games for large numbers - The Born Unique Baby Guide

games for large numbers - The Born Unique Baby Guide
By
Teresa Evans
Copyright © 2010 Teresa Evans.
All rights reserved.
Permission is given for the making of copies for use
in the home or classroom of the purchaser only.
More Games for Kids Available at
www.makingmathmorefun.com
www.math-board-games.com
www.kids-christmas-activities.com
www.kids-halloween-activities.com
www.kids-easter-activities.com
Contents
Hints and Tips for Using The
Games
Indoor Games
Add A Word Story
Balloon Volleyball
Blow Football
Blow Ping Pong
Disguises
Drop It
Fortunately, Unfortunately
Gestures
Hot or Cold
I Went Shopping
Last One Loses
Memory Game
Mirrors
Movement Chain
Mystery Bag
Mystery Mime
Nim
Opposites
Paper, Scissors, Rock
Pass the Mime
Robots
Sardines – Inside
Secret Sound
Simple Charades
Tangram Tangles
Taste It
What Letter Is This?
What’s in the Bag?
Witnesses
Outdoor Games
Alien
Ball Bounce
Blanket Toss
Bowling
- Kick Bowling
Brandy
Dragon
Follow the Leader
French Cricket
French Skipping
Frisbee Toss
Golf
Hopscotch
Leave the Nest
Marbles
Obstacle Course
Pig in the Middle
Rob the Nest
Skipping
Stilts
Tag
- Walking Tag
- Hospital Tag
- Tag With a Home Base
- Flashlight Tag
- Shadow Tag
Traffic Lights
Tug of War
Pencil and Paper Games
Battleships
Copy Cat
Count Down
Corners
Dots
News Reporters
Pirates
Secret Code
Sprouts
Tic Tac Toe
- Loser Tic Tac Toe
- Blind Tic Tac Toe
Word Games
Acrostic Sentences
Alphagrid
Banned Word
Bluff Words
Build-a-Word Quiz
Categories
Circus
Coffeepot
Down and Up
Grid Words
Hangman
- Phrase Hangman
- Sentence Hangman
I Spy
- I Spy With Sounds
- I Spy With Ending Letter or
Sound
Pineapples
Rhyming Mime
Twenty Questions
Word Builder
Word Chain
- Word Chain Categories
Yes No Game
Number Games
Buzz
Dominoes
Dominoes – Sevens
Grab and Group
Higher or Lower
Largest Number
Number Tic Tac Toe
Take Off
Twenty Questions – Numbers
Games For Large Groups
Animal Groups
Bases
Beach, City, Sea
Beat the Bomb
Beat the Buzzer
Bing, Bang, Bong
Bing, Bang, Bong, Bounce
Bomb Ball
Boom
Can’t Catch Me
Captain’s Crew
Cat and Mouse Tag
Chinese Whispers
- Chinese Movement
Crows and Cranes
Dead Ants
Duck, Duck Goose
French Cricket
Giant Knot
Guess Who
Gotcha
Groups
Happy Campers
Hat and Rat
Head to Head Race
Heads Down Thumbs Up
Hop, Skip and Jump
Hot Potatoes
How Is It Done?
Human Tic Tac Toe
Leave the Nest
Mud Flood
Noah’s Ark
Number Line
- Blind Number Line
- Alphabet Line
Pass the Name
Pineapples
Plank Race
Poison Ball
Queenie
Relay Races
Rob the Nest – Teams
Sardines – Outside
Seated Circle
Simon Says
Sleeping Dog
Statues
Stuck in the Mud
Stay Serious
Swimming With Sharks
The Minister’s Cat
Through The Forest
What’s The Rule?
Who Said Hello?
Who’s Missing?
Who’s the Initiator?
Wink Murder
Woof Woof, Oink Oink
Car Games
A – Z Signs
License Plate Alphabet
License Plate Count On
License Plate Names
NO Ums or Ahs
Mouse Game
Spotto
Word Ping Pong
Baby and Toddler Games
Bubbles
Follow the Leader
Flying Baby
Hiding Toy
Kick Ball
Mirrors
Moving Toy
Mystery Bag
Peek-a-boo
Ring A Ring A Rosy
Roll Ball
Silly Sounds
Touch
Tumbling Tower
This Little Piggy
Children’s Party Games
Balloon Burst
Balloon Race
Blind Man’s Bluff
Celebrity Hats
Crocodile River
Dress Up Relay
Egg and Spoon Race
- Egg and Spoon Obstacle
Course
- Egg and Spoon Relay Race
Egg Toss
Fill the Bucket
Ha Ha
Happy Campers
Pass It On
Pass the Orange
Moon Walk
Mummy Wrap
Poison Ball
Sinking Island
Smelly Socks
Squirrels
Straight Face
Treasure Hunt
Treasure Hunt With Clues
Treasure Hunt Objects
What Am I?
Who Said It?
Wild Card
You’re Out If>
Swimming Pool Games
Fishtail
Icebergs
Marco Polo
Numbers
Pirate Ship
Pool Volleyball
Shark
Shark – Blind Shark
Sharks and Sailors
Squid in the Middle
Sunken Treasure
Wet Potato
Hints and Tips for Using the Games
Parents
• Print off the games that you think your kids will enjoy. Involve your kids in
choosing the games to play.
• Let your kids read the instructions – a great reading and comprehending
activity.
• Set aside a special games time for you and your child, e.g. after homework is
done, before bedtime, Saturday afternoons.
• Encourage and praise your child for their efforts (remember praise must be
genuine).
• Use the games as rewards, e.g. we’ll play a game when you have tidied your
room, or when you’ve finished your dinner.
• Print off games before a long trip. Use the Car Games and some of the Word
Games and Number Games are ideal for traveling.
• Have a family games night. Let each member of the family select a game to
play.
•
Print off games before going on holidays or going camping.
• Entertain sick kids with the Word Games, Number Games or Pencil and
Paper Games.
• The Indoor games are great for rainy days. You can also use Word Games
and Pencil and Paper Games on wet days.
• Teach the kids games that they can play without you and they can teach their
friends how to play.
•
Use the games to spend quality time with your family.
• Take pencils and paper with you when you go out and the kids can play Word
Games and Pencil and Paper Games. Ideal for restaurants or when you have to
take the kids to meetings or appointments.
• Use the Party Games for parties but also check out the Games for Large
Groups. Make sure you have all the equipment you need ready before hand. If
you have prizes make sure that everyone will get something.
Teachers
•
Print off the games that you think your students will enjoy.
• Check out the games in these sections – Indoor Games, Pencil and Paper
Games, Word Games, Number Games, Games For Large Groups.
• Print games onto cards and let students read the instructions – a great
reading and comprehension activity.
• Teach the game to 1 or 2 students and let them explain the game to the
others - great speaking activity.
• Use the games as a reward. If everyone works well, finish the lesson with a
game.
• Print the games onto cards and store them in a box ready for students who
finish their work early.
• Send home a “Game of The Week” with the students for parents and kids to
play together - a great way to get parents and kids spending time together on a
worthwhile activity.
•
The Number Games make a great addition to math lessons.
• Many of the Word Games also make great spelling activities. Pineapples (see
Games for Large Groups) makes a great spelling game.
• The Games for Large Groups and some of the Party Games can be adapted
to classroom use.
• Games for 2 players can become a great classroom game played on the
blackboard when one side of the room plays against the other side of the room.
Corners (See Pencil and Paper Games) is a great game for this and a great
game for strategic thinking.
• Many games are ideal for developing concentration – Movement Chain,
Memory Game (see Indoor Games); Bing Bang Bong, The Minister’s Cat (see
Games for Large Groups).
• Many games are ideal for helping students to get to know each other – Guess
Who, Bing Bang Bong (see Games for Large Groups)
Babysitters
• Print off the games and keep in a folder that you can take with you when
babysitting.
• Keep some simple equipment in a bag that you take also, e.g. pencils and
paper, balls, balloons, bubble blowers.
•
Suggest several games and ask the children which ones they’d like to play.
• If you are babysitting more than one child, teach them games that they can
play with each other. This will give you a bit of a break.
•
Play the more active games early in the day.
• Play the quieter games before bedtime to help settle the kids down, see
Pencil and Paper Games and Word Games.
• Tell the parents the games that you played. They’ll be impressed that the kids
didn’t spend the time watching TV and ask you to baby-sit again and recommend
you to others.
• Always make sure that the area you are playing in is safe for the game you
are playing, e.g. no sharp objects that children could fall on.
Camp Leaders
•
Print off the games and keep in a folder that you can take with you.
• Allow the children to be involved in planning the games and setting up for the
games.
•
Always have equipment ready before starting – children can help with this.
• Make sure that the area is safe for the game you are playing, e.g. no sharp
objects that children could fall on.
• When giving instructions make sure all are listening. Wait for everyone to be
quiet and don’t raise your voice to speak above the talkers.
•
Make the instructions as brief and simple as possible.
•
If appropriate have some children demonstrate what to do.
• Have a special sign or signal that means everyone stops, looks and listens. It
could be a whistle, raising your arm or a silly word that is called out, e.g. “radish
pie”.
• Teach the children some of the quieter games that they play with a partner or
in a small group (see Pencil and Paper Games, Word Games, Indoor Games).
• Vary the games used and recognize when children have had enough of a
game.
• Have a tournament with a 2 player game, e.g. Nim (see Indoor Games) or
Corners or Dots (see Pencil and Paper Games). Have a playoff to find the
champion. OR Have each cabin nominate a player and then have a tournament.
• Have a team tournament with an Indoor Game, Outdoor Game or a Game for
Large Groups, e.g. Blow Football or Blow Ping Pong (see Indoor Games), Crows
and Cranes (see Games for Large Groups).
• Use quiet, settling games before bed time. A quiet game sitting in a circle is
ideal, e.g. Who’s the Initiator? Chinese Whispers or Chinese Movement (see
Games for Large Groups).
PLEASE NOTE: Always consider safety before commencing a game. Make
sure children are aware of all safety rules that may apply. Stop the game if
a situation becomes unsafe and clarify rules or inform children of any new
rules that may be necessary.
Indoor Games
Add A Word Story
8+ years
2+ players (5 or more is best)
Need – pencil and paper if you choose to write the story
A quick thinking game that develops the imagination
A great way to create some really interesting stories
A story is built word by word with each player adding a word.
The story can be done verbally - encourage everyone not to hesitate.
OR the story can be written down with each player adding a word.
Writing it down is a little slower but players then have a record to reread.
Variations
Add A Sentence Story
Played in a similar way but this time each player gets to add a whole sentence.
Balloon Volleyball
- balloons
5+ years
2+ players
Need
The idea of the game is to keep the balloon off the ground by hitting it into the air.
The game can be played in different ways.
- Everyone can work as a team to keep up.
- Each person can have their own color of balloon to keep up.
- Two teams can have a side of the room that they have to keep the balloon
off the ground.
- Two teams can have a balloon each to keep afloat.
Blow Football
6+ years
4+ players
Need
– straws, ping pong ball, table, a goal at each end of the table (place
tape on the table or use upside down cups as goalposts)
A strenuous indoor game with lots of laughs!
Teams stand at the opposite end to their goal. Players attempt to score a goal by
moving the ball through the goal. This is done by blowing through the straw.
A point is scored if the team can blow the ball through their goal.
If a ball goes off the side, it is returned to the centre.
Blow Ping Pong
6+ years
Need – straws, ping pong ball, table
2-4 players
A great active indoor game!
One player (or a pair) stands at both ends of the table. Each player has a straw.
The ping pong ball is placed in the centre and players move it by blowing through
the straw. A point is scored if the player can blow the ball off their opponent’s end
of the table. If a ball goes off the side, it is returned to the centre.
Disguises
8+ years
2+ players
A interesting game of observation
IT leaves the room or asks other players to turn away.
IT then makes an agreed number of simple changes to his clothing. It might be 3
changes or 5 changes. This could include undoing a shoe lace or button; taking
off an earring; turning a collar up; moving a ring to a different finger, etc.
IT then returns to the room or asks others to turn back.
Other players have to guess the changes to ITs appearance. Decide beforehand
how many guesses they can have.
Variations
Disguise the Room
Played in a similar way but this time IT stays in the room and makes 5 changes
to the room.
Drop It
3+ years
3+ players
Need – A collection of unbreakable items, e.g. wooden spoon, fork,
plastic cup and plate, pen, ruler, soft toy, saucepan lid etc
Children enjoy the chance to drop things instead of being told ‘Don’t Drop It’
Show children the items that you have. Children turn around while a chosen child
picks an item and drops it on the floor. Others guess which item it was.
Fortunately, Unfortunately
10+ years
3+ players (odd
number of players is best as an even number leaves the same
players always doing fortunately and the same ones doing
unfortunately)
A game the creates an interesting story
First player starts with a statement beginning ‘Fortunately>>.’, e.g. Fortunately,
I found a pot of gold. or Fortunately, I went to the circus yesterday. or
Fortunately, I’ve been given a new bike.
Next player has to add an ‘Unfortunately, >>..” to follow the first sentence. This
has to be done in a limited amount of time.
Play continues with players alternating between Fortunately and Unfortunately
stories. This game can be played with players being out if they don’t respond
within a certain time.
Gestures
7+ years
4 players
A fun game to play and watch
Players pair off.
One person from each pair stand and face each other. They are the speakers.
Speakers will have a conversation while they hold their arms still by their sides.
The other players stand behind the speakers. They are the gesturers. The
gesturers have their arms out around the speakers and do the gestures for the
speakers.
Add an interesting twist and see if a conversation can take place without any
laughing.
Hot or Cold
6+ years
– object to hide
2 players
Need
A good rainy day game
One player hides an object in a chosen room. The older the child the smaller the
object might be.
Other player has to find it and is given clues. Hot and Hotter for getting closer
and Cold and Colder for getting further away.
I Went Shopping
6+ years
2+ players
A great memory and concentration game for any age
Good for large groups also with children seated in a circle
The first players says, ‘I went shopping and I bought >..(names an item, e.g.
cherries).’
Next player repeats this adding another item of her choice, ‘I went shopping and I
bought cherries and ice-cream.’
Next player repeats adding his item, ‘I went shopping and I bought cherries, icecream and sausages.’
Game continues with the list becoming longer and longer until a child is unable to
remember the list in order.
Variations
I went to the beach and I took…….
I went to on holidays and I took…….
I went to the circus and I saw…….
I went on a picnic and I took…..
Make up your own version that is relevant to children.
Last One Loses
6+ years
2 players
Need – 16 matches (markers, beads, or buttons will do)
A strategy game
Lay the matches in lines as shown below.
I
III
IIIII
IIIIIII
Players take turns to remove 1, 2, 3 or 4 matches from a row on their turns.
The player to remove the last match is the loser.
Memory Game
3+ years
Need – variety of objects
1+ players
On a tray or table place a variety of objects covered by a cloth. Use kitchen
utensils, toys, stationary items, books, balls, food packets, shells, seed pods,
stones etc. Select objects suitable for the age of the child/ren.
Show the objects for a short time and have the child/ren turn around or close
eyes while you remove one or more.
Child/ren must guess what is missing.
Allow children to take turns at removing objects for the others.
Mirrors
6+ years
2+ players
A interesting game of movement
Players stand in pairs, facing each other. One is the mirror and one provides the
actions.
The player who does the actions is mirrored by the other player, i.e. if the player
who makes the actions lifts his left arm, the mirror will lift his right arm.
Players vary their movements, moving arms, legs, head and body.
Start with slow, easy movements and then have movements get faster and more
difficult.
After a while have partners swap roles.
Movement Chain
7+ years
4 + players
A great game that requires much concentration
Players stand in a circle facing into the middle.
First player makes a simple movement or sign like a clap hands.
Next player makes this movement and then adds her own, clap hands, wiggle
hips.
Continue around the circle adding a movement each time.
The game is played in silence. When someone makes a mistake or forgets, she
is out.
Mystery Bag
3+ years
1+ children
– empty cloth bag (pillow case is fine), variety of objects
Place one item at a time in the bag. Allow children to feel it but not see it.
Children guess what it is.
Mystery Mime
5+ years
3+ children
A miming game for any age
First select a category, e.g. jobs.
First child must mime something from the category, e.g. doctor.
As the mime ends the child asks, ‘Who am I?’
Others try to guess the job.
Need
Variations
What animal am I?
What sport am I?
6+ years
2+ players
Nim
Need – Several markers or counters (12+)
A game of strategy! Similar to Last One Loses!
In this ancient game markers are placed in 3 uneven piles, e.g. 3, 4, 5.
Players take turns at removing any number of markers from 1 pile.
The winner is the player who picks up the last marker.
HINT – Start with 12 markers and play several games. Then increase the number
of markers.
Opposites
6+ years
2+ players
A great concentration game for all ages
One player is chosen to be IT.
IT is asked Yes/No questions but must answer with the opposite answer, e.g. If
asked, ‘Do you have a tail?’ IT must answer, ‘YES’.
IT is out when she gives the correct answer instead of the opposite answer.
HINT – Fire questions at IT quickly to try to trick her.
HINT – Try to break her concentration by asking silly questions.
HINT - Encourage questions that everyone knows the answer to. (If IT is asked,
‘Do you have a dog?’ and no one knows the answer, you won’t know what ITs
answer should be.)
HINT - To make the game more interesting add the rule that if IT laughs or
smiles, IT is out.
Paper, Scissors, Rock
7+ years
2 players
Often used to select a person to be IT in a game
Each player holds one hand in a fist. Hold fist beating it down for counts of 1 and
2. Then on 3 display hand as Rock (a fist), Scissors (2 fingers extended out and
open –index finger and middle finger) or Paper (a flat hand).
Each player shows their hand at the same time.
Winner is determined by what is shown
- paper beats rock (as paper can cover rock)
- rock beats scissors (as rock can smash scissors)
- scissors beat paper (as scissors can cut paper)
Pass the Mime
8+ years
4+ players
An interesting miming game that is just as much fun to watch as it is to play
A miming version of Chinese Whispers Great for large groups also
Four children are chosen to be in. They stand in a row all facing away from the
first person.
The first person is taken aside and told in a whisper a situation.
The situation can be simple or more complex for older children, e.g.
- taking a bite of an apple and discovering that it has a worm in it
- making a slice of toast and putting butter and jam on it
- picking a bunch of flowers, sniffing them and having a bee sting your nose
Several different situations could be written on cards and the first child could pick
a card to tell him the mime.
When the 1st person knows what the situation is, he taps the 2nd person on the
shoulder. (This is the signal for that person to turn around and watch the mime.)
The 2nd person watches while the 1st person mimes the situation.
Then the 2nd person taps the 3rd person on the shoulder.
The 2nd person then repeats the mime for the 3rd person who in turn repeats it for
the 4th person.
The 4th person then has to tell what the situation the mime was showing.
Usually the 4th person suggests a very different event to what the 1st person was
told as the mime becomes distorted as it is passed.
You can then ask the 3rd, 2nd and 1st person to tell what they were miming.
HINT – Encourage children to mime carefully and accurately or other players
won’t be able to relay it on.
Robots
6+ years
Need – blindfold, small object or toy
3+ children
Lots of laughs and not as easy as children might think
IT is the Robot. The Robot is blindfolded and placed in the centre of the room.
The other players place the object or toy somewhere in the room.
HINT – Move around a lot so that the robot can’t hear where you put the toy.
The players have to give instructions to the robot to guide him to pick up the
object, e.g. Take 3 steps forward, turn right, take 2 steps forward etc.
HINT – Make sure the room is clear of any objects that the Robot might trip over.
Sardines – Inside
6+ years
3+ children
This is a hilarious version of Hide and Seek.
One person goes to hide while the others count to given number (maybe 20).
Others look for the hiding person.
When someone finds her, he must also hide with her.
Each person who finds the Sardines also hides with them.
Last to find them is the next person to hide.
Secret Sound
4+ years
2+ children
Develops listening skills
IT sits in the middle of the room with his eyes closed.
One player is chosen to move about the room and use something in the room to
make a sound. IT has to guess what the sound was and how it was made.
Encourage children to be inventive with the sounds they make, e.g.
- pull a tissue out of a tissue box.
- tap a pen on the table
- open and close a draw.
Take turns at being IT.
Simple Charades
6+ years
4+ children
Need – 20+ word cards (easier if they are nouns and verbs)
An easy to learn version of Charades
Divide the group into 2 teams.
One player from the first team is given 10 cards with words on them.
He mimes the word on the card for his team. The team scores a point for every
word that they get right.
Second team has a turn next.
HINT – Decide beforehand if a time limit will be given. Time limits could be given
for each teams turn or time limits could be given for each word.
Tangram Tangles
7+ years
2 players
Need – 2 tangrams (some stores sell them in wood or plastic) or print
the following twice
A tangram is an ancient Chinese puzzle
Use the tangram to make lots of interesting shapes.
Can you make a triangle using all of the pieces?
Can you make a rectangle using all of the pieces?
Put the pieces together to make an animal shape.
Tangram Tangles
Players sit back to back.
Each player has the 7 tangram pieces in front of them.
Players take it in turns to make a design with the pieces and then describe to the
other player how to put the pieces together to make the same design.
HINT - Before starting, decide whether the players can ask questions or not, and
what kind of questions can be asked - only yes/no questions or any questions.
Taste It
Need - foods
8+ years
2+ players
This was one of my daughter’s favorite games to play with her friends.
One person takes a turn in the kitchen to mix an unusual combination of foods for
the others to taste, apparently the more revolting the better. The others then
have to taste and guess the combination.
HINT – Be prepared for cries of “Oh yuk, I feel sick.”
HINT – Stipulate before hand what is out of bounds, e.g. alcohol, peppers etc.
Also stipulate that any mess made must be cleaned up.
What Letter Is This?
5+ years
2+ players
Everyone loves this game as it is nearly as good as a back rub.
Take turns to draw letters, numbers or even words on each others backs. Use a
finger only and enough pressure so that it is felt but doesn’t hurt. Person must
guess what the letter, number or word is.
What’s in the Bag?
6+ years
2+ players
Need – empty cloth bag (pillow case is fine), variety of objects
Guessing game for all ages
Place an object in the bag without children seeing what it is.
Children have to guess what it is by asking questions.
Only yes/no questions are allowed, e.g. Can you eat it? Does it make a sound?
Is it usually kept in the kitchen?
Players could be limited to 20 questions.
Witnesses
7+ years
4+ players
Need – chalkboard or whiteboard (or paper), something to write with.
A great game for making kids think
IT leaves the room while one player draws a simple design and shows it to the
other players, the Witnesses.
To begin with, the design might have to follow simple rules, e.g. It may only
contain 2 shapes and 3 straight lines.
The design is then removed from the board or hidden if on paper.
IT returns and has to draw the design by questioning the witnesses.
Decide beforehand if IT can ask any question or only questions with a yes/no
answer.
Outdoor Games
Alien
Need – large soft ball
5+ years
6+ players
Active game
Players stand in a circle.
One player is chosen to be the Alien and stands in the centre.
Players throw the ball from player to player while the Alien attempts to get it.
When the Alien gets the ball, the last player that touched the ball is the new
Alien.
Ball Bounce
4+ years
1+ player
Need – ball to bounce – older children might use a smaller ball.
Great for developing gross motor skills
Count the bounces. Let children compete or try to beat their own record.
Try different types of bounces – right hand only; left hand only; right then left; off
a wall; bounce and clap; bounce and clap twice (add a clap each time); most
bounces in 1 minute.
Blanket Toss
6+ years
4+ players
Need – a blanket, a large soft ball.
A great game for developing team work
Four players stand each holding a corner of the blanket. The blanket is stretched
tight. The ball is placed on the blanket.
By moving the blanket up and down, players toss the ball in to the air and
attempt to catch it with the blanket again.
Next have players attempt to toss the ball to someone else.
If there are enough players and 2 blankets, have players attempt to toss and
catch the ball from blanket to blanket.
Bowling
2+ years
1+ player
Need – plastic bottles filled with water, balls
Set up bottles like bowling pins. Mark a start line.
Children bowl a ball underarm and try to knock over as many pins as possible.
Variations
Kick Bowling
Kick the ball at the bottle instead of bowling it.
Brandy
6+ years
Need – a soft ball
An old favorite enjoyed by older children too
3+ players
Choose someone to be IT. Others run away while IT chases with the ball.
IT tries to throw the ball and hit someone with it. If the ball hits someone, she
becomes the next IT.
HINT – Make a rule that only hits below the shoulders are allowed to avoid
children being hit in the head.
Dragon
4+ years
5 or 6 players
An interesting chasing game
One child is chosen to be the Dragon.
The Dragon holds out its hand and the other players stand around the Dragon
touching one finger to the Dragon’s hand.
The Dragon then tells what it likes to eat. ‘I like eating >. pumpkin. I like eating
>.chips. I like eating>. little lollipops.’
The Dragon continues telling what it likes to eat until it says, ‘I like eating
children!’ The players scatter when the Dragon says ‘children’ trying not to be
caught by the Dragon.
If a player is tagged, he is out.
Last player caught is the winner.
If a player lets go of the dragon’s hand twice on false alarms, e.g. ‘I like eating
ch>.eese.’ The player is out for that round.
Follow the Leader
2+ years
2+ players
An old favorite that can be adapted to different ages
Children can follow an adult or follow another child.
Include lots of different types of movements.
- walk, run, skip, jump, hop, crawl, roll
- go forwards, backwards, sideways
- use large steps, small steps
- go over, under, through things
- create interesting sequences for children to follow, e.g. 2 sidesteps, 4
hops on left leg, 4 hops on right leg, 3 jumps and crouch
French Cricket
6 + years
3+ players
Need – cricket bat, baseball bat or tennis racket, tennis ball
A batting game for the whole family but it doesn’t require any special skill
The batter stands in the middle of the playing area holding the bat in front of their
legs.
Players toss (throw underarm) the ball at the batters legs.
The batter hits the ball away moving the bat straight out in front of her.
The ball is then tossed from wherever it lands or wherever it is stopped.
The batter keeps rotating to face the ball.
If the ball is caught on the full (without bouncing) the batter is out and the catcher
becomes the batter.
If the ball hits the batter’s legs, she is out and the player who tossed the ball is
now the batter.
No score is kept. Players take turns batting as they get the batter out.
French Skipping or Elastics
8 + years
3+ players
Need – piece of elastic (2.5-3.5 yards) tie at the ends to make a loop.
Two players stand 2-3 yards apart facing each other with the elastic stretched
taunt around their ankles. Feet are shoulder width apart.
Players decide upon a sequence of jumps to be done.
The third player has first turn. She starts beside one length of the elastic with
both feet parallel to the elastic. The sequence might include the following moves,
each one done by jumping up and over the appropriate elastics.
- jump into the centre
- jump with feet apart to land with feet on outside of elastic
- jump back inside
- jump and land with feet on the elastics - left and right side
- jump back inside
- jump and land straddling the left elastic
- jump and land straddling the right elastic
- jump into the centre
- jump out to the left or right
When a player completes the full routine without any mistakes the elastic is then
moved up. The player tries the routine again at a new height. First to knee height,
then to hip height, then to waist height.
If a player makes a mistake the next person has a turn.
As the elastic moves up, the players may have to resort to scissor jumps.
Frisbee Toss
3+ years
2+ players
Need – Frisbee for each player, hoop or rope
Great for all ages!
Lay the hoop out in the centre of the area. If you don’t have a hoop the rope can
be laid down to make a circle or square.
Select a start line. A rope can be used for this. The distance between the start
and the hoop will depend on the age of the children.
Players take turns at tossing the Frisbee and trying to land it in the hoop.
A player scores 5 pts if it lands in the hoop.
If no Frisbees land in the hoop, the player whose Frisbee lands the closest gets 5
pts. Play for a specified time or until a player reaches a certain score, e.g. 25.
Golf
4+ years
1+ player
Need – golf club, golf balls (children’s plastic set is ideal for younger
children), empty tin cans (no sharp edges).
Make a mini golf course by laying cans on the ground or a more permanent one
by sinking the cans into the ground.
Keep score and see how many strokes you need to go around your course.
If you only have one can, see how many times you can get it in the can with 20
strokes. Each time you get the ball into the can you go back to the start.
Hopscotch
3+ years
– chalk, cement area
2+ players
Need
1
3
2
5
4
7
6
8
An old playground game
Draw a hopscotch court like the one below. Each square is about 15 inches wide.
Stand in front of 1. Drop a stone into it. Hop over one into 2 and 3. Jump into 4
and 5 (1 leg in each). Hop into 6. Jump into 7 and 8. Jump around switching feet
in 7 and 8. Hop, jump, hop, hop, back to 2. Pick up the stone and hop over 1.
Now do the same again but throw the stone into 2. Keep going through the
numbers until you make a mistake. A mistake might be to step on a line, put both
feet down when you shouldn’t, miss the square you are throwing the stone into or
hop or jump into the square with the stone.
When first person makes a mistake, the next person has a turn.
Leave the Nest
6+ years
3 + children
This is a version of Hide and Seek.
Everyone hides while one person counts to a given number (maybe 20).
The seeker then goes to look for the hiders.
When he finds someone they have to help him to search.
Last person to be found is the next seeker.
Marbles
Need – marbles
6+ years
2+ players
Marbles are cradled in the fingers and flicked with the thumb. Many different
games can be played.
- Draw a large circle in the dirt with a hollow in the centre. See who can land the
most marbles in the hollow.
- Roll one marble into the centre of a circle. See who can land their marble
closest to this one. Take turns and try to knock each others marbles away.
- Each put 2, 3 or 4 marbles in the circle. Take turns to drop a large marble from
waist high onto the marbles. Every marble that you knock out of the circle is
yours to keep.
Obstacle Course
2+ years
1+ player
Need – Suitable items and materials, e.g. boxes, ladders, large pipes,
outdoor tables and chairs, sheets, tires.
Build an obstacle course (or let children build their own) for children to go
through. Make tunnels with boxes. Include things to climb and things to go over,
under, through.
Children could have races – time each one to see who is fastest.
A course could also be made through the local playground.
Pig In the Middle
Need – large ball
5+ years
3+ players
Players stand at 2 ends while the player chosen to be PIG stands between them.
Ball is tossed from one end to the other while the PIG jumps up trying to catch it.
When the PIG catches the ball or grabs a dropped ball, the player who threw the
ball becomes the PIG in the middle.
HINT – Change the rules from time to time and have children roll or bounce the
ball instead.
Rob the Nest
6+ years
3 + players
Need – items to be nests (hoops, buckets or boxes) one for each
player, many items to be eggs (bean bags, hats, small balls)
This is a fast, fun game to play and a fun game to watch.
A game only requires a few minutes to play but children will want to play again
and again. Children will also enjoy watching others play.
Nests are put into a large area and each player is assigned a nest. Eggs are
spread out around the nests.
The players stand behind a start line and on the word GO, they run in and start
putting (throwing not allowed) eggs into their nest.
Now the fun begins because players are also allowed to rob other nests and take
eggs from another nest to their own nest.
The winner is chosen in one of two ways.
- The winner can be the first person to have an agreed number of eggs in
their nest. She sits down quickly by the nest and calls out ‘FULL NEST’.
- The winner can be the person with the most eggs in their nest after an
agreed time.
ALSO SEE - Rob the Nest Teams – Games for Large Numbers
Skipping
6+ years
Need – skipping rope, individual or long
1+ children
Teach a child to skip with an individual rope – jump, hop, fast (pepper),
backwards.
With three or more children a long rope can be used and turned by 2 people at
either end. (If only 2 want to play tie one end to a tree or a post.)
Try several people jumping at once.
Try running through the turning rope.
Try running into a turning rope and jumping once, then running out again. Repeat
again and again adding one more jump each time.
Have a contest to see who can do the most jumps.
Stilts
4+ years
1+ children
Need – make stilts with strong plastic flower pots and ropes
Have fun walking on the stilts. Have races. Time each other around a course.
Tag
4+ years
3+ players
Also called Chasey, Tiggy and IT
An old favorite that Grandma probably played!
Choose one person to be IT.
IT chases the others until he tags one. It is then the tagged one’s turn to be IT.
Variations
Walking Tag
Everyone must walk and not run.
Hospital Tag
If you are tagged you become IT but you have to hold onto where you were
tagged with one hand while you chase the others.
Tag With A Home Base
A home base (HOME) is chosen where everyone is safe and can’t be tagged.
Make a time limit that tells how long you can stay at home.
Flashlight Tag
This game is played at night. IT has a flashlight and counts to 20 while the others
run away. IT then tries to catch someone in the beam of the flashlight. When she
does, she calls the name of this person and he becomes IT.
Shadow Tag
A game to be played on sunny days - Instead of tagging a person IT must jump
on a player’s shadow to tag. A tricky game to play in the middle of the day when
shadows are shortest.
Traffic Lights
6+ years
5+ players
A great playground game that children will play on their own!
IT stands about 10-15 yards in front of the others with his back to them.
The others stand along a designated start line.
IT calls ‘Green Light’ and the players move forward quickly.
While the players are moving IT counts to 5, says ‘Red Light’ and then turns
around. IT calls the name of anyone that he sees moving. This player or players
have to return to the start.
The first player to reach IT is the winner and becomes the next IT.
Tug Of War
6+ years
Need – long rope
4+ players
An old favorite for kids and adults!
The rope is laid out in a line on the ground.
Make three marks on the ground – 1/3 of the way along the rope, ½ of the way
along the rope and 2/3 of the way along the rope.
Two even teams stand at either end facing each other and pick up the rope. They
stand behind the 1/3 and 2/3 marks.
On GO, both teams try to pull the other team over the ½ way mark.
The winning team is the first team to pull the other team over the mark.
ALSO SEE – GAMES FOR LARGE NUMBERS and PARTY GAMES for
more Outdoor Games
Pencil and Paper Games
Battleships
8+ years
2 players
– pencil, paper (squared paper if possible)
Need
An oldie but a goodie
Use squared paper if available. Each player needs 2 grids that are 10 squares X
10 squares. Label A-J along the bottom and 1-10 down the left side.
Each player marks in their ships
- 1 battleship (4 squares long)
- 2 cruisers (3 squares long)
- 3 destroyers (2 squares long)
- 4 submarines (1 square).
Use B’s, C’s, D’s and S’s. No two vessels may touch.
Players take turns to try to hit the opponent’s fleet by calling out a grid
coordinate, e.g. H4. Keep a record of what you call on the empty grid.
The other player tells if it is a miss or a hit. If it is a hit he must tell the type of
vessel.
Players put a X on their fleet when it is hit. Players mark their hits on the enemy
with a letter to show the type of vessel. Misses can be marked with a -.
First person to destroy the enemy’s fleet is the winner.
Copy Cat
6+ years
2+ players
Need – pencil, paper for each player, set of simple drawings on cards
Lots of laughs when everyone shares their drawings
Create a set of simple drawings. These can be made to suit the age group, e.g.
IT can not show the other players and must give instructions on how to draw
what is on the card. IT can use words only and can not use their hands or signs
to show the others what to do.
Everyone shows their drawings.
Winner is the player with the most correct drawing. She can be the next IT.
Count Down
8+ years
2 players
Need – pencil, paper
An game of strategy
The numbers from 20 -1 are written across a piece of paper.
Players take turns crossing off 1, 2, 3, or 4 of the numbers at a time. The player
who crosses off the last number, number 1 is the winner.
e.g.
20 19 18 17 16 15 14 13 12 11 10 9 8
7 6
5 4 3 2 1
Black is now the winner as black can cross off the last four numbers.
Corners
9+ years
2 players
– 2 different colored pencils, paper
Need
An interesting game of strategy
Draw a large grid of 10 by 10 squares.
Both players start in opposite corners.
Players take turns at coloring a block of 2 squares.
Every block that they color after the first one must join to one of their other
colored blocks, but only at the corner.
A player may not have 2 of their colored blocks joined side by side.
When a player has nowhere to go, he is out and the other player is the winner.
An example is below. Grey is the winner as black has been blocked out.
Dots
Need – pencils, paper
7+ years
2 players
An interesting game of strategy
Draw a large grid of dots e.g. 10 dots by 10 dots.
Each player takes turns to join two dots with a line (dots must be adjoining, only
vertical and horizontal lines allowed).
When a player puts in the 4th line to make a small square he puts his initials in
the square and has another turn.
Winner is the person with the most squares.
As the grid fills up you may be able to make many squares in one turn.
News Reporters
9+ years
Need – paper and pencils
4 or more players is best
Players create their own bizarre News Reports and then present the news.
Each player has 2 pieces of paper and writes down the side of each Who, What,
When, Where, Why.
The players then outline a nonsense story by filling in one of the pieces of paper.
E.g.
Who (name a character, celebrity, historical figure etc) e.g. Snow White
What (What did they do?) e.g. died her hair blonde
When (When did it happen?) e.g. after she married Prince Charming
Where (Where did it happen?) e.g. at the seven dwarves cottage
Why (Why did it happen?) e.g. because she wanted to have more fun
When all players have completed their outlines, they then start the 2nd outline but
only fill in the name of the character that they have on their first outline.
This is then folded under so no one else can read it.
It is then passed to the next player, so each player receives a paper with WHO
filled in but they are unable to read this.
This player then fills in the WHAT copying from their own original outline and
folds this under to hide it.
Players continue to pass the papers, each time filling in one section and folding it
under.
When each section has been completed, the paper is passed to the next person
who must make a news report out of the outline.
Players take turns to present their news report using the details on their paper.
Each news item should be quite original and quite funny.
Encourage children to role play the News Readers.
“And we have just received a fascinating report from a tropical island in the
Pacific where last night at midnight, Snow White won a gold medal in
boxing because she wanted to meet the queen!”
Pirates
8+ years
2 players
– pencil, paper (squared paper if possible)
Need
A chance to search for buried treasure
Similar to Battleships
Use squared paper if available. Each player needs 2 grids that are 10 squares X
10 squares. Label A-J along the bottom and 1-10 down the left side.
Each player marks 2 treasure chests on one of their grids. A treasure chest is 3
squares X 3 squares. (Draw the outline.)
The players then put their treasure into the treasure chests. Each player has
- 4 pearls (put P in 4 squares)
- 3 rubies (put R in 3 squares)
- 2 emeralds (put E in 2 squares)
- 1 diamond (put D in 1 squares)
All treasure must be inside a treasure chest. Spread the treasure out over the 2
treasure chests.
Players take turns to try to find the opponent’s treasure by calling out a grid
coordinate, e.g. H4. Keep a record of what is called on the empty grid.
The other player tells if it is a miss or a find. If it is a find he must tell the type of
treasure.
Players put a X on their own treasure when it is found. Players mark their finds of
the opponent’s treasure with the correct letter to show the type of treasure.
Misses can be marked with a -.
First person to find all of the opponent’s treasure is the winner.
Secret Code
– pencil, paper
9+ years
2+ players
Need
Make up an agreed upon code and write messages to each other. Some
examples are listed below.
- List letters of the alphabet A-Z down the page and then Z-A down the page
beside this. Switch the letters in the original message for the letters in the 2nd
column.
- Let each letter be represented by a number from 1-26.
- Write the message removing the spaces between words and putting spaces
after every 4th letter.
- Leave out every vowel in the message.
Variation
Crack The Code
Each person writes a message with her own code and the others attempt to
crack the code.
Sprouts
8+ years
Need – pencil, paper
2 players
A simple, quick game to learn and play but a great challenge
Place 3 dots on a piece of paper.
Each player takes turns at drawing a curved
line to link 2 dots then placing another dot
somewhere along the line.
There are 2 rules for this game
- no line can cross another line
- no dot can have more than 3 lines
leaving it.
The last player who is able to make a join is
the winner.
Tic Tac Toe
6+ years
Need – pencil, paper
2 players
An old favorite also called Noughts and Crosses
Draw a grid with 2 vertical and 2 horizontal lines.
One person is O’s and one person is X’s. Take turns to enter O or X trying to
make a vertical, horizontal or diagonal line of 3 O’s or 3 X’s.
Winner is the first one to make 3 in a row.
In some games there will be no winner.
Keep score of how many games each wins.
Variation
Loser Tic Tac Toe
In this version the person who gets 3 in a row is the loser.
Blind Tic Tac Toe
A much more challenging version
3 people are needed for this version. One is the recorder and the others are O’s
and X’s and face away from the recorder. Instructions are given to the recorder
without the 2 players looking at the grid, e.g. Put a cross on the upper right
corner.
ALSO SEE – Human Tic Tac Toe in Games for Large Groups and Number Tic Tac Toe in Number Games
See Word Games For More Pencil and Paper Games
Word Games
Acrostic Sentences
Need – pencils, paper.
8+ years
2+ players
A fun game for all to play
Before starting the game, choose a category, e.g. fruit, animals, flowers, cities.
The first player selects a 5, 6 or 7 letter word from the chosen category, e.g.
TIGER.
Each player has to write a sentence with the first letter of each word spelling out
TIGER, e.g. The irate goats each rushed.
This game can be played just for fun or points can be awarded to the faster
player to make a sentence.
Alphagrid
9+ years
Need – two different colored pencils, paper.
2 players
A great family game for all to play
The object of the game is to make as many words as possible. Each letter can
only be part of one word.
Draw a grid of 8 squares X 8 squares.
Players take turns putting letters into the grid.
Players can put any letter that they choose into any square that they choose
when it is their turn. Each player uses their own color of pencil.
As players add letters they try to make words of 4 letters or more and to stop
their opponent from making words. Words can read across or down.
The game finishes when the grid has been filled and all of the words are counted.
A player can only count words that are in his color. A letter can only be used in
one word.
HINT – Use strategies such as blocking the other player with a letter that you can
use yourself. Or try putting 3 letters in a row like ree so that if you are blocked at
the start or end, you can still make tree or reed.
Banned Word
7+ years
2+ players
One to make everyone think! More fun if played quickly!
IT chooses a word to be the Banned Word. It is best if the word is a small
common word, e.g. the, it, on, in, and.
IT then asks the other players questions who must answer quickly but are not
permitted to say the banned word.
When a player says the Banned Word, she is out. Last player left is the winner.
Bluff Words
10+ years
Need - pencil, paper, dictionary.
4+ players
A fun family game for rainy days
One player chooses an unusual word from the dictionary and tells the other
players what the word is.
This player then writes down the definition.
Each of the players also write a make believe definition and gives it to the first
player.
The first player shuffles the definitions and numbers each one.
Each of these is then read to the other players who decide which one they think
is correct.
Each player receives 5 points for choosing the correct definition and 2 points for
every player that voted for his definition.
The game continues until the first player reaches an agreed score.
Build-a-Word Quiz
Need - dictionary.
8+ years
3+ players
Great game for adults and kids
Can be played as a team game
First select a 3 letter word that is the starting letters of lots of words, e.g. bar, bat,
car, cat, par, pat.
One player is IT. IT will quiz the other players.
IT opens the dictionary to the words that begin with the chosen 3 letter word.
IT then quizzes the others, e.g.
- What am I? I am a car that is found under your feet. (carpet)
- What am I? I am a car that is a flower. (carnation)
- What am I? I am a car that you eat. (carrot)
Players or teams can score 1 point for giving a correct answer.
Categories
8+ years
2 + players
Need - pencil, paper, list of categories.
A great family game for all to play
Each player is given the list of 10 categories, e.g. cities, animals, fruits, plants,
movies stars, singers, colors, toys, clothing, book titles.
Make the categories appropriate for the age of the players. Players are then told
a letter of the alphabet. Within the specified time (5 minutes) they write down as
many things as they can for each of the categories, starting with the given letter,
e.g. B - cities – Boston
- animals – bear, buffalo, blue whale.
When time is up, players count up the number of items that they have, scoring 1
point for each. An additional 5 points is given if they have at least one correct
answer for each category. Player with the highest score tells others their answers
so they can be checked.
Circus
8+ years
Need - pencil, paper
2 players or 2 teams
A great game for practicing spelling skills
The object of the game is to add a letter to the spelling of a word but to NOT
complete a word.
You must have a word in mind with each letter that you add as the other player
can Challenge you and ask what word you are making. If you can’t give a word
you lose the round. If you are Challenged and you can give a word you win the
round. Here is an example of play.
• First player writes a letter e.g. G.
• Second player must add a letter but must not make a completed word e.g.
GA is good but GO would lose the round.
• First player then adds the next letter e.g. GAT.
• Second player would lose with GATE so he might put GATH.
• If the First player can’t think of a word that starts with GATH he might
Challenge.
• Second player must then say his word – GATHER, and is the winner of this
round.
HINT – Children may be upset when they lose for making a word like WIN, and
say ‘but I was making WINDOW’. Explain to him that he still made a word and so
he loses the round.
HINT – This game can also be played orally without writing letters down. My
children enjoyed playing this in the car.
Coffeepot
8+ years
2+ players
Really makes kids think! Great for the classroom!
IT is sent out of the room.
Others think of a homophone pair (words that sound the same, but are spelt
differently and have different meanings, e.g. see, sea; here, hear; night, knight).
If there are only 2 players, write the homophones down.
IT returns to the room.
Players give IT sentences containing one of the words but replace the word with
the word ‘coffeepot’, e.g. I can ‘coffeepot’ you. The ‘coffeepot’ is calm today.
IT has to guess the homophones and say and spell them.
For large groups, send out 3 or 4 people to be IT.
Down and Up
9+ years
2+ players
A challenging game! Great for classroom use!
Think of a 5 letter word. The word is written with its letters going down the page
and beside this with the letters going up the page, e.g. NORTH
N _____ H
O _____ T
R _____ R
T _____ O
H _____ N
Players then try to be the first to find 5 words that begin and end as shown. Each
word must have at least 4 letters.
First player to have 5 words is the winner.
HINT – To make it more challenging try this game with words of 6 or more letters.
Grid Words
Need - pencil, paper
8+ years
5
A simple crossword game
Draw a grid of about 8 squares X
8 squares.
2
In the corner of random squares place
the numbers from 1-5. Then do it again
so there are 2 of each of these
numbers on the board.
3
Players take turns to write words on the
board but each word added after the
first must join like a crossword.
The first word is written along an edge.
Players score for each word if the word
has letters in a box with a number.
If a player can’t enter a word, he misses
m a
a turn.
HINT – Encourage only words of 3 letters or more.
Hangman
7+ years
Need - pencil, paper
2+ players
1
l
4
1
e
n
3
t
i
m
e
4
t
a
2
e
t
5
r
k
2+ players
A Great Game for Practicing Spelling Skills
One player thinks of a word and draws a dash for each letter.
e.g. __ __ __ __ __ __
Other players take turns saying a letter. If the letter is in the word the first player
writes it above the dash. If it is not in the word, the first player draws the first
stroke of the hangman.
Play continues until the hangman is completed or a player correctly guesses the
word.
First player is the winner if the hangman is completed, or the player who guesses
the word is the winner. Winner gets to select the next word.
Variations
Phrase Hangman
Instead of a single word or name choose a phrase or word and adjectives e.g.
five fat frogs - _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
Sentence Hangman
Instead of a single word or name choose a sentence. (Silly sentences make it
more fun.) I built a sandcastle in the bathtub. _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _.
I Spy
5+ years
2+ players
An old favorite for children of all ages
One player thinks of a thing she can see but doesn’t tell the others.
She then says, ‘I spy with my little eye something beginning with (letter name).’
Others try to guess what it is.
Variations
I Spy With Sounds.
Instead of letter name, player names starting sound. e.g. ‘I spy with my little eye
something beginning with (beginning sound like the sh in shell).’
I Spy With Ending Letter or Sound.
This is a more advanced game to challenge older children.
Instead of the starting letter or sound, player names the ending letter or sound.
e.g. ‘I spy with my little eye something ending with (last letter of the word or last
sound of the word.
Pineapples
8+ years
8+ players
Children love this spelling game and will beg you to let them play
A great classroom game
Children stand in a circle.
An adult gives a word for the children to spell and nominates the person to start.
Children give one letter at a time going in a clockwise direction.
The child who is after the person who says the last letter says ‘Pineapples’.
The next child is out and sits down.
If a child says a wrong letter, he is out and sits down also.
The adult then gives the next word and play continues around the circle.
Last child standing is the winner.
Rhyming Mime 6+ years
Need – pencil, paper
3+ children
A fun way to learn about rhyming words
IT selects a word that has lots of rhyming words and writes it on a piece of paper.
IT then tells the others a word that rhymes with his word.
The other players try to guess the word by taking it in turn to mime words that
rhyme with the word IT has told them.
E.g. IF IT’s word is HOOK, IT might tell the others LOOK. They might then take it
in turns and mime, COOK, SHOOK, BOOK then HOOK.
The player who mimes HOOK is the winner.
Twenty Questions
8+ years
2+ players
One player thinks of an object and tells if it is animal, vegetable, mineral or
mixture, i.e. animal - an animal or derived from animal; vegetable - a type of plant
or derived from plants; mineral - derived from the mineral world and has never
been alive; a mixture – a combination.
The others then ask up to 20 Yes/No questions to guess what the object is.
If someone guesses they then choose the next object.
HINT – Encourage broad questions rather than wild guesses, e.g. Am I found in
a house? Can I move by myself? NOT Am I a pen? Am I a leaf?
Word Builder
Need – pencils, paper.
8+ years
2+ players
Similar game to CIRCUS – see this section
Players take turns to add a letter to make a word. Letters can be added at the
front or back of the existing letters.
The player who can’t add another letter is the loser.
Players must always have a word in mind and can be Challenged by the other
players if they don’t believe the letters are part of a word.
E.g. N
NE
ONE
HONE
HONEY
HONEYB (Next player
might challenge here if she doesn’t think this can make a word. Player who
added the B will be out if he can’t give a word but will win if he says HONEYBEE.
Word Chain
8+ years
2+ players
A simple but challenging game that practices Spelling Skills
A valuable classroom game
First player says a word, e.g. baseball. Next player must give a word that begins
with the last letter of this word, e.g. little.
- baseball, little, egg, giant, table.
No word is allowed to be repeated.
Children can make written Word Chains also. See who can make the one with
the most words.
Variation
Word Chain Categories
A more difficult version
Played as above but this time with a category selected, e.g fruits and vegetables.
- tomato, orange, eggplant, turnip.
This makes the game more difficult and certainly makes kids (and adults too)
think.
Children can make written Word Chains also. See who can make the one with
the most words.
Yes No Game
7+ years
2+ players
A great game that adults enjoy too
One child is chosen to be IT. IT must answer questions but is not allowed to say
Yes or No or any version of Yes or No, e.g. yeah, nuh. IT can’t nod or shake her
head either.
Some children find it very difficult to answer even a simple question like, ‘Are
your socks blue?’ They don’t think to say, ‘They are.’
HINT – Try to engage IT in a conversation so they forget and say Yes or No.
HINT - Trick IT by asking questions like, ‘I don’t want to play anymore. Do you?’
HINT – Try to fire questions at IT quickly so they don’t have time to think.
Number Games
Buzz
8+ years
2+ players
A game that requires concentration and a need to know Times Tables
Great for classrooms
Decide upon the number that will have its multiples missed (a number from 3-9).
For larger groups children could stand in a circle. Count around the group saying
one number each but when a multiple of the chosen number comes up, children
don’t say the number but instead say ’BUZZ’.
E.g. If 4 is the chosen number, counting around the group would sound like this 1, 2, 3, BUZZ, 5, 6, 7, BUZZ, 9, 10, 11, BUZZ etc.
A player is out if they make a mistake.
Usually the game will stop at 100. Another number can then be chosen.
For older children it is possible and good math practice to go over 100.
Variation
Double Buzz
A more advanced version is to also use BUZZ for any word that contains the
chosen number as one of its digits, e.g. If 4 is the chosen number, counting
around the group would sound like this -1, 2, 3, BUZZ, 5, 6, 7, BUZZ, 9, 10, 11,
BUZZ, 13, BUZZ. For 24, 34, 40 and 41 a player would say BUZZ.
Dominoes
Need – set of Dominoes
4 + years
2-4 players
Helps children with numbers and counting
Basic Rules – Great for littlies.
Dominoes are laid out face down.
Players pick their dominoes. (If 2 players – pick 7 each. If 3-4 players pick 5
each.)
Player with the highest double starts by laying a tile in the centre.
Other players take turns at joining to a tile joining a number to the same number.
If a player can’t put down a tile, he picks one up.
First player to put down all of his tiles is the winner.
Dominoes - Sevens
Need – set of Dominoes
6+ years
2-4 players
Helps children learn addition facts.
Played as above but this time only combinations that add to seven can be put
down, e.g. if a 2 is down a 5 can be joined to it.
Grab and Group
7 + years
Need – 30+ markers or small items
2+ players
Helps children with the concept of dividing
The first player grabs a small handful of markers. (Players are not allowed to
count how many as they grab.)
Now the player sees if she can make
- groups of 2 with her markers. She scores 2 points if she can.
- then groups of 3. She scores 3 points if she can.
- then groups of 4. She scores 4 points if she can.
- then groups of 5. She scores 5 points if she can.
- then groups of 6. She scores 6 points if she can.
Groups must be made without any marker being left over.
The player records her score and the next player has a turn to grab and group.
HINT – Younger children will need to put the markers into groups but older
children can be encourage to count the markers and divide by 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6.
Higher or Lower
7 + years
2+ players
A thinking game to improve number skills! Great for classrooms!
This is a ‘Guess my number game’.
First decide how big the number can be, i.e. is it between 0 and 100; 100 and
1000 or 1000 and 10000. This will depend upon the ages of the children.
One person is IT. (This might be an adult or the teacher.)
IT thinks of a number and writes it down without telling or showing the others.
The other players take turns guessing the number and listening to the clues
given by IT. These clues will only be ‘Higher’ or ‘Lower’.
IT says ‘Higher’ if her number is higher than the guessed number or ‘lower’ if her
number is lower than the guessed number.
Winner is the child who guesses the number.
HINT – children might need to be encouraged to listen to the clues.
Largest Number
8+ years
Need – 3, 4, 5 or 6 dice, pencil and paper
2+ players
Great for classrooms
Each player rolls the dice. Use
- 3 dice for children to practice 3 digit numbers
- 4 dice for children to practice 4 digit numbers
- 5 dice for children to practice 5 digit numbers
- 6 dice for children to practice 6 digit numbers
Each player rolls the dice and records the numbers that are shown, e.g. 3 4 1 6.
The players then arrange these digits into the largest possible number, e.g. 6431
The player with the largest number scores 1 point.
Number Tic Tac Toe
Need – pencil and paper
7+ years
2+ players
Children will be practicing addition without even realizing it.
One player uses the odd numbers – 1, 3, 5, 7, 9; while the other player uses
even numbers – 0, 2, 4, 6, 8.
On a Tic Tac Toe grid, players take turns to write one of their numbers. The
player with odd numbers starts. Each number can only be used once.
The object of the game is to make a line – horizontally, vertically or diagonally –
that adds up to 15. The line can consist of both odd and even numbers.
Take Off
7+ years
2+ players
Great way to practice subtraction
Before starting decide upon a start number, e.g. 20, 50 or 100.
Players take turns to subtract any number from 1-9. The player who gets to 0 is
the winner.
E.g.
- 1st player 20-3=17
- 2nd player 17-4= 13
- 1st player 13-3=10
- 2nd player 10-2=8
- 1st player 8-8=0 Winner
The older the child, the higher the start number can be.
Twenty Questions Number Game
7+ years
2+ players
Great for classrooms!
IT selects a number within the range to be played, e.g. 1- 20, 1-100, 100-1000.
The number is written on a piece of paper but not shown to the others.
The other players then ask questions to help them to identify the number.
Only yes/no questions can be asked.
HINT – Encourage children to ask general questions to begin with, e.g. Is it odd?
Is it higher than 50? instead of guessing the number, e.g. Is it 38?
Games for Large Groups
Animal Groups
5+ years
12+ players
Need – cards with names or picture of animals (cows, pigs, horses,
cats, dogs etc) several cards of each animal are needed
A noisy game but lots of fun!
A great game for sorting children into groups!
Each child is given a card but told not to show it to others.
On ‘GO’ children start moving around the room making the sound of their animal
and trying to find the others of their kind.
Children have to quickly gather all of their kind in a group.
Can be played just for the fun of it or the winners can be the first team to make
their complete group (tell the children how many there are of each animal).
Bases
5+ years
5+ players
A fun game that can be varied for all ages
Players spread out and face the caller.
The caller says a number from 1-4.
If the caller says ‘1’ the players must have 1 base on the ground, e.g. 1 foot.
If the caller says ‘2’ the players must have 2 bases, e.g. 2 feet or 1 foot and 1
hand.
If the caller says ‘3’ the players must have 3 bases, e.g. 2 knees and 1 foot.
If the caller says ‘4’ the players must have 4 bases, e.g. 2 knees, 1 hand, 1 head.
The last player to get into the correct position is out.
Repeat until only one player is left – the winner.
HINT – For larger groups the caller may need helpers for spotting who is last.
Variations
Yachts, Catamarans and Trimarans
Played as above but Yachts is called instead of 1, Catamarans instead of 2,
Trimarans instead of 3.
Unicycles, Bicycles and Tricycles
Played as above but Unicycles is called instead of 1, Bicycles instead of 2,
Tricycles instead of 3.
Beach, City, Sea
5+ years
8 + players
All ages will enjoy this one
If inside, choose one wall to be the city, the opposite wall as the sea and the floor
in between to be the beach.
If outside, use two fences or ropes on the ground to be the areas for city and sea
and in between as the beach.
All players stand on the beach.
Caller calls ‘city’, ‘sea’ or ‘beach’.
Players run to the city area, the sea area or stand still on the beach.
Last player to reach the city or sea is out. If ‘beach’ is called players stand still
and are out if they move.
Last player left is the winner.
HINT – Callers can bluff by calling ‘beee>sting’ or ‘seee>.saw’.
Beat the Bomb
6+ years
8 + players
Need – an object to be the bomb (shoe, cap, box)
All ages enjoy this one
Players sit in a circle and pass the bomb around quickly.
The caller calls stop and a letter of the alphabet.
The player with the bomb then has to name a certain number of things that start
with that letter, while the bomb is passed around the circle.
The number of things he has to name will depend upon the number of players,
the more players the higher the number.
The player wins if he can beat the bomb.
Beat the Buzzer
Need – a soft ball
6+ years
8+ players
A good classroom game
Players sit in a circle.
One player starts by throwing the ball to another player and calling out a 3 letter
word, e.g. HAT.
The player with the ball has to say 3 words beginning with the 3 letters of the
word, e.g. horse, apple, tower.
This has to be done before the player who threw the ball counts to 12 and then
says buzz, i.e. 1, 2, >>11, 12, BUZZ.
A player is out if he doesn’t Beat the Buzzer.
As the game progresses the counting can be shortened to 10 or even 8.
Older players could be given a 4 letter word instead of a 3 letter word.
Bing, Bang, Bong
9+ years
8+ players
A great game of concentration that older children will enjoy!
Players sit in a circle.
IT is in the centre of the circle. IT walks up to a player and says BING (or BANG
or BONG) and then counts to 5.
The player that IT has spoken to has to respond appropriately.
If IT says BING – the player says the name of the person to her left,
If IT says BANG – the player says the name of the person to her right.
If IT says BONG – the player says her own name.
The player has to respond correctly without hesitating while IT counts to 5.
If the player is successful, IT moves onto another player. Play continues until IT
gets someone out and this person then becomes the next IT.
Bing, Bang, Bong Bounce
Need - ball
9+ years
8+ players
Try this game once players have mastered BIG, BAG, BOG.
Players sit in a circle.
One player has the ball and bounces it to another player and says BING (or
BANG or BONG) and then counts to 5.
If he says BING – the player says the name of the person to her left,
If he says BANG – the player says the name of the person to her right.
If he says BONG – the player says her own name.
The player has to respond correctly without hesitating while the first player
counts to 5.
If the player is successful, she bounces the ball to another player.
See how many bounces the group can do without any mistakes.
Bomb Ball
Need – a ball
6+ years
8 + players
Keeps kids on their toes
Children form a circle.
A ball is thrown from player to player.
If it is dropped the last person to touch the ball is out.
Last person in is the winner.
Boom
5+ years
Need – an object to pass, a timer
8 + players
A fast moving game
Children form a circle.
The object is the bomb. It is passed from person to person around the circle. The
timer watches the clock and calls out BOOM every 20 seconds.
The person holding the bomb when the timer calls BOOM, is out and leaves the
circle.
Winner is the last person left.
5+ years
Can’t Catch Me
Need – coin (a pebble or marble will also do)
8 + players
A different version of TAG
One player is chosen to be IT. IT is given the coin.
Others stand in a circle and with hands held as though praying, but slightly
cupped.
IT walks around the inside of the circle pretending to put the coin into each
person’s hands but giving it to just one person.
Everyone can pretend that they have the coin but after hesitating a little, the one
with the coin suddenly makes a run for the home place. It might be a tree or the
fence. The others try to catch her.
If she can make it to Home without being caught, she wins and gets to give out
the coin next time.
Captain’s Crew
6+ years
10+ players
An elimination game that keeps everyone moving
One player is chosen to be the CAPTAIN. The Captain is the caller.
Players walk, run or dance around the centre of the room.
The CAPTAIN calls out commands and the players make the correct movement.
Last one to do it is out.
The CAPTAIN can call – PORT, STARBOARD, WALK THE PLANK or SCRUB
THE DECK.
- PORT- players run to the left wall
- STARBOARD – players run to the right wall
- WALK THE PLANK – players lay down flat and stiff like a plank
- SCRUB THE DECK – players get down on hands and knees
The last player left is the winner.
Cat and Mouse Tag
– 2 blindfolds
5+ years
10+ players Need
Lots of fun!
One child is chosen to be the cat and another to be the mouse. Both are
blindfolded.
Other players form a circle.
The cat and the mouse both stay inside the circle.
When the cat says ‘Meow!’ the mouse must say ‘Squeak!’
The cat has to catch the mouse.
When the cat catches the mouse a new cat and mouse are chosen.
Chinese Whispers
6+ years
6 + players
A quiet game that often gives an interesting ending
Players sit in a circle or in a row.
The first person is told a message in a whisper.
It can be something silly like, ‘My uncle plays golf with elephants in underpants.’
They then whisper it to the next, who repeats it to the next and so on.
The fun part is when the last person tells what they think the message is. It has
usually become quiet distorted by the end.
It can be fun to let each person tell what they thought the message was.
Variation
Chinese Movement
6+ years
6+ players
A fun game to join in and to watch
For this version, players sit in a line all facing away from the first player.
The first player is shown or creates a movement.
He then taps the next player on the shoulder so she turns around and watches
the first player do the movement.
The movement is then passed on to the next player and so on until it reaches the
last person.
Crows and Cranes
6+ years
8 + players
Need – Two areas designated as Crows’ Home and the Cranes’
Home
A chasing game to keep all children on the run
Divide children into 2 teams, one The Crows and one The Cranes. Designate
Home area to each.
Players stand in rows facing each other and slowly move towards the other team.
Caller calls out either Cranes or Crows. If Cranes is called, the Cranes have to
chase the Crows as the Crows run to their Home. If Crows is called, the Crows
do the chasing as the Cranes run Home.
Any player who is caught must sit down. No need to score, just start again.
Encourage the caller to be clever and try to trick everyone calling
‘Crrrraaaa>.tes of ice-cream’ or ‘Crrrrrr>oaking Frog’.
Dead Ants
4+ years
6+ players
A favorite for all ages
Players walk, run or dance around the room.
When the caller calls ‘Dead Ants’ everyone lies down on the floor with their arms
and legs in the air.
When the caller calls ‘Freeze’ everyone must freeze as they are.
The last person to take their position is out. The last person left is the winner.
Duck Duck Goose
2+ years
7 + players
A favorite with the littlies
Choose a child to be IT.
The other children sit in a circle.
IT walks behind the children tapping each child on the head and saying ‘Duck,
Duck, Duck>.’ until she taps a child and says ‘Goose’.
The Goose then jumps up and chases IT around the circle. IT has to try to run
around the circle and back to the Goose’s place. If the Goose catches IT, the
Goose now becomes the new IT.
French Cricket
6 + years
4+ players
Need – cricket bat, baseball bat or tennis racket, tennis ball
A batting game enjoyed by all (adults too) but it doesn’t require any special skill
The batter stands in the middle of the playing area holding the bat in front of their
legs.
Players toss (throw underarm) the ball at the batters legs.
The batter hits the ball away moving the bat straight out in front of her.
The ball is then tossed from wherever it lands or wherever it is stopped.
The batter keeps rotating to face the ball.
If the ball is caught on the full (without bouncing) the batter is out and the catcher
becomes the batter.
If the ball hits the batter’s legs, she is out and the player who tossed the ball is
now the batter.
No score is kept. Players take turns batting as they get the batter out.
Giant Knot
8+ years
6-10 players
A team challenge that gets everyone working together
Everyone stands in a circle. Everyone shakes hands with the person opposite
them and keeps holding hands.
Next everyone grabs someone else’s left hand and holds tight.
The group is now in a giant knot and has to try to untie themselves.
The group must cooperate and slip themselves under, over and through the
others joined hands to get unknotted, without letting go of each others hands.
Good Luck!
Guess Who
6+ years
5 + players
Need – pencils, paper, hat (or bowl)
A great game for helping everyone get to know each other
Everyone is given a piece of paper and on it they write 5 likes and 5 dislikes.
Everyone puts their paper in the hat.
One by one the likes and dislikes are read out and the group tries to guess
whose it is.
Try to get the group to agree upon one guess. The owner of the likes and dislikes
can try to persuade the other that it is not theirs by suggesting someone else.
Variation
Other topics can be written on the paper instead of Likes and Dislikes, e.g.
I wish …. or When I am older………
Gotcha
6+ years
8 + players
Need – an item to be the treasure (shoe, book, box, ball), blindfold
The more people the better with this game
Players sit in a circle with IT in the centre. IT is blindfolded. The treasure is
places in front of or behind IT.
A player is chosen to be the thief.
Everyone has to be still and silent while the thief sneaks over and takes the
treasure.
IT can catch the thief by grabbing her and calling ‘Gotcha’ (I’ve got you.) or by
pointing at them and calling ‘Gotcha’.
When a thief is caught, he returns to his place.
IT only has 3 chances to call ‘GOTCHA’ and be wrong.
If the thief takes the treasure and gets back to her seat, she is the next IT.
HINT – Players must be quiet and still and can’t make noises to try to fool IT.
Groups
6+ years
12+ players
Good game for big groups (20+)
Players walk, dance or run around.
The caller calls a number from 2 to 9.
Players have to form themselves into groups of this size and hold hands in a
circle.
Any players who are not in a group of the right size are out.
Play can continue until 3 remain and the caller calls 2.
The 2 players will be the winners.
Happy Campers
6+ years
8 + players
A great game for big groups (20+) and a favorite with the big kids too
Children find a partner. If one child is left over they can be the caller.
Pairs stand in a circle facing into the circle.
One child in each pair is the CAMPER and the other is the TENT.
TENTS stand with their legs wide apart to be the tent door.
CAMPERS sit cross legged in front of their TENT.
Caller calls out either CAMPERS or TENTS.
When CAMPERS is called, the CAMPERS crawl back through the legs of the
TENTS, run clockwise around the outside of the circle, back to their TENT,
through the legs of their TENT and cross their legs.
The last CAMPER back in place is eliminated with their partner.
When TENTS is called, the TENTS run clockwise around the circle, back to their
CAMPER and stand with legs apart. Last TENT is eliminated with their partner.
Eliminated TENTS and CAMPERS stay in place to keep the circle formed but
both players sit.
The game continues until only one pair is left.
Hat and Rat
8+ years
8+ players
– 2 small items (comb, pen, spoon), not two of the same
Need
It may sound confusing at first but it is a fun game and it requires lots of
concentration
Great for the classroom
Players sit in a circle.
Leader sits in the circle too.
The leader passes the first item to the 1st person on the right and says ‘This is a
hat.’
1st person says ‘A what?’
Leader replies ‘A hat’.
1st person passes to 2nd person and says ‘This is hat.’
2nd person asks ‘A what’ of the 1st person who must ask ‘A what?’ of the leader.
Leader replies ‘A hat.’ 1st person tells 2nd person ‘A hat.’
Continue around the circle each time passing the ‘A what?’ question back to the
leader. And then passing the answer ‘A hat’ back to the final person.
Sounds easy so far! Now let’s get tricky!
Once the group has the idea, the leader can then introduce the 2nd item to the left
and call it a rat.
The leader has to concentrate and answer to the left and right.
The game becomes really interesting when the items cross over in the circle.
Challenge the group and see if they can get both items back to the leader with no
mistakes. Good Luck!
Head to Head Race
Need – large soft balls
5+ years
6+ players
A great game for developing cooperation! Can be run as a relay race!
Players stand in pairs facing each other. Each pair has a ball that they place
between their foreheads.
Players race from the start line to the finish line keeping the ball between their
foreheads without using their hands.
If a ball is dropped the pair must go back to the start.
Heads Down Thumbs Up
5+ years
8+ players
A great quiet game that will keep large groups going for a while
A great classroom game
Depending on the number of players 3-4 children are chosen to be IT’s and stand
in the front. Others are seated.
A caller says HEADS DOWN THUMBS UP and players (except for IT’s) close
eyes and hold thumbs up in front of them. No peeping allowed.
Each IT quietly creeps around and puts the thumb of one player down then
returns to the front.
Caller then says HEADS UP STAND UP. Players, who had their thumbs put
down, stand.
Each of these players now gets one guess to say which IT put their thumb down.
If they guess correctly they take the place of this IT. If they don’t guess correctly,
the IT who put his thumb down remains IT for the next round.
When each player has had a guess the next round begins.
Hop, Skip and Jump
7+ years
15+ players
An active game.
Players are divided into teams of 3. (Any odd ones left could be the callers.)
All of the players form a circle. Players stand beside their team mates.
One player from each team is nominated to be HOP, one is SKIP and one is
JUMP.
When the caller calls HOP (or SKIP or JUMP), that team member has to move
around the circle in a clockwise direction using their movement, i.e. hopping,
skipping or jumping.
When they return to their team, the other 2 team members are standing one in
front of the other with their legs apart (facing into the circle).
The player who has returned crawls through the legs of their team mates and sits
cross legged in front of their team. Last team to do so is out and must be seated.
Winning team is the last team left.
Hot Potatoes
– several balls
7+ years
8+ players
Need
A quick game of throw and catch! No one wins or loses, it’s just a great
challenge!
Everyone stands in a circle. A ball is thrown in and players start to pass it around.
Before a player throws the ball, he must call the name of the person who is to
catch it.
Once players are going well, another ball is then thrown in. Keep playing as
before. Another ball can be added when players are ready.
See how many balls the group is able to cope with.
How Is It Done?
7+ years
8+ players
A game that requires children to be creative!
IT leaves the room and everyone decides upon an adverb, i.e. a word that tells
how something is done and ends with ‘ly’. E.g.
- slowly, noisily, quickly, angrily, happily, anxiously, nervously, fearfully,
playfully, shyly etc
When IT returns she asks players to move or mime things in this way, e.g. run
this way, walk this way, brush your hair this way, eat this way, jump this way etc.
IT has to guess what the adverb is.
Human Tic Tac Toe
7+ years
10+ players
Need – a large Tic Tac Toe grid – chalk drawn on cement, four ropes
laid out or four rows of tape
This is a large scale version of Tic Tac Toe
Everyone is divided into two teams – could be boys verse girls or children with
hats verse children without.
Children sit or stand on the Tic Tac Toe grid and play as for regular Tic Tac Toe.
Leave the Nest
6+ years
5 + players
This is a version of Hide and Seek.
Everyone hides while one person counts to given number (maybe 20).
The seeker then goes to look for the hiders.
When he finds someone they have to help him to search.
Last person to be found is the next seeker.
Mud Flood
6+ years
8+ players
Need – large pieces of cardboard to be rooftops
A game similar to Musical Chairs
Players walk or run around the pieces of cardboard.
When the caller calls MUD FLOOD the players all run to a rooftop and stand on it
with both feet.
Any player who can’t fit onto a rooftop is out.
The game continues until pieces of cardboard are either torn or folded to make
them smaller or removed.
The game ends with one small piece of card large enough for one person. The
last player left is the winner.
HINT – The caller can try to trick players by calling things like “MO>NEYBOX.”
Noah’s Ark
Need – a soft ball
9+ years
5+ players
A quick thinking game! Great for the classroom!
Children stand in a circle. One child has the ball.
The ball is thrown to another child and the thrower calls – Earth, Air, Fire or
Water.
- If Earth is called, the child who catches the ball must name an animal that
lives on the Earth.
- If Air is called, the child who catches the ball must name a type of bird.
- If Water is called, the child who catches the ball must name a type of fish.
- If Fire is called, the child who catches the ball must name something that
can withstand fire, e.g. rock.
The player who threw the ball counts to ten. If the catcher gives a correct answer
in that time, then they continue the game by throwing to someone else. If the
catcher can’t give an answer in that time they are out and sit down.
No answer can be given twice in the same game.
HINT – Encourage children to throw to someone who hasn’t had a turn yet.
Number Line
8+ years
8+ players
A group cooperation game
Each child is given a number without the others knowing it.
On ‘GO!’ children have to get themselves into number order, but the catch is that
they are not allowed to speak.
Variations
Blind Number Line
For an added challenge players can be blindfolded and not allowed to speak.
Alphabet Line
The same game can be played with players being given a letter of the alphabet
instead and then putting themselves into alphabetical order.
Pass the Name
8+ years
8+ players
A great challenge for a group
Children stand in a circle and start clapping a beat, e.g. clap, clap, stamp, stamp,
clap, clap repeat.
First player then says a name at the end of the pattern, e.g. clap, clap, stamp,
stamp, clap, clap, Tom.
Tom then has to add the next name at the right time without breaking the pattern,
e.g. clap, clap, stamp, stamp, clap, clap, Amanda.
Repeat as many times as possible until someone makes a mistake.
Pineapples
8+ years
8+ players
Children love this spelling game and will beg you to let them play
A great classroom game
Children stand in a circle.
An adult gives a word for the children to spell and nominates the person to start.
Children give one letter at a time going in a clockwise direction.
The child who is after the person who says the last letter says ‘Pineapples’.
The next child is out and sits down.
If a child says a wrong letter, he is out and sits down also.
The adult then gives the next word and play continues around the circle.
Last child standing is the winner.
Plank Race
8+ years
4+ players
Need – 2 planks (about 1 yard long) per team – paper can be taped
into long sheets to used in place of the planks if preferred
A team work game
Divide children into teams of at least 2.
Children race from a start line to a finish line.
Each team has 2 planks. One person can only walk on the planks from start to
finish.
The other team members move the back plank to the front as the walker moves
forward.
If you only have 2 planks, time how long it takes each team.
Poison Ball
8+ years
Need – a large ball
8+ players
An active game enjoyed by older children too
Select a playing field about 5 -10 yards square. (size will depend on number of
players) If a field can’t be marked out put markers on four corners to make a
square.
Divide players into 2 teams. One team stands in the square. The other team
stands around the square.
The team on the outside has the ball. They bowl the ball quickly through the
square trying to hit the legs or feet of the opposite team. If someone is hit they
join the outer team. The inside team have to run about trying to avoid being hit by
the ball.
Last person left in the square is the winner.
HINT – To make the game more interesting use more than one ball.
Queenie
Need – a ball
5+ years
6+ players
An oldie but a goodie
IT has the ball and stands with his back to the others.
IT tosses the ball over his head.
One of the players catches the ball and holds it behind her back. The other
players also pretend to have the ball behind their backs.
The players then chant, ‘Queenie, Queenie, Who’s got the ball?’
Queenie turns around and faces the others.
If Queenie guesses correctly, he has another turn, if not he person with the ball
becomes Queenie.
HINT – For larger groups, Queenie might be given 3 guesses.
Relay Races
5+ years
6+ players
Need – balls, sacks, skipping ropes, hoops, balloons
The possibilities for Relay Races are endless!
Use your imagination or let children invent their own versions.
Divide players into teams. Number of teams and number in each team will
depend on the number of players. Teams of 4-6 usually work well.
Relays can be set out in 2 different ways.
- Half of the team can line up at one end of the track or course and the
other members line up at the other end.
- OR Each team can make one line and the first player can race to a
marker, around it and back to their team.
Here are some basic relays
- RUNNING – run as fast as you can.
- RUNNING BACKWARDS – run backwards along the track.
- SKIPPING – use a skipping rope.
- SKIPPING – use a large hoop to skip.
- BOUNCING – use a ball and bounce it along the track.
- SACK RACK – climb into a sack and jump along the track.
- BALLOON/BALL – hold a balloon or ball between the knees and run.
- ANIMAL RELAYS – walk/jump like a bunny, kangaroo, duck, crab etc.
- OVER AND UNDER – team stands in a line, last person goes up the line
going over the first person and under the legs of the next, over the next
then under etc. They yell ‘NEXT!’ when they reach the head of the line and
the next person goes.
SEE ALSO – Head to Head Race, Plank Race – in this section
Egg and Spoon Relay Race, Dress Up Relay, Fill the Bucket,
Pass the Orange – in Party Games Section
Rob the Nest - Teams
6+ years
6 + players
Need – items to be nests (hoops, buckets or boxes) one per team,
many items to be eggs (bean bags, hats, small balls)
This is a fast, fun game to play and a fun game to watch.
A game only requires a few minutes to play but children will want to play again
and again. Children will also enjoy watching others play.
Players are put into even teams. Nests are put into a large area and each team is
assigned a nest. Eggs are spread out around the nests.
Teams stand behind a start line. On the word GO, they run in and start putting
(throwing not allowed) eggs into their nest.
Now the fun begins because players are also allowed to rob other nests and take
eggs from another nest to their own nest.
The winning team is chosen in one of two ways.
- The winning team can be the first team to have an agreed number of eggs
in their nest. They sit down quickly by the nest and call out ‘FULL NEST’.
- The winning team can be the team with the most eggs in their nest after
an agreed time.
ALSO SEE - Rob the est – Outdoor Games
Sardines – Outside
6+ years
5+ players
This is a funny version of Hide and Seek.
One person goes to hide while the others count to a given number (maybe 20).
Others look for the hiding person.
When someone finds her, he must also hide with her.
Each person who finds the sardines also hides with them.
Last to find them is the next person to hide.
HINT – Don’t expect to finish the game as the giggling usually gives the Sardines
away.
Seated Circle
9+ years
10+ players
A great group challenge
Group stands in a circle with right shoulders facing in.
Everyone shuffles towards the centre so shoulders touch and circle is tight.
Next everyone holds onto the waist of the person in front of them.
Then everyone bends their knees slowly until they are seated on the knees of the
person behind them.
If this is successful, everyone in the circle will be sitting down. Well Done!
Now add another challenge – Have the group stand up, turn around and sit down
again.
Next – Have the group try to walk while seated in a circle.
Simon Says
4+ years
4+ players
An old favorite that grandma probably played
An adult or child is chosen to be Simon.
Others must do as Simon says but only if Simon includes the words ‘Simon
Says’, e.g.
- ‘Run on the spot.’ (players shouldn’t do it)
- ‘Simon Says, hop like a rabbit.’ (players should do it)
Players are out if they make a mistake.
HINT – Give instructions quickly to confuse players.
HINT – If you are Simon, confuse others by doing the actions yourself even when
Simon doesn’t say.
Sleeping Dog
6+ years
Need – object to be the bone, blindfold
7+ players
A quiet game
Choose one player to be the DOG. Divide the other players into 2 teams.
Teams make 2 lines with about 4 yards between them.
DOG sits in the middle with the blindfold on and the BONE in front of him.
One player from each team attempts to take the dog’s bone without being
caught. A player is caught if the DOG points directly to him. A caught player must
return to his place. The team to steal the bone the most times is the winner.
Statues
6+ years
5+ players
A great game for a small group of children to play on their own
IT stands about 10-20 yds in front of the other players who stand on a start line.
IT faces the others then turns his back to them.
While he has his back turned the others creep up behind him trying to reach him
first.
IT can turn around at any time but players must be still as statues when he does.
If IT sees anyone moving, he calls her name and she goes back to the start line.
The first person to reach IT without being seen moving becomes the next IT.
Stuck in the Mud
5+ years
6+ players
An active and interesting version of Tag
One child is IT. (2 children can be IT for larger groups) IT chases the other
players and when someone is tagged they stand still with their legs wide apart.
IT continues chasing others but meanwhile one of the other players can ‘unstick’
the caught player by crawling through their legs.
IT tries to tag everyone and prevent them being ‘unstuck’ by other players.
Stay Serious
6+ years
5+ children
A seriously funny game
The object of the game is not to laugh.
One child is chosen to be IT and sits on a chair in front of the others.
Children take turns at trying to get the child to laugh, e.g. pulling faces, acting
silly, singing in a silly way, saying something silly.
If the child laughs he is out and the child who made him laugh has a turn.
Swimming With Sharks
6+ years
6+ children Need –
lots or space to run with a wide river marked out (could be two lines
on a court, two chalk lines or two pieces of rope laid out)
Mark out a wide river for the Sharks to swim in. Depending on the number of
children choose 1 or 2 children to be sharks.
Sharks stand in the river. Others are Swimmers and stand to the side.
On GO the Swimmers have to run across the river without being caught (tagged)
by the shark/s. Anyone caught becomes a Shark and helps to catch the
Swimmers.
Swimmers continue to cross the river until all are caught.
Last swimmer caught is the Shark for the next game.
The Minister’s Cat
8+ years
5+ player
Lot’s of fun and challenging too
A great classroom challenge
Players sit in a circle.
Players slowly clap a 4 beat pattern. I prefer Clap hands, Hands on knees, Clap
hands, Hands on knees.
1st player says, ‘The Minister’s Cat is a (adjective starting with A) cat.’ Adjective
could be angry. This is said to the 4 beat clap.
Clap the 4 beats again then 2nd player says the same using a different adjective,
e.g. aging cat.
Play continues with each person having a turn and keeping to the pattern – clap
4 beats, say the sentence (while the clapping continues), clap, clap 4 beats, next
person says the sentence.
See how many can have a turn before someone falters or can’t think of a
different adjective. Then have a turn using B adjectives.
Variation
A-Z Minister’s Cat
Younger children may find it easier to start with a different version where each
player uses the next letter of the alphabet for their adjective, e.g. awful, beautiful,
cuddly, dirty etc.
Through the Forest
9+ years
8+ player
blindfolds (hats or caps over eyes can also work)
Need –
A quiet indoor team game
Divide players into 2 teams.
One team stands on one side of the room and puts on the blindfolds.
The other team spreads out. They are the trees in the forest.
The blindfolded players have to make their way through the forest without
touching a tree.
If they touch or bump into a tree they are out.
Trees are not allowed to move or touch players.
Count the number of players who successfully go from one side of the room to
the other.
Teams swap over. The team with the most successful players is the winner.
What’s the Rule?
9+ years
5+ player
Great game to make older children think
IT leaves the room.
Others choose a rule while IT is gone.
The rule tells how they are to answer questions when IT asks.
Select a rule appropriate for the age group, e. g.
- rules can describe the way someone is to talk, e.g. slowly, quickly, loudly,
softly
- rules can be physical, e. g. turning head to the left, looking up or down,
scratching nose
- rules can be about the style of answer, e. g. answers must start with a
certain letter of the alphabet, answers must be 3 words, answers must
contain the name of a movie.
When IT returns he asks questions trying to guess what the rule is.
Who Said Hello?
4+ years
6+ player
A great classroom game for the little ones but older ones have fun with it too
Children all sit facing the same way.
One child is IT.
IT stands at the front with his back to the others.
Someone then chooses a child to say, ‘Hello >>..(name of IT)!’ Encourage the
child to disguise his voice.
IT then has a number of chances (2-3) to guess who said Hello.
If IT is correct, he has another turn. If IT isn’t correct the player who said Hello
takes his place.
Who’s Missing?
4+ years
8+ players
The more players, the more difficult it becomes
Players walk around the room or dance around the room.
When the caller says ‘Freeze’ everyone stands still and closes their eyes – no
peeping allowed.
The caller walks around the room, taps a player on the shoulder and that player
tip toes out of the room.
Caller then calls ‘Who’s missing?’
Everyone opens their eyes, looks about and tries to be the first to identify ‘Who’s
missing?’
Who’s the Initiator?
8+ years
8+ players
Children love this game of observation and will beg you to let them play!
Great game for large groups (20 +)! Great game for camps and classrooms!
Children sit in a circle.
One child is chosen to be the Spotter.
The Spotter leaves the room or turns his back while a child from the circle is
chosen to be the Initiator.
The Initiator chooses the movements that everyone will make without standing or
moving from their places.
Movements might include
- nodding heads
- tapping hands on head, shoulders, head, shoulders etc.
- hands clapping on knees, knees, shoulders, shoulders, knees, knees etc
- clap hands in front twice and behind twice
Encourage the Initiator to be creative with his actions.
Once everyone is making the Initiator’s movements, the Spotter starts to observe
the group.
The Spotter’s job is to guess who the Initiator is in 3 guesses.
The Initiator changes the movements as often as possible without being seen by
the Spotter.
Everyone follows copying the Initiator’s movements.
After 3 guesses or when the Spotter guesses the Initiator’s identity, a new game
begins.
HINT – Children may need to be encouraged not to look at the Initiator as this will
give the game away to the Spotter. Instead they can scan the group and change
movements when they notice others changing their movements.
HINT – Game can also be played with children standing. This allows for a larger
variety of movements.
Wink Murder
8+ years
10+ players
A fun game of observation! Children won’t want to stop playing!
Children sit in a circle.
Everyone closes their eyes.
An adult walks around the circle and taps a child on the head.
This child is the murderer. (2 or more murderers can be chosen for larger
groups.)
Players open eyes and the fun begins.
The murderer murders players by winking at them.
If a player is winked at, they must say “I’m dead!” and lie down. (Some children
like to have a rather dramatic death.)
Others players have to try to spot the murderer. Game is over when someone
guesses correctly. If a child guesses incorrectly, she also has to die.
RULES
- No winking if you are not the murderer.
- No talking other than dying or guessing the murderer.
Woof Woof, Oink Oink
Need – blindfold
5+ years
8+ players
A game with lots of animal sounds!
Players stand in a circle. IT stands in the centre blindfolded.
It spins around 4 or 5 times then stops.
IT then points to a person and makes 3 different animal sounds of her choice,
e.g. quack, quack, baa, baa, oink, oink.
The person IT is pointing to has to repeat each sound as it says them.
Then IT has to guess who it is.
Outdoor Games and Party Games for more
Games For Large Numbers.
SEE ALSO –
Car Games
A – Z Signs
6+ years
1+ player
The object of the game is to go through the alphabet finding words that begin
with the letters from A – Z. The words can be found on signs by the road or signs
on cars, e.g. Apples for sale, Low Bridge Ahead, Howard’s Discount Cars.
One or more can play by calling out the words as they see them on signs.
This can be a contest to see who can get through the alphabet first or everyone
can work together to go through the alphabet.
License Plate Alphabet
6+ years
1+ player
The object of the game is to find the alphabet from A – Z on license plates.
One or more can play by calling out the letters as they see them on other cars.
This can be a contest to see who can get the furtherest in a certain time or
everyone can work together to go through the alphabet.
License Plate Count On
6+ years
1+ children
The object of the game is to count as high as possible by finding numbers on
license plates.
One or more can play by calling out the numbers as they see them on other cars.
1- 9 are easy but then 1 and 0 have to be seen together before 10 is called. It
might be seen in 105 or it could be seen in 710.
This can be a contest to see who can count the highest in a certain time or
everyone can work together to go as high as possible.
License Plate Names
7+ years
2+ players and a judge
A fun game where players can be silly or sensible
Before starting the game, decide what type of name will be the winner of the
round. Silliest, most unusual, most realistic, most ordinary, most exotic etc.
One player tells the letters that they see on a license plate.
Everyone thinks of a name with the initials of the license plate, e.g. HFR.
Players tell the name and the judge chooses the best according to the category.
Henry Ford Roberts, Henriettania Fogswaddle Ripvonstaggle.
No Ums or Ahs
7+ years
1+ player
Not as easy as it might sound! It can even catch the adults!
Give a child a topic to talk about. Tell the child how long they will have to talk. (1
or 2 minutes depending on the topic)
Topics can be broad or general depending on the age of the child, e.g. dogs, my
house, cars, shoes, milk etc.
Topics could be written on pieces of paper and children can draw one out.
The child then has to talk on this topic for the given amount of time and must not
pause or say ‘um’ or ‘ah’.
If there is more than one child, let one be the timer. Everyone has to listen for
‘um’ and ‘ah’.
Mouse Game
4+ years
2+ children
This is the perfect game for parents who need a bit of peace and quiet.
Everyone has to be as quiet as a mouse. First person to make a sound is out.
The person who stays quiet the longest is the winner.
HINT – If you really want some quiet, try offering a prize for the winner.
Spotto
5+ years
2+ children
Decide what it is you are going to try to spot. This will depend on where you are
traveling.
Select a catch cry for each thing, e.g. cow – ‘How now brown cow’; horse –
‘Horse of course’; bus – ‘Gus Bus’; truck – ‘Good luck truck’.
When someone ‘Spots’ one of the things, they call out the catch cry quickly.
Word Ping Pong
5+ years
2+ children
A fast game for any age
This game is best if 2 players verse each other and the winner can then
challenge the next person.
Think of a category, e.g. cars, fruit, sport, countries.
Players take turns to name something from the category. Each player follows the
other without hesitating.
If a player can’t answer in 3 seconds, he loses.
SEE ALSO –
Word Games for more games suitable for traveling.
Baby and Toddler Games
Bubbles
0+ years
Need – bubble solution and a bubble blower
All children seem to be fascinated with bubbles
Blow bubbles for baby and he can track them with his eyes.
If old enough he might try to catch them or bat at them.
A child who is on the move will love to follow the bubbles.
If old enough he can try to blow bubbles himself.
Follow the Leader
1+ years
2+ children
An old favorite that can be adapted to different ages
Children can follow an adult or follow another child.
Include lots of different types of movements.
- walk, run, skip, jump, hop, crawl, roll
- go forwards, backwards, sideways
- use large steps, small steps
- go over, under, through things.
Flying Baby
0+ years
One that our Mums and Dads probably did with us
When baby is old enough, hold securely and fly baby around the room.
For a toddler you can hold him securely under the armpits and swing him around
in a circle.
Be careful that you don’t get too dizzy.
Hiding Toy
– toy to hide
0+ years
Need
Hide a toy for baby to find.
For babies start by putting the toy under a cloth or blanket and asking ‘Where is
it?’
For toddlers hide the toy in the room and ask them to find it.
Kick Ball
0+ years
Need – ball (beach ball is ideal) and string (never leave baby
unsupervised with these)
A great way to stimulate a baby that is not yet sitting
Attach a large soft ball to a string. Suspend it above baby and let her bat at it with
her hands and her feet.
Mirrors
Need - mirror
0+ years
Babies are fascinated with mirrors
Hold a mirror up to baby for baby to look at himself or hold baby in front of a
mirror so he can see himself and you too.
Make funny faces for baby.
Moving Toy
Need – toys, puppets
0+ years
Help to develop baby’s tracking ability
Move a toy across baby’s line of vision. Let baby’s eyes follow the toy.
Move left to right and right to left.
Move it at different speeds.
Change the toy to keep interest going.
Pop the toy up and down in different places in front of baby.
Mystery Bag
18+ months
Need – pillow case, toys, household items
Help to develop toddler’s sensory perception
In a pillow case place a toy or household item without showing the child.
Let the child feel what is in the bag but not look at it.
Have the child guess what it is. Change to another item and continue.
Peek-a-boo
0+ years
An old favorite that can be adapted to different ages
Hide yourself from baby and pop up in different places saying ‘Peek-a-boo, I see
you.’ Try changing your facial expression each time you pop up.
Hide yourself under a cloth for baby to pull off you.
You can also hide a toy and pop it up here and there.
Try hiding the toy under a cloth and letting baby discover it.
Ring A Ring A Rosy
1+ years
An old classic that littlies love
Children (and adults) form a circle and hold hands.
They dance around the circle singing Ring A Ring A Rosy
A pocket full of posy
A tishoo A tishoo
We all fall down!
3+ children
On, “We all fall down!’ Everyone falls to the ground.
Roll Ball
Need – large, soft ball
0+ years
Once baby can sit up try rolling a ball to baby for baby to catch.
When baby is old enough see if baby can roll it back to you.
Silly Sounds
0+ years
Can be adapted for different ages
Touch baby lightly on a part of the body and give a sound to accompany, e.g.
‘honk, honk’ or ‘toot, toot’ or ‘ring, ring’ or use animal sounds, e.g. ‘quack, quack’
or ‘woof, woof’. Let different parts of the body have their own unique sound.
Toddlers can say the sounds with you. See if they can remember which sound
goes with which touch.
Touch
Need – variety of objects
0+ years
Help baby develop her sense of touch
Use objects with a variety of different textures to touch baby’s skin.
Let baby feel things that are smooth, soft, rough, cold, warm, fluffy etc.
Tumbling Tower
Need – blocks
0+ years
Everyone loves knocking over a tower of blocks
Build a tower of blocks with baby and then let baby knock it over.
Towers can become more complex as baby gets older.
This Little Piggy
0+ years
A classic
Hold babies foot and wiggle one toe for each piggy as you say the rhyme.
This little piggy went to market.
This little piggy stayed home.
This little piggy had roast beef.
This little piggy had none.
And this little piggy cried wee, wee, wee all the way home.
On ‘all the way’ home walk fingers up to baby’s tummy for a little tickle.
ChIldren’s Party Games
Balloon Burst
Need – balloons
4+ years
Have many balloons blown up and set up a challenge like –
- How many balloons can you all burst in 1 minute? (You’ll need to have
counted them first to work this out. Offer one candy or chocolate for each
balloon the children burst.
- Who can burst the most balloons in 1 minute? Time each child and count
the balloons they burst.
- Perform the task that is inside the balloon. Have a task written on a piece
of paper inside each balloon. Children select a balloon, burst it and have
to do what is said on the paper. (Tasks could be - Sing >..(name the
song), Kiss the nearest boy, Bounce a ball 20 times, Tell us your favorite
movie star, stand on one foot for a minute.
- Win the prize that is inside the balloon. Select a balloon to burst and keep
the prize that is in it. Prizes could be sweets, chocolate, small toys
Balloon Race
Need – balloons
4+ years
This can be a race for individuals or a relay race.
Children race with a balloon held tightly between their knees (no hands allowed).
If the balloon is dropped a player must go back to the start line.
Blind Man’s Bluff
5+ years
– blindfold (scarf or hat that covers eyes)
Need
An old favorite that any age can play
Make sure the playing area is clear of obstacles that they Blind Man might trip
over or fall on.
Choose someone to be IT and secure the blindfold in place.
Spin the Blind Man around three times.
Other players scatter but must freeze when the Blind Man starts searching with
outstretched arms. Players may duck or sway but their feet must remain in the
same spot.
When the Blind Man touches someone he must then guess who it is by feeling
their faces.
If he is correct this person becomes IT. If not correct he must search for
someone else.
Celebrity Hats
8+ years
Need – card, tape, markers, 3 hats
Three children are selected to wear the hats.
The names of three celebrities – dead or alive, fictitious or real, human, animal or
animated - are written on cards and taped to their hats so everyone can see
them except themselves. E.g. Cinderella, Bart Simpson, Tom Cruise.
Each player then asks Yes/No questions about their celebrity. E.g. Am I still
alive? Do you see me on TV?
When they receive a No answer, the next player starts his turn.
The winner is the first player to guess his identity.
Crocodile River
– music, 2 lengths of rope
8+ years
Need
A great games for parties or dances!
Children run or dance in a clockwise direction around the room. 2 lengths of rope
are placed across their path about 3-10 feet apart. This creates the river that all
children must cross.
Play music while children run or dance around the room.
When the music stops all children who are between the ropes are eliminated as
they are out.
Game continues until only one winner is left.
Dress Up Relay
6+ years
Need – an assortment of clothing – hats, ties, scarves, shirts, coats,
boots, aprons, trousers, raincoats, gloves, shawls etc, markers to run
around.
Lots of laughs! Be sure to take photos!
Children are divided into teams. Each team is given clothing that they are to wear
- about 4-7 items per team. (To be fair each team should be given the same
types of clothing, e.g. a cap, a shirt, a coat, a pair of gloves and a tie)
Teams line up in front of their pile of clothing.
On ‘GO!’ the first member puts on all the clothing, races around a marker and
back to the team, removes the clothing and gives to the next team member for
him to dress and run.
Relay continues until each member has dressed and run around the marker. First
team to finish is the winner.
Variation
Add a challenge
Give children a challenge as they run, e.g. run with a balloon between the legs,
bounce a ball, carry an egg in a spoon, balance a book on their head.
Egg and Spoon Race
6+ years
eggs (preferable boiled), teaspoons
Need –
An oldie but a goodie!
A great game for Easter Time!
Children line up at the start line with an egg and a spoon.
Children race while holding the egg in the teaspoon in front of them.
If egg is dropped players must return to the start.
Variations
Egg and Spoon Obstacle Course
Plan an obstacle course for children to navigate with the egg in the spoon.
If all children can’t race at once, time how long it takes each child. Fastest is the
winner.
Egg and Spoon Relay Race
Organize children into relay teams. Each person has a spoon but only one egg
per team. Children run then pass their egg to the next person’s spoon.
Egg Toss
Need – eggs (not boiled)
6+ years
Be prepared for lots of laughs and lots of broken eggs!
A great game for Easter Time!
Divide children into pairs.
Stand children in 2 lines facing each other. Each player stands opposite their
partner.
Start with the lines about 2 yards away from each other.
Partners have to toss and catch an egg (not boiled) between each other.
After 2 tosses one line takes a step back and then the partners toss again
(twice).
Pairs are eliminated when they drop their egg. Pairs continue tossing and moving
further apart until only one pair remains, the winners.
Fill the Bucket
5+ years
Need – a large tub of water, 2 buckets (both same size), 2 plastic
cups (both same size)
A great relay race
Divide the children into 2 teams that both line up behind their empty buckets.
The large tub of water is placed about 5 to 10 yards in front of the buckets.
On go the first person in each team takes their team cup, runs to the tub, fills the
cup, runs back to the bucket and empties the cup into the bucket.
Next person in the team is given the cup and repeats this.
First team to fill the bucket is the winner.
Ha Ha
6+ years
6 + players
A game that gets everyone laughing
Players lie down side by side. First player puts their hand onto the stomach of the
2nd player who puts their hand onto the stomach of the 3rd player etc.
First player says ‘Ha’, next player says, ‘Ha Ha’, next player says, ‘Ha Ha Ha’.
Each player adds one ‘Ha’. Anyone who laughs or giggles is out and removed.
Line is reformed when someone is removed.
Happy Campers
6+ years
8 + players
A great game for big groups (20+) and a favorite with the older kids too
Children find a partner. If one child is left over they can be the caller.
Pairs stand in a circle facing into the circle.
One child in each pair is the CAMPER and the other is the TENT.
TENTS stand with their legs wide apart to be the tent door.
CAMPERS sit cross legged in front of their TENT.
Caller calls out either CAMPERS or TENTS.
When CAMPERS is called, the CAMPERS crawl back through the legs of the
TENTS, run clockwise around the outside of the circle, back to their TENT,
through the legs of their TENT and cross their legs.
The last CAMPER back in place is eliminated with their partner.
When TENTS is called, the TENTS run clockwise around the circle, back to their
CAMPER and stand with legs apart. Last TENT is eliminated with their partner.
Eliminated TENTS and CAMPERS stay in place to keep the circle formed but
both players sit.
The game continues until only one pair is left.
Pass It On
6+ years
Need
– small prizes (small wrapped gift, chocolate bars, small toys)
A party favorite
Players sit in a circle with their hands behind their backs.
One child is IT and sits in the centre.
IT closes her eyes while one person has the prize put into his hands.
IT opens her eyes and players pass and pretend to pass the prize behind their
backs.
IT gets 3 guesses to say who has the prize and keeps the prize if correct.
HINT – Tell children to keep pretending so IT can’t tell the real passes from the
pretend passes.
Pass the Orange
7+ years
Need – an orange for each team
A interesting game that gets everyone laughing
Players are divided into teams, 4-7 in each team.
Team members have an orange under their chin, run to the other end, pass it to
the next team member - without hands – and so on until all have run. First team
to finish is the winner.
It can also be played with team members standing in a line and passing the
orange chin to chin – no hands – along the line and back again.
Moon Walk
4+ years
Need – large blanket or quilt, squeaky toys, blindfold
A game that littlies love but older children will want to try too
The toys are spread out on the floor then covered with the blanket or quilt.
Children take turns at walking across the moonscape with a blindfold on.
Each child has to try to walk across the moonscape without stepping on a
squeaky toy.
A prize can be given to children who make it across.
Mummy Wrap
Need – rolls of toilet paper
8+ years
Lot’s of laughs! Be sure to have a camera ready!
Children are divided into pairs. Each pair is given a roll of toilet paper.
One child from each pair has to use the roll of toilet paper to wrap the other child
like an Egyptian Mummy.
Give a time limit – 5-10 minutes.
An adult can judge which pair made the best Mummy.
Poison Balloon
Need - balloons
8+ years
Fun, action game for big kids and little kids.
The idea of the game is to hit the balloon at others and avoid being hit by the
balloon. Best played indoors as the wind may make it difficult outdoors.
One balloon is let go into the crowd. Children hit it towards each other. Anyone
hit by the balloon is out. Last person in is the winner. Obviously the balloon is
allowed to be hit by hands and this action doesn’t get you out.
Sinking Island
Need - blanket
7+ years
A fun elimination game
A large blanket is placed in the centre.
Players walk, dance or run around the island.
When the caller calls ‘Shark!’ players run to the island and stand on it with both
feet. Any player who is not standing on the island is out.
The blanket is then folded in half.
The process is repeated with the blanket being folded each time until it is only
large enough for one player – the winner.
Smelly Socks
4+ years
A fun game that always involves lots of laughter
One child is IT. The other children ask questions but the only answer IT can give
is, ‘Smelly socks’. IT has to keep a straight face and is out if he laughs.
Let children ask silly questions to try to make IT laugh, e.g. What is your favorite
food? What is in your ear? What do you want for your birthday?
Squirrels
5 + years
6+ players
Need – items to be trees (chairs, hoops, large boxes)
A fun version of musical chairs that can be played with or without the music
Spread out the trees – one less than the number of children.
Children dance around the trees (if there is music) or walk around the outside of
the trees.
When the music stops or when a caller calls squirrels, each child runs for a tree –
sits on a chair, in a hoop or in a box.
Child without a tree is out.
Children start moving again and one tree is removed.
Game continues until only one tree remains and a winner is found.
Straight Face
6+ years
Have the group sit in a circle, except for one child who is in the middle.
No one is allowed to speak or make a sound except the child in the centre.
This person has to try to make the others laugh.
Anyone who laughs is out and joins the child in the centre and tries to make the
others laugh.
Last child to laugh is the winner.
Treasure Hunt
4+ years
Need – wrapped sweets to hide.
This game can be adapted to the age of the children but even older children love
to hunt for hidden sweets. For older children make the hiding places more
difficult.
Hide sweets in the garden or around a room. Children search and keep what
they find.
HINT - Encourage those who find a lot to share with those who don’t or keep
spares to give to those who don’t find many.
Variation
Treasure Hunt Coins
Hide coins instead of sweets. Coins could be buried in a sand pit to make this a
real Treasure Hunt.
Treasure Hunt With Clues
7+ years
Need – clues written on paper or card, prize to be the treasure –bag
of sweets or bag of 5c coins.
Work out clues first. Each clue guides children to the next clue. Last clue guides
children to prize to be shared. Be as clever with the clues as the age of children
will allow. E.g.
- Go to where we take a bath. (bath tub)
- Where do I find the whole world in a book? (atlas)
- I am home to fire. (fireplace)
Treasure Hunt Objects
7+ years
Need – list of objects for children to find, prize
Create a list of things for children to find.
Give each child or each pair a list.
Winner will be the first child or pair to find all items or the child or pair that find the
most items on the list.
The list can name objects, e.g. paper clip, stone, leaf, book with no pictures.
The list could be more cryptic and require children to use their thinking skills, e.g.
something that can float, something round, something that was once alive,
something that is straight and black.
What Am I?
8+ years
6 + players
Need – a card and pin for each child, each card has the name of a
thing from one particular category, e.g. animals, jobs, fruits or foods
A fun and noisy game that everyone loves
Children are told the category.
A card is pinned onto the back of each player without them seeing what it says
but players can see each others cards.
When each player has a card, they all mingle asking each other yes/no questions
about what they are, e.g. Can I fly? Do I have 4 legs?
First player to guess what he is, is the winner although play can continue until all
children have guessed.
Who Said It?
4+ years
6 + players
A fun game that helps children get to know each other
Older children will also enjoy making up silly voices
First the players agree upon what is to be said. Make up a nonsense rhyme that
is relevant, e.g. ‘Here’s the birthday cake for my pet snake.’ or ‘Happy birthday
Mary, you look like a fairy.’
Children all sit facing the same way.
One child is IT. IT stands at the front with his back to the others.
Someone then chooses a child to say the nonsense rhyme. Encourage the child
to disguise her voice.
IT then has a number of chances (2-3) to guess who said it.
If IT is correct, she has another turn.
If IT isn’t correct the player who said it takes his place.
Hint – If children don’t know each others names allow them to point.
Wild Card
8+ years
Need – deck of cards including Jokers, music
A great games for parties or dances!
Perfect for teenagers too!
Each corner of the room is assigned Diamonds, Hearts, Spades or Clubs.
A sign or a card could be put up in each corner.
Children dance to the music.
When the music stops each child goes to a corner of the room.
The caller then draws a card and calls out the suite on the card.
All children in that corner are eliminated.
If a Joker is drawn, it is a wild card and all remain in the game.
When 4 or less children remain, there can only be no more than one child in a
corner.
Winner is the last child remaining.
You’re Out If…. 8+ years
Need – You’re Out If>cards, Music
A great game for children who enjoy dancing!
Make the ‘You’re Out If>’ cards. These are cards that tell who will be eliminated
in each round, e.g.
- You’re out if you are the tallest.
- You’re out if you are wearing blue.
- You’re out if your hair is the shortest.
- You’re out if you have the letter N in your name.
- You’re out if you have blonde hair.
Everyone dances when the music plays.
When the music stops, the caller chooses a ‘You’re out’ card and reads it.
All children who fit the description on the card are eliminated.
Repeat until only one person is left.
Swimming Pool Games
Fishtail
8+ years
Need – length of rope about 3 feet long
3+ players
An active game for all ages!
One child is IT. IT has the rope and holds the end of it with 2 fingers behind him
to be his tail. (or IT can tuck the end of the rope into his swimmers)
The other players have to try to grab the tail and take it but can not touch IT.
All players must stay in the water.
The player who gets the tail then becomes the next IT.
Icebergs
7+ years
4+ players
A water version of Stuck in the Mud!
One child is IT. IT has to try to tag all of the other players.
When a player is tagged, he must go to the shallow end of the pool and be an
iceberg until another free player dives down and swims between his legs. The
player is now free again.
For large groups you might choose 2 or 3 players to be IT.
Marco Polo
8+ years
4+ players
Keeps children going for a while!
One child is chosen to be Marco Polo.
Marco Polo swims/walks around the pool with her eyes closed trying to tag
another player.
To help her to find the others she calls out ‘Marco’ constantly. When she does
the others have to answer ‘Polo!’
One child at a time can get out of the water but if Marco Polo calls FISH OUT OF
WATER while he is out of the pool, then he is the new Marco Polo.
If a second child gets out of the water while another is out then that person
becomes the new Marco Polo.
The person tagged by Marco Polo becomes the new Marco Polo.
Numbers
Need – dive ring
6+ years
4+ players
Great for developing water confidence
Players are divided into 2 teams of equal numbers.
Teams line up on opposite sides of the pool facing away from the pool. Teams
number off from 1 - ..(the last in each team).
The caller throws the ring into the middle of the pool and calls a number. That
person from both teams then turn around and race to find the ring.
The player that finds the ring and returns it to her side gets a point for her team.
Pirate Ship
7+ years
6+ players
A great game for large numbers!
An elimination game that keeps everyone moving!
One player is chosen to be the CAPTAIN. The Captain is the caller.
Players swim or walk around the centre of the pool.
The CAPTAIN calls out commands and the players do the correct move. Last on
to do it is out. Captain calls – PORT, STARBOARD, WALK THE PLANK,
SUNKEN TREASURE or SANDBANK.
- PORT- players run to the left side of the pool
- STARBOARD – players run to the right side
- WALK THE PLANK – players float in the water
- SUNKEN TREASURE – players dive under the water and stick feet up in
the air
- SANDBANK – players get out of the pool
The last player left is the winner.
Pool Volleyball
8+ years
4+ players
Need – a water ball, two plastic baskets (plastic boxes or crates will
do)
A simple volleyball game for the pool!
Divide the players into 2 teams.
Baskets are placed at each end (or side). Each team owns one basket.
Players try to score a goal by throwing the ball into the basket. In this version
players may catch and hold the ball. Players can also swim with the ball.
An umpire keeps score and starts the game by throwing the ball into the centre of
the pool. If the ball goes out of the pool the umpire throws it into the middle of the
pool.
Shark
7+ years
3+ players
A pool version of Tag
One player is chosen to be the SHARK.
The SHARK has to try to tag the other players.
Players can swim or walk away but they must stay in the pool.
The first player to be tagged by the SHARK becomes the next SHARK.
Shark – Blind Shark
7+ years
3+ players
A different version of SHARK
One player is chosen to be the SHARK.
The SHARK has to try to tag the other players while keeping her eyes closed.
Players can swim or walk away but they must stay in the pool.
When the SHARK calls ‘Polar Bears!’ all players must freeze and not move until
the SHARK finds a player and tags him. This player then becomes next SHARK.
Sharks and Sailors
7+ years
4+ players
An active game!
Divide players into two teams. One team is the SHARKS and the other is the
SAILORS.
Both teams stand in the middle of the pool.
If the caller calls SHARKS, the SHARKS chase the SAILORS who have to get to
the side of the pool and get out. The SAILORS get 1 point for every person that
makes it out.
When the caller calls SAILORS, the opposite happens.
Caller can make the game more interesting by changing the call in the middle of
the pursuit.
Squid in the Middle
7+ years
Need – a beach ball or water ball
3+ players
A pool version of Pig in the Middle
Two players toss the ball between them while the Squid is in the middle and tries
to catch it.
If the squid catches the ball, the player who threw it becomes the new Squid.
Sunken Treasure
8+ years
2+ players
Need – pieces of treasure – coins, smooth stones, spoons, dive rings
A Treasure Hunt for the pool!
While players have their backs to the pool, the treasures are thrown in and given
time to sink. (Be sure to count the number of pieces first.)
On ‘TREASURE HUNT’ players dive in and begin to look for the pieces of
treasure.
Each player collects as much as possible and makes a Treasure Pile on the side
of the pool.
Wet Potato
Need – a beach ball
8+ years
4+ players
A pool version of Hot Potato!
Ball is hit into the air by the players while they try to keep the beach ball from
landing in the water. For a few players only confine players to a small area of the
pool.
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