Tuesday, August 23, 2011

for the love of jacks

jacks 2
My grandmother was an amazing jacks player. She taught me how to play on the smooth floor of her nursery school one summer and I brought the game back home to my neighborhood. I taught all the girls on my block. That was our year of serious jack tournaments and many long hours scraping our hands on the pavement. Yesterday I introduced jacks to my daughter. It was a little early, but I had a feeling she would love it... and I couldn't wait! We do that with our childhood faves... introduce them at the first sign of possibility... because we're ready. It was windy and cool outside so we sat in the sun at the bottom of the stairs. She took to it right away. It's a challenge for those little hands, but she is so determined. She's made it to "threesies" and will be practicing again today, no doubt.
jacks by the stairs
This is an old fashioned game of skill that certainly shouldn't be forgotten. Did you play as a child? Have you taught your children, yet? I would say 8 or 9 would be an ideal age to start... but my 6 1/2 year old seems to be bitten by the jacks bug, so earlier is possible. Traditional metal jacks are the way to go. We got these at a little store in our village, but amazon seems to have a few sets, just can't vouch for them since I haven't seen them in person.
jacks in the sun
I know what we'll be doing today!
jacks Pin It

24 comments:

  1. Ahhhhhhh jacks, now there's a game that brings back sweet memories. I tried teaching my six year old how to play afew months ago but it was a little beyond her. Time and patience............

    Good on you (and your daughter) for keeping the game alive!

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  2. HI Maya~happy last couple weeks of summer! My mom is a major jack lover and she taught me when I was a kid, but I didn't get into it too much, for some reason. But she taught my daughter last summer and she loves it! Grandma was just here for two weeks and they played a lot of jacks together. For Christmas she found a wonderful set that comes in a metal tin and has a little booklet with history, technique and lots of games (by Channel Craft toys). I agree this is a tradition that shouldn't be lost!

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  3. I just ADORE jacks! I have a set here and am just waiting for this wee one to be old enough to play. Was it a 70's thing or has it always been popular? Regardless, I love it!xx

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  4. Hello Maya,
    I agree that Jacks is a wonderful game to play with the kids. Have a wonderful day.
    Smiles, Paula

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  5. what fun! I should get some for the kiddos, they would love them.

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  6. Hey Amber- that's the one I linked to but couldn't vouch for. Thanks, now we know it's a winner!

    And, yes... we've already been playing this morning!

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  7. My kids are almost 7 and 9 so I guess we're ready to start!? Thanks for the reminder, now I just have to remember where I tucked away our set!
    Happy Jack playing!

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  8. I loved jacks! We would visit my grandparents in Texas every summer and passed the hot afternoons by playing jacks on the front porch and building card houses on the living room rug. I had left jacks behind in my teen years. When I lived in Rome, I would play the original version with kids on the walk - by using one pebble as the ball, throwing it in the air and scooping up the other pebbles in "onesies", "twosies", etc. Now I keep a dish of round lake pebbles in a bowl in the living room for the express purpose of playing this. I can't wait to introduce my 2 year old daughter to both versions in upcoming years!

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  9. In a similar way, I could hardly wait to play marbles with my children. Mostly I wanted to sew the marbles bags as my mother had sewn mine...

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  10. i do not know this game... or did i miss it? hmm, no idea. maybe it's not known here in germany? i will have to ask my brother-in-law about it. it does look fun!

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  11. Oooh! The jacks?..remember I was a child in the school 1963..Me too I was amazing jacks player, my hands are big and my finger are long,every time I won..Thank for remember me..TITA

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  12. Your little one is getting great hand-eye coordination skills and having fun doing it!

    My friends and I always played jacks at recess. I kept mine in a little draw-string bag my mom sewed for me. I also loved "Chinese jacks"... they were made of little colorful plastic loops that inter-connected. Just like jacks but without the ball. Just throw one in the air and try to scoop up the others before it came back down. Thanks for a great nostalgia trip!

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  13. I loved Jacks as a kid. I tried to teach my girls, but they were too young at the time, 3 and 4 I think. They did like it though and, now that they're older, I think it's time to try again. Thanks for the reminder.

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  14. I've never played jacks myself but will definitely look into it!! My passions as a child were roller skating and skipping with a skipping rope...I was a little impatient when my first daughter was born and bought both skates and skipping rope at the tender age of four...and was a little disappointed at her lack of interest...two years later she is a pro at both and I have to say probably much better than even I was and her enthusiasm has spread to her younger sister and brother...both of who are way too young for those kind of gross motor skills...but they certainly give it a good go! :)

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  15. I loved loved loved jacks and played right up til jr high when, alas-- no one would play with me as the "need to be cool" crippled us all..

    but oh, JACKS!

    xoxo, E

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  16. Jacks! I spent hours and hours and hours playing jacks, sometimes with friends and sometimes alone. My girl likes jacks, too, and I'm hopeful that will grow as she grows. What a fun post!

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  17. My girls are just a bit too young - 3 and 5 - but you betcha I'll be in there with my treasured jacks as soon as feasible. Yes, I still have them.

    I have started the old-school games off last week with 'elastics' - did you play that as a girl? It's the best fun ever. They love it too. I can't remember most of the tricks, but the basics are enough for now. Happy days. x

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  18. we played lots of jacks as kids in the '40's and '50's. I have an old set and a new set!

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  19. I used to play when I was young. Loved the game. Could spend hours playing it.

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  20. I used to love playing jacks as a kid, will have to introduce my own children to this fun & timeless game.

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  21. I grew up in New Zealand and we played "knuckle bones". a similar game but with artificial sheep bones. My sister and I had some shipped from NZ recently because- of course - no one had heard of them here. Just the feel of the metal in my hand brings me back to the many days/weeks we spent mastering that game. We still play it now. And then there was "elastics" another kiwi game that gets my heat jumping every time I think of it!

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  22. As if you knew! I think I spent all of my childhood playing jacks! Every day and I loved it. I was pretty perfect too!I still have my old bag with jacks from the 50's and I cherish it! My children were not so keen on it but I'll try again with my granddaughter.

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  23. Thanks for such a lovely post. I got lost in the barn tour. I love how so many of your posts take me back to childhood, like this one with the jacks. My sisters and I played those for hours and I was quite good then, not so sure now.

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