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Remembering games of yesteryear - By RUTH LIEW

IT’S the mid-year school holidays! Public places such as theme parks and cinemas are packed with people. What are you doing with your children?Children need to explore and expand their minds. Many children today tend to spend their time in front of the television, computer, or handphone. Children need to find out about the world they live in. They are keen to discover the many talents they may have.There are many inexpensive ideas you can experiment with, without worrying about cost. For starters, go visit the local museums and art galleries.

Check out the public libraries for activities. Apart from being a place where you can borrow books, libraries today plan activities to keep children entertained. Story- telling, art and craft activities and special exhibitions are available free of charge for families with children.Take a walk in the great outdoors and build a collection of leaves and stones. Research has also suggested that walking improves memory and enhances attention.

Remember playing games as a child? Parents can relive their childhood with their children by organising these games for their children during the holidays.Children can use their imagination and creativity in these games. The childhood games are great fun because they are open-ended and the rules are few.

Readers Able Cheng of and his wife Sean Choo shared these games with me. I am sure many parents are familiar with them.
AEIOU: One child (leader) stands alone with his/her back against a group of children. They stand in a row facing the leader. The leader shouts AEIOU, then turns around to look at the group behind him.
As the leader says A-E-I-O-U, the group of children walk towards him. Everyone freezes when the leader turns around to look at them after shouting out A-E-I-O-U.
Those who are caught with some movement, will be eliminated. The game is played until the remaining players get closer and closer to the leader.
One of them touches the leader and runs back to the starting line. The leader will chase after him. The child is considered a winner if he crosses the line and the leader fails to catch him.

Single-legged dragon: Draw a circle on the floor. All the players stand in the circle. Pick one to jump with one leg to touch the rest of the gang. All the players are only allowed to move around in the circle.The last person left without being “touched” is the winner. Repeat the game by picking another child to jump one-legged.

Masak-masak: Gather children from your neighbourhood to collect different types of leaves. Use them as “ingredients” to “cook” a meal.

The eagle and the chickens: Form a line of “chickens” by holding hands as a team. One player becomes the “eagle” and tries to catch the chickens in the line.

Jumping rope: Use rubber bands to make the skipping rope. A child will hold the rope at each end and everyone takes turns to jump over the rope. The height will be adjusted after every child has had his/her turn. The person who can jump over the last height is the winner.

Flying planes using lalang: Hold the lalang with two fingers and slide the middle part of the lalang, the lalang will “fly” out.

Shadow games: Hold a torchlight in a dark room and use your fingers to form various animals such as birds, dogs and cats.

Paper dolls: In the days of old, we bought paper dolls and the paper clothes for the dolls from the neighbourhood grocery shop. We exchanged clothes with friends and dressed up the paper dolls.

Sentuhan Bayu: My favorites has always been batu seremban & Jumping rope. Was not a good runner myself hehehehe I was really tall among the girls of my age at that time. Lily long leg..... is the nick my grandma used to call me. Adoii!

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