Games that parents used to play like five stones (batu lima or batu seremban), rubber rope (lompat getah), and bottle caps (tutup botol) are probably lost and maybe unknown to many kids nowadays.
Getting most of their games and/or entertainment from tablets like iPad or Samsung Tab, kids nowadays are in danger of not knowing what’s it like to play outdoors and experience life the way most of their parents did. It’s almost a norm now to see kids lugging a tablet bigger than them and engrossed with it so much so that they’re oblivious to the world around them.
Rubber Rope (Lompat Getah) - image source (http://www.jamieywrites.blogspot.com)
Old school games taught us parents to be alert with what’s happening and improve our motor skills. It also taught us interpersonal skill as we get to interact with our friends, most of the times through playful banter and sometimes through fights.
Modern games applications do not offer this kind of interaction. The kids will only be focused to the screen and use his finger to move things about. He didn’t get to move his body and sweat it out as we parents did.
Five stones (Batu Seremban) - Image source (http://www.jamieywrites.blogspot.com)
The five stones (batu seremban) for example helped us to improve our hand-eye coordination for we have to throw one of the pieces into the air while using our hand to grab the others. This was great for the development of our motors skills.
Rubber rope (lompat getah) gave made us sweat like we just ran a mile. The challenge of jumping over the rope that is raised higher and higher after each jump really made us try to outdo ourselves.
Modern games apps like Math Ninja, Super Why, Pictureka! and Shape Builder do help in enhancing children’s mental capacity in sharpening their minds. But while these games concentrate on building kids’ brain development, they do little or almost nil on the children’s physique. Kids will sit down and propped a tablet on their laps for hours on ends.
As parents who had a different experience in growing up, we should be able to balance out the times our kids spend on technology and outdoors. This way, our kids can get the best of both worlds in developing their mental capacity as well as get the exercise they need in improving their motor skills.
We can teach our children these old school games that we played before and let them discover the fun behind congkak or gasing (spinning top) or teng-teng (hopscotch) or marbles. It will be a fun activity between the parents and the kids as we get to teach them and see them try for themselves for the first time.
bottle caps (tutup botol) - image source (http://waktudoludolu.blogspot.com/)
The great thing about old school games like slingshot (lastik), galah panjang or Eagle Catches the Chicks is that they cost next to nothing. Most of the things required for these games can be found almost anywhere around the house. The rubber rope jump just requires a lot of rubber bands, which can be purchased for about RM3 per packet and there’re about 500 – 600 pieces in a pack. Batu seremban can be played with either tiny hand-sewn sacks filled with rice or even smooth-edged pebbles. Bottle cap game can be played with using the caps of glass bottles like that from a soy sauce bottle.
Kids can pick things up quickly and if they were given the chance to try something different from what they’re usually used to, they can have a lot of fun from learning and trying something new. This way, it will be easier for parents to turn their kids’ attention from the iPad to something else if they find that it’s hard for their children to part with their favorite “toy”.
If they’re able bodied, kids need to be physically active in order for them to have a normal growth. Parents can’t make the mistake of concentrating on raising “intelligent” children but neglect the physical development of their kids. Even without fancy mental games, most of us were able to become successful adults and made it through life. Children nowadays are blessed to have the opportunity to learn from so many educational tools and gadgets while still have fun outdoors.
It would be a good thing if we can bring back the old school games that we usually now only think back with fond memories. The games are not hard to play at all; with some basic rules to follow and a large enough space for some of the games, you and your children can have a blast playing them together.
It would be a good and healthy break for your children from the technology around them and it would be great chance for you to bond with your kids.
So get the bottles out and have fun with your kids!