Turn off that big screen and turn on outdoor games!
Build the Castle
Materials: long jump rope
Choose two people to hold the rope. The other players form a straight line and take turns jumping over the rope. The rope begins on the ground, but after everyone has had a turn, it is raised a few inches. If a child’s foot touches the rope, he or she is out of the game. Continue raising the rope until there is just one child left who can jump the height.
*A similar game called “school” can be played. When the rope is on the ground it is called “kindergarten.” Each time the rope is raised, it is called “first grade,” “second grade,” and so on.
Jump the Creek
Materials: 2 jump ropes
Place the two ropes on the ground a few inches apart to make a “creek.”
Have the children line up single file and try to jump over the creek one at a time without stepping on a rope. After every child has jumped, move the ropes a little farther apart to make the creek wider. Continue moving the ropes farther apart and letting the children jump over them. When a player can no longer jump over the rope, they must stand to the side of the game and be cheerleaders. The object of the game is to see how far the children can jump.
*You can play a similar game by drawing lines in the sand or dirt.
Materials: playground ball
Divide the class into two teams and have them form two lines about 30 feet apart. Give each child a number by having them count off. (Two players on opposing teams will have the same number.) The teacher/adult stands between the two teams, calls out a number, and throws the ball in the air. The first child with that number to catch the ball wins a point for their team.
Have the children hold hands and stand in a long line. Hold the child’s hand at the front of the line and move them in zigzags, spirals, and all around as the others follow behind.
*See if the “head” of the snake can catch the “tail.”
Wolf and Chickens
Two lines are draw approximately 40 feet apart. The children are the “chickens” and line up behind one of the lines. One child is the wolf and stands between the two lines. The wolf pretends to be a chicken and says, “Cluck, cluck” and flaps his or her arms. But when the wolf shouts, “Wolf,” all the chickens must run to the other line. If the wolf tags them, they must become wolves, too, and help the wolf catch the other chickens. The game continues until all the chickens are caught. The last one caught becomes the wolf for the next game.
*A similar game called “sharks and minnows” can be played. Have the minnows get behind a line as the shark tries to catch them when “shark” is called.
Materials: broomstick or similar long stick
Select two children to hold the broomstick at chest level. The rest of the children form a single line and take turns wiggling under the broomstick. If they touch it, they are out of the game. The game continues as the broomstick is lowered each time. When only one child is left, begin the game again.
Ask children to interview their parents to find out what games they played in school.