Not that my gaggle of children have run out of things to do, but I thought it would be fun to share a few of our favourite outdoor games. The ones that are great to have in your back pocket when the garden is invaded with, not just your own children, but their friends too. Have you ever noticed that children are like magnets? They seem to attract more children.
First up is “Blindfold trail”. Take a long, long length of garden twine and lay a trail for them to follow. Wind it around the natural obstacles in the garden. The children use their hands to follow the string, wherever it takes them. Wearing a blindfold. Almost forgot to say that.
We find it handy to have at least one person to make sure that the blindfolded person does not fall over on uneven surfaces, or poke their eyes out on tree branches. Bit of a game spoiler otherwise.
They loved following the trail I set them round the garden today. It doesn’t take long before they’re not sure where they are in the garden. Lots of smiles and giggles. Even some team work spontaneously occurring.
Next up is the “Predator and Prey” game. This is one I picked up from 5OrangePotatoes, a few years back. We’ve changed it slightly, but the idea is that one person is the predator and everyone else is prey. The predator stands in the middle of an open area, with his hands hiding his eyes. The prey move around. Not necessarily on all fours. Suddenly the predator will dramatically drop his hands and look. If he sees any of the prey move, then they lose a life.
The prey can hide behind a tree and be out of sight, or out in the open in plain view, but very still. The first prey to lose three lives becomes the predator. Good excuse to discuss the difference between predators and whether they hunt by sight or sound. Not forgetting smell. Also the camouflage techniques of those at the bottom of the food chain.
Finally, Sky walking. Take a mirror out into the garden. We have an old one that was designed to be tied to a baby’s cot. Hold it so that you can see the sky reflected and look at it while you walk. Being careful to avoid any real obstacles. A strange feeling. Sometimes a bird’s nests or two are discovered.
(Mining bees are very busy in our garden at the moment. I couldn’t resist snapping a few photos. This one stayed until I had the perfect shot. Thank you, little bee.)
I asked the children to list a few of their other favourite garden games. In no particular order, here are the ones that sprang to mind:
2. Den making
3. Hide and seek
4. Obstacle course
5. Piggy in the middle
6. Shadow tag. (Stepping on someone else’s shadow to catch them in a game of it or stuck in the mud)
7. Chalk drawing
8. Mini Olympics
9. Treasure hunt with clues left around the garden
10. Scavenger hunts
(Finding fossils in the garden.)
I’ve found that any of these games, for a short while, will suit all the children. Any longer, and the age differences becomes too obvious. Lots of laughter and giggles. Followed by three tired children by bedtime. Happy days!