Pros: Inexpensive, classic game, fun, for all ages, can be educational
Cons: Easy to lose ball and jack
It's nostalgia time and with Christmas fast approaching I'm remembering some of my favorite games; games back in the olden days when being a kid was a lot of fun and we had a lot of freedom to be one. I was fortunate enough to have a full time mother and a father who showed us attention. I was also surrounded by a large extended family with many cousins to dally with so we were always playing some kind of game or other.
At Christmas time our bulging stockings were usually filled with cheaper toys along with the traditional fruit, nuts and large peppermint stick of candy. One such game in my stocking was Jacks and Ball. It came with one 1" red ball and 10 metal jacks. Since we usually had left over jacks, we extended our game to "twelvesies" instead of the traditional "tensies."
The girls in my family played Jacks but the boys didn't. It was considered a sissy game but those boys felt no guilt when they stole our "new" ball or one of the jacks out of our set so they could try and keep us from playing it, or just to be plain old mean. We always had spares so they failed in their attempt. We would retaliate by stealing their baseball glove (they were expensive so their gloves were limited) and hiding it or even putting it in water to ruin it. Girls don't appreciate boys who mess with their stuff.
When at my grandmother's my cousins and I played Jacks and Ball on her concrete front porch. You need to play on a smooth, flat surface to get a good bounce with your ball.
To play the game, you shake the jack's up in your hand and throw them on the flat surface and start bouncing your ball and picking up your jack's. As your ball is in the air, you use your throwing hand to grab up the number of jack's you're supposed to without touching the other ones and catch the ball when it bounces. If you touch another jack, you lose your turn.
We started out with "onsie's." Throw the ball up, grab one jack and then catch your ball. You continue on to your "twosie's, threesies, foursies, etc.," until you fail to grab the correct number of jacks and catch your ball. When that happens, it's the next person's turn and they keep playing until they can't capture all their jack's or catch the ball. With several kids playing, you can be at your game for a long time.
When we got up to our "twelvesies," it was harder to grab all 12 metal jacks in one big swoop with enough time to catch our ball when it bounced but it can be done, and the more you play the game, the easier it gets. Also, the better you get, the faster the game goes. The first person to catch all 12 jacks was the winner. The other players continued the game until one person was left and she was the loser.
Then we started the game all over again. We had hours and hours of fun with our Christmas stocking games. For variety, we would also start the game by starting with our "twelvesies" and work backwards until we were on our "onsie's."
What a difference the games were in my days compared to the games in today's Christmas stockings! Hundreds of dollars go in today's when only a few, if that, went in ours.
The Jack and Ball game is a fun, inexpensive game for kids and adults so if you want to add a bit of old timey classic to your child's Christmas stocking, this game is a must. Just make sure all the jack's are put away when the game is over with because stepping on one barefooted, hurts. A lot.
ddustyrose December 5, 2011
sleeper54's Lean-n-Mean Write-Off
bilbopooh's 'Tis the Season Write-Off
krial's Nostalgia Write-Off
Other classic games:
Original Metal Slinky -
Hoola Hoops -