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Issue Date:- 10 February 2009


HOPSCOTCH was hailed as the Greatest Playground Game of all Time.  The simple game, which involves hopping between designated squares on a chalk grid, dates back to Roman times.  The game was used for military training exercises; Roman foot soldiers ran in full armour and field packs along hopscotch courts which were over 100 feet long, to improve their foot work.  Roman children then imitated the soldiers, drawing their own smaller grids on the ground. The game is still popular in playgrounds today.

The poll of 3,000 adults, conducted by, revealed Hide and Seek in 2nd place.  The timeless childhood game – also known as ‘Tag’ - can take place anywhere, but was always most popular in the playground.  Involving 2 or more players, the object of the game is for 1 person to hide whilst the other counts and then seeks.

3rd place goes to skipping. The game of jumping over a rope has been practiced by children across the world for centuries – in ancient China a game called ‘Ancient Rope Jumping’ was one of the favourite sports during the New Year festival.  And there are several techniques used in the game, including double dutch, criss cross and toad.

What’s the Time Mr Wolf takes 4th place in the poll. The chasing game involves all the players calling out “what’s the time Mr Wolf?”; he then replies “4 o’clock” and the players move forward said number of places.  When Mr Wolf shouts out “dinner time” he chases the players behind him and the 1st he catches takes up the position of Mr Wolf.

5th place in the poll goes to another tag-based game British Bulldog – the traditional rough and tumble game which was banned by many schools for being too violent.  But for many nostalgic respondents this game brings back fond memories of the scabby knees they endured after charging into their mates as ‘bulldogs’ in an attempt to reach the other side of the playground.

Nigel Crawford, spokesman for the website said:- “Playground Games evoke strong memories for many adults, and we can all remember chasing our friends round the playground at break time.  We have a genuine fondness for games such as Hopscotch and British Bulldog, as they sealed friendships and defined who we hung out with when not in lessons.”

In 6th place is Conkers – another playground classic which has been banned due to ridiculous health and safety regulations.

Kiss Chase – the game which involves chasing friends around to catch and kiss them – came 7th.

Chinese Whispers, Cats Cradle and Oranges and Lemons complete the top 10.

1. Hopscotch 6. Conkers
2. Hide and Seek 7. Kiss Chase
3. Skipping 8. Chinese Whispers
4. What’s the Time Mr Wolf? 9. Cats cradle
5. British Bulldog 10. Oranges and Lemons

Interestingly Football came in at 11th and  Cops and Robbers made it in at 14th.

A Hug Is the Key to a Happy Heart

FORGET about getting between the sheets with your partner, a simple hug and kiss are what will set Brits’ pulses racing this Valentine’s Day, according to new research by The Co-operative.  And, while a great body unsurprisingly sets blokes heart rates soaring (38%), girls get goose bumps over a sexy smile and gazing into their partner’s eyes (61%).

The romantic survey of more than 500 UK adults was commissioned by The Co-operative to support its charity initiative with Hallmark Cards and the British Heart Foundation. This will see five pence from every Hallmark card sold at Co-operative stores nationwide donated to the charity’s Red for Heart campaign, as part of National Heart Month this February. In 2008 The Co-operative raised £60,000 for the charity.

According to the research, it seems the economic doom and gloom can’t put a dampener on our romantic spirit. A staggering 65% of us are planning to spend up to £100 this year to set our partner’s heart a flutter, with 62% saying their ideal day would include an intimate dinner à deux.  Despite this, rather than some expensive bling, a thoughtful card from our loved one tops the league of most sought after Valentine’s gifts, with 43% claiming they would be heartbroken if they didn’t get a special delivery from the postman. Nearly a quarter of romantics are even pining for a card from a secret admirer.

Calum Kirk, Category Trading Manager at The Co-operative said:- “It appears that receiving a card really sets people’s hearts a flutter and it’s such an easy, thoughtful way to express your true feelings. Through this charity initiative, not only will people prevent their loved one being heartbroken this Valentine’s Day but they will also be helping in the fight against heart disease by raising much needed funds for the British Heart Foundation.”

Douglas Campbell Rouse, Head of Corporate Partnerships at the British Heart Foundation added:- “We’re very excited about our new Red for Heart fundraising campaign as part of National Heart Month this February and would like to encourage all romantics out there to buy a Hallmark card from The Co-operative and help us raise vital funds in the fight against heart disease. As well as making your loved one’s day, you could be making a real difference to the lives of many patients and their families.”

When it comes to those celebrities who get our pulse rates racing, Brad Pitt is the number 1 choice for the girls (65%) with Simon Cowell topping the league of British blokes (15%). The nation’s current sweetheart, Cheryl Cole, proves she has the X Factor for 43% of boys.

And a final word of warning if you are planning a surprise this Valentine’s Day. The biggest turn off for over a quarter of Brits is a really soppy gift, followed by silly, childish humour (19%).

For more ways to go Red for Heart at work, home or school, get your free Fundraising Kit from:-

Arts in Prescot Latest Event

THE Arts in Prescot are holding a charity concert with Prescot School Choir and the Musicians, as well as the Liverpool Barbershop Singers on Saturday, 28 February 2008 from 7.30pm at Prescot Parish Church. For more information please visit:-

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