5/06/2011

Great Summer Games for the Whole Family


They say the family that plays together stays together.   Remember the games you used to play as a child?  As a culture, we have become so accustomed to being entertained, that we have lost touch with all the great interactive games of old.  Here are some ideas we found on various game sites to get you started; we encourage you to share yours as well:
Ring Toss - All you need is a stake and some "rings" to toss. Horseshoes would work just as well.


Mother May I? - The adult can play the part of the "Mother" who instructs the children to take steps, or hops, towards her. For example the "Mother" could say "Take five baby steps towards me." or "Take two bunny hops towards me." Meanwhile the child she speaks to must reply with "Mother may I?" before proceeding, otherwise they are kicked out of the game. The last child standing or first child to reach "Mother" wins.


Treasure Hunt - In the mood for some summer adventure? Organize a game of treasure hunt. You draw up a map and burying the treasure throughout the yard. You can leave small mounds of dirt where each treasure is buried to make it easier for the kids to find the buried treasure. Or you could mark the area around the buried treasure as another way of giving your kids a hint. The actual treasures can be things like marbles, beaded necklaces, quarter machine toys, coins, and other small objects.
Scavenger Hunt - What could be more fun than going on a scavenger hunt? Scavenger hunts can be simple or hard depending on the "clues". Simple clues would be "Find something blue.", "Find something soft.", or "Find something shiny." Harder clues could be made up using a combination of two easy clues "Find something blue and shiny." You can divide the teams up with one adult and one child per team. Whoever finds the most items or finds them all first wins.

Hide and Seek - The ultimate hunting game has always been "hide and seek". One player is the counter who must cover their eyes while the others hide. The player who is found first becomes the counter during the next round. Adults can easily participate in a game of hide and seek, either as an individual game or as a team game with their child.


Kick Ball - With just a ball and a few family members you can have hours of fun and competition playing this variation of baseball.  Instead of hitting a small ball with a bat, you kick the ball and then run the bases!
Relays:

Egg Relay
- Two spoons, one egg, are the basics of the classic egg relay game. To play a game of egg relay with adults and children you can have the adults line up in a row and the children line up in another, facing each other. Give each child a spoon with a boiled egg and have them race to their adult partner meanwhile trying not to drop their egg. The first one to reach their assigned adult wins. Then you play again allowing the adult to carry the egg on the spoon back to the child.


Three Legged Race - The three legged race is a classic summer barbeque game where two people tie one of their legs to the other and race to the finish line. This game can be played by both adults and children though I would not recommend mixing the two unless the child is older or the adults understand that they need to keep pace with the child and not the other way around.


Water Balloon Toss - Looking for a way to cool down at your summer barbeque? A game of water balloon toss may be just what you need to cool off during the warm summer months. Two people stand within feet of each other and one tosses their water balloon over to their partner who in turns catches the balloon. If they are successful they each take one step back and repeat. If they aren't successful the water balloon bursts and someone has just managed to cool themselves off meanwhile being kicked out of the game. The last dry pair is the winner. Kids and adults can play this game together or separated by age group.

Tag  Remember how much fun it was to play a simple game of tag? When kids of decades past wanted to play something fun outdoors, tag was always at the top of the list.
Hide-and-Go-Seek A favorite outdoor game from yester-year.  Find a good hiding spot where no one else would think to look, and to make the game even more challenging, move to a new hiding spot after the seeker begins searching.

Ghosts in the Graveyard  This outdoor game that kids loved to play on a moonlit night. One person was chosen to be the ghost, and everyone else hid in the yard. The ghost would begin counting, one-o'clock, two-o'clock, three-o'clock, and so on until shouting midnight! At that point the ghost would search the yard for kids to run after and tag. Once they were tagged they also became ghosts who went in search of those hiding in the bushes and elsewhere in the yard.

Looking for more great fun?  Check out 50 Ideas for Old-Fashioned Summer Fun


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