PLAY: 15 GREAT retro activities for kids

06 January 2019

Hands up who loved summer as a kid?

There were games to play, trees to climb and plenty of outdoor mischief to be had.

In our busy, ever-connected world of today, it’s no surprise we have a sense of nostalgia for the simplicity of days gone by.

Rather than leave these activities in the past, many of the things we used to do are perfect for kids today, and might just bring back some happy memories for you too.

So why not add a little whimsy to your world this summer, with these great old-fashioned childhood games.

Hold a lemonade stall

We all did it when we desperately wanted to raise some money for some new spokey dokeys for our bikes. But lemonade stands are about more than simply boosting pocket money. Teaching kids about patience, persistence, maths, marketing, money and entrepreneurship, they will learn to communicate with others and raise money for a good cause (or the latest Shopkins).

Go on a bike ride and have a picnic

Dust off the bikes, pack a blanket and have an old-fashioned picnic with the kids. It’s a great way to spend some time together and get outdoors.  

Thumb wrestling

Were you a thumb wrestling champion? Challenge the kids to this iconic yet super-simple game. The battle could go for hours!

Write a letter

Fast becoming a lost art, writing a letter to someone is an important skill to have. You can write to Santa, the Easter Bunny, family members, or even imaginary friends. Keep it fun, and if they do get one into the postbox, make sure they receive one in return!

Water games

Some of the best fun from an Aussie summer revolved around water. Set up a Slip ‘n’ Slide in the back garden, or simply start the garden sprinkler for kids to play in. Add water balloons and water pistols for extra splashiness!

Simple backyard games

Hopscotch, Jump Rope, Tag, Hide & Seek, Duck Duck Goose, What’s the Time Mr Wolf? These are games that we could play for hours. Not only fun, they all get kids active and off the screens, and are something you can share with kids (and grown-ups) of all ages.

Bust out the Yo-Yo

Walk the dog? Rock the Baby? Here’s a chance to show the kids exactly how cool you really are by remembering your Yo-Yo tricks. If you can!

Make tin can stilts

A staple toy of the ‘80s, let your own kids enjoy the simplicity and fun of tin can stilts. Just need a couple of old tins and some string and get stomping.

Build a den

No summer is complete without a den in the backyard. It doesn’t have to be extravagent, a sheet over the trampoline, or a fort from cardboard boxes (or sofa cushions) will do the trick. The main thing is letting the kids’ imagination do the building.

Set up an obstacle course

Build an obstacle course out of furniture, cardboard boxes and anything else you can find for everyone to race around. If space is tight, head down the park for egg and spoon races, sack races, and a competition of who can throw the water balloon the furthest.

Hula hooping

Let’s be honest, hula hooping was a skill we all wanted to master as kids. But do you still have it? Get the hula hoops out and see if you do! No hula hoops? Have a go at juggling instead!

Go on a scavenger hunt

Give kids a list of things to find ­­– a yellow flower, a black feather, a beetle – and head off around the neighbourhood or local park to track them down. Take a camera to document what you find.

Make home-made ice blocks

Nothing says summer like a homemade ice blocks. Super-easy to make and healthy too, kids love to make them (and love to eat them even more).

Fly a kite

When was the last time you flew a kite? You’ll be surprised how fun it really is! No kite? Why not try and make one!

Go camping in the backyard

No need for any fancy equipment or spending hours on the road. Set up a tent and sleeping bags in the backyard and have an old-fashioned sleep out. The kids will love it!

 

For more ideas on great activities with kids try How to make a worm farm and Ways to play screen free.

Written by

Kids on the Coast/Kids in the City
Please login to comment
  • No comments found

You may also like