Jamaican Games - The Good Ole' Stuff

by My-Island-Jamaica.com

Jamaican Ring Games

Jamaican Ring Games

I was reading a little book called Jamaican Games & Riddles that brought back some really wonderful memories.


It reminded me of some of our most fun games here in Jamaica; the stuff we did when there were no DVDs, cellphones, iphones, ipads, computers, tablets, cable TV, and in some cases, no TV at all!

And they worked well!

In fact many of us think that these made us more social than we are today.

Here is a list of a few of them. Check them out.

And please share with your family and friends; try a few out too if you can :-)


  1. BlueBird
  2. Brown Girl In the Ring
  3. Bull In A Pen
  4. Chinese My Knees
  5. Chinese Skip
  6. Cricket
  7. Dandy Shandy
  8. Dolly House
  9. Farmers In The Dell
  10. Follow The Arrow
  11. Football (Soccer)
  12. Gig Spinning
  13. Grandmother
  14. Hide An' Seek
  15. Hopscotch
  16. I Am In The Well
  17. Jox
  18. Kite Flying
  19. Lickle Miss S
  20. Mama Lashi
  21. Marbles
  22. Drinks Box Truck
  23. May I
  24. Mother Upstairs
  25. My Mother, Your Mother
  26. Netball
  27. Old Mack Donald
  28. Overhead Sightings
  29. Peanut Butter Mix It Up
  30. Police & Thief
  31. Punchinella Little Fella
  32. Race
  33. Red Light
  34. Riddim
  35. Ring A Ring A Rosie
  36. Room For Rent
  37. Run An' Ketch
  38. See, See, My Baby
  39. Shame, Shame
  40. Skipping
  41. Soldier
  42. Starvy
  43. Story Time
  44. Stuckie
  45. Sword Inna Han
  46. Treasure Hunt
  47. Two Little Blackbirds
  48. Unna Munna


jamaican_traditional_games_box_toy_truck

So how much of them do you remember? Which was your favourite? Share your comment below.

See also: Anansi tales, Jamaican folk tales and Jamaican proverbs

Comments for Jamaican Games - The Good Ole' Stuff

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Jun 30, 2019
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Hand games
by: Lesley

There are quite a few hand games we used to play when I grew up in the 80s but unfortunately I can’t remember them. There’s one specifically though that had the song that goes, "I don’t wanna go to Mexico no more, more, more. There’s a big, fat policeman at the door, door, door...." and I can’t remember the rest. Most of these hand games were played with only two persons at a time and mainly amongst girls. Can anyone help?

Apr 04, 2019
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Help
by: Anonymous

Hi Wellesley, how can I contact you? I'm having a cultural class with my little ones and I would like to know how to play some of these games. Can you help please?

Editors Note
Hi Anon, you can reach out to me at wellesley@my-island-jamaica.com. Looking forward!

Dec 03, 2018
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Explain Game
by: Anonymous

It would be helpful if there was an explanation of the games so people can learn about Jamaican culture.

Feb 17, 2018
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Traditional Jamaican games
by: Anonymous

I remember some of these games.I am here because I want to share with students this Jamsica day.

Apr 14, 2014
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Photos, anyone?
by: Anonymous

wish there were some old time photos to accompany some of these gamehs

Apr 10, 2014
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Additional games
by: Anonymous

Salad-a-kick, send mi Nicki go ah school, up and down the 24 boxes (here she goes around the ring), money football, scrimmage, musical chairs.

Mar 17, 2014
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Oh, but you forgot....
by: Tashiba

Stuck and pull
Bend down stuckie

Mar 12, 2014
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Spin Gig
by: Anonymous

What about spin gig? And the ultimate goal to spin the gig and scoop it up and have it spin on the inside of your arm… lol

Mar 12, 2014
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I remember hopscotch
by: Bev

I remember hopscotch and even tho I am not a boy I did play marbles and while I no longer play hopscotch I do love to look at marbles, even the sound of them remind me of my childhood.
Hugs

Mar 12, 2014
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Good old games
by: Anonymous

You forgot ( rocking in the tree top and statue )... We really had a lot of fun when we were young.... The children nowadays they don't really have fun, good clean fun, no wonder they are so stressed.

Wellesley's Note
Oh yes! How could I? Agreed.
Both are very much popular today.

Mar 12, 2014
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Jamaican Games for Kingstonians :-)
by: Cheryl

It was interesting seeing the list and even more interesting is that I have never heard of some of the games much less played them lol - I grew up in St Andrew - sword inna han lol never heard of that one among others.

I believe that children who grew up in rural Jamaica had more fun games than us Kingstonians lol - or maybe I just wanted to be 'country' from long long time...

I will share some games we used to play on my avenue - dandy shandy with Frisbee (very interesting lol)skateboarding and you would be rated highly if you did the 360 :), 'baseball' hit the tennis ball - with your hand - and you made sure you post yourself quick quick on a column before the person catches the ball that you hit and tries to hit you... was that called 'stucky' somebody correct me or verify :)

Wellesley's Note
'Uptown' indeed :-) but you are also right too my dear Cheryl. Thanks.

Mar 12, 2014
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Ring Taw Marbles
by: John Blenkiron

The advantage of weight was the key to winning at ring taw marbles at Manchester School in the 1950's. When playing the game the taw was used to knock the opponents marbles out of the ring so that you got to claim them as your own.

Of course a skilled player with a strong flipping thumb, a good aim and a good eye for rebound angles could eventually gain the upper hand and walk away with a bag full of aggies...that is if you stuck to glass marbles for your taw marble!
Then along came the great equalizer: the half inch ball bearing which could run clear through the ring like a bull and take out the opponents marbles by the score.

Having a father who worked in an electrical department I had the monopoly on ball bearings from every electrical motor that
was overhauled at Aljam.

There were days when I could barely walk home from school without my shorts falling down from the weight of the marbles I had won that day and stuffed in my pockets.

In retrospect I apologize for "gravellishus" behaviour as a youth.

Wellesley's note
Confession is good for the soul John :-)

But yes, those were great times my brother. I sitll see some of this in my childhood district in westmoreland too!

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