OK we’ll come clean. This blog is as much about grown-ups having fun as it is kids. What we thought we’d do, is dig up some ‘retro’ outdoor games from the past, so that you could introduce them to your children, or even your grand children come to that, and maybe join in as well to show them how it’s really done.
So for the big kid in everyone, here’s some outdoor games that just might make you miss being small again.
Tag (or Tig)
Whatever you call it, outdoor games don’t get simpler than this. Basically, one child is designated as ‘it’ and he or she has to run around trying to tag or tig all the other kids until there’s no one left to tag or tig anymore. Each time a child is tagged they’re out of the game and have to sit down or leave the playing area or whatever rule you want to dream up.
Piggy in the Middle
The classic game for relays of three or more players. Just in case you’ve forgotten, the object is to toss a ball or Frisbee between two players, whilst the ‘piggy’ in the middle tries to leap up in the air or swerve this way or that to catch it. And when they do catch the ball, they’re not ‘piggy’ anymore and someone else is. Also good fun in a swimming pool.
Hide and Seek
Again, this is such an old a favourite it creaks, but it’s as much fun now as it ever was. So here’s a quick 1 – 8 reminder of how to play: 1. Play with at least three children, the more the better. 2. Select an area with clear boundaries to hide in. 3. Pick a child as ‘it’ and get them to close their eyes and count to twenty (or whatever.) 4. All the other kids hide. 5. The ‘it’ child shouts ‘Coming ready or not’ and sets out to seek everyone. 6. Every time ‘it’ finds a hidden child, he or she tigs them and they return to ‘base.’ 7. The game is over when every child is found. 8. The first child to be found in the previous game is automatically ‘it’ for the next.
Yes, we know this game can be played indoors too, but trust us, it’s a lot better fun outdoors, because it can get so much more energetic and adventurous. It starts when one player takes the role of ‘Simon’ and shouts out physical instructions to everyone else, like ‘jump in the air, run around in a circle, hop on one leg’ etc. And of course, each instruction must start with the words ‘Simon Says’. If it doesn’t and you follow it, you’re out. It’s as simple simon as that. The winner is the last player to do everything that Simon Says without getting it wrong.
This game is a bit like tag, but with a little more to it. One child is chosen to be ‘it’ (there’s that word again) and they race round trying to tag the other kids. The difference is, when ‘it’ catches another child, that child must stay ‘frozen’ in place with their feet wide apart. The frozen player can then be unfrozen if another child crawls through their open legs. The last player to be frozen becomes ‘it’ for the next round.
Sounds tiring does it? If you start to flag a little when you’re playing some of them with your kids, don’t forget to head to the nearest kitchen for a pick-me-up of squidgyness from Soreen. A few slices of our famous Original malt loaf with your favourite spread will soon have you heading back outdoors to be ‘it’ again.