RETRO: Games from childhood

Children's Games'Play Group 1969
Children's Games'Play Group 1969
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A piece of chalk or even just a stone that would leave a mark and you could keep a group of young children happy for hours.

You can still find hop scotch courses in most school yards and it is amazing how some of the simplest games have passed down the generations.

Children's Games'Play Group feature May 4th 1971

Children's Games'Play Group feature May 4th 1971

Today the draw of electronic devices, computer games and internet puzzles has radically changed how youngsters spend their free time but that doesn’t stop them loving more traditional pursuits when someone takes the time to show them.

The days of families settling down to listen to Children’s Hour on the wireless or playing records on the gramophone, are long gone but some things live on.

Marbles, rock paper scissors, blind man’s bluff and follow the leader to name but a few.

Skipping is now acknowledged as a great way to keep fit no matter what your age but get a group of children together to join in and you’ll soon hear the same old rhymes that have been sung for many decades ... Charlie Chaplin went to France, all in together birds of a feather, or even Cinderella dressed in yellow.

Saturday People''Aug 4 1973. Hopscotch with Mary Coleman of Hague Row and Julie Worthy of Long Henry Row, Sheffield.

Saturday People''Aug 4 1973. Hopscotch with Mary Coleman of Hague Row and Julie Worthy of Long Henry Row, Sheffield.

Keeping it simple has always been the key when it comes to entertaining, although the creators of computer games may disagree.

If you wanted to try your hand at cats cradle all you needed was a piece of string or a discarded length of wool or thread – hours of challenging both friends and yourself as the game passed back and forth. From candles to manger, fish in a dish to clock, it took some practice but was always a good laugh and still catches attentions these days.

Of course autumn still brings it own childhood attractions – most of all conker games. But there were no worries about health and safety concerns back then as children whacked their opponent’s prize conker in the play ground.

There must be several grandparents who used undetected methods of strengthening their conkers and could pass down a tip or two.

Games that don’t cost a fortune, don’t age and prove to be winners whatever the decade. One, two, three, four ... anyone want to declare a thumb war?