Childhood games

Did you grow up in a time when children roamed more freely, taking over the streets with games of cricket, cops and robbers, and marbles? 

Relive memories of childhood with a range of activities focusing on popular childhood games from the 1920s to the 1960s.

Three boys playing with a toy train set, teddy bear and other toys on the lawn of a backyard.Three brothers Darryl, John and Trevor Hawksworth, in the backyard of the Hawksworth family home, Strathmore, 1949.
Three Boys with Train Set & Teddy, Backyard, Strathmore, 1949.


Listen to a selection of popular children’s songs, rhymes, and jingles from Australia and abroad.

Image slideshow

Download images from Museums Victoria’s collection depicting children's games, toys, and hobbies from last century.


Test your general knowledge about growing up in Australia in the mid-20th Century:

Colouring in

Download a printable colouring in sheet inspired by photographs from our collection.


Other activity suggestions

Knitting Nancy

Make your own Knitting Nancy using an empty toilet roll and 4 pop sticks or an old wooden cotton reel and nails if you have some on hand.

Outdoor and indoor games

Get competitive and challenge someone to a game using materials easily found around the house. You could attempt a game of marbles, knuckles or try a spinning top tournament. Pull out a board game or grab a deck of cards. Or if the weather is nice and you have access to some lawn why not try something like croquet, quoits and bocce. Increase the stakes with a prize for the winner. Before you start make sure that you have agreed on which rules to use.


Watch a nostalgic film from your childhood.

Some suggestions:

  • Cinderella (1950)
  • Fantasia (1940)
  • The Wizard of Oz (1939)
  • Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)
  • Pinocchio (1940)
  • Bush Christmas (1947)
  • The Kangaroo kid (1950)
  • Skippy the Bush Kangaroo (TV Series or Film)
  • Bambi (1942)
  • Lassie Come Home (1943)

Kite flying

Make and decorate a simple kite and take it outdoors on a windy day. There are lots of tutorials on YouTube with clear instructions and simple materials found around the home. You could even have a competition with someone and put a few different styles to the test.

Rhymes and riddles

Have a go at writing some rhymes or solving some riddles. Why not send some cheeky limericks to friends or family. Or test your lateral thinking by trying to solve some online riddles.


Pull out a puzzle or if you don’t have access to one we’ve turned some of our much loved collection items, museum galleries and iconic buildings into virtual puzzles.

Check out our collection

Take a tour of miniature mansion, Pendle Hall

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