Family Fun Games

Family Fun Games

18 August 2021

With the quick decision for New Zealand to move to Alert Level 4, we thought we'd share some favourite games that families can play at home together:

1. Hide and Seek: The general idea is that one person is "it," that person closes their eyes and counts to a certain number without looking and then they try to find the others.

2. Hopscotch: Use some chalk and make a hopscotch grid. You can make the grid as long as you like and hop away.

3. Simon Says: This game can be played anywhere, even in a car or other small space. One person is Simon and starts by saying, "Simon says, '<insert action here>.'" Everyone must then do the action. However, if Simon makes an action request without saying, "Simon says" to begin the request, anyone who does that action is out.

4. Tag:  The children decide who will start out as being "it." That person chases the other people around, trying to tag one of them with their hand. The newly tagged person is now "it." There is often the rule of "no tag-backs" where you can't tag the person who just tagged you.

5.Water Balloon Toss: Two people stand within feet of each other and one tosses their water balloon over to their partner who in turns catches the balloon. If they are successful, they each take one step back and repeat. If they aren't successful the water balloon bursts, and someone has just managed to cool themselves off meanwhile being kicked out of the game. Best played outdoors!

6. Musical Chairs: In a circle, arrange chairs facing outward to total one fewer than the number of players. An additional player needs to be in charge of the music. When the music starts, the players walk around the chairs. When the music stops, players sit down in the nearest chair as soon as they can. The one player who does not have a chair is out. One of the chairs is then removed, and the game continues in this manner. The player that sits in the final chair is the winner. This game is traditionally played inside, but it can also be played outside with outdoor furniture and a portable music player.

7. Broken down telephone: This game is one in which most people end up laughing quite a bit, so if you're in the mood for silliness, give it a go. Players sit in a circle. One person thinks up a sentence or phrase and whispers it to the next person. That person repeats it to the person on their other side. This continues around the circle. When it finally reaches the last person, that person says the sentence out loud. The ending sentence is usually quite changed from the beginning sentence, since errors tend to compound as they go around the circle.

8. Freeze Dance: Choose one person to be in charge of the music. When the music starts, everyone else dances the crazier the better. When the music stops, the dancers must freeze in their position.

9. Big Foot Relay: Give children two shoeboxes each. Tape the lids onto the boxes, and then cut a one-inch-wide and four-inch long slit in each top. Children can then slip their feet into the slits in the boxes and race.

10. Batty Bowling: Find a number of silly or odd items that can be knocked over by a ball, such as a plastic milk carton, a plastic vase of flowers, a pizza box, a tower of empty cans, an umbrella stand, an empty container, and a book. Line them up like bowling pins and let the bowlers try to knock them over with volleyballs, tennis balls, or golf balls.

11. Pick Pocket Tag: Put a strip of cloth in each player's back pocket. Have the players try to grab each other's strips without having their own strip taken. The player with the most cloth strips wins the game.

12. Scavenger Hunt: Scavenger hunts can be simple or hard depending on the "clues". Simple clues would be "Find something blue.", "Find something soft.", or "Find something shiny." Harder clues could be made up using a combination of two easy clues "Find something blue and shiny." You can divide the teams up with one adult and one child per team. Whoever finds the most items or finds them all first wins. You don't need to buy anything for this; the kids could just search for items around the house.

13. Ball Relay: Two spoons, one small ball, are the basics of this relay game. To play a game of ball relay with adults and children you can have the adults line up in a row and the children line up in another, facing each other. Give each child a spoon with a small ball and have them race to their adult partner meanwhile trying not to drop their ball. The first one to reach their assigned adult wins. Then you play again with the adult carrying the ball on the spoon back to the child.

14. Three Legged Race: The three legged race is a classic game where two people tie one of their legs to the other and race to the finish line. This game can be played by both adults and children although you need to be careful if you're mixing the two.