26/06/2015 12:50 BST | Updated 05/05/2017 14:42 BST

Will Children Really Ditch the iPad for Chess?

How many times do we see parents look over at their kids with heads down on devices and hear them say, with both relief and guilt, "what did we do before iPads?".

The tablet obsession may have had its day though according to recent reports. Recently several articles have heralded trends in children opting to play board games over games consoles and how parents want their children to play the traditional games they used to play, but how realistic is it that your child would opt for a game of draughts over Minecraft?

Well, it can be very realistic indeed, especially as parents become excited about their own childhood, practically bursting to reminisce and recreate the games they played several decades ago.

So cast your minds back, find your inner-child and excite your own children with your favourite childhood games.

Skipping Games

An affordable way to play and keep fit! Skipping is great for solo play as well as in groups. It's also great for rhyming and counting. Remember 'I had a little bumper car number 48, I drove it round the coooooooorner and slammed on the brakes, how many miles did your bumper car do? 1, 2, 3, 4, 5....

Treasure Hunts

Plot a treasure hunt course first and then create clues at various points. Use pictures, words, role play and riddles to signpost your child towards the treasure. Themed hunts work well at Easter, Christmas and birthdays too.

Hide and seek

An all-time favourite. The garden, park, garage and inside the house are all perfect playing areas - in fact you can play Hide and Seek just about anywhere! Set your parameters, ensure the counter doesn't peep and depending on how accomplished the hiders are, this game can last for hours.

What's the time Mr Wolf?

Choose a child to be Mr Wolf and ask them to stand at least three metres from the other players. The others stand in a line and ask, "What's the time Mister Wolf?". Mr Wolf calls back an 'o'clock' between one and 12 and the other children take that number of steps toward the 'wolf'. At a time that suits the wolf - usually when the other players are getting closer, they answer the question, 'Dinnertime!' and turn around to catch the other players. Whoever the wolf catches becomes the wolf on the next turn.


In this eco-conscious age, some people prefer using string instead of chalk to mark out the hopscotch grid. I still prefer using chalk and with the amount of rain we get in the UK it's not long before it's naturally washed away! This Victorian game is great for counting, coordination and balance - throw a stone into a square and hop and jump to the one it lands on.

Five stones

Also known as Jacks, this is another great game for fine-tuning coordination. Select five stones - children can paint them first if they wish. Throw one in the air and while it's air borne, pick up as many of the other four as possible - using only one hand. It seemed much easier as a child!


An extension to hide and seek, with much giggling to be had! One person hides and the others must find them. When they do, they must hide with them, getting squeezed in like sardines in a tin! The last person to find the hiders loses.


This game has many versions and names - Tag, Chase, Stuck in the Mud! One person must chase the others, tagging them so they freeze on the spot. Members of their team can un-freeze them by running beneath their arms or crawling through their legs. A perfect game for expending excess energy!

Sleeping Lions

A great one for winding down playtime. All but one or two players lie down and pretend to be asleep. The 'hunters' must move about the room and encourage the other players to move. They cannot touch them but they can talk to them and tell them jokes and so on. Any 'sleeping lion' who moves must join the hunters. The last 'sleeping lion' wins the game.