A few decades ago, there were a plenty of children games to choose from. The kids back then, always kept themselves occupied by being outdoors playing these games. This not only resulted in a healthy lifestyle but also rich social life.
Nowadays, the growing years for children often are the worrying years for parents. The parents worry that the kids have too much to study. They worry that the kids have too little time to play. And then they worry that whatever little time the kids get for play, children opt to stick to the television screens instead. When it’s not the television channels, they shift to the laptops, iPads, smartphones and other whatnots, that are available for use even when we are travelling.
True, the online frenzy has its advantages. In an unsafe neighbourhood, with too many vehicles and too little security, we often prefer that they stay inside the confines of the house and stay occupied, while they are at it. But then, isn’t all virtual technology and no real play, making our kids dull?
It’s a question we seek answers to, and what better way than to dig out from the treasure chest of games that we once played as children. So, therefore, we bring out the ideas and indulge in some fun whenever we can. It could be over the weekends, it could be every day, but at a time when children are getting addicted to subway surf, these games are a perfect way to bring in some neighbourhood surf as well. Here through these pages, we relive a few ideas of children games, and hope that these motivate you to get into ‘real’ action!
The grown-ups, on the other hand, be ready to get all reminiscent as you might go on a tour with your childhood memories.
#1 Kite flying
Remember the rush during Sankranti? The whole thrill of getting new kites in vibrant colors, the charkha, the manjha, the works? While it’s dulled out over the years as a sport, there’s no better time than now to indulge in it than now. So get yourself some kites and thread, and you’re all set to kick in some real sport. Kite flying is not only extremely thrilling, it’s a great way to build focus, eye-hand coordination and exercise the eyes. A beach is a great place with a lot of open skies, and you and your kids can plan a fun weekend packed with this activity. Or else, you can also use the convenience of your building terrace. Just be careful that it has a protective wall on all sides, to keep you safe.
#2 Gilli Danda
The Indian version of modern cricket, Gilli Danda is easy to play, needs minimal equipment and is fun. With a history of over 2500 years, Gilli danda has been prevalent by various names not just in our country, but Bangladesh, Pakistan, Cambodia, and Italy as well. All you need for the game are two sticks: one small with tapered ends called the Gilli and the second longer and larger called danda. The game involves hitting the Gilli with the danda, and while the Gilli is in the air, the player needs to hit it again. Variations in the game are common across cities, so don’t hesitate to add your own rules to make the game more challenging. This is a great alternative for cricket lovers, who can have some fun and ring in some change as well.
#3 7 Stones
Inexpensive and exciting, this game is also known as satoliya. It involves using seven flat stones that are stacked one on top of the other. It is played in teams and while one team hits the structure to make it fall, other members need to stack it back, without getting hit in the process. A widely popular game, satoliya is played both by boys and girls.
#4 Street Football
Add in your own FIFA fervour this season with a dose of street football. All you need is a football, a group of kids and the game is on. In fact, come to think of it, all you need is a football and an open space, and the kids will automatically materialize! Such is the craze for the game. Add in your own rules for a fun-filled twist and get ready to make some friends!
Small glass globules and great potential, is how you can describe a game of marbles. Played prevalently in rural India, you can get approximately 20 of these for a mere sum of Rs. 10/-. Games vary, but you can start with a standard game of hitting the opponent’s marbles with your own. The game goes on, till one of the players has ‘literally’ lost all his marbles. Various versions are prevalent as well but don’t hesitate at getting creative with it.
Not just any part of India, but in fact, people from every part of the world have played this delightful game. All you need is a piece of chalk to draw boxes on the floor. You then either number them or name them. The player picks up a stone and tosses into a particular numbered square. And then, as the name implies, he/she has to jump his/her way through the numbers to retrieve the stone. It’s easy, its fun and it gets you a whole lot of body exercise as well!
#7 Ashta Chamma
Traditionally played by kings, this board game was once used to teach youngsters about strategy and tactics. However, it is slowly dying out and being replaced by modern versions like Ludo. While the basic principle of getting your coin home before the opponent’s, remains the same here as well, rules of play, technique, and equipment varies greatly. The board, for example, can easily be drawn with a chalk piece, and instead of dice, shells or flattened tamarind seeds are used. Also, the coins move first in an anticlockwise manner in the outer ring and in a clockwise manner in the inner ring, before finally reaching home.
#8 Four pillars
Five people for play? Then four pillars is the ideal fun game to indulge in. Extremely popular since the 1960s, this game was often played in old houses that had huge wooden pillars, which gave it the name. Get four players to stand in the four corners of the room, while the fifth one needs to secure a place at one of the corners. The four players need to trade places with each other, while the fifth one tries to enter a corner.