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Jacks is an old fashioned playground game, which is also known as "knucklebones", "jackstones", or "hucklebones" etc. Long ago children in Ancient Rome used to play this game using five real animal knucklebones (the ankle bone of a sheep). Today, you can buy metal or plastic "knucklebones", just like these ones which came in a convenient storage box from Ridleys. You need to have a quick eye and this is a great way to develop hand - eye co-ordination. Have fun.
Ridleys Jacks in a box
How To Play Jacks
Each player takes their turn to throw the ball in the air (alternatively you could bounce the ball) and attempt to pick up a single knucklebone. This requires great co-ordination as you must pick up the single knucklebone and catch the ball before it falls.
The winner is the player who picks up the knucklebone without dropping the ball. This popular version of the game is known as "onesies".
Pick them up before the ball falls
Once you have mastered "onesies", there are many variations of Jacks - for example, "twosies" (players picking up two knucklebones each turn etc), or catching the knucklebones on the back of your hand (known as "riding the elephant") or grabbing them all in one go (known as "eggs in a basket").
"Dumps" is another variation of Jacks which is played without the ball. Take five knucklebones in the palm of your hand, then "dump" them on the floor. Choose one knucklebone to be removed without disturbing the others. Throw that knucklebone in the air, quickly pick up the others and catch the first one before it drops.
Now you can use your imagination and invent your own version of Jacks for a great way to keep entertained away from technology, just like kids in days gone by.