By Jackie Burrell
Tuesday, June 30th, 2009 at 7:13 am in Backyard fun.
Ah, the simple joys of playing in the backyard on a summer night. But when the cries of “I’m bored!” go up, as they inevitably do, you might want to suggest these backyard games. Oh sure, you could play tug-of-war or “Red Light, Green Light.” But what about Sardines? Statues? Diminishing Points or Shark? Here’s the scoop on four awesome games…
A simple trek across the lawn becomes increasingly challenging as a group of kids and grownups tries to make the journey using as few points of contact with the ground as possible. The group must be connected at all times, and each foot/arm/body part that touches the ground counts as a point. So the first time across, give the team a number that’s higher than the group – Family Fun Magazine suggests 12 points to a 10-man team, for example, or 6 points to a quintet. Each time the lawn is traversed, the number of points diminish until the hopping, piggy-backing crowd collapses.
Make “fish havens” on your lawn by scattering a few beach towels or hula hoops. One kid is the shark, everyone else is a fish, so when the shark calls “Fishie, fishie, cross my ocean,” the fish all have to move to another safe spot as the shark gives frantic chase. Anyone tagged by the shark becomes a shark too, and as the game progresses, the “havens” disappear, forcing the group to get mighty cozy. This one’s a keeper, says Wondertime Magazine, which road-tested (lawn tested?) the game. “There’s nothing like a shark-empowered 4-year-old,” the magazine quotes a parent, “to keep three big kids huddled in a hula hoop.”
In this Family Fun game, perfect for a little twilight play, one player is the flashlight-wielding tour guide, another a tourist and everyone else is an elaborately posed statue in a dark museum. The guide takes the tourist around to view the art, shining the light on each and describing them in the silliest, funniest ways he can muster, trying to make them laugh or move. No touching, but the guide may catch statues by surprise with his flashlight – the slightest move and the statue’s out. Last statue standing becomes the tour guide next round.
Sardines is the classic backwards take on Hide and Seek, where “it” hides and everyone else seeks. As each child finds the hider, he joins him, squeezing into the increasingly cozy hiding spot until everyone is there. Last one in becomes the first to hide during the next round.
Got games of your own to share? Click “comments” and dish. And if you’re looking for more backyard fun ideas, we’ve got ‘em right here: