Remember the days of adventuring outside, playing in the sprinklers or entranced for hours by a yo-yo? Our dream has always been to help bring back that pure wonder – you know letting kids be kids! I’m not on either side exactly when it comes to limiting kids screen time, as there are some very creative and educational games out there now, but I still believe the classics we grew up with were far more magical and of course social! It’s been a testing time in the last year with what we’ve all been through in lockdowns, so I’m sure a bit of extra screen time has managed to slip in and we mustn’t punish ourselves for it at all mums! But here are some more game ideas for kids to entertain themselves. One thing I’ve noticed on my walks that makes me smile is seeing more chalk drawings on the pavement again, even hopscotch! The classics always stay. This may even be the perfect time for teaching kids those skills that extend beyond the classroom – while removed from the classroom - and in a fun way!
So here’s a trip down memory lane…
1. Sprinklers and Slip ‘N Slide
This just captures the essence of true childhood don’t you think? You can tell I’m a water baby! And it’s still fun as adults! Birthday parties used to always be the best if there was either a water slide or a jumping castle, am I right?
2. Build a fort!
I hope no kid has missed out on this one. Cushions, blankets, cardboard boxes are all brilliant. Add some fairy lights and cosy touches inside and a paradise awaits. As a kid I would tape cardboard boxes together to make a zooty car or train and my friends thought I was the best!
3. Skipping rope
An endless chorus! Here are some rhymes and then skip to the beat: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ikAXRogSV-A
4. Skip-It. Kids of the 80’s and 90’s you’ll remember this one!
This video will jog your memory and show you how you can make your own: https://youtu.be/tqFnAeTFeRk
5. Pick up sticks
Pick up one stick without making any others move! The thrill was tingling! It also helps kids develop good strategy sense and hand-eye coordination.
6. Yo-yo tricks
What happened to the yo-yo is my big question. There’s so many tricks to master and weren’t you just the coolest if you could show them off! Here’s a video for beginners and then see his channel for more advanced: https://www.youtube.com/user/yotricks
7. Magic card tricks
Thinking of tricks, because all kids are tricksters, card tricks were one of my favourites. I would spend days with my friend learning new ones and trying to figure them out. Here’s a video with a few: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AhKYbhSbSrA
8. String games
More tricks and all you need is string! Donna German, a parenting expert and psychotherapist in New York City says "it encourages hand-eye coordination, effective communication, and teamwork." Here’s some you can learn: https://youtu.be/oXV1rX-PvR0
9. Dance routine
Girls and boys love this! With dress-ups too and then they’re ready to put on a show for the crowds. Watch them climb all over the furniture and swing from the ceiling!
10. Tea party
Again, not just for girls! Pretend play is children’s way of learning independence by copying mum and dad and also good for problem-solving with stimulating the imagination!
11. Four Square
All those backyard games.. four square just needs a ball and some chalk. You’re only allowed to bounce the ball once in a square and they need to bounce in back in someone else’s square or they’re out! Next in line comes in. Hot potato hot potato!
12. Cops and Robbers
Are you a cop or robber? All the robbers go hide and have to make it “safe” to home before the cops catch them and put them in jail. Ultimate fun! Traditional tag also has to be mentioned!
13. Doodle games
There’s many versions to play with doodles and they’re extremely creative. Kids can try drawing faces without looking at the paper (fun for adults too), one person can draw a scribble and then the second draws it into something they see. Or fold a paper into 4 and each person draws the head, then torso, legs and feet and then open it up to see the creation!
14. Classic boardgames
Pictionary, Cluedo, cards, Cranium, monopoly, guess who, operation, harry potter, there’s tons!
15. Raise sea-monkeys
Looking for a no fuss pet that kids loooove? Sea monkey’s are the rage.
16. Camping in the backyard
The most optimal way to unplug! Roast some marshmallows on the fire for a treat.
Marbles, the sandpit, thumb wars.. I could go on and on! Time for your kids to enjoy, and don’t forget the age-old art of climbing trees!!