Eldrbarry's Active Games:

KEY: (Activity Level - low, +high, Area Needed - Small Medium Large)

RAIN: (-,S) Everyone sits in a circle and closes their eyes. The leader starts rubbing his palms together. the person at the right follows suit around the circle until the person on the left of the leader has started. Some nudging may be needed. Then the leader snapping his fingers or drumming on floor, and this is passed around the circle. Then the leader starts clapping and this proceeds around, then slapping thighs, then stomping feet. The storm is fully underway. Then He proceeds to reverse the slapping, clapping, snapping, rubbing till all is quiet and the rain has passed.

WILDLIFE: ( ,S) Played like rhythms only instead of numbers each person has a animal identity, ie buffalo, frog, bear, snake, ape etc. "Slap..slap..clap..clap..(Your animal name) ..(someone else's)." Failure to do in proper order moves you to bottom of line. Variation: For older kids and smaller groups: Each adopts hand signals for their animal. Instead of calling animal names each does their own gesture then someone else's.

COPY CAT (,M) Everyone secretly choses someone else in the room to copy (with some exaggeration). Eventually everyone will be doing the same thing. There are potential variations on this one, such as having one person not copying anyone and a gumshoe detective trying to guess who it is by challenging players with the question "Crook?" Copy cats would respond by saying "Copy Cat!" Frustrated Private Investigators could ask for a "Clue" (requiring the Crook to change positions within a minute) or declare himself "Clueless" (Everyone must switch from the person they are copying and copy someone else).

ZIP ZAP POP Seated in a circle, the invisible ball moves around as follows: Zip (player says "Zip" and places either hand on top of head pointed either to the left or right indicating current direction), contining around the circle, each in turn doing word and motion in that direction around the circle until someone either Zaps it (saying "Zap" and reversing direction with a hand pointing the other way held under the chin) or Popping it across the circle (saying "Pop" and pointing across to someone who then must pass it on with a Zip. Object to not fumble the ball (make a mistake in correct words or gestures) while continually passing it on.

MOUNTAIN BREEZES: (-,S) Everyone sits in a circle holding hands. Leader starts a squeeze going round. (The Breeze) When it has gone around he reverses it. Then He sends a double squeeze around. Or a squeeze and says "whisssz" or "wooschh!". He might send one both ways, or start a second puff of air. He might sway like a tree to one side, or whatever he comes up with to represent the mountain breezes.The object is simply to keep the "breezes" moving, even when they get complicated or come at you from both sides.

BIRD'S NEST: (RED HANDED) Players (trees) form circle holding their hands out at waist level with fists clenched either palm up or palm down (nests) with "crow" in middle. While "crow" closes eyes a pebble (egg) starts passing from "tree" to "tree" while the "crow in the center of the circle looks for a nest to raid. If he correctly points to the nest with the egg, he takes the place of the tree and it becomes the new crow.

SIMON SAYS WHO: (SIMON SAYS) Form two lines of equal numbers. Like SIMON SAYS, players must obey instructions proceeded by the phrase "Simon Says" but not those given without it. Anyone who goofs must change lines. Aim to be the shortest line. A variation would be to have one line obey Simon and the other line not. Another variation would be to have two Simons, one in each line giving instructions to the other line.

BISHOP'S HAT (,S) Everyone one stands in a circle. All are monks [hands together behind their backs) and nuns (hands together in front) sworn to silence and sobriety, but one, who is the Father Superior. He announces that the bishops hat is missing and he thinks one of the monks has hidden it. He then points to one and accuses him of taking it. That Monk then tries to profess his innocence with exaggerated facial expressions and gestures (hoping to crack someone up), then points to another monk, who proceeds to do the same. Anyone who laughs or speaks or makes a sound, or fails to respond when pointed to is kicked out of the monastery! A variation would kick out anyone who accuses a nun instead of a monk.

THIS IS A...! A WHAT? ( ,S) Equipment an assortment of different objects. Seat everyone in a circle. Leader takes an object and passes it to his right saying "this is a banana!" The receiver says "a what?" and the giver repeats. Then it is passed on to the third in the same way. When asked "a What?" each person inquires of the one who gave it to him "A What?" before passing it on to the next. This pattern keeps on. After this has proceeded a ways the leader starts else "This is a alligator!", etc. After three are in motion then objects may be started right or left. Object: to remember what each item is. (variation: designate a gap in the circle. Failure to correctly identify an object moves that person to the bottom of the line (the gap).

EXPLORING: (Variation of leap frog) (+,M) Players form a loose line, at arms length. The first is leader. Each player chooses to be an "around, left, right, over or under". Leader proceeds down the line doing as told by each "obstacle" -"left" or "right",completely around, between the legs "under" or leap-frogs "over" each in line. Each player after the leader passes then follows. When Leader reaches end He becomes an obstacle and play continues till all have passed him. Variation: complicate it "boulder" means left, "rock" means right, "Hill" means around, "log" means over, "cave" means under. Failure to do it correctly on first try means starting down the line.

TANGLEWOOD: ( ,M) Designate two corners of room as start and finish. Place a paperplate in center. Tangle tree must maintain contact with plate. One player starts toward destination with eyes closed (It's night). Other Players (or trees?!) can give directions. If tagged by tree, he becomes a tangle tree but cannot move either foot from where he is standing. Then the next player starts across. Players keep crossing back and forth. Object of game is to be the last hiker left. (Difficulty increases greatly as trees become many and players few.)

KILLER (-,S) Everyone draws slips of paper from a hat. One has a black dot designating he is the killer. Killers "kill" by winking. If winked at, "victims" do dramatic dying scenes. Object to spot the killer before you are "done in".

LINE SWITCH (-,S) Using chalked squares or chairs line or seat everyone up with a vacant square or chair near the middle. Everyone must switch sides by one by one either moving to an empty square or chair next to them or leap frogging over one person to an empty square or chair on the other side. With larger groups, divide them equally and set them up the same and let them race to get done first. This game takes thinking and cooperation.

Some of the above games were found in The New Games Book, & More New Games, ed. Flugelman and Tembeck, and New Games for the Whole Family by Dale N. LeFevre (New Games Foundation) and some are from The Outrageous Outdoor Game Book by Bob Gregson (Fearon Teaching Aids)

Thanks for visiting! Your comments and games suggestions are most welcome!
Please E-mail me at: eldrbarry@eldrbarry.net

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