13 Traditional Games Parents Played In Their Childhood That They Want Their Kids To Play Now
Let’s face it, when you were younger you weren’t glued to your iPad, addicted to 24-hour children’s TV channels or creating online social media profiles to have fun.
Of course you weren’t – you were outside playing classic games that you’d love your children to play now.
The ‘National Day of Play’ is on Wednesday 3 August 2016 and occurs once a year to celebrate the importance of play in children’s lives.
We asked the parenting community what games they played when they were younger, and boy did we find some corkers.
We want to bring these games back into fashion and tell our children how much fun we had with these classics.
You’ll probably remember a lot of them, but we’ve provided a little explanation about some of them, too – y’know, just incase you’ve forgotten.
So here we are… reminisce, laugh, learn and play with your children.
1. Mud pies, mud gardens, mud everything
It’s amazing how many mums and dads used the word “mud” to refer to a game they played when they were younger – it certainly was a key component of our childhoods.
Being outside in the summer meant mud pies, ladybird homes and simply playing in the soil… and didn’t involve a single smartphone – how non-2015.
Sarah Treasure said on Facebook she made “minature gardens and mud pies in [her] play kitchen”.
Oh and while we’re on the topic of mud – stuck in the mud was a popular classic, too.
2. Cat’s Cradle
Remember that piece of string? The piece of string that made a brilliant stocking filler and with which you could waste hours simply making the same patterns with a friend?
Cat’s cradle is a game where two people pass the “cradle” made from string back and forth between their fingers to make shapes and catch each other out.
It’s the type of game that is seriously addictive and yet so simple. Jog your memory with the video below…
3. Making dens in the field, and anywhere else you could find suitable materials
Katie Geary told us on Facebook that “making dens in the fields” was a common thing she’d do when she was a child, but we think making dens in general is completely underrated.
Den making involves gathering absolutely everything you can from around your house, including blankets, duvets, pillows and cushions to make a hideout in the living room.
No Googling, no money, no technology, but boy was it a good game.
4. Making perfumes in jam jars
It’s not something we all would have done, but those of you who did will remember it fondly.
Making perfume in jam jars was all about going outside to find rose petals and simply mixing them with water, as well as adding a drop of two of washing up liquid to make the colour even nicer.
Weren’t we a creative bunch?
When was the last time you saw a marble? The tiny glass balls provided us with hours of fun coming up with endless games using them.
The classic game you play with these balls involves shooting 11 marbles into a circle and knocking other ones out of the ring. Remember?
6. What’s the time Mr Wolf?
Does this ring a bell from the playground at school? It was possibly the most thrilling game you ever played during your lunch break. You simply take small steps towards a “wolf” who is stood with his back to you, – the number of steps you take depends on the time he shouts out, before he would turn around and chase you.
The screams you made when the wolf ran towards you was the best part of the game. As you frantically ran away so as not to be caught.
7. 40/40 in
Another school classic.
Combining both the games “it” and “hide and seek”, the player who is “on” has to capture the other players by spying them and then tagging them. The other players must try to run to the base without being seen and then shout “40/40 I’m free!”.
Didn’t it feel great when you made it to the base while everyone else was getting caught?
8. Skipping rope – higher and higher
Karen Bengough on Facebook shared her much-loved game with a skipping rope.
She said: “With a skipping rope, one end was tied to a fence or held either end by two people. The rope begins at floor level and we would (easily) jump over that.
“Then it gets higher, still easy for a few more heights, then it gets ridiculously high and we would have to run halfway down the street to get a good run at it and jump as high as we could only to catch the rope on our shoe and fall face first onto the pavement! Great days!”
9. Touch, taste, smell
Abi Power shared her memory of the touch, taste and smell game: One child is blindfolded and has to guess what the food is (after you raided the food cupboard) by touching, tasting and smelling it.
No doubt about it, there would be some gross things you would end up eating.
10. The floor is lava!
It sounds a lot more daring than it is. The idea is that you can’t walk on the carpet or you will melt (obviously).
You get around this by getting as many couch cushions, blankets and anything else you can find, to put on the floor and walk over it to get to the other side of the room. Simple. Easy. Fun.
11. Murder in the dark
It sounds a lot more mysterious than it is, but it’s probably the most intense game you ever played at Brownies, Cubs, or just at school.
All you need is a room where you can turn all the lights off. Players are “murdered” (sounds a bit brutal, doesn’t it?), because one player takes up the role of the “murderer”.
The murderer has to “lock eyes” with people in the room and those people must pretend to die, while someone else has to work out who is “killing” them.
Ok, ok it sounds dark, but it isn’t. It’s fun.
12. Sardines or hide-and-seek
Hide-and-seek is great fun, especially when you don’t get found within the first five seconds. But another similar game that proved popular with our parenting community is sardines.
It’s like hide-and-seek but only one person hides and all the others must find them, hiding with them when they do. The hiding place obviously becomes hugely cramped (like sardines) and the last person to find the group is a loser. Aww.
13. Actual human interaction…
Ok, so this one is a joke, but the amount of parents who said the games they remember playing were silly, made-up ones with their friends was very high. No phones, no TV, no tablets, no DVD players – just their imagination.
Bring back those games!
Do you have any more you’d like to add to the list? Let us know. Comments below, please…