Duck Duck Goose – Playground Games for the Ages
With the thousands of apps kids are downloading these days on their smart devices, it’s important to encourage enough playtime outdoors to build strong social skills and make sure kids are getting enough exercise. Below is a list of Crane’s picks for most memorable games to play, most of which can be changed or improved by making up your own fun rules!
Hide and Seek: It’s as simple as the name suggests! One person counts to 100, giving the rest of the players time to run off and hide. Once that 100 seconds is up, the seeker has to find all of their hidden friends. Last person hidden wins!
Capture the Flag: It’s like tag but with teams! The group splits up into two equal sized teams. Each team gets a set “territory” in which they get to hide their flag. The goal is for your team to capture the opposing team’s flag before they get yours. But if you get tagged by someone on the opposing team while in their territory then you have to stay still until someone on your team comes and tags you!
Four Square: Four square is a fun game to play with at least three of your friends! all you’ll need is a ball and some chalk. To set up just draw a large square on the ground and divide it into four small squares. Then number these squares from one to four. From there you simply bounce the ball once on the ground and then hit it to another square. The game progresses this way until someone either catches the ball or it bounces in their square twice. Then that person is out. The game continues in this way until only one player remains and is crowned the winner!
Hopscotch: Hopscotch also requires some chalk, as well as something small to toss such as a small toy or stone. The game starts with someone drawing the standard hopscotch pattern on the ground with chalk. This pattern is a straight line on ten squares numbered one through ten, with numbers four and five, as well as seven and eight, being laid out next to each other in the direction opposite that of the rest of the numbers. The first player must throw the stone (or small toy) onto the space with the number one in it. Then they jump over the stone and hop, one foot at a time, into each space. once they reach the tenth square they turn around and do it again until they reach the space with the stone on it. Then the pick it up and give it to the next player. That player must throw the stone onto the square with the number two in it. This continues until someone has to throw the stone into the tenth space!
Red Rover: Red rover is best played with two larger teams of people. Each team should have the same number of people. The two teams each form a line by holding hands and then facing the opposing team’s line. Team A will call out the name of someone on Team B. That person will run towards Team A and try to break through the arms of two people on that team. If they fail to do this then they join Team A! this continues until one team only has one person left!
Tag: This one is probably the simplest of the games listed here, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a ton of fun! There are two ways to play this beloved playground classic. Both ways start with someone being “it.” This person has to touch all of the other players who are running around trying to avoid being tagged. In one version being tagged means you are out of the game. The winner is whoever is the last person the tagger didn’t touch. The other version is even more wild! When the Tagger touches someone, being “it” is transferred. The loser is whoever is “it” at the end of the game!
Red Light, Green Light: In this game one person is the traffic cop and the other players are the cars. All of the cars have to line up, side by side, facing the traffic cop, who is several yards away from the. The Cop will turn around so they aren’t facing the other players. They will say “green light” and all of the cars will run towards the Traffic cop until the cop says “red light.” At this point the traffic cop will turn around to see if any of the cars are still moving. If any are they get sent back to the starting line. The game ends, and a winner is declared, when one of the cars tags the traffic cop on the back.
Double Dutch: What’s more fun than one jump rope? Two jump ropes of course! Double Dutch is played with three or more people and two jump ropes. Two people swing the two long jump ropes in opposite directions while a third person is jumping in the middle. How long can you jump for?
Hand-Clap Games: This game is for two people looking for a non-competitive good time! There are many hand clap games out there. But they all involve two people clapping along with each other as they recite a rhyme, song, or challenge. A common example is Patty Cake!