Ah, nostalgia. Where would we be without you? Most certainly a bit more time-rich (hands up if you’ve spent an evening solidly gawping at your screen while you scroll back through your Facebook photos).
However, a good dose of it now and then can certainly do wonders. Researchers at the University of Southampton reckon it can help make people keep a brighter outlook and maintain stronger feelings of self-worth.
We’re all for happy glows here at Haven, especially if they’re induced by times gone by, which is why we’ve dug back into the nether reaches of our brains to bring back some of our favourite childhood games, guaranteed to excite the kids and take you back to your youth.
1. Pooh Sticks
The beauty of Pooh Sticks is it’s a game that can be played almost anywhere that has a bridge running over water, and it’s a game that’ll undoubtedly keep your kids (whatever their age) thoroughly entertained.
If, when you first say it out loud to them, you’re met with quizzical looks, never fret. Explain to them it stems from the stories of Winnie the Pooh (cue “Oh!” all round), where him and his friends would drop sticks into the river at the end of the 100 Acre Woods.
Here’s how we play but we’re sure there are many different rules out there and if you’re itching to let us know your way let us know in the comments below.
– Select a stick and show it to your competitor and make sure you are clear which stick is whose.
– All competitors stand side by side facing ‘upstream’ (water that is running under the bridge)
– Hold your sticks at arm’s length over the stream.
– On the count of three, drop (not throw) your sticks in the water simultaneously.
– At this point all the players must cross to the downstream side of the stream
– Carefully look over the edge for the sticks to emerge. Whoever’s flows through first is crowned the winner.
2. French skipping
Ahh back to days when we skipped for fun and not to lose calories at the gym. Well, it’s time to bring those days back.
If this is a solo performance all that is needed is a long piece of knotted elastic and two chairs to hold the elastic (make sure they are sturdy!). If there is two or more of you hold the elastic round your legs.
The basic rules of French skipping.
– Start with your left leg inside the elastic and the right leg outside
– Now jump over the opposite side so you end up with your left leg outside and your right leg inside
-Jump in to both legs are inside the elastic
– Another big jump and land with both legs outside of the elastic
– And here’s the last (and properly the trickiest) jump. Jump and twist your body in the air so both feet land on the elastic band.
– If you do all of this without getting caught up, the elastic band goes higher (from the ankles to the calves, then hips and waist)
– If you do get caught then swap over and you now put your legs inside the elastic.
There are loads of good tutorials on YouTube on how to French skip, as well as some of the songs that go with the steps.
Remember this classic playground game? It so easy to recreate at home in the garden with chalk – or add a seaside spin to it and draw it in the sand!
How to Hopscotch
– Draw out your pattern of rectangles, adding a number in each box.
The beauty of Hopscotch is that you can make it as easy or as hard you like as you design the course!
– Use a stone or pebble as your marker and throw it into the first square
– Now it’s time to hop over. On single squares only one foot is allowed, where as on side by side squares both feet are used (left foot in the left square and right foot in the right square)
– Then it’s time to hop back to the start
-Do this on square two, square three and so on
– If while hopping or jumping, you step on a line, miss a square or lose your balance, your go is over and it’s player number two’s go
– On your next go you start from where you left off
– The winner is the first person to complete all of the numbers!