When Start-rite Shoes got in touch telling me about their new #passiton campaign, I was really excited to get involved. This new campaign was inspired by recent reports that very young children are becoming reliant on screens for their entertainment and Start-rite wanted to carry out their own research with primary school aged children about their relationship with screens to see just how long they will be spending in front of a screen during the summer holidays.
I am sure that I don’t need to tell you that children must be active during the key development stage in order to build a healthy body. And actually as a parent, I encourage my children to have more ‘traditional’ fun over the summer so this whole campaign couldn’t be more perfect for us. Start-rite believe that good fitting shoes and an active lifestyle are vital to healthy development and learning valuable skills such as balance and I have to say that I wholeheartedly agree with them.
All this got Start-rite thinking back to the active games that we used to play as youngsters when we just didn’t have screens to fall back on and actually just how sad it would be if these games were lost in the next generation. The idea of #passiton is that we enjoy a more vintage summer this year where we share simple but active games that we used to play when we were young. To get us started, Start-rite sent us a shoe box full of goodies. Just simple things that together probably cost no more than £10 but with a little imagination, will provide us with a summer full of fun. There were things like elastic and string, bouncy balls and a tennis ball, chalk and marbles, skipping rope and shoe laces to practice.
My girls couldn’t wait to get stuck in and I have to say that I loved sharing with them some of the games that I used to love to play. The box of chalk alone provided hours and hours of fun, the simplest things really are the best. The very first thing we did was draw a giant hopscotch on the driveway and of course, I had to go first to show them how to do it properly! Ha! We had lots of fun hopping around before the rain came and washed it all away but actually half of the fun was being able to start all over again the following day.
I remember skipping for hours when I was little and I used to spend ages making up rhymes and special moves. One that I remember was the can can where you jump on your left foot while raising your right knee then kick out your leg and I have to say that my daughter picked it up much quicker than I ever did. It was my job to count how many can cans she could do before losing a step it was exhausting just watching her go!
One of the things in our box of goodies was a cardboard shoe that you could colour in but it also had holes for you to lace up. With so many shoes having velcro or buckle fastenings I should think that it is easy to overlook the skill of tying shoe laces but of course it is one of those things that all children should be taught. Doing it this way of course meant that it felt like much more fun it is such a good idea and perfect for younger children.
Next came our juggling skills and this took a bit more practice, as you can see from my daughter’s little face there! Bless! We started with two balls in one hand and as we threw one ball up, we threw the other across to the other hand, keeping the balls going in a circular motion. Obviously getting your throw just right along with your timing is really quite tricky and she didn’t manage to get to three balls but cracked it with two. She started out really slowly and got her throw just right before gradually getting quicker and quicker. She might just join the circus yet!
One of my favourite games when I was little was playing marbles I was quite the expert in my day so it was a pleasure to teach my girls how to play. There are lots of ways to play marbles and I am sure they will make up their own games too but I showed them how I used to play with mine. We drew a circle with our chalk and put five marbles inside the lines. Then we chose a shooter marble and flicked it from outside the ring with our thumb trying to hit as many marbles as we could out of the ring. The ones that were knocked out, you get to keep then you get another turn. If you don’t knock any marbles out then you have to leave your shooter until your next turn. Then you basically carry on until the ring is empty and the winner is the one with the most marbles at the end. I think my seven year old has inherited my expertise with marbles she beat the lot of us hands down!
Cat’s cradle is such a fun game when you get the hang of it and what could be simpler than a game that just needs a length of wool or string. The two of them played this for ages trying to get the hang of it. You need to tie the string together at the ends then the first person loops the string over each hand running between the thumb and forefinger behind the palms. The second person loops the string once around the first person’s palm then they use each middle finger to hook the string that runs across each opposing palm. Then the idea is that there are two x figures on each side and you pinch them together, pulling it outward and then coming back up through the figure so you pass them on to each other. It does take a little patience to get going but it’s quite addictive once you get going.
It really is amazing to see just how far a little imagination will go. We have had so much fun playing these traditional yet timeless games and it has really got me thinking about how sometimes the simplest of games really are the best. What games would you choose to pass on to your children?
Disclaimer: I really must say a huge thank you to Start-rite Shoes for asking us to be part of the #passiton campaign and also for the shoe box of goodies and shoes that they very kindly provided for the purpose of this post