Making games for children

We played so many games as kids and they did not cost the world either, mainly because we did not have a lot of money in those days.  Many people today are still short of money so the more ideas you can try making yourself will make your money go further this Christmas Holdiday or any time of the year.


So have fun and make these Age Old Games with the kids, although you will have to start collecting some of the things now. On the plus side it will keep the children occupied making something different and out of mischief while you are preparing for the Christmas dinner or you can make them at any time of year.

You can make these with the kids or make them yourself and give them as a gift. I have found that the cheapest and most played games by children are the simplest.

Gazillion Bubble Hurricane Machine
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These are in a non spill container so the kids won't spill the liquid

Bubbles and Balloons

Blowing Bubbles

The old bubble pipe, these are not expensive and can be made with a piece of wire formed into a loop,  dip into a dish with soap and water. The kids will spend hours blowing and catching these bubbles. This can be played by kids of all ages and the adults can help the younger ones.


Balloons are something else that will not cost you the earth. These can be played outside and filled with water in the summer or just blown up for indoors.

You can buy them in all different shapes.  Plus you can blow them up and learn how to make a variety of different animal shapes.

Qualatex 260 Latex Balloons Assorted Colors 250 per package
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Blow these up and create your own shapes of animals,trains or anything your imagination can conjure.

Knuckle Bones

Preparing Knuckle bones:

This one is simple; all you need to do is keep the knuckle out of your roast leg of lamb for the next five weeks. Each knuckle will have to be cleaned properly. Remove any meat off the bone. Now put it out in the sun to dry, the ants may help you to remove the last of the flesh left on the knuckle.

Once you have cleaned five of these you can actually use them as they are although you could paint them either all in one color or all different colors. This is best played sitting on the floor and can be played by 1 or more players.

How to play Knucklebones:

Hold all five in the palm of your hand then throw them up just a little way and quickly turn your hand over and catch as many as you can on the back of your hand.

Throw these up and catch in hand again. Keep one in your hand as a tor. Now you need to throw the tor (one in hand) up in the air and pick up one of the remaining knuckle bones left on the floor and catch the one you threw up before it falls.

Now you should have two in your hand. Put one in other hand and do the same again until you have retrieved the balance of knuckle bones on the floor. 

Next you repeat the same actions,  except this time you have to pick up two knuckle bones at a time off the floor. Then three at a time and of course if you were unlucky enough to have only caught one on the back of your hand then four at a time. When you have done that the next person has their turn.

Such a simple idea yet it is something that anyone can do on their own. And it encourages hand and eye co-ordination which is a good thing for everyone.

Fox Run Bamboo Skewers, Set of 100
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These are designed to cook your kababs on although they can also be used for a variety of other uses.

 Fiddle Sticks

We called this game fiddle sticks although I think it was called something else more recently. This one is easy to make too; all you need to do is keep all your old Kebab sticks or you can buy these sticks in a packet which will be better and cleaner.

Preparing sticks

You will need:

  • Different colored water paints
  • Paint brush
  • About twenty five sticks

The idea is to have all the sticks painted on the ends in say four different colors. It doesn't really matter how they are painted as long as you can see the colors of each stick.

  • Paint one in black this will counts as 30 points
  • Paint eight blue these will count as 20 points
  • Paint eight red these will count as 10 points
  • Paint eight yellow these will count as 5 points

You can paint them any colors and of course you can make up how many points each one is worth. I have made it easier for younger kids to add up. This game will also encourage them to use the head and may improve their maths.

How to play Fiddle sticks

Hold all sticks together in hand and rest them on table in upright position. Now release them keeping your hands away allowing them to fall naturally. Now the secret to this game is you need a very steady hand. You have to pick up each stick without any of the others moving.

It is best to start picking up the ones not touching anything else. Now try the ones lying across others with least risk of others moving. You can push down on the end on the floor or table which should lift the other end up a bit for you to grab with other hand. Continue in this manner until all are picked up or you move one.

This can be played on table or floor. Although you need a stable table or kids will cheat by wriggling about so the table moves trying to make their opponent go out when a stick moves their turn is over. When this happens you have to count up your scores and write them down. Each person takes their turn and the first one to reach 300 points wins.

This is good fun and tests your nerves a bit too.

Djeco DJ08791 Create Stories- Princesses Cards
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If you are not creative then why not let the kids create their own stories with these princess stamps

Potato Stencil Painting

This one can be a bit messy so it is best to have the kids wear an apron and maybe do it outside on an old table.

You will need:

  • 2 or 3 potatoes (Depending on how many children)
  • Colored paints or stamp pads
  • Knife (make sure it is not too sharp) we do not want anyone to cut themselves
  • Paper

How to make

Cut potato in half and then cut a pattern of any description into the cut side of the potato. You could cut little V's out around the edge to make it look like a star. Make a face by gouging holes for the eyes, nose and a slit for the mouth. Let the children use their creative imagination at this stage. You will be surprised what they will come up with.

When they are satisfied with their effort, they can dip this side into the water paint or press down on the stamp pad. Then put it on the paper and decorate this. You can use different colors for different patterns.

This is another way for them to make their own Christmas cards. Once they have decorated the paper they can write a little message to who they want to give the card too.

Creat your own board game

Marble Painting 

Kids will love the idea of making their own creative paper. This can be done using craft paints available from any craft shop.  Place water into a flat oblong dish. Squirt different colors of paint. Swirl the water just a little to make a pattern. Now place a plain piece of paper on top and lift carefully off. Leave paper to dry.

You can also fold a piece of paper in half. Squirt some paint on paper (can use a couple of colors of choice) now fold paper. This causes the paint to spread creating different shapes. Kids can use these papers once dried out to make decorative articles or wrap small gifts with, depending on size of paper used.

You can even learn how to make your own crossword puzzles

Popsticks is another fun thing for kids to be creative with. They could make their own presents for other children

Jigsaws are another great way to interact and spend time with the whole family. Just forget the TV and drag out a Jigsaw puzzles

American Girl Crafts Paint-by-Number Paper Art
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Painting by numbers allows the budding artist to paint the right colours into the picture by matching the number to the color