Games, toys and songs for a traditional summer of fun

Windley School playground in Radford, 1977
Windley School playground in Radford in 1977 D Plowman courtesy of Picture the Past
The summer holidays are here and the sun is shining – the perfect time to revive some traditional fun and games!

A number of National Lottery projects are encouraging families to try out games, songs and toys loved by generations and to capture memories of how play has changed.

Fun and games

Free and outdoors, once loved and still loved, here some of the activities the projects will focus on:

  • Singing songs like Oranges and Lemons and Ring-a-Ring-a-Roses
  • Riding bikes and roller-skating
  • Playing football and rounders
  • Exploring the woods and climbing trees
  • Playing tag, hopscotch and British Bulldog
  • Competing at tiddlywinks and spinning tops
  • Making up games in parks and adventure playgrounds
  • Playing board games like backgammon and snakes and ladders.

Play projects

National Lottery funding has just been awarded to three play projects.

Lunchtime supervisors at Nottingham primary schools will be taught traditional playground games to encourage pupils and parents to get active and play outdoors. The PlayBack project, led by PlayWorks and awarded £46,900, and will see young people capture memories from older generations and help create a community exhibition.

Also in Nottingham, Epic Partners’ Play Times project has been awarded £27,300 to enable teenagers from St Ann’s and Sneinton to explore the history of outdoor play since the 1960s. The group will interview people of all ages and create an interactive map of play in the city.

In the Black Country, Centre Spot has been awarded £50,000 Playground Games project. It will explore how traditional playground games such as tag and British Bulldog started and how they have changed over the past 100 years. Young people will take the lead in creating films about what they discover and reintroducing games to their schools and communities.

Share your memories

In Suffolk, a National Lottery funded project by Suffolk Artlink has shared a series of short films where young people, with the help of an animator, have reimagined memories from older generations about how they used to play.

Share your stories and your plans for play this summer on social media using #NationalLottery!

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