Cat's Cradle, MASH and More Retro Crafts and Games to Teach Your Daughter

These old school girl pastimes (remember MASH?) still hold up -- and your daughter will love them as much as you did

Admit it: part of the reason you were psyched to have a daughter was because now you’d have someone to make friendship bracelets with again. We’ve rounded up 10 flashback activities and projects you were obsessed with as a kid -- and that your daughter (and yes, your son) will dig, too.

Cat's Cradle

 Games to Pass on to Your Daughter

Ultra.F/Digital Vision/Getty Images

Before the iPad, there was the string game Cat’s Cradle to get you through interminable car trips. All you need to play is a long piece of string tied together to make a circle, and two sets of hands to pass it back and forth, making different shapes, like the Manger and Diamonds, by transferring them. It’s hard to explain, but there’s a step-by-step photo tutorial on Wikihow.

Fortune Tellers

 Games to Pass on to Your Daughter

Bonita Cooke/Flickr/Getty Images

Remember when figuring out where to live was as easy as choosing between MASH – mansion, apartment, shack or house (although really, who would choose S?) Fortune tellers are made with a square piece of paper, a pen and the imagination to dream up some funny fortunes. The printable has the step-by-step directions; just replace the color names with MASH if you so desire.

Chinese Jump Rope

 Games to Pass on to Your Daughter

Mendy Waits,

This one was great for killing time at the bus stop. Chinese Jump Rope or Double Dutch, is played with three kids and a long piece of elastic tied in a circle. The band goes around the ankles of two players, forming a rectangle, and the third player performs a series of jumps in the middle. Babycenter has a good summary of the jump series, from In-Outs to Crossovers.

Friendship Bracelets

 Games to Pass on to Your Daughter

Lily Bloom Studio

Nothing says BFF like a customized DIY bracelet you spent hours making. These woven beauties can be made in a variety of patterns and color combos. You’ll just need embroidery thread, scissors and either a clip board or a safety pin you attach to your pants to hold it in place. Design Mom has step-by-step instructions to make a simple striped bracelet, while Purl Bee shows you how to do a more complicated V pattern.


 Games to Pass on to Your Daughter

Robin, NiceTouch on Etsy

You may not have been old enough for your own set of keys but that didn’t stop you from making lanyard keychains up the wazoo. Made using plastic gimp string or craft lace, lanyards can be woven together using a basic box weave, or more complicated patterns like the cobra. Instructables has a good picture tutorial on how to get started. You can also use lanyards for zipper pulls, or weave them long enough for a bracelet.

Jump Rope Games

 Games to Pass on to Your Daughter

Chev Wilkinson/Cultura/Getty Images

Remember when all you needed was a jump rope to keep you entertained all afternoon? Rope games range from good-for-preschool helicopter to takes-some-skillz double dutch. Here’s a good round-up of games for different levels -- and even a fun twist that incorporates water on a hot summer day. Bonus: Jump in to get a workout, Mom!

Hand-Clapping Games

 Games to Pass on to Your Daughter

Image Source/Getty Images

You still totally remember every word of Miss Mary Mack (Mack Mack), don’t you? Buzzfeed will jog your memory with its round-up vintage ditties like “Down Down Baby,” or check out Miss Mary Mack and Other Children’s Street Rhymes for a full collection of songs plus the hand motions that go with them.

Pot Holders

 Games to Pass on to Your Daughter

Sewing Mom

Your mom still probably has about dozen of these woven beauties in her kitchen drawer. This final product is as satisfying as you remember it, as you weave loops under and over -- only this time you’ll be the lucky recipient. If you can’t dig out your vintage loom from your parents’ attic, you can score a new one on Amazon.

French Braids

 Games to Pass on to Your Daughter

Babes in Hairland

In the ‘80s, no hairdo was fancier than the French braid. Now braids are back, although with more of a bo-ho vibe. Teach your daughter to braid her own hair for easier mornings, plus someone else’s too, so she can play hair salon with a friend. Feeling rusty? There’s a great video tutorial on Real Simple.

Hula Hoop

 Games to Pass on to Your Daughter

Bec Parsons/Digital Vision/Getty Images

You used to rule the hoop, and now it’s time to pass down that gyrating prowess to the next generation. Make sure you get the right size for your kid; the hoop should hit between her navel and bust when you stand it up next to her. And don’t worry if your hips aren’t quite is liquid as they used to be -- has a refresher on how to spin it round.

Mom of two Sasha Emmons is a writer and editor. Follow her on Twitter and Google+.

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