Old School Games - A Blast from the Past
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Jun 9, 2012

Old School Games - A Blast from the Past

Sometimes the oldest are the best and this certainly applies to games. There was a time when kids would spend hours trying to figure out the Rubix Cube or practice with their Yo-Yo and would be kept out of trouble for hours. Unfortunately many of these games have been superceded by computer games, television programs and the Internet, meaning many have fallen by the roadside. In a walk down memory lane we have listed the top five games from years gone by.


The Yo-Yo has been around for hundreds of years but became especially popular in the 1920’s. Until recently many children and adults played with the toy which consisted of a piece of string wrapped round an axle which had to two discs at either end. The first Yo-Yo’s were made of wood, then metal and then plastic in their later forms. There are many tricks which can be performed by a skilled Yo-Yo-ist and there were many competitions at the height of its popularity with people becoming professional Yo-Yo-ists.

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Also named ‘the Chinese yo-yo’ the diabolo has been around since the 12th century with recent examples not much different from their original counterparts. The game is played by balancing a spool on a piece of string with two sticks attached at the end. There are endless amounts of games to be played and several people can play at once if skilled enough. It was very popular alongside the yo-yo in the 1920’s and 30’s, enjoying a revival in the mid 90’s with brightly coloured rubber diabolos becoming popular.

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Rubix cube

The Rubix cube become extremely popular in the 1970 and 80’s after being invented by Hungarian Erno Rubix. The aim of the puzzle was to tally up the layers of the cube so one side had only one color displayed on it. It is considered as the best selling toy of all time and has stood the test of time with millions still selling every year across the globe.

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Cat’s cradle

This is one of the most simplistic toys ever invented but one that is still played in school playgrounds up and down the country if health and safely haven’t got in the way. Cat’s cradle consists of a long piece of string tied together at each end. Many modern versions have been produced but none are any better than the original string version. A series of shapes and can be formed by the string when folded over in certain ways and it can be played on its own or with two people.

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Draughts is considered to have originated from ancient Egypt where they played a similar board game for years. It is played using a chequered board and flat black or white counters. It has been compared to chess but is far less sophisticated. It is a two player game and the aim is for one player to reach the other side of the board with his counters and ‘capturing’ the other players pieces. As with many board games, draughts have been pushed off the radar with computer games becoming so popular but is still played by many each year.

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Hopscotch requires nothing but a flat area and a piece of chalk. Started by the Romans it wasn’t just children who played the game and Roman soldiers were apparently very fond of the past time too. In those times hopscotch games could be far longer than they are now and have many participants in each game. The game is played by marking out hopscotch squares and then throwing a counter onto the first square without it bouncing or landing on two squares at once. If done successfully they can hop onto that square, if not, they have to wait their turn. The same carries on in this manner until the first person to reach the end is declared the winner.

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Croquet is considered a very old fashioned game in these times but was extremely popular in the late 19th century right up until the 80’s where it dropped off in popularity. A game which was enjoyed by the royals and celebrities, it involves hitting wooden balls around the lawn through hoops which are strategically placed. There are several croquet clubs still in existence but sports such as golf and tennis have become more popular in the last twenty years.

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About the Author: Jenny Quirk is a freelance journalist and currently works as a copywriter for Ladbrokes