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Remember when games weren’t just something you could have at your fingertips at the touch of a button? When you had to – *shock horror* – make your own fun? Give some of these ‘old school’ games a try these school holidays.

  1. Hand ball was the ultimate display of primary school playground power – nothing beat the feeling of holding your place in ace for the entire lunch break.
  2. Hand elastics or finger strings are definitely a thing of the past, but Ztringz are a toy your kids will totally get on board with! These rainbow renditions of the vintage favourite make for the perfect stocking stuffer or party present.
  3. Leg elastics involve getting one huge elastic band and pulling it taught between two people, who stand with their legs about hip-width apart, or two chairs, then jumping over and onto the elastics singing different songs.
  4. Riding a bike may not sound like a ‘blast from the past game,’ but when you go full BMX style with home-made jumps and ramps, you’ll see what we mean.
  5. Playing shops was fun in a way that we’ll definitely never fully understand now, and certainly don’t feel when we actually go grocery shopping. Our haven team member Millie used to put her family treadmill on level 1 and use it as a conveyor belt. So cute.
  6. Hopscotch is seen more on vintage children’s books than it is in real-life nowadays, but we’re officially bringing it back as the cheapest, most fun school holiday activity to get your kids obsessed with.
  7. Dance routines – oh boy, did we make up some shockers. Swap the cassette player for a UE Boom (or one of these portable speaker suggestions from our latest issue) and encourage your kids to let the rhythm and creativity flow!
  8. Making a pretend beauty salon is one imaginary game you’ll happily join in on! Massages and foot rubs are all on the menu, but you may want to politely decline their offer for hair braiding.
  9. Skateboarding has focused its attention on girl power lately, meaning there’s no time like the present for anyone and everyone to give this fun sport a go!
  10. Mini golf isn’t just reserved for your local putt putt course – set up some empty tins around the house or backyard and go for the hole in one!
  11. Trampoline games were a childhood highlight, but we probably drove our parent wild with worry when we played games like double-bouncing and ‘break the egg’. Still, it was free, fun and still memorable decades later!
  12. Billy cart riding is another game that’s stuck in the past but we’re committed to bringing it back in a big way. Why not head out to your local hardware store and pick up a step-by-step guide, a few materials, and get the kids to help out with making their own set of wheels!
  13. Hand clapping games are another one you’ve probably mentally reserved for little girls in pretty ‘frocks’ and stockings with perfectly curled hair, but you can’t resist clapping along to Miss Mary Mac when someone gets it started.
  14. Murder in the Dark seems like a game our parents should not have been letting us play, but we’re so glad they did.
  15. Duck, Duck, Goose is a kids’ birthday party favourite, but we’re happily bringing it back for day-to-day school holiday fun.
  16. Red Rover should definitely be played on grass rather than concrete, because it’s one playground game that can get very, very heated. But then again, that’s probably why it was one of our favourites growing up.
  17. Skipping may have lost its novelty thanks to that insanely tough boxing class your friend dragged you along to that one time, but you’ll be amazed how much fun you have when you don’t do it for exercise.
  18. Making movies has never been easier, what with the iPhones and iPads that kids are practically born holding nowadays, so teach your kids the lost art of directing a ridiculously dramatic movie that has no plot whatsoever – it’s what childhood memories are made of.
  19. Playing families was another imaginary game that was inexplicably fun. It only ever involved looking after a baby, fake fights between siblings (that would escalate into real fights more often than not) and someone crawling around being the dog or cat. What a hoot.
  20. Pool games were an Aussie childhood staple. Our most popular ones were Marco Polo, the ‘favourites’ game and Sharks and Minnows, just to name a few.
Anastasia White

Anastasia White  

Anastasia (‘Anny’ to her friends and family, thanks to some nickname experimentation in year 4 that unfortunately stuck) is a born-and-bred Brisbanite with a love of coffee and her cat, Olive. Having recently finished a degree in journalism, Anastasia loves being able to learn and write about so many different topics for a variety of audiences.