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Who Remembers ‘Heads Up Seven Up’ on Rainy Elementary School Days?

Steve Frost, ThinkStock

Rainy days during school meant no recess. Often thought to be the worst days, the rainy days also brought cool indoor games, like Heads Up Seven Up.

Forget hangman, word searches, or sitting quietly at your desk, at my school rainy days meant we stayed inside for recess and played Heads Up Seven Up.

There are many names for this game like; Seven Up, Heads Up, Thumbs Up, Thumbs Up, Thumbs Up Seven Up or Heads Down Thumbs Up. Mark Twain makes reference to this game in the store “River Intelligence.”

The basic rules are:

Seven kids are chosen to go to the front of the room. The teacher then says “Heads down, thumbs up.” The rest of the class puts their heads down on their desks, closes their eyes and put one thumb up. The chosen seven then sneak around the class and press down one thumb each.

When the chosen seven return to the front of the class, the teacher says “Heads up, seven up.” The seven kids whose thumbs were pressed down then get to guess who pressed their thumb. If they guess correctly, they get to become one of the chosen seven.

The easiest way to cheat in this game was to position your head perfectly so that you could see the floor in front of you. If you could see the shoes of the person who pressed your thumb… money!

Of course, this game paled in comparison to playing Oregon Trail… but we’ll save that one for another rainy day.

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