Old fashioned games: Retro fun for your kids
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Once upon a time, way back in the day when there was no TV and no electricity, kids had to amuse themselves. Imagine that! Couch potatoes didn't exist and there was definitely no chance of getting square-eyes. Instead, kids spent their spare time playing old fashioned games that sparked their creativity, got them moving around and by default developed their fine motor and gross motor skills. We’ve turned back the clocks at Kidspot, and found five of the most popular retro games from the past to haul into the present:
1. Ready, set … skip
Skipping is the ideal game to get little hearts pumping and little feet pounding. Kids love the thrill of counting how many times they can jump the rope before getting tangled in the flying loop. Best played with a minimum of three people – two kids turning the rope at each end, and one or more jumping. Skipping games provide hours of fun and are a great way for kids to develop their co-ordination and their confidence.
The beauty of hopscotch is that it can be played either alone or with a group of friends. Dating back to the mid-1600s, this old-fashioned game is still popular in children’s playgrounds the world over. The rules of hopscotch are very simple and all you need is some chalk or masking tape to mark up the hopscotch pattern, and a pebble for each player to throw into the squares. Your kids will be hopping and jumping their way through the next sunny afternoon with big smiles on their faces – guaranteed!
3. Mud pie madness
Messing about with mud is one of the great joys of being a kid. In fact, the messier the kids get the more they will love this activity. Making mud pies encourages imaginative play and the act of kneading the mud into pie-looking-shapes is great for kids’ fine motor skills. Add an extra dose of delight by giving the kids some old kitchen utensils to work with – perhaps a wooden spoon or a few measuring cups and a couple of pots or pans – and watch the mud pie factory spring into action.
4. Marvellous marbles
No childhood is complete without an ice-cream container full of marbles. Even though they have been around for hundreds of years, marbles are still a prized collector’s item among young enthusiasts around the globe. And marble shooting games have undoubtedly stood the test of time. Marbles can be played either outside on a warm summer day or inside as a rainy day TV-alternative. But be warned, the kids will find this old-school game very addictive!
5. String games
Who knew one piece of string could provide little hands with so much fun. String games are a great way of passing the time while you’re out and about. Kids can keep their coloured strings in their pockets and whip them out whenever the need takes arises. With games like Cat’s Whiskers and Jacob’s Ladder at their fingertips there’ll be no more cries of boredom when you’re sitting in the doctor’s waiting room. String games can improve memory recall and give kids a real sense of achievement as they work their way through a range of string figures, from the very simple to the more complicated.