Ball games are still a hit in Northamptonshire

Children enjoy summer games. Picture by David Levenson
Children enjoy summer games. Picture by David Levenson
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Ball games remain the favourite summer holiday pastime in Northamptonshire - according to the National Trust.

To celebrate the sporting summer, the National Trust surveyed residents in Northamptonshire and across the Midlands to find out whether our favourite summer holiday games and pastimes have changed over the years.

In Northamptonshire ball games remain the favourite, chosen by 48 per cent of respondents.

National Trust places across Northamptonshire will be celebrating the games and activities of the past throughout the school summer holidays.

Regional director of the National Trust in the Midlands Beccy Speight said: “Many of us will have fond memories of the games we played in our own summer holidays.

“We hope that people will share the games they enjoyed with their own children and grandchildren, and what better place to do that than some of the wonderful outdoor spaces on our doorsteps here in the Midlands.

“So many of the games people have told us they enjoyed – ball games, skipping and I spy – are played outside, helping children to build a lifelong connection with nature.”

The full Midlands-based survey revealed some firm favourites from the 1950s generations onwards, with ball games in the number one spot at 35 per cent, followed by hide and seek at 15 per cent and I Spy at 10 per cent.

Skipping roped up the ranks with 13 per cent of 1960s kids compared with just six per cent for the under 25s, whereas skittles grew steadily in popularity from just one per cent for kids in the 1950s to a striking 12 per cent for the under 25s.

Children visiting a National Trust place over the summer holidays can tick off many of the charity’s list of 50 Things To Do Before You’re 11¾, which includes everything from running around in the rain and bug hunting, to setting up a snail race, damming a stream, flying a kite and making a (delicious) mud pie.

Children can pick up a free scrapbook from participating places – and start, or continue, their outdoor adventures to do list.

In Northamptonshire, children can build a den and hunt for bugs at Canons Ashby, or set up a snail race at Lyveden New Bield.

To find out where to complete one of the 50 things, visit

A full list and holiday activity planner, as well as a voucher giving children free entry to National Trust places in August, can be downloaded at