Japanese Balloon Game
The group stands in a circle. The leader has half a dozen balloons. Into each a message has been
inserted before the balloon was blown up. One at a time, a balloon is passed from player to player
around the circle, until the leader blows a whistle. The player holding the balloon when the whistle
blows must go to the centre of the circle. He must sit on the balloon until it bursts, then read the
note, and perform the action or answer the question contained in the message.
Form a circle with the leader in the centre. When he points to someone and says "zip!" the player
must give the name of the person on his right before the leader counts to ten. If the leader says
"zap!" the player must name the person on his left. Anyone who gives the wrong name or is too
slow must sit down. Last one standing wins.
Shopping/What am I?
Group sits in a circle. One player is sent out of the room and the others take counsel and decide
what this player must be when he comes back. They decide, for example, that he shall be a
policeman. When he comes in he asks each of the players in turn what he can buy for himself. In
this case he can buy a pair of black boots, whistle, a flashlight, and so on. When he has gone round
the circle he is given two chances to guess what he is and if he does not know he loses a point.
Variation: As above, but group decides who the person sent out of room will be. (Famous athlete,
politician, musician, movie star, etc.) Person sent out of room tries to determine who he is by
elimination: Am I living? Am I Canadian? Am I in sports? etc. Set a time limit of ten minutes.
Players form a circle with arm's-length spacing. "It" stands inside the circle. The players pass or
throw a ball to each other in any direction. "It" attempts to touch it or catch it. If "It" touches or
catches the ball, the last player who touched it is "It."
Kill The Rattlesnake
The group stands in a big circle. In the centre are two boys blindfolded. One, the Hunter, has an old
sock stuffed with Paper. The other, the Rattlesnake, has a tin (old shoe polish tins are ideal) with a
lid on -- containing small pebbles. The Hunter starts the game by shouting "Rattlesnake!" The
Rattlesnake "freezes" on the spot, and shakes his tin of pebbles. The Hunter rushes to where he
thinks the sound comes from and takes a swipe at the Rattlesnake. If he misses, the Rattlesnake then
moves silently away, and again the Hunter calls "Rattlesnake!" This continues until the Hunter hits
the Rattlesnake -- with a time limit of two minutes. When the Hunter is successful, the two change
places. After two minutes, the next two players in the circle have their turn.
Players sit in a circle. Each takes a turn telling something they can see, hear, feel or smell from
where they are sittting. No repetition is allowed and if a player repeats what another says, or cannot
think of something, they are out. The game continues until only one is left.
One child is blindfolded and stands in the centre of a large circle. Beside him is a log or some other
solid object. Other children are given a piece of sticky paper. They circle, on hands and knees,
trying to crawl up silently and place their stickers on the log. If the person in the centre hears a
sound they call "Wolf" and point in the direction of the noise. The one caught must start over again.
Points are given to the group which places the most stickers on the log. A time limit should be set.
Blind Balloon Volleyball
Equipment: 1 volleyball net; 1 blanket to cover net; 1 referee per balloon; Teams of four or more.
The blanket is placed over the net so that neither team can see the other one. The referee throws the
first balloon in. Each team may hit the balloon as many times as they desire, as long as the balloon
doesn't hit the ground. When they are ready, they send the balloon over to the other team. As soon
as one side puts the balloon out of bounds, or touches the ground with the balloon, the other team
scores a point. Add extra balloons for more challenge (up to a maximum of 6).
Who Is Missing?
The children walk round in a circle. When the leader gives a signal they all cover their eyes with
their hands. The leader touches one of them on the shoulder and they leave the room as quickly and
as quietly as possible, while the others still walk with their eyes closed. When the leader calls
'STOP!', they stop walking and uncover their eyes. The first one to give the name of the one who is
missing, is the winner. Watch out for any who are cheating by peeping through their fingers!
The children take up positions anywhere in the room. One is blindfolded and moves around the
room, attempting to catch the others. Anyone who is in danger of being caught may move on, two
or three steps in any direction. Once a player has moved three steps, they must stand still and hope
for the best. The skill of the game lies in not using a step until necessary, because once the three
steps are gone, the player must remain stationary. They can, however, crouch down or sway their
body provided they do not move their feet.
Equipment: Construction paper; scissors; Formation: Pairs; Each person is given a cut-out piece of
construction paper with the name of an animal (e.g. mouse; long tail). The group is them put into
pairs so that, for example, a rooster and a giraffe are together. Each pair tries to figure out a name of
their animammal (e.g. Giroosteraffe). Pairs can then set out to try and guess the names of other
animammals in the group.
Equipment: Scissors; construction paper; glue; Formation: Small groups; Divide players into small
groups. Give each group a pair of scissors, glue and a variety of colours of construction paper.
Within a time limit (15 minutes to have an hour) each group designs and constructs a new species of
animal. They must decide on a name for their critter, tell where it lives and what it eats. When all
groups are finished, a spokesman for each group introduces their critter to everyone.
Equipment: Medicine bottle (or similar); 6 toothpicks per child; Sit in a circle with the medicine
bottle in the centre. Each child takes a turn to place a toothpick on top of the bottle, or on the
toothpicks already there. If a child knocks any off while putting theirs on, they must take back all
those knocked off. The first child to get rid of all of their toothpicks is the winner.
Equipment: 12 articles on a tray - ordinary items such as string, ink, rubber, calendar; piece of paper
and pencil per Child; Sit in a circle and the leader shows the tray full of articles for a few minutes
alloing the children to study the tray before covering it. The children must write down the list of the
articles from memory.
Variations: Same circle formation
1. The leader mentions an object which relates to something on the tray, e.g., the leader says 'letter'
and there is a stamp on the tray. Then the players must draw a stamp on their paper.
2. The same procedure is followed, but the tray is covered and they must draw the object from
3. The leader now mentions an abstract idea related to one of the objects, e.g., the leader says 'open'
and there is a key on the tray. Theymust draw the key from memory.
Is This Seat Taken?
Equipment: 1 chair per person; 1 blindfold; 'It' is blindfolded and turned around three times in the
center of the circle. During this procedure all players change seats. 'It' now sits on a player's lap. No
words are spoken. He must guess whose lap he is sitting on. If he's correct, the two change places.
Variation: After being spun around the blind man should walk forward and touch someone in the
circle with a wand (stick), speaking the words 'can you guess?' The player touched must repeat the
question three times, trying to disguise their voice. If the blind man succeeds in identifying them,
that person becomes the blind man. Otherwise, the blind man should continue until they are
Above and Below
Arrange the players in a circle. Call out the names of things that are found above the ground or
below. For example: Strawberries grow above the ground and potatoes grow below. When you call
something that signifies above, the players stand; if below, they sit down. Failure to do this
eliminates the players who miss. Work out the list in advance to keep the game going smoothly.
Hidden Object/You Can See it, Can't You?
Show the players the article to be hidden. Send players out of the room. Take the object and place it
where it is perfectly visible but in a spot where it is not likely to be noticed. Let players return and
look for it. When one of them sees it, they should quietly sit down without indicating to the others
where it is. After awhile, if no one else has found it, have them point it out to the group to make
sure they really saw it. Variation: This game can be played in the dark using flashlights at night
outdoors or with the lights off. But, a flashlight is needed for each player or team them in pairs with
one flashlight a pair. OR One player with a flashlight hunts for the object while the group watches,
yelling out HOT, COLD or WARM as the player gets closer or farther from the hidden object.
Equipment: Name tags; As each person enters the room, pin a name tag to their back. The object of
the game is to learn their identity. Each player is allowed to ask one 'yes/no' question to each player.
Once a person has learned their identity, they try to find their partner, e.g., if he is Romeo, he looks
for Juliet. The name on the name tag will be one of a famous pair: e.g., Napoleon and Josephine,
Anthony and Cleopatra
That's My Name
Equipment: Paper; Magic Marker; Formation: Lines; Divide the players into teams. On 'Go', the
first player from each team runs to a table, grabs a magic marker and writes their name on a piece of
paper. They runs back to their team and hold up the paper. Their team shouts out all the letters in the
name, while the player jumps up for every consonant shouted, or squats for every vowel shouted.
The next player then performs the same routine. End the relay by having everyone, at the same
time, shout their name.
Indoor Track Meet
Teams of no more than 6 work best.
Give each contestant 10 beans and have them try to throw the beans, one at a time, into a quart jar
from a chalkline on the floor.
Have players stand with their feet touching each other, heel to toe. The den with the greatest
aggregate length wins.
Tack a 30 inch pice of string with a marshmallow at the end on the wall. The first to chew the string
and reache the marshmallow wins.
Use five different-sized rubber balls and a cardboard box. Have the players, in turn, bounce the
balls in the box from 10'. Score 2 points for each ball that goes in.
Lay an 18" hoop on the floor (use string, wire, etc.). Use three balls (marble, golf, tennis). Score 5
points for each ball placed inside the hoop in any manner from a distance of 6'.
Have the runners carry a lighted candle in one hand and a pail of water in the other. If water is
slopped over or if the candle goes out, the contestant is out. The first to cross the finish line wins.
20 Yard Dash:
Line up the dens for a relay race. Have the contestants carry an egg in a teaspoon held with the arm
extended. The first in each line runs 20 yards and back to the next one in line.
100 Yard Dash:
Tie a marshmallow on the end of 100" string. The contestants gather the sting and marshmallows
into their mouths without using their hands. The first one to eat the marshmallow wins the race.
Place nickles in pans of white flour, or of whipping cream, to see who, with his hands behind him,
can be the first to dig them out with his teeth.
See who can throw the most pebbles into the mouth of a jug.
Who can eat four soda crackers and be the first to whistle a tune.
Conduct a 100' race but contestants are bound loosely at the ankles.
Have the contestants lie flat on their backs and throw slippers over their heads with both feet.
For this relay race, have each hop on one foot, carrying a glass of water. Team with the most water
left in glass wins.
20 Foot Dash:
Have the relay runners roll oranges or hard-boiled eggs with a stick down the course and back and
touch off the next player in line.
Line up with arms extended so that the players are touching, fingers to fingers. See which Six has
the longest line.
Have the relay runners carry beans, one at a time, between matchsticks or toothpicks.
Each contestant throws a paper plate from a chalkline. The plate must be held flat in the hand and
not sailed with the thumb and fingers.
16 Pound Put:
Have each contestant put an inflated bag for distance as though it were put from the shoulder.
See who can put the shot the farthest using a small dry sponge.
Use blown-up paper bags attached to a yard of string. Give each player one turn to see who can
throw the 'hammer' the farthest.
See who can roll a coke bottle from 6' and score a bull's-eye in a chalk ring on the floor. Draw
several concentric circles to make targets of different value.
Equipment: 2 soccer balls; 1 whistle; Divide into two teams and line up about 3 metres apart facing
each other. Stand, legs apart, with their feet touching those of their neighbours. The leader throws a
soccer ball down between the lines and each team tries to score a goal by sending the ball through
the legs of the other team. They may only defend with their hands and must not move their feet.
When the teams become adept at this, the leader can send in a second ball.
On the Journey
Players try to spot something beginning with each letter of the alphabet. These must be in
alphabetical order and nothing beginning with B may be spotted until A has been noted. This can be
played individually, in one group, or competitively by a number of groups.
Balloon Crab Ball
Equipment: A supply of balloons; Establish two goal lines, 40' apart. Divide the players into two
teams and have them sit on the goal lines facing each other with their arms extended backward to
support their bodies off the floor. Place a balloon on the floor midway between the goals. On signal,
have both teams move toward the balloon, keeping the crab position described, and attempt to kick
the balloon over the opposing goal. They may kick it with one foot or drop to a sitting position and
use both feet. Players can't stand up and run or move in any other position than the one described.
They are not to touch the balloon with their hands. Teams should keep some players back to defend
their goal and send others forward to drive the balloon over their opponent's goal. When the balloon
goes out of bounds, it is put in play by the referee at the point it went out. Touching the balloon with
the hand, leaving the crab position and unnecessary roughness in kicking, striking, or shoving an
opponent are fouls. The penalty is a free kick for the other side where the foul occurred. Have all
opposing players 6' away at the time of the free kick. Score 1 point each time a team kicks the
balloon over the goal. The first to score 10 points wins.
Equipment: Balloons; rope; Stretch a string/rope across the room and divide the players into two
teams. Throw a balloon into play. Have each side try to keep the balloon from touching the floor on
their side. They knock it back and forth over the string with their hands. Or have them use their
heads only, no hands.
Equipment: Balloons; Divide the group into two teams. Call one the 'destroyers' and the other the
'defenders'. Toss a balloon between them. The destroyers try to break the balloon by grabbing it,
clapping their hands on it, or stepping on it; while the defenders try to protect it by batting it out of
reach. Keep the time required by the destroyers to break the balloon. When the balloon is broken,
the defenders become the destroyers. Give each team three turns at destroying the balloon. Add the
times of each team. The team with the smallest total wins.
Divide players into two groups. Group A forms the inner circle facing outward and group b the
outer circle facing inward. Have the players facing each other hold hands to pair off like 'brothers!'
They drop hands and on signal, the circles march in opposite directions. When you shout
'BROTHERS!', the pairs find each other, link arms together backwards, and sit down. The last pair
to sit down drops out of the game. Continue until two brothers are left.
Cover the Chair
Equipment: 1 chair per Cub; Have the players seated in a circle and select one to be 'it'. “It” stands
in the circle leaving their chair empty. When he commands, 'Shift to the right!', the person who has
the empty chair on his right shifts to it, the next person shifts to the chair just vacated, and so on
around the circle. 'It' tries to get a seat. If he succeeds, the person who should have shifted to that
seat becomes 'it'. 'It' may suddenly call 'shift to the left', and in the confusion he stands a good
chance of finding a place.
Eat the Fishtail
Have players line up in single file, holding each other around the waist. The first one is the fish
head; the last one, the tail. On signal, the head tries to catch the tail while the tail tries to avoid
being caught. All must continue to hold on to each other. The longer the fish, the better.
Kick, Hide, and Seek
Equipment: Soccerball; Mark a goal 3' in circumference and place a soccer ball in it. Have one of
the players kick the ball as far as possible. While the others run and hide, 'it' runs to recover it and
replaces the ball in the circle before going in search of the players. When he sees one he calls, 'I
spy......' and both run for the ball. The one who reaches it first kicks it and runs for a hiding place.
The other player is 'it' and must return the ball and search.
Equipment: The Outdoors; The purpose of this game is to discover the sounds that can be created by
the natural objects in our environment. Each player is given 10 - 15 minutes to find objects in nature
that make a noise when banged together, or blown on, or rubbed together. Players bring back their
'instruments' and a conductor is chosen, who organizes the group into a semi-circular orchestra.
Each musician is allowed to 'tune' is instrument, so the rest of the group can hear the different
sounds. If a player can play more than one instrument at the same time, he is welcome to do so. The
conductor can then choose a familiar tune with an easy rhythm, and lead his orchestra in song. Let
the players make requests for songs they would like to play; give musicians the opportunity to work
on 'solos' that they can perform for everyone.
North by Northeast
Equipment: 1 compass; Using the compass, they players learn how to determine which direction is
north. Someone from the group is asked to select an object that lies directly north, (e.g., a tree, or a
doorstep, or a post). Then the group decides on an object that lies directly south, then east, and west.
Everyone assembles in the centre of the playing area. The leader calls out one of 'North', 'South',
'East' or 'West', and everyone runs to touch the object in that direction. The last one to touch the
object is eliminated. After a few rounds objects for the intercardinal points (Northeast, Northwest,
Southeast and Southwest) can be added.
Capture the Flag
Equipment: 2 handmade flags on staffs 2' long; bandanas for one team; Divide the group into two
teams. Set up a jail area (3-4 square yards) and a separate hiding spot for each flag. Jails are set up
at opposite ends of a 5-20 acre area. The object of the game is to penetrate the other team's area and
capture their flag. A flag is 'captured' after it has been returned to the captor's jail area. Prisoners are
taken to the jail of their captor's; they can only be released when a member of their team runs
through the jail in which they are being held captive. After their release, prisoners are given free
escort back to a central spot near their end of the area. The game continues until a flag is captured,
or time is up.
Note: Supervision at the jails is important. Encourage teams to plan elaborate strategies of defence
Variation: try playing the game with three or four teams, each with its own jail area and hiding spot
for their flag.
Light - No light
Evening game; Equipment: flashlight; If possible, the game is best in a large open wooded area.
Players line up at one end of the playing area, while one player, holding a flashlight, stands at the
other end. The object of the game is to move from one end of the playing area to the other, past the
person holding the flashlight. The player with the flashlight stands with his back to the other
players. Every five seconds, he turns around, turns on the light and scans the area for three seconds.
If a moving player gets caught by the flashlight beam, he has to return to the starting end. Stationary
players may remain where they are. The first person to successfully move past the 'flasher' becomes
the light for the next round.
Variation: The player with the flashlight keeps the flashlight on, and continuously scans the playing
area. Stalking players dress in dark clothes. If stalking players are caught, they must return to the
Find the Bell
Equipment: a little bell that rings easily, Have the group sit in a circle. Choose one person to sit in
the centre of the circle and blindfold them. The leader gives the bell to one of the players, who
begins to pass it around the circle. Pass the bell as quietly as possible so that the person in the
middle cannot guess who is holding the bell. Players may not silence the bell by holding the clapper
- they have to try to pass it carefully enough so that it does not ring.
Equipment: Per team: 1 balloon; bowl of soda crackers; 1 orange, peeled; 1 bottle of pop; bowl of
peanuts; 1 straw per person; long table; Divide the group into teams of six to eight. Line up each
team at one end of the room and place each 'set' of food items on the table at the other end of the
room. Blow up the balloons and place them on the table beside each team's goodies.
On 'Go', the first member of each team runs to the table, puts on the bib and does the following:
- eats one cracker.
- eats one section of the orange.
- uses own straw to take one sip of the pop.
- eats four peanuts
(Diet/allergy watch for this game, especially the peanuts. Substitute where necessary.)
When finished, they run back and tag the next player, who then runs up and repeats. The relay
continues until all the food items for each team are gone. When the last mouthful is gone, that
player pops the balloon to signal that team has completed its taste test.
Equipment: Per team: 1 6' pole; 1 small bike tire; 1 large soda bottle; 2 balloons per team member;
2 chairs; rope to tie ankles; Divide the group into teams of six. Line up each team at the start of each
obstacle course. On 'Go', the first member of each team ties his ankles together then crawls on his
stomach under the poles, (which are set up like jump poles, about 1 1/2' off the ground, supported
by the chairs), wiggles through the tire, knocks over the bottle with his nose and bursts two
balloons. Players then crawl back to the start, where the second member of their 'combat team' is
ready to begin.
Equipment: Per team: 1 hat; 1 dustpan; 1 flag; 3 or more 'bricks' - stones, pieces of styrofoam,
blocks of wood; Divide the group into teams. Have them stand in parallel straight lines at one end
of the playing area. The leader shouts 'BUILD'. The first member of each team dons the hat, places
a brick in the dustpan and runs down to the other end of the playing area, places the brick on the
ground and runs back to the starting line. Each team member in turn, races down to build up the
wall. The race continues until all bricks on each team are used up. If the wall falls down while the
race is on, all bricks must return to the starting line, so the relay can begin again. Therefore, allow
the teams time to plan a building strategy, so they will know how and where to place the bricks to
avoid a collapse. When the wall is complete, the last member of each team races down with the
flag, and plants it on top of the wall. Afterward, see what kind of super structure can be built. Have
the teams work together to build one giant wall, or building, or structure of some kind.
Pack 'Em In
Equipment: per team: box; umbrella; hat; coat; gloves; scarf (it is ideal if the clothing is oversized);
Divide the group into even teams and line up each team in relay formation. Place the box, filled
with the clothing, in front of the first player on each team. On 'Go', the first player puts on all the
clothing and runs down to the other end of the playing area and back. Here, they remove all the
clothing and put it back inside the box and tag the next player in line. That player gets dressed and
runs down the playing area and back. The relay continues until all players have had the chance to
get dressed, travel and unpack. Provide additional articles of clothing or accessories, to make the
outfit even funnier.
Equipment: Per team: 1 big balloon; 1 small balloon; Divide the group into teams of six to eight
players. Each team is given one large and one small balloon. The first player of each group, on the
word 'Go', balances the smaller balloon on top of the larger one and races to the other end of the
playing area. If the top balloon falls off, the player must return to the starting line and begin again.
When the 'run' (or walk) is complete, the player takes both balloons in his hands and runs back to
the starting line, where the second player is waiting to race. The first team finished, and sitting
Equipment: Per team: sweatpants; jacket; hockey mask (or whatever you can make); 2 garbage
bags; Divide the group into two or more teams. Line teams up at one end of the playing area, with
sweatpants and jacket in front of each team and hockey mask and garbage bags at other end of the
area. On 'Go', the first player of each team puts on the sweatpants and jacket, and runs to the other
end of the playing area. Here, he takes off the pants and jacket and puts on the mask and skates (the
two garbage bags - one on each foot). He 'streaks' back to his team, where he hands over the mask
and skates to the next player. The second player puts on the masks and skates and 'streaks' to the
clothes. Here he trades equipment for the clothes and runs back to the third member of the team.
The first team to complete the relay wins.
Line up in files. Each player is given the name of a car and when that car is called, he travels to the
end of the area and back in the manner described, e.g.,:
1) Rolls-Royce: this never goes wrong - the Cub runs.
2) Austin: has a flat tire - the Cub hops.
3) Morris: is stuck in reverse - the Cub runs backwards.
4) Ford: very old model, can only go slowly - the Cub walks.
5) Mini: only small - the Cub runs, crouched down.
6) Humber: Pulls caravan - the Cub tows his Sixer behind.
7) Stock-car: everyone runs.
Equipment: 1 tennis ball per team; Have teams line up in files, a chair in front of each. The first
person grips the ball between thier knees and hops around the chair and back to his place. He hands
over the ball to the next in line, who does the same. First finish is the winner.
Bat the Balloon
Equipment: Balloons; Teams line up with members standing side by side, separated by the distance
obtained when players stretch their arms sideways. Fingertips should touch between players. The
first player in line takes and inflated balloon, and bats it towards the second person in line, who bats
it to the third person, on down the line and back again. The only rule is this: once the players have
taken their stance, they may not move their feet. If a balloon falls to the floor, or if someone moves
his feet in an attempt to reach the balloon, the first person in line must run and get the balloon, and
take it back to the starting line to begin again. Variation: add more than one balloon per line, going
in both directions.
Equipment: Per team: 1 piece of paper, 1 pencil; The first player in each group walks to the end of
the playing area, picks up the pencil and draws the head of a man, woman or child. After they draws
the head, fold the paper so that only the neck shows. Then walk back to the team and tag the second
player in line. The second player walks down and draws the shoulders, folds the paper, walks back
and tags the third player. The relay continues on down until the figure is complete with waist, hips,
legs and feet. The fun of this relay is seeing the 'creature' created by each team.
Bean and Straw Relay
Equipment: Per team: 15 beans, 2 containers, 1 straw per player; Have the first player in each line
pick up a bean with a soda straw, carry it across the room and deposit it in a container. The first
team to have all its beans deposited, wins.
Equipment: Per team: 1 bucket half-filled with water; 1 empty bucket; On 'Go', the first player runs
to the other end of the playing area where the buckets have been placed, pours the water into the
other bucket, leaves the empty bucket there, and carries the full bucket to the next player in line.
The next player does the same. The relay is finished when all have had a turn. The winner is the
team with their water intact.
Equipment: 1 banana per player; Line up in relay formation, facing each other, and give each a
banana. They must keep their right hand behind them while they eats the banana, which must be
peeled with their teeth. On the signal, the first player peels and eats the banana. When he is able to
whistle, the next in line may begin. The first team to finish wins.
Line up for a relay race. Have the first player in each line run up to a given point, place one finger
on the floor, revolve around their finger seven times, and run back to tag the next player in line.
Repeat until all have had a turn. Keep the runners away from the walls and other obstacles.
Variation: Give each Six a baseball bat or equivalent. Have them run up, put the bat against their
forehead, the other end of the bat on the floor and revolve around the bat three or four times.
Richmond Hill Hand Ball
Equipment: soccer or volleyball; Divide the group into two equal teams. Find a suitable field about
the size of a soccer field, with an area to be used as an end zone. The play starts with a jump ball.
The object is to move the ball down the field to score points. Players throw the ball to their
teammates, or run with the ball. Players may not take more than five steps while carrying the ball. If
they do, the ball is handed to the other team, who throws it in from the sidelines. Points are scored
when the ball is thrown to a teammate in the opposing team's end zone, and caught. The ball must
be thrown from outside the end zone into the end zone and caught by a teammate. If the ball is
missed or dropped, the opposing team gets a chance to move it out of their end zone. One point is
scored for each catch. The team with the most points after a given amount of time is declared the
Equipment: Per team: 1 hat; 1 whistle; Divide the group into two or more teams; line them up in
shuttle formation, with half the team at one end of the playing area and the other half at the other
end. The first member of each team is the conductor. On 'Go', the conductor dons the hat, hangs the
whistle around his neck and runs to the far end of the playing area, where one half of his team waits.
Here, he picks up his first 'car' by bending down and placing his right hand between his legs, to join
the left hand of the next player. Having attached the first car, the conductor blows his whistle and
the two players run to the other end to pick up another car. The relay continues until all players on
the team are part of the 'metro'. The conductor signifies a complete train by blowing his whistle four
Equipment: Knife, fork, scarf, gloves, old hat, dice, parcel wrapped in newspaper, cake of chocolate
in the parcel; Sit in a circle with the parcel, clothes, knife and fork in the centre. Each player throws
the dice in turn. When a six is thrown the thrower goes to the parcel, puts on the clothes, and begins
undoing the parcel, using the knife and fork. As soon as another player throws a six, he takes the
clothes off the first player, and proceeds to put them on himself and continues undoing the parcel.
The dice is meanwhile being thrown, and the centre player is constantly changing. When the
chocolate is unwrapped the player may eat it using the knife and fork.
Equipment: Two or more large balls; The aim is to dismiss as many of the opposing team as
possible within a given time. About 15 on each side is ideal. Players have allocated areas, indicated
by rope or chalk lines. They must not go outside these areas. Two players from each team stand in
tramlines behind the opposing team. Two balls are thrown into the main area. The players throw
over the heads of their opponents to those of their number behind the line. The two try to hit their
opponents below the knee. If hit below the knee, players join their team mates behind the line, and
try to get their opponents out. Balls may be interrupted as they are thrown over the opposing team.
If any player crosses a line unlawfully a free pass is awarded to the other team. The game may
continue until everyone is out, on one side or the other.
Variation: Divide into two teams. One team forms a circle; the others scatter inside the circle. The
circle players throw a volleyball or other ball at the inside players. The center players dodge but
cannot leave the circle. When hit they join the players in the circle. The las one standing in the
center is the winner.
Appoint 3 players to be “IT”. They chase the rest around trying to tag them. If tagged then the
player must stand still, with legs open and arms out. They can be freed by other untagged players,
by the other player must crawl through their open legs. If however the player is tagged while
crawling through then there are two stiff candles at that spot. Vary the number of chasers according
to number playing.
Mark out a course. The leader runs from the start line over the line AB. He then runs back and
grasps the hand of number two. They both run over the line AB, and then go back to pick up the
third man. This is repeated all the way through the team. When all at the other end, the process is
repeated, but this time with the last person starting first. The race is complete when all the team is
back to the original position.
RIDE HIM, COWBOY
All the players get in a line, except one. Each puts their arms around the waist of the one in front.
This line is called a bronco. The remaining player, called the Cowboy, is not in line. He tries to ride
the bronco. He does this by trying to grab the waist if the last Cub in the bronco. This is hard to do,
because the bronco switches and jerks about to keep the cowboy from holding on. If the cowboy
can hang on for five seconds he has won. Then change cowboys.
Equipment: A rubber ball; If there is a large number of players, they should form a circle. For a
small group, have the players, spread out and form a square or five-sided figure. One player is
chosen to be "it" and he stands in the centre. The other players bounce or throw the ball around or
across the circle or square. They try to keep the ball away from "it" while he, of course tries to get
his hands on it. When "it" catches the ball, he changes places with the last player who threw it and
the game continues.
Equipment: Tennis Ball or Bean bag; Players in circle, one in centre tries to intercepts a ball thrown
across the circle, one to another. Thrower of an intercepted pass changes places with the player in
the centre. Throwing should be fast and not above shoulder height.
WHAT WILL I DO
Equipment: Cards with tasks; Prepare six cards for each team i.e. walking backwards, forwards
somersaults, grasping ankles, crab-walking, get a leaf or rock, 10 jumping jacks etc. Mix the cards
well for each team and then place in separate piles in the centre of the den. Players in relay
formation in turn race up, grab a card from their pile, perform the action to the end of the den and
back again, and touch off the next player. The first back is the winning team.
Equipment: Matchsticks; A simple pattern using 8 matches is shown. Each team has to reproduce
the pattern from memory, taking care to place the match heads in their original positions in the
CAN YOU SEE THEM?
Equipment: Twenty small objects, and lists of them for all players; The objects should be placed in
a room so that they are in full view, but difficult to see. E.G. piece of black wool tied round the
poker; a red stamp on red curtains; cellophane on glass. A list should be kept of where the objects
are hidden. Each player is given a list of the objects he has to find, with space opposite so that he
can write down where he has seen them. None of the "hidden" objects must be removed, and it
should be stressed that there is no need to move anything, as all objects are in full view. About 20
minutes can be allowed for the search.
STAMP IT OUT
Equipment: Balloons, Blindfold; Players of team in turn see a small balloon on the floor, are then
blindfolded and walk to where they think the balloon is, and then - without feeling - make three
stamps to try and burst the balloon. Team bursting most balloons wins.
Equipment: Chalk, Blindfold; A "road" is chalked out on the floor with sharp bends and level-
crossings. Each player is allowed to stand at the start and study the road before being blindfolded.
They then walk blindfolded as far as they can between the lines, taking the corners correctly, and
stepping over level crossings. When they make a mistake they are stopped and their name chalked
on the spot.
Equipment: A book, pencil and paper for each team; Have the teams sit in a circle. Pass the book
round the circle and tell them to look at it.`Now in corners with pencil and paper answers these
What is the weight of the book?
What is its length?
How broad is it?
How many colours are on the cover?
What are the colours?
How many words on the cover?
Who wrote the book?
What is the title?
About how many pages are in the book?
Equipment: Blindfold; One player is blindfolded near one end of the room, the rest, one at a time
try to come from the other end as quietly as they can. When all have passed, the listener states how
many they think have passed. The number should be varied each time.
FLINT AND MONTY
Equipment: Two blindfolds; Form a large circle. Two players in the centre are blindfolded. One is
named Flint, the other Monty. Flint asks "Where are you Monty". Monty replies, "I'm here Flint".
Flint tries to touch Monty. When he does two others have a turn.
Form two lines. Lines are back to back and one line alters something on their uniform. The
opposite side guess what is different and then have their turn.
Equipment: Two wet sponges or rages; Two players sit about 2 feet apart on chairs in the centre of
the den. They are blindfolded, face each other and each hold a wet sponge. The rest of the players
must creep up, as directed by a Leader and pass between the seated players. Those seated can say
"freeze" at any time (within reason) and dab down with the sponge between the chairs. If hit places
are changed. This can also be played outdoors using larger quantities of water, or water pistols.
Equipment: Pencil, paper; Each of the players is given a piece of paper on which he draws nine
squares, 3 x 3. They take turns at calling out a letter, and each player must put the letter in any one
of his nine squares. As the letter is called, it can be put down only once, but the same letter may be
called more than once. The object of the game is to place the letters so they will make as many
three-letter words vertically and horizontally as possible.
WATERING THE HORSES
Equipment: Paper cup half filled with water for each player; Players are divided into teams and each
player is given a cup half filled with water. They race to a turning point about 10 yards away taking
their cup with them. When there they turn round, kneel, put the cups between their teeth, and with
their hands behind their backs drink the water. As soon as the cup is empty they get up and race
back, and the next player goes.
One player goes off and hides within a given area. As the others find him they squeeze in beside
him, and all keep hidden until the last one finds them.
Form a large circle, facing inwards, and have two players blindfolded. These two are started from
opposite sides of the circle, on the inside, and the second one tries to catch the first. Neither must
wander round the ring, but must remain in touch with one of the players forming the circle. Things
are made harder for the fugitive by the fact that every third person in the ring is a foe, and if at any
time he chances to halt in front of one of them the foe will immediately cry out "He's here". This
gives the chaser a chance. The rest of the players must remain silent.
FILL THE BOTTLE
Equipment: Bucket of water, cups, bottles; Each team is provided with a pop bottle and a paper cup.
The players stand behind the starting line and put the bottles at their feet. At the signal, they race to
the bucket which is at least twenty-five feet away. They fill their cups with water and race back to
pour the water in the bottle. Each player in the team has a turn. The cups may be held with only one
hand. The first team to fill the bottle with water wins.
Equipment: Per team: 1 pair of rabbit ears (made from cardboard, cotton and wire attached to a hat);
1 small balloon and 1 large balloon for each member; lots of string; 1 chair for each team; Divide
the group into teams of six. Line up each team in straight lines at one end of the playing area. Place
the chairs, one for each team, at the opposite end of the playing area. On 'Go', the first player of
each team dons the rabbit ears, while their teammates blow up one small and one large balloon. One
long piece of string is tied to the small balloon. The first player then ties the string around their
waist, with the balloon hanging from behind, to represent the tail. He hugs the large balloon to his
tummy, to represent the fluffy underside of a bunny. Then, with his ears and his two balloons, he
hops down to the chair, hugs the large balloon until it breaks, and sits on his 'tail' until the small
balloon breaks. When both balloons have burst, he hops back to the team where he gives the ears to
the second player. The relay ends when all bunnies have lost their tummies and tails.
Equipment: pen and paper; Divide the group into teams of 4 to 6. Give each team a large piece of
paper and a pen. Each letter in the word SWAMP stands for another word that describes something
in nature: S Stars; W Weather; A Animals; M Minerals; P Plants
On 'Go', each team writes down as many words as it can think of that relate to the words STARS.
The only stipulation is this: They must be able to SEE what they write down from where they are
sitting (e.g., sky is where stars are seen; clouds cover stars on a dull night). Each team has five
minutes to write down as many words as possible. The next five minutes are devoted to the word
WEATHER, the next five to ANIMALS and so on until all letters of the word SWAMP have been
given equal time. At the end of the writing session, the leader tallies the number of words to see
which team has the sharpest eyes, and the most vivid imagination (some teams may have to explain
their rationale behind writing down certain words - the leader may not understand how they relate to
the 'master' word).
The Elephant Hunt
Equipment: soccer ball; chalk; Two chalk lines are drawn about three metres apart in the centre of
the room. This is elephant country. All the leaders are hunters and the children are elephants. The
hunters are ranged on either side of the lines and must not enter elephant country. The hunters catch
the elephants by hitting them below the knees, with the soccer ball. Any children who are caught
become hunters until there is only one elephant left as the winner.
Equipment: Piece of chalk; Draw a number of small chalk circles - submarines - around the room
with one less than the number of playersk. The Cubs hop, walk or run round the room according to
the direction given by the leader. When he calls 'Submarine Dive!', each player tries to get into a
submarine. The one who is left out stays on a submarine for the the next game and so gradually the
submarines become occupied. The winner is the one who gains the last vacant submarine.
Rabbit Down a Hole
The players stand in pairs facing each other and holding hands to make arches. The pairs are spaced
at random around the room. The players are respectively 'rabbit and hunter'. The 'hunter' gives chase
to the 'rabbit' who dodges around the trees, finally going down a hole, e.g., running into an arch and
standing with his back to one of the players making the arch. This plater immediately breaks away
and becomes a 'rabbit' and the 'ex-rabbit' becomes part of the arch. If the 'hunter' catches the 'rabbit',
they exchange roles.
Equipment: 1 rope per player, color coded for each team; 1 whistle; One player from each team is a
'catcher'. All the other players have a 'tail', a length of rope which they tuck into their back pockets.
The 'catchers' try to snatch as many tails as possible in a given time. A player who loses his tail goes
to a 'pen' from which he may be released if the 'catcher' from his team gives him a tail. When the
leader blows the whistle, the teams return to their corners and count their tails, including those that
their 'catcher' has snatched.
Earth, Water, Air and Fire
Equipment: 1 bean bag; Form a circle with one person in the centre holding the bean bag. They
throw the bag at someone and shouts 'Earth!', 'Water!', 'Air!' or 'Fire!'. If it is 'Earth', the chosen
player must reply with the name of the animal, before the centre Cub counts to ten. If it is 'Water!',
they must think of a fish, if 'Air!' - a bird and if 'Fire' - whistle for the Fire Engine. Once a creature
has been named, it may not be called again. If the player cannot reply in time they are out or you
could have them change places with the thrower.
Head It! Catch It!
Equipment: Soccer ball; Form a circle and the leader stands in the centre with the soccer ball. They
throw it to a player calling 'Heading!' or 'Catching!' and they respond accordingly and if they fail,
they sit down. The leader then complicates the game by shouting the same commands but expecting
the the opposite action.
Picture Scavenger Hunt
Prepare a picture scavenger sheet for each player by ruling a piece of paper into a dozen squares and
either drawing or glueing down a picture of a different natural item in each square. (Include one
picture of litter.) Talk briefly about the items in the squares, then set out on your hunt. Carry a
plastic bag for litter, the only item you will bring back. When the hunt is over, talk about the things
you saw. How many birds, flowers, bees. etc. ?
Send off each team with a bag, a pad of paper, pen or pencil, and a box of wax crayons.
Please do not pick, harm or remove any piece of anything that is still alive.
Bring back something you can see light through.
Bring back something to make music with.
Bring back a soft rock.
Bring back something gooey.
Find three things that have changed:since this morning...since last winter...since you were
born... Tell us about them.
Find and draw a picture of something that is ending its life and something that is beginning
Bring back the sound of the rain, even if it isn't raining.
Find something natural to mark with. Bring back a picture you drew with it.
Find three signs that animals are living here. What animals do you think they are?
Describe something that changes so slowly you don't notice.
Draw the wind.
Bring back a piece of litter. Tell or write a story about its life. What would happen to it if
you left it where you found it?
Measure and record the length of the shadow of the tallest person in your group, using a
finger, toe, hand, foot, arm or leg as a ruler.
Find something you would like to make better. Tell how you would improve it.
Using everyone in your group, make a human sculpture to show the other groups something
that you see on your hike.
Bring back rubbings of three different textures. Tell where you got each rubbing from.
Draw a picture using five different colours you see.
Find something you don't understand and make up a question about it to ask the others.
List 10 words to describe a natural object 10 paces to your left.
Find and draw or describe a sign of the season.
As a follow-up activity, have players sort the non-living objects they bring back from the hunt into
groups: e.g. interesting shapes or patterns, interesting smells. interesting colours, interesting to
touch. seeds, insect homes or food, food for mammals, etc. Later, they can use the objects to make a
display or to create a nature craft.
Give each team a copy of the poem and a collecting bag, set a time limit, and send them on their
hunt. Caution them to bring back only fallen materials or nonliving things. Tell them to note the
locations of the other items in the poem so that they can lead the team to them after time is up.
Find something hard,
Find something soft,
A plant in the ground.
A twig from aloft.
Find something hairy.
Find something dead,
And a place where an animal
Might make a bed.
Find food for a bird
And some for a rabbit
And a kind of plant
With a stinging habit.
Find a twig from a tree
That has a white bloom,
And something that could be
An insect's home;
A plant that climbs,
And one that creeps.
And one that grows
On rubbish heaps.
Sit players in a circle and move around it whispering the name of a different animal in everyone's
ear (mouse, duck, owl, frog, cow, bear, etc.). Give them a few seconds to think about their animal
sounds and practise them quietly. On signal, everyone makes their animal sound at the same time.
Guided only by these sounds, players try to line up in order of biggest to smallest animal.
The Endangered Hoppit:
Hoppits are imaginary creatures that hop around gathering materials from the ground (rocks, twigs,
leaves). Hoppits need a home where they can store the things they gather and stop hopping when
they need to rest. Mark out a large circle as home. When the game begins, the Hoppits hop around
on two legs gathering materials from the ground and taking them to the home area, where each
builds his own pile. Every Hoppit needs to keep his pile at least as high as the other piles, so he
must keep hopping and gathering. When he's tired, however, he can stop in the home area to rest.
After about five minutes. tell the Hoppits that bad weather has limited their food supply. Because
life is now harder for Hoppits, they can only hop on one leg. The Hoppits continue hopping and
gathering materials, resting when necessary in the home area. If a Hoppit accidentally hops on two
legs, he dies and takes to the sidelines. After about 5 minutes of one-legged hopping, tell the
Hoppits that humans have built a shopping mall on their home. Although they may leave their piles
there and continue adding to them, they no longer have a place to stop and rest. To stay alive,
however, they must continue hopping on one leg and adding to their piles. How many are left after
two minutes? Five minutes? How long can the Hoppits survive?
Know Your Neighbour
Form a circle. One player is designated to be IT and is in the center. Turn the lights off. “IT”
suddenly flashes his flashlight on one of the players and asks "Who are your next door neighbours?"
And then he flashes the light on the nearby neighbours. If the player who was asked the question,
can't name both neighbours correctly, they become IT. If the names are correct, IT asks "How is So
and So?", naming either of the players. If the reply is "OK", the players remain seated, but if the
answer is "Not so good", all players must change seats. While everyone is shifting IT tries to get a
seat. The one without a spot then becomes IT.
Monkey See, Monkey Do
Form a circle. Select one player to be IT and have them leave the area. Select another player to be
Monkey No. 1, and then recall IT to the centre of the circle. Monkey No. 1, unseen by IT, starts
some silly motions, such as making faces, ape-like scratching, crossing and uncrossing his legs,
moving his arms, legs or head in a funny fashion, etc. The other 'monkeys' must copy Monkey No.
1 while IT tries to see who is starting it all. When Monkey No. 1 is discovered, they trade places,
and a new Monkey No. 1 is picked while IT is sent away from the campfire.
Each is handed a slip of paper with the name of a domestic animal or bird. On the start signal, each
begins to act out the creature in silly fashion, at the same time looking out for others of the same
species. When three or more have been collected, they may begin to give voice. The first in full
chorus is declared the winner.
Players form two equal lines facing each other and about 3' apart. One is "Heads " the other "Tails."
The leader tosses a coin and calls out the side turned up. If it is Heads, the Heads laugh and smile
while the Tails must remain solemn. The Heads try to make the Tails laugh. Those who laugh have
to join the Heads' side. The coin is tossed again and, if it comes up Tails, the Tails have to try to
make the Heads smile. In five to seven minutes the line with the greatest number of players is the
winner. Allow about five minutes.
One of the players is the lighthouse, parked at one end of the room/playing field. Half the group are
rocks and they are spaced around the floor, with a gap between each of them. The rest of the group
are ships who have to make their way, blindfolded, through the rock to the lighthouse. On "Go," the
lighthouse goes "Woo-Woo" to guide the ships. The rocks go "Swish-Swish," very gently, to warn
the approaching ships of danger, and the ships are supposed to sail between the rocks to the
lighthouse beyond. If a ship hits a rock it sinks and stays where it is. When all the ships arrive at the
lighthouse, the two halves of the group swap sides: the rocks become ships and the ships become
rocks and they have a replay.
The Frog Hop
Draw a finish line about 25' from the start and line the players up about 3' apart. At "Go" they race
by jumping first to the right, then to the left, then straight ahead. This procedure is followed until
someone crosses the finish line.
Fashion the hooks from coat-hanger wire, paper clips and open safety pins. Make the fish from
cloth, inner tubes, cardboard, balloons, or wood. Use a cardboard carton, nail keg, barrel, or dart
board for the ocean bottom or trout stream. The players can catch the "fish" by hooking them, lifting
them, trapping them, or spearing them (with darts). They score by standing in the centre of a circle
and casting into several different ponds, by standing on boxes or stools and trapping the fish, or by
just catching as many as they can out of one "lake." Each "fish" could contain a message describing
some task that a player has to perform before he can return to fish again. Or each fish could have a
point value written on it; winner could be either the group or the individual player with the largest
score at the end of a given period of time.
A Christmas Telegram
Have everyone write down the word Christmas leaving a space after each letter. Then allow ten
minutes for all players to compose a telegram, the first word beginning with C, the next with H, the
third with R and so on. The first word should be the name of the person to whom the telegram is
sent, the last word the name of the sender. The players then read out their own attempts in turn, the
winner being the one who has composed the most original.
Give each group a piece of paper with CHRISTMAS written vertically down the side and tell them
that after each letter they must write the name of some article that could be found on the table at
Christmas dinner--and both run for the ball. The one reaching it first kicks it and runs for a hiding
place. The other player is "It" and must return the ball and search.
Ring The Bottle
Place a number of bottles on the floor and let several boys play at one time. Each boy has a
"fishing-rod" consisting of a cane or pole and string; on the end of the string is a brass curtain ring.
The first one to get his ring over the neck of a bottle wins.
Paper Bag Masks
Each player is equipped with a large paper bag that will fit over the head and a crayon. Players
place bags over their heads and attempt to draw a face on the bag. Eyes, nose, mouth, mustache, etc.
After all are finished, points are awarded for the funniest face.
One person is chosen to become "It." The players scatter around the room and "It" tries to tag them.
The players may become safe from being tagged by assuming a squatting position. When "It" is not
close by, they stand up and run again. Each player may use this method of escape three times, and
then may escape only by running. If "It" retreats five steps from a player who has escaped by
assuming the squatting position, and then returns, the player must run or is liable to be tagged.
Anyone who is tagged becomes "It" and the game continues.
Do This, Do That
Have players spread-out or in a circle three or four deep--so that all can see the leader. Leader says,
"Do this." and touches nose, claps hand or some other action. All players must repeat action.
Occasionally saying, "Do that," and performs an action. No player must move on a "Do that" action.
If a player misses they must be seated.
The players stand in a semi-circle facing the man who is "It," at a distance of about ten yards. "It"
throws a ball to any one of the players, calling "Hold-'em!" If the player misses he goes to the "low"
end of the line. The ball is thus thrown back and forth between "It" and the others until "It" misses.
Then he goes to the "low" end of the line and the man at the "high" end becomes "It." A soft ball is
Fugitives pass an object. If a handkerchief is the object used, "It" can tag only the person who is
carrying the handkerchief. To be freed the player with the handkerchief hands (not throws) it to any
Players scatter throughout the room. Leader blows several blasts on a whistle. If there are four
blasts, the players must get into groups of four, hands joined and held high.
Stand Wall Ball
Equiptment; soft rubber or tennis ball; high smooth wall or very high board fence. One player is
selected to be "'Thrower." The players stand in front of, and at any distance chosen, from the wall.
The Thrower throws the ball against the wall between two real or imaginary lines parallel to the
ground. As he throws the ball, the Thrower calls the name or number of one of the players who
must catch the ball either on the fly or first bounce. The others try to block him but they are
forbidden to touch the ball. When the player called fails to catch the ball the others scatter. He calls
"Stand" when he picks up the ball. He takes aim and tries to hit a player. If he hits an individual they
exchange places. If he fails he continues as Thrower.
Give each player a balloon, inflated to standard size and tie onto a rear belt loop of each player with
a piece of string about 6" long. Each player has a newspaper which he rolls up tightly. The players
pair off and on the signal, each player tries to burst his opponent's balloon by hitting it with his
newspaper, When half of the original players have busted balloons, the winning players again pair
off. This continues until only one player remains.
The leader tells the players to flap their arms up and down when he names something that flies.
When he mentions something that doesn't fly, they must hold still. Those who make a mistake must
drop out. To confuse things, the leader flaps his arms at every command. The commands should be
given in quick succession, e.g. ducks fly, geese fly, pigs fly.
To be safe, a player must stand with their right arm under their left knee (raised). The fingers of the
right hand grasp the nose.
The runner must touch wood to be safe.
"It" must touch the other player by throwing a ball. "It" must pick up the ball himself after it has
Catch The Snake
The snake is a piece of rope several yards long. One player who is "It" holds an end and drags the
rope about, so that the snake writhes over the ground. The other players give chase and whoever
succeeds in catching the snake becomes "It."
A bucket is turned upside-down, partly buried to make it firm. On it place a pyramid of pebbles.
The players throw pebbles or balls at the pyramid and the winner is the one who knocks the last
pebble from the bucket.
Hang small articles of clothing on a clothesline or prizes, fastening them with ordinary clothespegs.
Players toss rings at the pegs. If they succeed in circling one, they win the suspended article.
Last Man Across
Players line up and race to the finish line. The slowest drops out. The others race back to the starting
line. Again the slowest is eliminated. This continues until only one person remains. He is the
Players stand behind a line about 40' from a line of objects. These objects should be about 2' apart
and there should be one object less than the number of players. All players race toward the objects,
trying to pick up one. The player who doesn't get one, drops out and one object is discarded. This
continues until only one player remains
The Midnight Game
Players acting as sheep are in a safety circle or fold at one end of the play area. The fox has a den in
the opposite corner and comes out looking for food. The sheep come close, asking "What time is
it?" They are safe until he says, "Midnight." Then they must escape to the safety circle before they
Mark a square on the floor about one yard square or use designated marks on floor (definite areas of
tile design markings of basketball courts, etc.). Teams are at opposite ends of room and when lights
are put out they must try to get all the team in the designated area. Set a definite count for duration
lights are out and do not allow any movements after lights are switched on.
Discovery Scavenger Hunt
Give each patrol a list and half an hour to see how many items they can locate within the boundaries
of your play area. Remind players of the importance of making minimum impact. Have them write
notes on the items they observe in each category but do not collect specimens. When the hunt is
over, patrols gather and compare findings. If their report includes interesting observations, take a
walk to see them.
As a patrol, find as many of these natural items as you can within the designated area.
1. Two things with chlorophyll in them
2. Coniferous trees
3. Things that fly
5. A natural object that is red
6. Plants with berries
7. Something you might use if you were fishing
8. Something that swims
9. Evidence of death
11. A natural object that is blue
12. Things that are part of the food chain
13. Evidence of disease
15. An example of the interdependence of natural things
Zig Zag Bicycle Race
Set out a course of obstacles: chairs, benches, garbage cans. Players must weave their way around
these on their bicycles to a turning line and then return to starting line. Best time trial wins.
Slow Bicycle Race
This is the reverse of a speed race. Plan a course the length of the area; with chalk, draw lanes about
3' wide. Several compete at the same time. They must ride as slowly as possible, without touching a
foot to the ground, crossing the chalk lines or stopping or player is eliminated. Winner is the last to
reach the finish line. If nobody can reach the finish line, the one who travels the greatest distance is
declared the winner.
Equipment; per team, one copy of the same edition of a daily newspaper, scissors and pencils. Each
group reads through the news items and finds those that illustrate some aspect of assigned theme.
These headlines, articles or photos are cut out and marked with the corresponding aspects. Winner
is the group with the largest number of clippings in a given time.
Equipment; three coloured felt pens for each team, masking tape, sheets of newspaper. Divide into
six or eight-man teams. In front of each team a large piece of newspaper is hung on a wall with
masking tape. Pens are placed on a chair, or on the floor, beside each team's paper. Line up teams
about 10' away. They are told to illustrate a well-known story or TV show; or Christmas, New
Year's or Easter. On signal, first player in each team dashes to wall, picks up a pen, draws a specific
part: head, hat, ears, face, body, etc. Or each member may be told what part to draw. Then they puts
down pen, runs back, touches off next boy. Each member adds one more part to picture. First team
to finish wins recognition for speed, but special recognition is given for picture that is best team
Line up teams in relay formation, parallel to each other. Opposite each team a compass is drawn on
the floor, the points indicated but only the North lettered. The leader calls out a point. No. 1 man in
each team steps out and places a pencil on the compass, pointing in the given direction, before the
leader has counted six. If correct, the player falls in behind compass; if incorrect, he goes back and
falls in at the further end of his team. Another point is called and the No. 2's step out. The first team
to fall in complete behind the compass wins. If possible there should be a referee for each team to
avoid time waste in verifying the compass directions shown.
Sixteen Point Compass Game
A circle is marked on the floor and sixteen cards are prepared each giving one of the sixteen
compass points. These cards are placed face down on a table. Each of the sixteen players takes one
of the cards at random. The umpire finds the player who has picked up the North card and places
him anywhere on the circle. On the words, "This is North -- Fall in," the others take up their
appropriate places in the circle. After the players have become thoroughly proficient the umpire
should take any player (say ESE) place him anywhere in the circle and say. "This is ESE--Fall in."
North, South, East And West
Players are scattered. The four sides of the room are named North, East, South and West
respectively. The corners of the room are named to correspond with the intermediate compass
directions. Whenever the umpire names a direction the players immediately jump to face in the
direction. Players who make a mistake, or who move too late, sit down in their places until only one
remains standing. When the players have become thoroughly proficient the game should be stopped
suddenly and another direction indicated as North.
Group spreads out facing leader who is to be the Weather Bureau. The leader calls out which way
the wind is blowing, North, Southeast, West... As the direction is named the players will turn and
point in the correct direction. When the command "Whirlwind" is given, the players all spin around
twice quickly on their right heels.
Treasure Hunt Variations
1. Give group a message in code telling where to find 2nd message.
2. Give group a message telling leader to phone (text) a given number for directions or ask a
parent (previously briefed) for a task to be accomplished. Like:
carry a message, bring back ten articles whose names start with a certain letter,
bring back an article previously hidden,
identify objects of nature (flowers or trees),
go to a parking lot and obtain the licence number of five cars parked there which are a
certain colour or from out of the province.
Groups are lined up. The leader tells them they must not move until he says "Move." He then gives
a number of orders, i.e. left-turn, about-turn, right-turn, about-turn. This brings them back to the
original front, but can be varied. He then gives the word "Move." Winning group is the one who has
the most boys facing in the right direction at the end of the turns.
WHAT IT WOULD BE LIKE...
to go to a summer camp; to move to a new state; to be invisible; if you couldn’t hear; if we all
looked the same; to live in space; to change your name; to live in a log cabin; to go to boarding
school; to be a bus driver; to be the opposite gender; to be a boss of a large company; to not have a
home to live in; if you could trade places with one of your teachers; to be a movie star; to have a
new sister; if there were no school; to have a million dollars; to work on a farm; to be a hero?
Directions: Players gathered in a tight circle – right palm up left hand index finger pointing down in
the neighbors right palm - attempt to grab neighbor’s finger while not letting their own finger be
grabbed…upon the speaking of a selected word.
BUILD A HANDSHAKE
Directions: Pair up players and have them create a handshake together that has three parts or
“moves” to it. Have them practice enough so they can teach this handshake to someone else. After a
few minutes ask all the players to find a different partner. These new pairs teach each other their
first handshake and then put the two together creating one long handshake. Have them practice
enough so they will be able to teach this to someone else! After some time ask the players to find a
new partner (one they haven’t worked with). These new pairs share their second handshakes and put
the two together – added up that’s 12 moves. The players will actually be surprise how easy it is to
put together all 12 parts if they have learned all the parts in a progression.
THE DIGITAL CONTRACT
Directions: Traditionally we tend to ask our groups to follow some very important
guidelines/expectations as they play and learn together. If anyone is then unable to follow these
guidelines we will stop the action and explore the factors that are preventing us from doing so. The
Digital Contract is a tool we have been able to use to weave our program expectations into an
auditory as well as a visual presentation. The visual, using the fingers of the hand, can then be used
throughout the program as a reminder. Introduce the concept by holding up one hand and spreading
out your fingers (we’re going to include the thumb as a finger here for those of you who consider
the thumb a thumb and not a finger!?) Take one finger at a time and give the group something to
remember with each finger:
The Little Finger – This finger is the smallest on our hand, it can easily be hurt. We want to avoid,
“hurt” as much as possible. You might have to spell out what you expect or ideally ask the group
what they expect. You could help by asking, “What kinds of hurt are there (physical and mental)?
What can we do to avoid being hurt? What can we do to be safe?”
The Ring Finger – This finger stands for commitment. What is commitment? (You might need to
help define this for some groups.) We are going to ask you to commit yourself to participating with
the group in some way. Participation takes on many forms. (You can tie this into your choice of
methodology if you want to use those words.) The least we will ask you to do is stay with the group
(for safety and responsibility reasons), give your best effort whenever you can, and help the group
members whenever possible. Together we can accomplish a lot.
The Middle Finger – (Avoid slinging out this finger during your explanation. Keep all your fingers
up in the air as you work through them. Just a suggestion.) What is this finger often used for? (Most
children know way to early what this is for, however, some don’t. You will need to decide if this is
something you want to teach or just move with the concept.) We are going to ask you not to use
“put- downs” during our time together. We also ask that you respect (another concept you might
explore together) yourself and others. What is important about respect? Why do we want to avoid
put-downs? What will be a better way to communicate?
The Index Finger or Pointer Finger – This finger will remind us of our “Response-Ability” within
the group. We want to encourage you to use your ability to respond by giving feedback to others
and reflecting on the experience for yourself and how the experience will be able to benefit you and
the group in the future. You are the only one who will know how you feel. If you are willing to
share your experiences, good and bad, we can become a little closer together and understand what
each of our needs will be. Why is it important to get to know each other better?
The Thumb – This finger is for the “thumbs-up” encouragement we would like you to share with the
group. What is important about encouragement? How can it benefit our group? What are some
examples of encouragement? When can we use it?
Using these visual cues throughout a program can help you remind your participants of the
expectations we have. You and the group can define each finger to fit your specific needs, but don’t
get too wordy or your participants might easily forget what you expect of them. After we set this
process up we like to have the participants take their reminders (their hand) and turn to shake the
hands of those around them to “seal” their contract with one another.
BLIND BLACK JACK
Give each player a Playing Card - ask them not to look at it. When everyone has a Card you will
say, “GO!” Each player holds their Card up to their forehead (never looking at it). Players have 30
seconds to get into groups of 3 or more people trying to get as close to or right at 21 - total number
of the Card ranks added together (Ace is either 1 or 11, face Cards are 10). Players are not allowed
to indicate, in any way, the value of any other player’s Card. Count down the last 5 seconds before
yelling, “Freeze!” Each little group can look at the Cards they have to add their score. Players on
the winning team(s) each get a point. Collect the Cards, shuffle and deal them out again for another
round. The more players the better.
(in 20 seconds…) Greet others as you would an enemy. (in 20 seconds…) Greet as you would a
good friend. (in 20 seconds…) Greet as you would a very important business partner. (in 20
seconds…) Greet as you would a long lost friend.
ACTION NAME GAME
Create an action to go with your name. Get together in groups of 10. A player says his or her name
and performs their action. All other players repeat this at the same time. Next player says his or her
name and does action. All other players repeat this one and then the first player’s name and action.
Third player does the same, group repeats this third players name and action then back through to
the first player. (Always repeating back through all other players.)
Equipment;stopwatch (or watch that can time seconds,) tape, index cards, and pens; Each player
writes either an animal or a place on a card and tapes it to the back of another player without letting
that person see what's on the card, so each player has one card stuck to their back. Stand in a circle
and then pick somebody to step in the middle to guess what's on his card. Tell the guesser if their
card is a place or an animal. The guesser has 30 seconds to ask as many yes or no questions they
can about the place or animal on their card. After the time is up, the guesser gets two guesses. Then
it's the next person's turn to guess what's on their card. Go around until everyone has had a chance
Players sit in a circle. The first person says, "One Frog." The next person says, "In the water." And
the next person says, "Kerplunk." Now, increase everything by one. So, the next person in the circle
says, "Two Frogs." And the next person says, "Two Frogs." The person after that says, "In the
water." And the next person says, "In the water." The person after that says, "Kerplunk." And the
next person says, "Kerplunk." Keep going around the circle increasing everything by one. But
there's one catch -- all players have to slap their knees and clap, keeping the rhythm while the game
goes around the circle. If a player is off the beat, hesitates, or says the wrong thing, they are out.
The game continues until there is only one person left.
Players sit in a circle and set a rhythm by slapping their knees twice and clapping their hands twice.
The first player says his name twice on the knee slaps and another player's name twice on the hand
claps. The player who is named must continue the game in the same way. If a player is off beat, or
messes up, he's out! Keep playing until there's only one person left.
SHIP, SHORE, DECK
One player is the captain of the ship, and the rest of the players have to follow their orders. There
are 4 commands; when "ship" is said players have to run to the right, "deck," players have to run to
the middle, "shore," players have to run to the left, and "hit the deck," players have to run to the
middle and lie down on their stomachs. If a player makes a mistake, they are out. The last player
left at the end is the winner.
THE CUP GAME
This is a game of accuracy. If you make the wrong move, you're out. The last person playing is the
First take your cup and turn it upside down.
Clap twice and tap the cup 3 times on the top.
Now clap again and pick up your cup and move it to the right.
You clap, pick up the cup upside down, so when you pick it up, it's upright.
Tap the top of it with your left hand, put it down.
Pick it up with your left hand, put your right hand down, and cross your left arm over your right to
put the cup back on the table.
So the whole thing is:
Clap, clap, tap, tap, tap.
Clap, move, right.
Clap, turn, touch, touch, change, pat, over.
One more time just to see if you've got it:
Clap clap tap tap tap,
Clap... move... right.
Clap, turn, touch, touch, change, pat, over.
THE CUP GAME II
First take your cup and turn it upside down.
Clap twice and tap the cup 3 times on the top.
Now clap again and pick up your cup and move it to the right.
You clap, pick up the cup upside down, so when you pick it up, it's upright.
Tap the top of it with your left hand, put it down.
Pick it up with your left hand, put your right hand down, and cross your left arm over your right to
put the cup back on the table.
So the whole thing is:
Clap, clap, tap, tap, tap.
Clap, move, right.
Clap, turn, touch, touch, change, pat, over.
One more time just to see if you've got it:
Clap clap tap tap tap,
Clap... move... right.
Clap, turn, touch, touch, change, pat, over.
OK, now here's the game with some words that will help you learn it. It goes like this:
Clap clap bubble gum,
Clap up down,
Clap turn touch touch,
Change pat down.
Equipment; small, light ball; Players sit in a circle and decide on a category (for example: animals,
movies, books, or colors). One person throws the ball to another player in the circle. Then, that
person has to immediately name an item in the category and throw the ball to someone else. If a
player can't think of anything, or repeats something that's already been said, that player is out. The
remaining players think of a new category and the game starts again. The last person left is the
Form two even teams and give each team a handkerchief. The first player of each team has to
balance a handkerchief on his foot and hop to the finish line and back. Then the next person in line
goes. If a player drops the hankie, he has to start over. The first team to finish wins.
Players form two teams of 3 or more and line up. The first player in each line gets down on his
hands and knees and puts his head down. Then, the second player in line jumps over him by lightly
placing her hands on his back and jumping with her legs out to the sides. Then she gets down on her
hands and knees in front of him. The third player now leaps over both players on the ground, one at
a time. Players keep going like this. The first team to reach the finish line wins!
Form 2 teams, line up and face each other. The first player on one team starts the game by calling
out the name of an animal, like "deer." Then, the first player on the opposite team has to call out
another animal that begins with "d," like "dog." The second player on the first team then must think
of another animal that begins with "d." Go back and forth like this until a player cannot think of
another "d" animal. When this happens, the team that misses gives up the player that missed to the
other team. At the end of 5 minutes, the team with the most players left wins.
Blindfolded Quick Pics
To play, you will need two big pads of paper, chalk board or dry erase board and two matching
writing utensils and two blindfolds, a bunch of index cards with objects or animals written on them.
Divide into two teams. Pick one person from each team to be the artist. Show the artists from each
team a card with a word on it, but don't let the other players see the word. Then blindfold the artists.
Both artists draw the object written on the card as fast as they can. Each team guesses what the
artists are drawing. Players from both teams can look at both drawings. The first team to guess
correctly gets a point. You might want to switch artists after each round.
CAROLYN'S WORD GAME
To play, split into even teams or play one on one. Write each letter of the alphabet on a strip of
paper and put it into a hat. (You may want to leave out the hard letters, like "X" or "Q." Pick a letter
out of the hat. Each team has 45 seconds to make up a sentence, but the trick is that all of the words
in the sentence have to start with the letter the team picked out of the hat. So, if the letter is "A," a
team's sentence might be: "Anna ate apples at Alabama."
The team who has the sentence with the most words wins.
DESCRIPTION COMPETITION (SIMILAR TO TABOO)
Equipment; index cards, a watch for timing the rounds; Players divide into teams of pairs. Decide
who will be the guesser and the describer for each team. Teams go one at a time. While one team is
playing, the other teams have to leave the room so they can't hear what the team that's playing says.
The describer for each team will describe the words written on the index cards without using the
actual word. For example, if the word is "lunch," the describer will say something like "You eat this
in the middle of the day. Sometimes it's a sandwich . . ." until their teammate guesses the word. The
describer cannot say what letter the words begin with or what they rhyme with. If the word is made
up of two words, the describer cannot use those words separately in his description. For example, if
the word is racecar, the describer can't say, "This is a car that races around a track." See how many
words each team can guess in 45 seconds. The team that guesses the most words correctly wins.
You could play two rounds for each team and switch which teammate describes and guesses for the
second round. You'd need a second set of words to play this way.
Each player takes turns choosing a difficult word from the dictionary and writing it and its
definition down on a card. The player then makes up two new definitions for the word. The player
reads the word and the three definitions. The other players have to guess which is the real definition
of the word.
GOING ON A PICINIC
One person is the Leader and thinks of a rule for what can be brought on the picnic. Example,
maybe the rule is that people can only bring items beginning with the letter S, like salad, or salami.
Players take turns suggesting items to bring on the picnic. If the suggestion follows the rule, the
Leader tells the player they can come on the picnic. If the suggestion doesn't follow the rule, the
Leader tells the player they can't come on the picnic. If players think they've figured out the rule,
they can guess it on their turn. The player who guesses correctly becomes the new Leader.
Example: “I'm going on a picnic and I'm going to bring...a sleeping bag”. The next person must
bring something that begins with the letter "G" since the last letter of the first person's was a "G".
Let's say the second person wanted to bring a "guardian."
OUT THE DOOR
Write the names of different jobs on small pieces of paper (chef, farmer, orchestra conductor,
scientist, cab driver). Fold the pieces of paper and drop them into a hat. One player is the guesser
and goes "out the door," leaving the room. Now, the other players choose one job from the hat. The
group calls the "guesser" back into the room. Without talking, the group acts out their job and the
"guesser" has to figure out who they are.
Equipment; pencils/pens and paper. You can play one on one or you can split into two even teams.
You have one minute to think of as many pairs of words that rhyme as you can, like cat-rat, note-
quote, story-glory, etc. The team that thinks of the most pairs is the winner. Duplicates don't count.
Players think up the objects that make sounds, like a leaky faucet, creaking door, etc. and write
them down on index cards. One player picks a card with the name of an object on it. Then that
player has to imitate the sound that the object makes. The other players have to guess the object
that's being imitated. The player who guesses correctly goes next.
THE ZOOMER'S CAT
The first player describes the cat with a word that begins with the letter A. So, that player might say,
"The ZOOMer's cat is an Awesome cat." The next person uses a word that begins with B: "The
ZOOMer's cat is a Big cat." Go around the circle, making your way through the alphabet. One catch
-- you have to keep a rhythm going as you play! Make the rhythm by slapping your knees twice and
clapping your hands twice. If a player can't think of a word that starts with the right letter to
describe the cat, they're out. The remaining players continue, picking up at the letter where the last
person left off until only one is left.
GHOST IN THE GRAVEYARD
Find a base and choose 1 person to be it. That person will stand on the base and 1:00, 2:00, 3:00 and
keeps doing that until you get to 12:00. All other players hide while "It" counts. On 12:00 yell out
'Midnight'. Then all the hiders try to run to the base before the person that is it catches you. Then if
a person gets found then they are it.
OR One person would be the ghost. The rest of the group would stay on "base" and count " one
o'clock, two o'clock, three o'clock, rock...'till you got to midnight. Then go search for the ghost.
Whoever found the ghost yelled "ghost in the graveyard" and all the seekers out make a mad dash
back to base. Whoever was tagged was the next ghost. It is best to play when it is early evening or
Equipment; index cards with a spelling word on one side and how much the word is worth on the
other (single, double, triple, home run). For example, the word "spring" seems easy to spell, so it
would be worth a single. But a word like "impatient" seems pretty hard, so it would be worth a
home run. You'll also need base markers for 1st, 2nd, 3rd and Home. Put all the cards in a hat. One
player is the pitcher for both teams. The other players split into two teams. The pitcher chooses a
word out of the hat and reads it to the first batter. If the batter spells the word correctly, they
advance to base. For example, if the word was worth a single, the batter would go to first base. If
the next person up at bat gets a word worth a double and spells it correctly, then he would advance
to second base, and the batter on first base would advance to third base. But, if the batter spells the
word incorrectly, they're out and the other team gets a turn up at bat. You can play as many innings
as you'd like. The team with the most runs wins.
Equipment; two bandannas for each team. You and your two teammates should stand side by side, with
your legs spread apart so they're touching. Tie your inside legs together with the bandannas to form "four
legs." On the word "go," race against the other teams to the finish line.
EXCUSE ME, WHAT ARE YOU DOING?
Do an action like washing your hair, drinking tea. The next person asks “What are you doing?”
Reply will be different from action “eating pizza.” Next person has to eat pizza and reply
differently. F you make a mistake, you are out. See how fast you can go.
BACKWARDS ALPHABET RACE
Recite backwards in the least amount of time. 2 teams line up facing each other. Person 1 says “z”,
P2 = y, P3 = x...until someone messes up. Team two tries. Continue back and forth until a team
Form a circle. First player says “Big” with hands close together or “Little” with hands far apart
(opposite motion w/ hands). Point to any other player in circle. Mess up, out.
Equipment; index cards with sets of 4 numbers, pencil paper. Example (1,2,3,4), (4,5,6,2), (6,1,2,2),
(3,8,3,2), (2,10,2,1), (8,7,5,4), (10,15,4,2), (1,2,12,24). Use all four numbers on card to make an
equation using +,-,x,/ that equals 24. Example: 5,6,7,1 – 5x6=30 – 7=23 + 1=24 Play in teams of
two and race. Winners play each other.