Good Old Fashioned (And Free) Games Your Kids Will Love
We all know the benefits of fresh air and exercise for little brains and bodies, but as the evenings get darker, opportunities for active play become slightly more limited.
The answer? Some inspired fun. Build one hour of family game time into your everyday schedule and you could reasonably skip the gym, meaning you'll save money and get a dose of quality kid time mid-week.
The beauty of these games is that you don't need any equipment and they can be played with friends and siblings or with mum, dad, granny and grandad.
To begin: Try Feather Breathing:
Get a feather and hold it in your hand in front of your face. Breathe in gently through your nose and watch your breath move the feather as you breathe out through your mouth. Do this for three breaths. Focusing on the feather and your breath will help you to concentrate on the present moment.
SUPER FUN ACTIVITIES
Body Freeze Tag
This game is great fun with three or more players. One player is the ‘tagger’. The rest of the players run around the playing space. When the ‘tagger’ tags the body part of a player e.g. an arm, that body part is frozen. If a leg is tagged, the player can only use one leg to move around. If both legs are tagged, the player must lie or sit on the ground to move around. If a player is completely frozen they become the new ‘tagger’.
Start by finding two pieces of rope or string (or a rolled up blanket or towel). Place the two pieces side by side, with only about 30cm in between them. The space between is the “Canyon”. Take turns jumping across the canyon. You have to land with both feet on the opposite side for your jump to count. After everyone has jumped across the river, move the pieces of rope or string farther apart. Keep doing this until there is only one person left who can jump across the Canyon. Make the game even more exciting by adding new rules like jumping across on one leg only.
Catch It If You Can
You can play this game on your own or with a partner. If you want to try this on your own just throw and catch against a wall. Grab a ball and practice throwing to a partner/wall. Try an underarm throw, an overarm throw, one-handed/two-handed throw and one-handed/two-handed catch. How many catches can you get without dropping the ball? How many times in a row can you catch the ball? Can you catch high and low? Try changing direction as you throw.
Make a bridge with your hands and feet on the floor. Walk your feet into your hands and then your hands away from your feet. Now, walk the length of the room or garden and then turn around and go back.
You will need two or more players. One player is ‘on’ and has to catch the other players but everybody has to move like a crab. If you are tagged it’s your turn to be ‘on’. Move like a crab by travelling on your hands and feet with your tummy facing the sky.
Start with your legs shoulder width apart. Jump forward and land with your feet
together. Then jump forward again and land with your feet shoulder width apart, opening up your legs like a crocodile opening his mouth wide. Imagine the crocodile has eaten a big dinner so now it’s time to jump back and close his mouth– land with your feet together. Then jump back to the beginning again standing with your legs shoulder width apart. The crocodile is ready to eat again with his mouth wide open! Try the Crocodile Snaps again. Are you getting faster each time?
Cross The River
You will need two pieces of paper. Pretend they are floating logs to help you cross the river. Pick an open space like a garden or a large room and pretend it’s a river. The goal is to cross the “river” by walking on your two logs. Begin by standing on one side of the river. Place one log on the river and step onto it with one foot. While balancing on one log with one foot, place the second log in front. Step onto the second log and balance on one foot again. Continue doing this until you have crossed the entire river. If you lose balance and fall into the “water”, pretend to swim up to your logs again by doing five jumping jacks. Then start again and keep going until you cross the river.
You need a dice for this! Roll the dice, whatever number you roll will tell you the speed you need to move at for the next 30 seconds. So:
- Roll 1–slow walk
- Roll 2 – normal walk
- Roll 3–power walk (walking really quickly and moving your arms as you walk)
- Roll 4 – slow jog
- Roll 5–normal running
- Roll 6–sprint as fast as you can
Don’t Wake The Lion
You can play this with three or more players. Find a big space. One person is the lion and stands at one end of the playing space, away from the rest of the players. The lion turns their back to the rest of the group. The other players try to sneak up and tip the lion on the shoulder. Sounds easy right? Wrong! Whenever the lion wakes up and turns back around, everyone must be still. Any player who is caught laughing, talking or moving has to go back to the start. The winner is the first player to tip the lion on the shoulder.