Community & Current Events

Summer games for kids

©iStockphoto.com/Kilikpela's Aperture Studio Photography Inc. Image by: ©iStockphoto.com/Kilikpela's Aperture Studio Photography Inc. Author: Canadian Living

Community & Current Events

Summer games for kids

With each season comes delightful changes and special holidays. And just as all seasons have their own unique characteristics, they also have games that naturally accompany them. In the book Celebration Games -- Physical Activities for Every Month, author Barbara Wnek examines how each time of year and holiday provides us with a new group of games and activities to enjoy.

Summer, when the sun is gracing us with its warmth, is the time to play games that give us an excuse to feel the grass between our toes and to splash in the water. Here are some great activities to enjoy and to help you make the most of this too-short season.

Fill it up
This game is best played outdoors. If you get the kids to play this a few times, they'll be sure to sleep well that night!

Age: This game is appropriate for ages five to 12.

Materials needed to play:
• 4 buckets (2 for each team)
• Small plastic cups for each team player
• A measuring cup to see who wins

Object of the game: An aerobic water-transferring team race. The team that has the most water in their bucket wins.

How to play:
1. Divide the kids into two teams.
2. Fill one of each of the teams' buckets with water.
3. Place the empty bucket across the field from the full bucket.
4. Line up the two teams single file behind the full bucket and have them take turns putting water into their cup and transferring it to their empty bucket -- they may put their hand over the top as they run or walk to avoid spillage.
5. The game ends when all the water is taken from the first bucket and emptied to the transfer bucket.
6. Using the measuring cup, measure the water in each bucket. The team with the most water wins.

Rules and safety tips:
• The big precaution is to avoid collisions, by staying to the right and looking up.
• You have the option of having the bucket farther away for older children and closer for the younger ones.

Page 1 of 2 -- Check out more fun summer games for kids on page 2

Barefoot and marble-ous
This game is fun and cooperative. It works on principles of patience and ingenuity. The physical benefits are in keeping the kids moving, and the intrinsic muscles of the feet that are typically neglected will get work too!

Age: This game is appropriate for ages five through 12.

Materials needed to play:
• 4 upside-down Frisbees (flying discs)
• Approximately 50 marbles, divided into two groups of 25

Object of the game:
The object of the game is to transfer as many marbles as possible using feet only into the empty Frisbee.

How to play:
1. Divide the kids into two teams.
2. Give each team two Frisbees (lay them upside down), filling one for each team with 25 marbles.
3. Place the empty Frisbee across the field from the full one.
4. Have all players remove their shoes and socks.
5. Line the two teams up single file, and have the first person in line pick up a marble with his/her toes.
6. Have the teams move the marbles to the empty Frisbee by walking, running, crab walking, hopping, or any other method they choose -- as long as they don't use their hands.
7. If the marble drops, the child must pick it back up using only his/her feet.
8. The first team to transfer all of the marbles wins.

Rules or safety tips:
• Make sure the grass is free of any potentially dangerous objects.
• Choose to have the Frisbees a little closer for the younger children and farther away for the older ones.
• Always keep hydrated with water. (Juices should be limited to one glass a day for children because of the sugar content.) Water is important to keep muscles functioning well without cramping.

Enjoy the summer with your family, your neighbours and friends. Create physical activity pastimes that the children remember and look forward to year after year!

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Summer games for kids

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