How we occupied the kids before computers

by Sara

Hooray! School has finished and summer holidays begin. No doubt your children are looking forward to all the fun activities they can do with their family and friends during the 6 weeks holidays most schools enjoy in the UK. Some parents may feel overwhelmed with organising and brainstorming ideas to keep their children occupied whilst having fun, not to mention the cost often involved in taking them to theme parks, leisure centres or similar venues.

First Tutors have put together 7 retro low cost kids games to keep your little ones learning and active.


Hopping on one foot is a complex movement and promotes not just physical coordination, but balance and cognitive development too. The game as we know it today dates back to the 17th century and is even believed to have been played by Roman children. It can be played alone or with several players and involves tossing a small object (stone/pebble) into numbered triangles of a pattern of rectangles marked in chalk on the ground. Players hop or jump through the spaces to retrieve the object.

Homemade Ice Lollies

If the weather isn't good making ice lollies is always fun and means there is something refreshing to eat when the sun is shining again :) For quick healthy lollies just freeze natural orange juice, more elaborate ones can be made with natural yogurts and small fruits such as blackberries or pomegranates. Delicious colourful lolly recipes can be found here.

Play marbles

Buy your child a bag of marbles and teach them how to play. Playing with marbles develops social intelligence in children. If you can't remember how the game is played click HERE.


Kite flying

There is something very satisfying about making a kite and watching it fly. If you are lucky enough to live near the beach this is the ideal place to fly a kite. You can make your own kite with a couple of sticks, some string and a rubbish bag!

Mikado (pick-up sticks)

This game looks easy but needs a very steady hand to win. Sticks are bundled and the aim is to remove one stick at a time without touching the others. Fantastic game for children to work on their hand-eye coordination.


Homemade Bubbles

1/2 cup washing up liquid

4 cups of water

1/2 cup glycerine

Mix all together and allow to stand for a day or two. Have fun!

Simon Says

If you have a child that loves being the boss then this game is for them.

Simon issues commands to players, the players must listen carefully and follow the commands. Commands are given by first saying "Simon Says". If a command is ordered without first saying Simon says and the player follows the command they are out of the game.