The Pocket Guide to Games

You’re Already a Winner!

You may think I’m crazy, but long ago, kids used to play games playing without computers and joysticks. I’M SERIOUS.

But to play the 100 fun and challenging games in this newly designed book, all you need is:

— nothing, or . . .

— stuff you already have around the house

On the other hand, maybe you don’t want to PLAY a game. Instead, you’re a teacher or parent in charge of organizing some for a classroom, party, or camp. Start here! There are games for all ages, from elementary children to grandparents!

Oh, and did I mention this ABC News article that talked about The Pocket Guide to Games?

Pick up “The Pocket Guide to Games” by Bart King. This new book coaxes readers away from TV and computer screens and outside to enjoy the summer. “Good Morning America” tried horseshoes, bocce balls, and popcorn bowling. What’s popcorn bowling? This game requires taking ten empty soda bottles, filling them with unpopped popcorn kernels, lining them up like bowling pins and knocking them down! This game works best on a lawn and away from traffic to keep kids out of the way of automobiles.


“It’s a summer nightmare: You are stuck in a musty cabin or clammy beach cottage, the kids are climbing the walls with boredom and you are not far behind. Or you may even be at home, which is boring enough by itself. Or you need to organize kids’ activities for a party or family reunion. What to do?

If you have The Pocket Guide to Games, you have your answer. Written by a middle-school teacher with a devastating sense of humor . . . . its 75 games can be played with equipment (when needed) that is easily available. Games are divided into active and quiet categories, along with “contests, feats and tussles” and “beanbag and ball” games. All are indexed by age level and type of game.

My favorite? Telepathy Ball, in which hovering parents hold onto the waistbands of their basketball-playing youngsters and try to anticipate their kid’s moves without tripping the kid up. The parent who truly knows his child will do well.

Is King crazy to suggest this? No, just playful.” – Hartford Courant

The Pocket Guide to Games is a compendium of simple, inexpensive, fun games for kids — and parents — that are perfect for playing whenever a lazy summer afternoon and a kid’s attention span collide.

Author Bart King runs down the basics of dozens of games, from classics (Circle Dodgeball and Spud) to twists on newer themes (Paranoia Ball and Toilet Tag). The best backyard or picnic games are ones that players can lose themselves in, King says. ‘The real acid test is: Does your face hurt when you’re done, because you didn’t realize you’d been smiling for so long and your facial muscles just kind of cramped up?’ In writing his book, King adds, ‘that’s the sort of gleefulness I was looking for.’” – Las Vegas Review Journal

“Highly recommended: Bart King’s books are infectious, and his ideas are growing on me. As the mother of five, including two rowdy boys, and as a former class aid and substitute teacher what I would have given for a copy of this book sooner!

Truly the book description says it all. Immediately I thought of personal uses for the book (to share with my children or to have used it as a substitute teacher) but I also thought of my dear grandfather who would have loved a book like this. A great book for those who appreciate games of all kinds. Moms…this might be the inspiration you need to get those kids outdoors this summer! I recommend it for readers that are ages 12-Up. But certainly younger kiddos can play some of the games.” – Lisa Barker, Jelly Mom Book Reviews

“I pulled The Pocket Guide to Games out today because I had to come up with a game that a group of 50 kids ages 4 to 11 could all play together. I flipped to the index in the back and quickly came up with a couple games that would work. . . It managed to keep a large group of kids entertained until their parents arrived to pick them up. All in all, this is a useful little book that I literally put in my back pocket and took with me to the activity today. Rating: 5 Stars.” — The “I Am a Reader Not a Writer” blog