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Old-School Games to Play with Your Kids

parent and children playing in a circle

At RiiRoo, it’s our mission to get kids off screens. If that means going back to our roots, then so be it.

One of the best ways of doing this is going back in time and dusting off those old school games we used to love as kids.

Not only are these games timeless, but they also spur imagination and aren’t that expensive either.

These days, with so much technology at our kid’s fingertips it’s hard to keep them occupied with any other activity that doesn’t have a screen. In the past, it was down to children to entertain themselves.

This was good for a few different reasons.

Firstly, they had o use their imagination and actually dream up new games and new ways of play. Secondly, they could flex their creative muscle and also learn to play well with others.

A lot of these old school games could easily involve parents too.

The Celebrity Game

This is one of the older games that are so fun to play. It involves one child thinking of a celebrity. It could be from a movie, book or even game. Then, the other players ask a series of questions about that character, for example, “which country are they from?”, “what does the character enjoy doing?” This will go until one of the players guesses the identity of the celebrity is.

Animal, Vegetable, Mineral

A few people may have heard of this game. It needs a small group of you, where one of you thinks of an animal, vegetable or mineral. Again, the others in the group ask a series of questions that only allow a “yes” or “no” answer. Then, if no one guesses correctly after 20 questions then you play one last round of guesses.

After that round, it is basically rinse and repeat with a different person. Not only is this a really fun game to play, but it also educates your kids at the same time.

The Telephone Game

girls playing the telephone game

This is probably one of the oldest games around. You may know it from the term “Chinese whispers.”

For this game, you need quite a large group of people for this to work. One person at the end thinks up a word or phrase and tells it to the person next to them, who in turn tells the person next to them until it is eventually shared with everyone.

The last person to hear the message normally says something completely different from the original. It’s a really fun game to play and is best suited for parties when you have a lot of people.

Grandma’s House

You may not have heard of this particular game, but it was really popular in the past. It starts off with someone saying the phrase “I’m going to Grandma’s House and I’m taking an…..” They then proceed to finish the sentence with an item that starts with the letter “A.”

It is then down to the next person to repeat the phrase but finish the sentence off with an item that begins with the letter “B” and so it goes on.

The Alphabet Game

This game is as basic as it gets from this list. It involves someone deciding on a theme such as “films”. Then members of the group must go through different films reciting them in alphabetical order. For example, “Ace Ventura”, “Babel”, “Cabin Fever”, etc.

Old-School Pretend Play

If you go back in time, you’ll see that kids have always used “pretend play” to get a good sense of the world. However, as technology has elbowed its way into our lives, you find that kids seem to do this less.

In fact, if you were to introduce this to most kids they would probably find it really alien to do which is a shame.

Let’s bring this old time classic back. First, you need to pay attention to your kid’s interest and then purchase or make a few props for them to get started.

They will probably find this really strange at first, but, it’s surprising how quickly they can start to imagine themselves in this other world.

Puppet Theater

What kid doesn’t like a puppet show? No matter what the storyline, for some reason they seemed to get mesmerised by tails like “The Three Billy Goats Gruff or “The Three Little Pigs.”

Why not build your own homemade puppet theatre?

Now, it depends on the age of your kids. There are some that would absolutely love helping build it, others may enjoy just sitting and watching whilst others will have fun doing both.

If you have a parent as the director, you will find kids of early age (as young as 1 even) will enjoy the show, even though they don’t understand everything.

In fact, research has shown that the many contrasting images draw the most attention from infants and shadow puppets make distinctive black silhouettes against a white background which is really striking.

Having such stimulating images for infants heightens their visual senses in their early.

Playing Dress Up

If you have access to a lot of old clothes, why not play “dressing up?” get hold of old hats, scarves, and shoes and let your kids use their imagination. You’ll be surprised at just how much fun this is.

Brain Building

This is a classic brain building. By dressing up like this your child is using both their brain and memory. It allows them to visualise certain situations and encourages them to remember what they have seen and heard.

They may even remember you doing your chores and try to imitate that through play.

They may even remember the many different fairy tales you’ve told them in the past and start to act these out spontaneously.

Vocabulary Building

With similar effects as brain building. You will also find that playing dress up will help with your kid’s vocabulary. It gives them a chance to find out new and interesting words and also what context to use them in.

By listening to several stories, they don’t always have a chance to use and experiment with different words and phrase.

With playing dress up, they have no choice but to use them. In fact, don’t be surprised to hear these new words coming up in future conversations out of the blue.

Problem-Solving

So, “who’s going to be the doctor and who’s going to be the nurse?”, “who's going to be the patient.” This may seem like a simple process of choosing who will play who. But, there is a serious problem-solving task at play here.

This involves problem-solving and decision making. Something that your kids will need to do throughout their adult life.

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