Kids try out games from Dickens’ lifetime

FUN Leia Ramsden, from Copnor, playing with a cup and ball. Picture: Sarah Standing (122689-2214)
FUN Leia Ramsden, from Copnor, playing with a cup and ball. Picture: Sarah Standing (122689-2214)
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GAMES from Victorian times were enjoyed by all at the City Museum, Portsmouth.

Around 75 people played favourite pastimes from the era, such as the whip and top, hoopla, croquet and many board games that inspired the ones of today.

Youngsters learned how to play jacks, which involves throwing a bouncing ball into the air, then picking items off the ground and catching the ball before it hits the ground.

There was also bagatelle, where players ping a marble round a board with the aim of getting it into a numbered hole – similar to a modern-day pinball machine.

The activities were selected to fit in with the theme of the museum’s current exhibition, A Tale of One City, which explores what Portsmouth was like in Dickens’ time.

The museum’s education officer Gareth Brettell said: ‘There were lots of people sitting outside in the sunshine while the children played the games.

‘The children enjoyed having lots of different activities to try out and running around on the grass.

‘Everyone I spoke to said they had a great time. Most of them had been before or were planning to come back again.’

The club, called Out To Lunch, hosts a different activity every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday in August from midday to 2pm.

Future events include a visit from Xtreme Falconry, on August 23, when families will get to see stunning displays and meet some of the birds.

Another upcoming highlight will be the arrival of Millers Ark Farm to the museum garden, on August 30.

Children will have the chance to pet the animals.

Entry to Out To Lunch is free and there’s no need to book.

For more information call (023) 9202 7261.

For a full schedule, see


· Explore wildlife through stories and craft activities at the Beetles, Bugs and Butterflies event in Central Library, Guildhall Square Portsmouth. The class is on from 2pm to 3pm and aimed at children aged four to 12. Entry is free. No need to book.

· Pack up a picnic and your favourite teddy bears and take the family to Teddy Bears Adventures. There will be activities, games and a nature treasure hunt at the family fun day at Queen Elizabeth Country Park. The event, aimed at kids aged up to five, is on from 10.30am to 12.30pm or from 1pm to 3pm. Entry is £3 per child. Advanced booking needed, call (023) 9259 5040.

· Take the tots to Rhymetime and join in with the hand-clapping and toe-tapping fun. The event for babies aged up to two helps children discover rhymes and make new friends. Parents or carers must stay with their children. It’s on from 2pm to 2.30pm in the Gosport Discovery Centre, Gosport. Entry is free, and there’s no need to book. For more information call (023) 9252 3463.

· Dig out a few old tupperware tubs, a fishing net, some pens and paper and a camera, and take the kids down to Canoe Lake, in Southsea. Fill the tubs with a little water and scoop out what you can find in the lake. Carefully tip it into the tubs to discover what creatures or wildlife you have found. Keep a tally of what you find and take pictures of anything significant, for example if you find a crab or small fish. Remember to carefully put everything back into the pond before going home.