Family Magazine

Jacks…An Oldy but Goody Game Still Has Lots to Offer

By Jean Campbell

There are games we played as young children that still have value today.They are inexpensive and help to develop eye-hand coordination, manual dexterity, gross and fine motor skills, agility and patience. Jacks is one such game.

They can be played alone or with a few others and then they become an opportunity to practice e good sportsmanship. Most of all…they are just plain fun to play.

Jacks originated hundred of years ago when children had little to play with and made up games by using bits and pieces of things they found on the ground. To play Jacks you need to:

  • Sit on a level playing service such as the ground, sidewalk or floor  

    picture of the game of jacks

  • Toss the 10 jacks gently out onto the playing surface

  • Use your throwing hand to toss the ball into the air


  • While the ball is in the air, pick up 1 jack using only your throwing hand.

  • Catch the ball in your throwing hand before the ball hits the ground

  • Repeat steps 3,4,5 until you pick up all the jacks

Jacks helps young children learn to count as well as giving them the opportunity to develop their gross and fine motor skills. The rules for Jacks are simple and, with practice, children can develop ball handling skills such as throwing, bouncing and catching.

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