10 Retro Inspired Activities Your Kids Will Love
Keeping our kids entertained during the holidays can sometimes be a tough ask, especially throughout the extended Christmas break! Kids will often gravitate towards the nearest screen or electronic device, so sometimes it can take a little extra inspiration to keep young minds active and amused.
Fortunately, these retro games and activities might be the spark you’re looking for. Step back in time with old-time favourites such as hopscotch, marbles, or cards – and teach your kids about decades gone by with these classic family activities. (Or sit back and relish a cuppa, while your kids enjoy hours of endless retro fun!)
Dating back to the 19th Century, hopscotch can be played with several players – or even just one! There are many hopscotch variations (including changes to the rules and court layout), so let your family decide their favourite style! Generally, players toss a small onto the court, and hop or jump through the spaces to retrieve it.
Marbles is a great game for older kids to improve their strategy, concentration and focus. Using colourful marbles of different sizes, generally the aim of this game is to hit a target marble 3 times in a row – without being taken out by another player. Marbles is a perfect activity for rainy weather, and dates all the way back to the 16th Century!
The much-loved skipping rope has origins dating back to the 17th Century, and has been keeping kids entertained ever since! The skipping rope can be used by a group, or with just one person, and offers skill-tester games such as ‘Snake,’ ‘Banana Split’, ‘Helicopter’ and ‘Cat And Mouse.’ There are also a series of rhymes (such as ‘Cinderella’ and ‘Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear’) that can be used to teach young children about the rhythm and movement of a skipping rope.
Kids can combine their hopscotch and skipping rope skills, to play the classic game of elastics! Two players position an elastic rope around their ankles, holding it taut. Meanwhile, another player attempts to jump through a series of increasingly difficult moves without making an error! Elastics is known to be a great activity to encourage children’s dexterity, balance and coordination – whilst providing hours of amusement!
The trampoline was invented during the 1930s, and today offers one of the most versatile pieces of play equipment! Bouncing on a trampoline can offer hours of entertainment for kids, and can also help build core strength and coordination. Old-school trampoline games such as ‘Telephone’ require players to memorise and repeat a series of jumps and twirls. Modern-day trampolines are often designed to be interactive, with printed mats and colourful courses to complete.
Hand ball requires nothing more than a tennis ball and a piece of chalk, to draw a court into quadrants. Despite being created back in 1910, the game of hand ball continues to be very popular across school playgrounds today! The aim is to eliminate other players, by bouncing a ball into their quadrant without having it rebounded into another section of the court. Hand ball can be even be played by young children, to help develop their hand-eye coordination.
A deck of cards can occupy your kids for hours – and can offer the perfect activity for rainy days or lengthy car trips! Classic card games including ‘Go Fish,’ ‘Snap,’ or ‘Rolling Stone’ can be suitable for children as young as four. Card games encourage counting skills; along with strategy, concentration and communication.
Who doesn’t remember those catchy rhymes and tricky patterns we used to clap along to in the schoolyard? Clapping games vary in complexity – starting with easier rhymes such as ‘Pat-A-Cake’, and becoming more difficult with complicated lyrics and movements (‘Miss Mary Mack,’ ‘Down by the Banks.’) Clapping games became popular during the 1960s, and today will provide your kids with hours of fun– without any specific equipment or budget!
You don’t need a designated costume box to enjoy the creativity and imagination of dress-ups! Visit a local op-shop, and let your kids put together a costume of their choosing, on a shoestring budget. Encourage your kids to make their own costumes by upcycling used bric-a-brac from around the house – or get crafty by making paper hats, toilet paper dresses and tin-foil jackets.
As the most time-honoured game in this list – dodgeball has its roots in the 6th Century BC! Safety considerations are an important part of playing dodgeball, as the aim of the game is to eliminate other players by targeting them with a soft ball. Bigger kids can learn plenty about teamwork, strategy and communication with an old-fashioned game of dodgeball!