"Spy" was team hide-and-seek combined with tag played over an entire neighborhood.
First we'd define the playing area. We usually used an area equivalent to a square about a quarter
mile long on each side.
Then we'd split into two groups of approximately the same number of kids. (One team might have
more if they had more younger kids.) The two teams were the "Seekers" and the "Hiders".
The Seekers would gather in one spot and count to some agreed upon number (usually 500.)
While counting the Seekers would all face someone's garage door or, better yet, count while inside
the garage. While the Seekers counted, the Hiders would hide. The catch was that initially ALL of
the Hiders had to hide together (meaning every Hider had to be able to see at least one
When the counting finished the Seekers would go look for the Hiders. The Seekers could split up
any way they liked.
As soon as one Hider was spotted (seen, but not necessarily tagged) by a Seeker, the Hiders no
longer had to hide together. The Hiders would usually split up, run until no Seekers could see them,
and hide again. Some Hiders might be able to stay hidden if no Seekers saw them.
Any Hider tagged by a Seeker immediately became a Seeker too. The game lasted until all but one
of the Hiders were tagged. The last remaining Hider was nominally the winner, but no one cared.
Playing the game was a lot more important than who won.
Our games usually lasted long enough that we'd play two in an afternoon or evening with each team
being the Hiders and the Seekers once.
It was a great game for a big age range. It was amazing how often the littlest kids spotted someone
first. Of course, it usually took an older kid to actually tag them! This meant that a bunch of squads
of Seekers composed of both little and big kids was usually the best way to find all the Hiders.
Contributed by Jim - Thank you!
See Also Tag, Capture the Flag,
and Hide and Seek