takes a little skill and coordination to throw the ball up into the air and move the jacks without letting them touch or letting the ball roll away.

I don't feel like I've done a very good job of describing the game.  Did you play Jacks as a child?  Could you still play?  If you want to renew your skills, or perhaps teach a child, google How to Play Jacks for a good YouTube video.  There are other sites with rules for more games.  If you do decide to play, be sure the child is over three years of age and doesn't put things like this into their mouths.  AND, don't leave them out for Daddy to step on!!

Have fun!


  1. I loved to play jacks. Pick-up sticks, hopscotch and Annie Over too. We have an old time dime store in Branson, Missouri. I bet they sell them there. I have a feeling they aren't too popular anymore, such a shame.

  2. This post brought back memories for me, Charlotte. I remember playing the onesies, twosies, etc. game, but I don't think we ever played any other ones.

  3. we used to play jacks all the time! I bought some for the grandchildren some years back and they enjoyed them for a little bit too but it didn't last long

  4. I only played Jacks when I was visiting my cousin who lived in the city. At school, my friends and I roller skated at noon and placed Red Rover or Mother May I at recess. I guess because I wasn't too coordinated, I never like Jacks too much?

  5. Thank you for posting the photos and fun memories with Jacks. You did a great job describing the games.
    I love Jacks. I recall using paper wads when our Jacks would disappear or break over time.
    I looked for Jacks for my Grandson a few years ago. I found only pretty plastic ones. They were okay, but the poor quality made it almost impossible to play with them.
    Thanks for sharing sweet simple memories from youth. :)

  6. I remember the girls at school playing with jacks, and the boys with yo-yos. I wasn't much good at either; would much rather play Annie Over or Red Rover.

  7. Oh yes
    this one has jacks in her home
    and introduced grandchildren to them.
    Had to be careful
    not to leave one on the floor
    and step on it..
    I also have a box of pick-up-sticks and my granddaughter's
    never fail to find them and also
    the checker game when they visit.

  8. Oh goodness gracious, I had all but forgotten playing jacks. Like you, I wonder if they can still be purchased. I have an 8 year old great granddaughter that I know would love to play! I'll check it out, thanks so much for the reminder. :)

  9. Oh, Charlotte, I love this posting. It brings back so many wonderful childhood memories playing jacks during recess with my girlfriends. We had such a good time playing jacks. I'm so glad you included the photos. I had forgotten a lot about the game. I don't know if you can buy jacks now or not. The kids nowadays probably would be bored with playing jacks. They are into computer games. Oh, well, I'm glad you posted this wonderful posting.

  10. I loved playing jacks! As it progressed it got very hard to get those jacks without touching the others. I even remember mothers playing with us. Wish I still had mine. I've seen jacks sold today and they don't seem to be as good of quality as they were in the old days. We played on our linoleum floors.

  11. I loved them . This brought back so many memories. i'd love to play now if I could find any. I bet they'd be hard to find in a store. Hugs, xo

  12. I loved playing jacks when I was a girl. I've seen them at Walmart but not the small metal kind like we had as children but big hard rubber jacks in bright colors. Not the same really.

  13. Oh, Charlotte...jacks was one of my very favorite games! We would play at recess all the time...such special memories! Thanks for this trip down "memory lane!"

  14. I have looked at your dolly beds and quilts many times!!! You have been an inspiration to me. Your doll quilts are the sweetest. This bed is very little, so I am afraid I won't be able to make such fine quilts as you. I guess I need to look for a large bed......... I have a beautiful wooden carved Swiss doll that is 10 1/2 inches tall. She is still naked, I think she needs a sweet nightgown and bed cap, as well as some clothing.I have also found a chip carved miniature blanket chest that just fits the end of the bed. I have painted it blue and am going to antique it. Give it a Swedish folk art look. Yes, it's fun to play with dolls!!

  15. This was one of my favorites childhood games! Thanks for reminding me that I've been wanting to introduce my kids to this game, the sticks game and the paddle ball. These are all fun played alone or w. friends.

  16. This brings back so many memories. I played Jacks and jumped rope and loved to play marbles with the boys. I am going to teach my grandkids how to play. They will remember it as a lesson about the olden days;)