Friday, August 8, 2014

Outdoor Family Games

For Quidditch this week, the Hogwarts students have to play a new outdoor game as a family. Here are some of my student's favorite outdoor games. 

Spud: This outdoor game is a lot of fun. Every player gets a number and crowds around the person who is “it” for that round. “It” then tosses the ball straight up and the other players run away. As the ball reaches the top of its toss, “it” calls out the number of one of the other players and then runs away also. The player whose number was called must run back and catch the ball (or chase after it if it is bouncing around). Once that person has the ball, they yell, “Spud!” Then everyone else must freeze. The person with the ball must try to hit one of the players with the ball. If they do, that new person gets a letter (first S, then P, then U, then D) and is now “it.” If they miss, the person who threw the ball is “it” for the next round.
Number of Players: A small group.
Equipment: Playground ball.

Four Square: This ball game is played on a square court further divided into four smaller squares, numbered one through four. One player stands in each of the squares, with the highest ranked player in number one, lowest in number four. You bounce the ball among the players, bouncing once in the other person’s square before that person catches it. When I played this as a kid, we had countless additional rules to choose from. The person in square one got to choose the rules. Anyone who violates the rules will have to move down in the ranking, or be eliminated with another player rotating in to square four.
Number of Players: Four, unless you take turns.
Equipment: A four square court or sidewalk chalk, a playground ball.

Kick the Can: This game is a variation of tag and hide & seek. One person or a team of people are designated as “it” and a can is placed in the middle of the playing area. The other people run off and hide while the “it” covers his or her eyes and counts to a certain number. “It” then tries to find everyone. If a person is tagged by “it”, they go into a holding pen for captured players. If one of the un-captured players manages to kick the can, the captured players are released. The game is over once all the non-”it” players are in the holding pen.
Number of Players: Ideally at least three.
Equipment: A metal can.

Wall Ball
  • Tennis ball
  • Wall
This is a game for one or two players. The idea is to throw and catch the ball according to a sequence of tasks. When you miss, you lose your turn and have to start all over the next time. Here are some tasks:
  • Meensies: Throw the ball and catch it before it bounces—10 times
  • Onesies: Throw the ball and catch it after one bounce—9 times
  • Clapsies: Throw the ball and clap hands before you catch it—8 times
  • Kneesies: Throw the ball and touch your knees before catching it—7 times
  • Twosies: Throw the ball and catch it after two bounces—6 times
  • Under the knee: Lift your leg and throw the ball under the knee before catching it—5 times
  • Highsies: Throw the ball as high as you can before catching it—4 times
  • Touch the ground: Throw the ball and catch it after touching the ground—2 times
  • Turn around: Throw the ball and catch it after turning completely around—1 time
Note: After going through the sequence without missing, go through again using the right hand only, then with the left hand only.

***Thanks to Geek Dad for these great instructions! 

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