People from every generation have beautiful memories of their childhood, but the 90’s kids always stand out, as they have seen a tremendous transition in their formative years.
If you are someone in your 30s or 40s, you know what we are talking about.
From having lived a childhood with simple joys of roaming on the streets, playing outdoor games, and eating street food, to raising kids in a world which seems to halt without the internet, the 90’s generation truly has seen the world turn around.
The mere mention of the ’90s brought us fine memories of our childhood when play used to mean either having loads of fun with friends every evening with entertaining games or having all the family members together for a fun indoor game session, none of which had to do anything with technology.
Whether it’s a game of hide-n-seek or a game of badminton, the 90’s kids had the best set of games. But we wonder if today’s generation will have the same enthusiasm when they look back. With their life glued to the screens for the tiniest of needs, the excitement of meeting friends or the fun of playing together seems scarce.
The wave of tech has made us forget classic old games and the simple pleasures of life. But, what if we could bring back the fun of 90’ to today’s set of toddlers so that they can have fun, and at the same time improve their skills? Can we “remix” these games so that our kids play and have fun without gadgets?
Here are a few ideas on how we can tweak some of our classic ’90s traditional games to bring around madness and mindfulness into today’s kids.
1. Hide-N-Seek or Chhupam Chhupai
Call it hide-n-seek, Chhupam Chhupai, or Kannamoochi, this was the most popular and one of the favorite games among kids in the ’90s, which kids used to play both indoors and outdoors. It’s not just children who used to enjoy this, parents used to play this game with their children at an early stage, as it teaches them the process of attachment and detachment in a safe and caring environment.
You can also simplify the game by using play silks to hide objects, giving them clues, and asking them to find them. Play silks can also be used for blindfolding and playing. This is a great way of engaging a child and building detective skills.
So, the next time your kid is stuck in the house bored, don’t let go of the chance for an exciting game of hide-n-seek.
2. Playing cards or Taash
Whether it is a day of the cousin’s marriage or a long journey by train, playing cards always came to the rescue. There were many popular games with playing cards like, satte pe satta, rummy, teen do paanch, and of course- bluff.
Keeping the technicalities aside, we could use the playing cards to teach our toddlers skills like sorting, counting, or even matching different colors. This could be a very convenient way of engaging your child at any time, especially during long road trips.
3. Snake and Ladder, or Saap seedhi
One of the most ancient games of India, Snakes and ladders has been played by every generation.
It’s a board game with numbered, gridded squares, for two or more players where they roll a dice and move their piece on the gameboard step by step. It’s a simple game based on pure luck.
Rolling the dice in itself is an exciting game for kids and playing snakes and ladders would help us teach them counting skills. You can also tweak it by making a grid with Slides and ladders, instead of snakes, to make it more entertaining as kids would enjoy the feeling of sliding down when reaching the start of the slide.
Make sure you get a dice that is not very small for the kid as it might not be safe. Larger, colorful dice would make it easier for them to play.
Hopscotch or Nondi is a popular playground game, in which players toss a small object into numbered spaces of a pattern of rectangles outlined on the ground and then hop or jump through the spaces on one leg to retrieve the object.
You can start with a simple grid with smaller blocks for the kid to jump easily, and then eventually teach them a sense of balance when they try to hop on one leg.
The steam-powered boat was one of the thrilling toys among the 90s kids. When a small heat source such as a candle is placed under the boiler, the boat takes off moving through the water. Once the candle is over, one could use a wick and oil in the candle holder and play again. Easy to store and carry, this toy will truly amaze and help kids self-discover the science behind its working.
6. Spin tops or Lattoo
Spin tops were very popular as street games and not everybody could master them. It required practice and skill to play spin tops. Nowadays very few kids play with these, and it is losing its thrill.
There are many options in spin tops that you can get like Long Handled spinning tops that would be easier for the kids to spin.
7. Memory game
There are many versions of the memory game, and the one version that doesn’t require any material is the best one. This is one of the most important educational games for a child’s skill development.
You can play this game with your kid anywhere and everywhere. For this game, just pick up a theme, say like, flowers. The first person will say, Rose, the next one will say, Rose, Lily, then Rose, lily, Orchid, and so on.
You can modify this game for your toddler and make it more creative. You can start with a word and the next person can say a related term, like, sky. The child can say, blue, and next can be blueberry, and so on.
The no. of games from the 90’s generation is endless, and it is up to us that we do not let these amazing games vanish and play with the next generation to keep the excitement and craziness alive.
The ’90s was a time when the kids went to school walking, spent a crazy fun day at school, came home, and finished their homework asap so that they could go out to play with friends, play board games and cards on rainy days, and all of these without worrying about the next minute. A time when materialistic things were limited but fun was unlimited. A time when kids played on their own, learned the lessons of winning, losing, and sharing on their own, and kids who can cope with failures, grow up to handle every challenge in life fearlessly.
The main learning that we can take from the 90’s generation for today’s kids is, we don’t need a phone to talk to people, television to be entertained, a video game to curb boredom, and expensive toys for a child to learn how to play.
Let kids play with neighbor’s kids, get their hands dirty in the mud, play in the sun and rain, make paper boats, go to parks when bored, explore farms, and get close to nature. Teach them the art of enjoying things without worrying.
Sure, technology has made life easier and more convenient, but it has also wiped out the magic of simplicity and the enthusiasm for engaging in innovative play.