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Teachers' Notes

Children's Games in the 1950s

In the 1950s children often played games in the streets outside their houses. This was much safer, as fewer people owned cars and there was far less traffic. Children also played different types of games, with more simple toys. Instead of computer games, they had footballs, hula hoops, skipping ropes and cards. 

 

A Still from a Film of Life on Hull's Street in 1950

This video shows street scenes in Hull from 1950. It begins with children playing a variety of games in the street, including British Bull Dog and wrestling. There are also shots of children playing hopscotch, pavement chalking, blind man's bluff, ring-a-ring-a-roses and swapping cigarette cards.

 

Playing with a Toy Fort in 1950.

Activity: 1950s Games

After watching the Hull Street Scenes film clip, children from St Bart's School in Leeds took part in a question and answer session, thinking about the following questions:

  • What games did children play in the 1950s?
  • Where did they play?
  • Who did they play with?
  • Do we still play any of these games today?

They then had the opportunity to play some of the games from the video, including hula hoops, hop scotch and skipping.

 

Primary Students Trying out 1950s Children's Games

After playing with the 1950s toys and games, the children compared them with modern games in pairs, thinking about how they are similar/different and which they preferred.