Recently my kids, some friends and I all had the opportunity to host outdoor games for a local Victorian festival. This was a wonderful chance to not only utilize some of our picnic games like ring toss, ball toss, sack races and jump ropes but also be creative and find other period activities. Our job was to help entertain the kids right before the story times and help get the children into age groups for their stories. So we looked into the old history books (Google search) to find some proper pass time actives for the turn of the century.
The hoop and stick, and stilt walking were among the many games we found so those were added to the list. Croquette was also very popular so we had a set on hand and showed the kids the basics for the game and allowed them to knock the balls through the widgets and try to hit the peg for a point. Dan (aka Tippy) even showed off his juggling skills with the croquette balls, giving the crowd another example of how folks used what they had to make the day go by and have fun doing so.
One of the stories involved music so we crafted some homemade shakers from small milk bottles and added things like rice, gravel and beads for different sounds. We also demonstrated how the washboard was not only a tool for cleaning clothes but became an instrument when played with a thimble or spoon. Small buckets became a drum when the bottom is tapped with your hand or stick.
Not only did kids of all ages have fun with the games but many of the adults joined in as well. Several of the adults commenting how they played these games as kids. We had fun sharing the games and musical instruments with the guests as well as giving them a bit of a history lesson on how folks passed their time before radio, TV and the internet.
The day was wrapped up with a duck race down the river at the edge of town. People could purchase a duck for a chance to win prizes with the proceeds going to a local charity.
This was such a great opportunity to use the skills we have learned as clowns and family entertainers and step outside the box a bit and entertain in a new kind of venue. This just shows that with a little time and effort you can go above and beyond what people might expect from a group of kid show entertainers.