Great Playground Games

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Got a few extra minutes on your hands?  Try a few of these great games found at FamilyFun.com.

15 Seconds of Fame

  • Choose a seeker and have her stand in a central location. The other players all touch the seeker’s shoulder. When the seeker closes her eyes and begins to count down from 15, the other players have to run to find a hiding place.
  • When the seeker reaches zero, she turns in any direction and, with eyes still closed, takes three steps. She then opens her eyes and tries to spot the hidden players. All identified players must sit out the remaining rounds.
  • The game continues (with remaining players coming in to touch the seeker before heading out), but this time the seeker counts down from 14 before trying to spot hiding players. If players still remain hidden and unidentified, she counts down from 13, and so on.
  • If 15 seconds is not enough time for players to reach any hiding places, the seeker can start at 30 and count down in the same manner. The last player to be spotted wins and becomes the new seeker.

Hose Head

  • What You Need: Several pairs of old control-top hose or tights (sizes medium or small work best) and 1 sponge ball or rolled-up sock for each player
  • Setup: Create a hose hat for each player by cutting off the hose at the thigh and putting a ball or sock in the toe of each.
  • Players put on their hose hats, cuffing the hose as needed to make the fit secure. The ball should hang at least to the shoulders.
  • On the count of three, players try to grab the ball — and the hose along with it — off the heads of opposing players while keeping their own ball and hose in place. This leads to much wild swinging of heads (which is why a soft ball or sock works best) and much laughter. (No holding the hose on your head, as a strong tug from another player could be jarring.) The last player with a hose hat on his head wins.

Frisbee Golf

  • Before play begins, the group should plot out a course of six or eight holes by having players agree on a series of objects or sites on the playground at which the Frisbee disc will be aimed.
  • Once the course is decided, players take turns attempting to hit the targets with the Frisbee.
  • Players must keep track of how many throws they take to get the target; the player who completes the course in the fewest number of throws wins the day.
  • Tips: Having one Frisbee for each player helps (but is not necessary) to avoid quarrels over where the player’s last throw fell.

READ Tag (for older kids)

  • What you need: A paperback book for every player
  • Setup: Decide the boundaries of the playing field and the location of the “library.”
  • The player picked to be “It” chases the other players, who each carry a book. To save themselves from being tagged, players can stop running, open their book, and begin reading out loud. “It” can’t tag them as long as they are reading audibly and standing still.
  • Tagged players are sent to the library — a designated spot in the yard where they sit and read their books. To free them, other players have to run to the library and swap books with the tagged players. The last player to be tagged becomes the new It. The game ends when everyone is in the library — or when everyone decides they’d actually rather sit outside and read.

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