Painful Games Children Play

Do you remember the first time you were waiting to cross a street or riding in a car and some kid hauled off and punched you, yelling “Slug Bug!”? And somehow this was OK because it was a game? I don’t remember one kid ever getting in trouble for playing Slug Bug regardless of the fact that a kid randomly punching another kid generally would have resulted in some sort of consequence. Beyond this, kids of my generation played “Bloody Knuckles” where you would try to kid the other kid’s knuckles with yours as hard as you could before they hit yours and some kid of slapping game where you tried to move your hands before they slapped them. And let’s not even get started on slap bracelets which were supposed to be a cool accessory and ended up being a formidable weapon. The thing that I find the most interesting is that people would not usually inform you about the rules of this game. Instead, they would just badger you about playing or punch you in the arm/slap you with a bracelet. Needless to say, as a non-adventurous, smallish, nerdy, hater of unproductive pain I did not like these games and worked very hard to not participate in them. Which is why I was surprised when my kids came home from their wholesome American Heritage Girls day camp with a new game that definitely has pain potential.

“Ninja” plays something like this according to Emma: Ninja is where you try to hit someone wrist or below, and you try to be the last one in. You can only do one move at a time; it goes in a circle. It gets more complicated with more people. Jumping counts as a move. If you have a lot of people on the other side, you should jump.

Mom translation: Everyone stands in a circle with their hands in the center. They yell “Ninja” and try to hit each other on the hand or wrist with the side of their hand (read: karate chop motion). If a hand gets hit, you put it behind your back. Moves continue one at a time until only one hand remains unhit (or two if they both belong to one person).

Now, even though I’m not a huge fan of the game because I can see how it would easily get out of hand, and there was a complaint already of someone who was too rough, it did lead to fun the other day. Hannah came upstairs and told me she had a new ninja move and wondered if I wanted to see it. Of course, I did. So, she showed me her move, explaining the difficulty and skill required for this move. That evening during Bible time, I asked Hannah if she would share her ninja move with Bryan. He loved it as well. So, here I will show you a “normal” ninja move, and Hannah’s new ninja move.

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This is how the game starts.

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Emma is modeling a “normal” ninja move.

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Here is a close up of Hannah’s new special ninja move.

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And here is Emma chopping Hannah’s wrist.

And now to answer your remaining questions. Yes, they are wearing matching clothing today. Girls do that with some regularity. Yes, that is the normal state of the schoolroom during school, it gets scary fast. And, no, no one was hurt during the photographing of this blog post.

What dangerous games do you/your children play?

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