My kids are always bored with the toys they have, they play with it for a day and then thats it, they forget about it. Instead they opt to laze around, watch the telly, draw or play on the phone. Nonetheless, their eyes light up whenever we pass toy stores, and their wish lists for their birthday, becomes never-ending.
I have found that the more they have, the less imaginative they are, when they have no toys. They keep complaining they have nothing to do, or don’t know how to have fun unless directed by me.
If I tell them go to your room and have free play they ask ‘and do what?’. I’m stunned, they have a zillion more toys than I ever had. I remember having one toy or maybe two in the history of my childhood. But I never once went complaining to my mom that I was bored! If I had gone to my mom, she would’ve laughed in my face. Boredom was not a thing growing up, it was a none issue. You just deal.
I tell my kids how we used to play teachers, banks, post office, cooking up mud Mississippi pies, tea parties, with absolutely no commercial toys. We just had our imagination scraps of paper, unwanted kitchen junk, water, rock, grass and the world was our oyster.
So I’m on this quest, to inspire my kids into believing, that you don’t need things to have fun if you’ve got imagination nothing can limit you.
Here is a list of games I came up with my kids
- Memory game
- Musical statues
- Musical chairs
- Duck Duck Goose
- Having a grass/leaf/snow fight
- Making daisy chains
- Going on a bug hunt
- Building Sandcastles
- Writing words in the sand
- Making designs in rice tray
- Get creative recycle junk to make something else
- Pairing socks game using stop watch (inspired by sorting out laundry)
- Pairing shoes (inspired by the pile of shoes I have to clear up everyday)
- Picking straws – pile them up and remove one at a time without disturbing the others
- Making bubbles with milk shake
- Throwing socks in a laundry basket
- Noughts n crosses
- Hop scotch
- Stuck in the mud
- Bull dog – run from one side of the garden to the other without getting caught. Once caught you join the catchers till all runners are caught out.
- What’s the time Mr Fox
- Making bubbles with washing up liquid and a straw
- Water fight with plastic bottles cups plates tubs and whatever else you can find.
- Making a fort with pillows blankets sheets
- Pretend to camp outside,inside
- Going on a treasure hunt making a map with clues
- Blind fold game directing player by giving instructions
- Hot and cold game (hide something only giving clues if they are hot or cold)
- Name that tune game
- Eye spy
- Guess who – act out someone from the family or friends
- 20 questions
- Hide and seek
- Obstacle course
- Make a collage with things from outside
- Step on shadow chase
- Walking on lines game
- Talent show
- Fashion show
- Chinese whispers
- ‘Home alone’ inspired operation get the burglar plan making booby traps
- Make your own board game
- Make your own magazine/ book
- Rock Paper Scissors
- Clapping games a sailor went to sea sea sea
- Make up songs
- Pretend to be a spy/ detective / pirate
What games did you play as a child that didn’t require any materials except what you had lying around and your imagination? I would love to know the fun games you used to play!