The summer heat is blazing and being outdoors is no picnic. But if you’re a 90s kid, once upon a time, it didn’t matter to you. Back in that faraway land that was your childhood, where you had no adult responsibilities, your heat tolerance was next level. Even 45 degrees didn’t mean much when we wanted to go out and play!
I remember when we would gulp down that customary evening glass of milk and run out of the house as soon as the sun had set to play the classic 90s outdoor games that all of us knew back then. Which one was your favourite?
1. Pakdam Pakdai (Catch me)
Had to be #1 on the list, right? Pakdam pakdai was the easiest possible way to have tons of fun. Running crazily around the neighbourhood, getting in the way of adults on the street and teasing the “denner” to come and catch us. This was the one game that would unite kids of all age groups and help us make friends. Nothing like running for skinned knees. 🏃🏃♀️🏃♂️
2. Maaram Pitti (Dodgeball)
This outdoor game from the 90s is the reason kids from our generation are so quick on our feet. You snooze, you…get hit hard. Maaram pitti was the DESi version of dodgeball, played with a tennis ball. And it was super fun, playable anywhere, until it hit the nearest aunty on her walk…😳
3. Pitthu (Seven Stone)
The crew in Money Heist could've learned a thing or two from watching 90s kids playing pitthu! This outdoor game was our first introduction to thinking strategically. One team would throw the ball at a pile of seven flat stones while the other would scramble to put it back together without getting hit. Little known fact: this game is so well-loved across countries that there's actually a Lagori World Cup in which over 30 nations participate.
4. Gully Cricket
We were a generation raised on Tendulkar, Dravid and Ganguly. So of course gully cricket had to make it onto our list. Cricket was one of the favourite outdoor games in the 90s, and we played it EVERYWHERE. Smashed windows and angry uncles couldn't stop us! Why?
5. Chupan Chupai (Hide and Seek)
That's right. All that chupan chupai in our childhood meant that our hiding skills were right on point. The best part was yelling "dhappa!" before the denner got to say "I spy!"
6. Stapu (hopscotch)
Stapu was a 90s outdoor staple and TBH, the reason kids stole chalk from school. This game was deceptively simple. You would draw rectangles and throw a stone without letting it bounce, slide, or touch a line. And then you jump one-legged to the end of your court while skipping the box with the stone. As I said, deceptively simple. Don't believe me? Give it a shot!
7. Kancha (marbles)
Kancha was a classic 90s outdoor game that's nearing extinction. It's where we first learned what "street cred" really means. We were never prouder than when we earned the best marbles on the street.
This outdoor childhood game luckily still lives on as a competitive sport. And it sure brought out the competitive side in us. Sitting on your knees with your teammates facing the other side, waiting for someone to tap your back and say, "Kho!" In that instant, you have to be ready to go.
9. Dog and the Bone
Dog and the bone sounds like a sweet name, until you play it with a veteran of the 90s outdoor games life. The intense eye staring between the two "dogs" while they circle around the hanky or bottle that was the "bone" remains memorable to this day.
10. Aankh Micholi (blindfold)
This game wasn't just fun, it also had laugh value. Watching the denner walking around blindfolded trying to grab you could be hilarious! And the perpetual question while blindfolding someone - "oye, how many fingers?"
Nostalgia hitting you harder than the burning sun outside? Well, you can't go out and play, but - we've got you covered. Jump right back into the taste of a 90s childhood with GODESi's sweet and spicy collection of traditional Indian candies. Get snacking!