Does anyone remember what we actually DID before Ipads, or 150 channels of children’s television? We were shooed outside to make our own fun. And did we ever!
Forget the latest offering from a certain global tech giant (that shall remain nameless), the simple joy of a tin-can telephone, or a daisy chain, is in a class of its own. You just can’t beat a classic.
Plus, they won't cost you a cent!
In praise of the simple, we get nostalgic and remember five activities from our childhoods that should definitely make a comeback.
Flashbacks to vintage Sesame Street anyone? A game for one, or for many, for young, and for old. All you need is a bit of chalk, some concrete, a rock...and Bob’s your uncle (whatever that means!). The kids will get some fresh air, give their gross motor skills a workout, plus solidify their numeracy skills. And, you’ll have a ball showing them how it’s REALLY done!
2. Tin-can telephones
Recycling at its best, put those empty corn or beetroot cans to good use and make a tin-can telephone. Who knew that two tin cans and a length of string could provide so much fun? Plus, you can extend this activity into a discussion of how sound works, through the vibrations passed through their diy telephone! Just make sure to put electrical tape over any sharp edges before your little ones use them.
3. Rope swing
The best toys are improvised. This is one that you can rig up anywhere, whether you are out on a picnic, camping or just playing around in the back yard. Simply find a sturdy stick, wide enough for your children to plant their feet on either side, and a length of rope (You can even just tie a couple of knots in the length of rope if it's thick enough and your children want an extra challenge). They can stand on it, sit on it, and swiiiinnnnggg! (as can you if you’re game!)
4. Clapping Games
Clapping games – Before there was Candy Crush to fill our down-time, we used to while away those slack periods playing these clapping games. Rhythm, co-ordination, co-operation, we didn’t know we were getting so much good stuff out of ‘Down by the banks of the Hanky Panky!’ ‘Miss Mary Mack’, anyone?
5. Make a daisy chain
While it was satisfying to create daisy crowns, bracelets and necklaces, the most valuable part of this exercise was having something simple to do with your hands, leaving your mind free to wander, dream and imagine.
And ultimately, that’s the beauty of these simple activities. They leave space for creativity, for imagination, for downtime. After all, this is where the real business of childhood takes place!
And remember, whenever your kids are playing outside, they need to slip, slop, slap, seek and slide on those kid's sunglasses to stay sun-safe.
We focussed on just five, but we’d love to hear what activities from your childhood you share with your own kids. Comment below!