Being a grown up needn’t mean an end to fun. If you still hanker after your old childhood pursuits, here are some adult-sanctioned ways to tap into your inner kid
Before work, mortgages and remembering to put out the recycling came along, life was largely one big playtime.
Fortunately, if you still hanker after those childhood pursuits, being a grown up doesn’t need to get in the way of some good old-fashioned fun.
Here are some adult-sanctioned ways to tap into your inner kid…
Dangle a horse chestnut on an old bootlace in front of most children and they’ll likely only look up from their tablet to roll their eyes at you.
But back in the day, if you could smash your classmate’s conker to smithereens, you could be king or queen of the playground.
A bit of the dark arts were certainly employed to improve a conker’s durability – favourite performance enhancers included soaking them in vinegar and baking them in the oven. (Caveat: we have no idea if this works).
If you still want some traditional autumn sport, head to the official World Conker Championships.
Staged since 1965, it’s now held at Southwick, near Oundle in Northamptonshire.
This year’s competition is on 11 October and there’s still time to claim a place to play or watch at this beautifully quirky occasion. Visit worldconkerchampionships.com
It’s a timeless pastime that smacks of good wholesome fun. Yes, some may think a smart, radio-controlled drone beats a bit of nylon lashed to a flimsy frame hands down.
But we suggest you head to the park or beach with your kite on a blustery day and watch it soar, dip and loop-the-loop for some pure, old-fashioned pleasure.
Plus the kite world has moved on over the years – there are now hundreds of different designs and shapes to pick from in specialist shops or online.
If you’re looking for some tips before you invest, check out the Kite Society of Great Britain’s site.
And if you need some inspiration, pop along to one of the many kite festivals that are staged during the year. See events at kitecalendar.co.uk
Back in 1976, many thought skateboarding was simply the latest fad from the States that would fade away like clackers did (remember them?) But forty years on it’s still very much with us.
The boards, trucks, wheels and kit might be slicker, but the basics are still the same. You can still do the tricks you once mastered (or maybe didn’t) at some of the original Seventies skate parks.
The Rom Skatepark in Hornchurch, Essex, was recently listed by English Heritage while Harrow Skate Park, Middlesex is still hugely popular.
Most of us first encountered rounders during summer term at primary school. Fluffing that catch on first base or hitting a home run with your mates chanting your name was the stuff that childhood memories are made of.
Yet those long-lost days can be easily revived. If you want to remind yourself of the proper rules or even find a team to play with, visit roundersengland.co.uk. If you just want to do it for fun in the park or beach, that’s even easier.
Use jumpers for bases, dig out an old tennis ball and if you’re struggling for a bat, a wooden rolling pin makes a good substitute. So who’s going to be backstop?
Thirty or forty years ago, you could only really find trampolines in school gyms or leisure centres.
But today, the world of trampolines has sprung into life with numerous trampoline parks popping up all over the country in the past decade, providing everything from fitness classes to trampoline basketball.
Far bigger in scale, these consist of dozens of interlinked trampolines where kids and adults can leap about to their heart’s content – or at least until their session ends.
If swirlies, cat’s eyes, and steelies mean anything to you, it’s probably because playing marbles filled a fair chunk of your childhood.
They say that primitive types of marbles were even discovered when Ancient Egyptian tombs were opened, so there’s nothing flash-in-the-pan about this kids’ game.
If you long for another chance to fire your prized “shooter”, help is at hand. Thanks to the British and World Marbles Championship that has been staged since 1932, the pastime continues to flourish.
It is held each Good Friday outside the Greyhound pub in Crawley, West Sussex. At next year’s event on 14 April you can watch true masters of this sport battle it out, and have a go yourself. See greyhoundmarbles.com for more details.