In the not too distant past, children found entertainment through leaving the house and exploring the world around their homes. In today's times, television, text messaging and video games dominate the lives of most children. With a few inexpensive purchases and some ingenuity on the part of the parents, drawing children back from technology and directing them to more physically active games can be an engaging experience.
Capture the Flag
Capture the Flag is a game where two opposing teams attempt to capture the flag of the opposing team. Establish boundaries for play and determine the location of one "jail" for each team. The jail should be located in the opposing team's territory. The field should be divided in half with each team's flag placed deep in its own territory. The goal of the game is to go into the opposing team's area, grab the flag and return it to your own base. Players can be tagged when in the opposing team's side of the field and sent to jail. Tagged players remain in jail until an untagged player from their team tags them back into the game. Each team's flag must be clearly visible.
Sardines is a reverse hide and seek game. One player is chosen as "it." The player who is chosen goes and hides while the rest of the group sits in a circle and waits a predetermined amount of time. After the wait time has elapsed, the rest of the group breaks off and searches for the person hiding. When a member of the group finds the hiding child, he quietly joins her in hiding. As each member finds the "it" child, he joins the hiding group. The object is not to be the last person to find "it." The first child to find the hiding child is "it" for the next round.
Water Burst is a game where players are paired off and they take turns tossing water balloons to each other. Each person starts out facing her partner from about two feet away. Each child then throws the water balloon to his partner. She then takes a step backward. After each toss, the tossing child takes a step backward. The object of the game is to be the last team to have a water balloon that is not popped.
Steal the Jewel
Steal the Jewel is a highly physical game where one child is given the "jewel." He then gets a five-second head start to run away from the group. After the five seconds are up, the rest of the children pursue the child with the jewel. Tackling, tickling and wrestling are encouraged to steal the jewel away, though the game can be played using a touch to steal the jewel. The child who steals the jewel is protector in the next round.