The park has become a last resort, used for parties and barbecues. There used to be a time where it was the meeting ground for friends and families for every day amusement. There are more things to do; yet kids claim to be bored. Today’s children have become over stimulated while at home surrounded by the newest toys and video games. A break from technology is like experiencing a deeply oxygenated breath. I have decided that boredom will not be an option for my kids, especially with them being so young. Taking the time to play games at the park feels like a new experience every time for my kids. Here are some park activities that are great for families that are challenging, fun, and never grow old.
Tag is a game that can be played by a few or many. The object of the game is to choose someone to be ‘it’. This person in turn chases other game members around in an effort to touch them. Once a person has been ‘tagged’, they themselves become ‘it’ and the game continues until everyone becomes tired.
Red Light, Green Light
This game is a great way of teaching children (and some adults) what traffic signal colors mean. The object is to be the first player to touch the traffic signal. One person is the ‘traffic signal’ and turns their back to the other players. The children are lined up about 20 feet away while; the ‘traffic signal’ calls out red and green light. Children move forward when ‘green light’ is called out and have to immediately stop when ‘red light’ is yelled out. The children that do not stop at ‘red light’ are out of the game. The first person to reach the ‘traffic signal’ is the winner and takes over.
This game is as basic as a game can get, yet you never tire of it. I have played it with softball, tennis ball, and those big bouncy balls you get from a super store. The tennis ball is easiest. This is a good game to play at the park, because of the openness; there are no windows to break. It can be played with two or more people. The ball is just thrown back and forth between players, being careful not to drop the ball. In a variation, if a person drops their ball, they can be deemed ‘out’.
This park game is similar to ‘Red Light, Green Light’. It can be enjoyed by two players, but is often more exciting with more. Players are lined up horizontally and led by the person chosen to be ‘Simon’. ‘Simon’ commands players to participate in activities such as touching their noses, jumping on one foot, or running in circles. The trick is that players can only do the activities, if they prefaced by ‘Simon says’. If they do activities that aren’t asked for by ‘Simon’, they are ‘out’. The faster ‘Simon’ can bark orders, the easier it is to trip up the players.
Finding games to play at the park is only limited by the imagination. Get out of the house, away from the computer and video games and get moving.