This traditional game can be played with a group of children just about anywhere, anytime. Perfect for birthday parties.
For an older kids variation, try this one: "Fourth-Cousin-Once-Removed on My Father's Side, May I . . .?"
One child serves as "Mother." The other kids line up and face Mother about 20 feet away. Mother selects one of the children and says something like, "Susan, you may take five giant steps." The child who was addressed then responds with, "Mother, may I?" Mother then says, "Yes, you may."
Mother then addresses another child, and the game continues until one of the children reaches Mother. Whoever makes it to Mother first becomes Mom for the next round.
Sound simple? It is. Except that in the excitement of the game, someone is bound to take their steps without asking "Mother, may I?" When that happens Mother reminds the player of his or her manners and the player is sent back to the beginning of the line.
Mother can also make the game more interesting by only honoring the silly step requests -- "twirly" steps, one-foot hops, dog steps and so on.