In the age of technology and ridiculously realistic video games, it is hard to keep a child's attention with anything that might be considered "old" or "low-tech." It is hilarious that what we loved to play with as kids are looked at with such disdain by the newer generations of children.
But most of that disdain comes from the fact that they have never actually attempted to play in this place that we used to call "outside."
1. Velcro throw and catch ball game.
This was one of those things that always seemed to come out when it was time to head to the beach. My brother and I could play for hours with these things, until we would eventually start wailing the ball at each other as hard as we could. Still, awesome outdoor activity for friends or siblings.
These were the big fad when I was in grade one. We used to build our own game pits out in the school yard and play each other for marbles. It was lesson in gambling at a young age, but it was still a lot of fun, and it helped to develop some hand eye coordination.
3. Classic cup and ball game.
I don't know how much fun this actually was, but I know that I could spend hours with this, frustrated, trying over and over again to get into a rhythm. This is one of those toys that you just want to be able to get good at in order to show up your friends. I still have one that I use when sitting at my desk.
This will blow your kid's mind the first time they put their eye up to this prismatic tube. Remember turning everything that you looked at into a beautiful and complex image? Now your kids can share in the same experience, and who knows, it might actually inspire some creativity in them.
5. Magnetic fishing toy.
I might just order one of these for myself! These things were a ton of fun, and they helped us to develop a great deal of hand-eye-coordination. Your kids will get hours of fun out of this bad boy, I know my kids will.
6. Metal springy toy.
The classic slinky. Most kids look at this like a lost artifact that makes absolutely no sense to them. But when you show them exactly what they can do (thank you laws of physics) they will be entranced in trying to get it further down the stairs than their siblings.
7. Spinning top.
A lot of people aren't aware that tops aren't just meant for a single person spinning one in place. They are actually meant for a larger game where you try and knock other tops out of the circle. It is a fun competition for those that learn a few tricks to spinning.
8. Water ring toss.
The original "video game", the water ring toss didn't (and still doesn't) require any batteries. Just hand one of these to your kids and watch them struggle for hours to get all of the pieces in place. Again, another game that raises the frustration level to a point where you just have to finish the game.
9. Wooden pick up sticks.
Do your children have critical thinking skills? Are they able to understand balance? Either way this game is a lot of fun for them. Learning how to play this properly will help teach your kids a lot of skills they otherwise don't work on, and they won't even realize they are learning something until it's too late.
"Walking the dog!" Enough said. The yo-yo is one of those toys that will never go completely out of style, and it is great for anyone.
As hard as it can be to relate to your kids these days, when things have changed so much since when we were young, these toys might actually help you have fun together.