You Are What You Play

Grandmother's Footsteps

Skipping & Running Game

Name of Game:

Grandmother's Footsteps


Skipping and Running

Country of Origin:

UK – we think

Where did you learn it?:


How many players?:

4 +



Where is it played?:

In a reasonably large space – indoors or out


One person is “grandmother”

he/she stands at one end of the playing space (against a wall is good), facing away from the space.


All other players are at the other end of the space in a line across the space


The players have to advance towards the grandmother, trying to get close enough to touch her




the grandmother can turn to face them at any moment and if she sees anyone moving she calls out their name and they must return to the starting line.


The grandmother turns again to face away and the moving continues - everyone trying to remain undetected.


Finally when someone touches the grandmother, they replace them in that role. Everyone else returns to the starting line to restart the game.

How to play:

Aim of game:

To move carefully, in control, undetected!

How does it End?:

After several rounds of the game, when time runs out

Variations from other places:

(UK) everyone must move in a certain style (as animals, walking sideways, like catwalk models etc.)


(Sri Lanka) the aim is not to touch grandmother but to pick up a stone just behind her feet and to then start working it backwards to the starting line. The others can then work to help the return of the stone. The grandmother can still try to spot movement and spot the return of the stone. Whoever takes the stone to the starting line is the next “grandmother”

Average time needed to play:

3/4 minutes per round

Age Range:

6 years +

Other information:

Recently seen being played in a primary school playground in London, mainly by boys, in a quick fire energetic version