On the Playground in Ireland and Japan

Here we take a look at 6 playground games played by kids at the Lumcloon National School, Ireland. The game descriptions are courtesy the school's homepage.

Kids in Yashiro Elementary's International Exchange Committee (5th and 6th graders) comment on these games and find similarities with games they play at recess.

We thank the students and staff at Lumcloon National School, Ireland for their correspondence on this and other projects. Thank you!

Game: Lumcloon N.S., Ireland Comment: Yashiro Elem., Japan
Irish Bulldog

PLAYERS: Any number of players.
You mark out 2 lines - a start and a finish. The person who is on stands in the middle and everyone else stands at the start line. The person who is on calls one name. The named person tries to run to the other end and the chaser tries to catch them. If they're caught they help the chaser. If not, they are safe. The chaser, plus whoever might be caught, shouts "IRISH BULLDOGS" and everyone else runs to the opposite end. Anyone who is caught is now a chaser too. Then they call a name again. This continues until only 1 person is left. They are the winner.

Would this be called "Japanese Bulldog" in Japan?

Sounds fun!

We'd like to try it!

Game: Lumcloon N.S., Ireland Comment: Yashiro Elem., Japan

You will need a small ball. Make a circle. Someone catches the ball and tries to hit someone else with it. You lose a life when you are hit. Everyone has 5 lives and then they're out. Anyone can take the ball and try to hit someone with it. If someone catches a ball before it bounces, the thrower loses a life. You can't run carrying the ball - only a very short running throw. You can't aim to hurt someone, and you can't hit on the face. Try to aim low.

Having 5 lives is a good rule!

Why is it called "Scotch"?

Game: Lumcloon N.S., Ireland Comment: Yashiro Elem., Japan
Rats and Rabbits

Make two equal teams. Each team stands in a row behind their leader. The two teams are side by side in two rows. One team is the rats and the other is the rabbits. The caller stands out in front. There are two finish lines at equal distance from each team. If the caller says rats, the rats chase and the rabbits try to reach their finish line without being caught. If he or she says rabbits the rabbits chase and the rats run To their finish line. This continues until everyone on one team is caught. The other team is the winner.

We learned the word "rat".

This sounds like a fun game, too!

Game: Lumcloon N.S., Ireland Comment: Yashiro Elem., Japan

40- 40 is a catching game/hide and seek. Someone is on. They stand at a pole or wall and cover their eyes. They count up to 40 while everyone else hides. Then, they must look for everyone BUT still try to stay near the pole. If they see somebody, they must race back to the pole and shout "40- 40 I see _______." The person they saw stands at the pole. When the chaser is away from the pole, anyone can touch the pole and say "40-40 I free all." Everyone who was caught is then back in the game. Whoever is caught very first in the game is the next chaser.

This game is a lot like "Kick the Can".

Instead of a pole, we use a can. You race the person who is on back to the can and kick it!

Game: Lumcloon N.S., Ireland Comment: Yashiro Elem., Japan

This is a catching game, but you must stand on someone's shadow to catch them. Then, they are the chaser. If you are being chased you can run to a shaded place where you have no shadow, and then you are safe. You can only stay there while you count to 10 . If you crouch down low you have a smaller shadow and it's harder to stand on it.

We play the same game! We call it "Shadow Stomping".

Game: Lumcloon N.S., Ireland Comment: Yashiro Elem., Japan

This is a racing game. The person who is on stands with their back to the others players. The others stand in a line, ready to race. The person who is on says "Red lights, Red lights 1 2 3." Everyone else must then run. When the person who is on quickly turns around, everyone else must then FREEZE. If anyone moves they must return to the starting line. Those who don't move stay where they are. This continues until someone reaches the finish and tips the person who is on. This might take three or four goes. The first person to finish is on next.

It's just like a game we play called "Daruma Fell Over!". Instead of "Red lights, Red lights 1 2 3." we say "Daruma Fell Over!".

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