Do you remember how your childhood was? Do you remember the excitement whenever the school bell rang and you were free to head out of the classroom door?
You’d quickly jog or walk fast even as the “no running” rule echoed through your head. Once you managed to squeeze yourself out of the hall, the jogging and fast walks would quickly turn into a sprint as you headed to your favorite spot at the playground.
For the entire recess period, you’d play your favorite game with your friends and do all sorts of things. The last thing you wanted to hear was a bell ring signaling the end of the recess. Life was just good, to say the least.
Even though your childhood and school days may be behind you, there is no reason why you can’t enjoy your favorite game with your own children. In fact, joining your kids in play provides you with an incredible opportunity to exercise and teach your little ones valuable life lessons.
As long as you are good at it, don’t be afraid to go for it. In this post, we highlight some of the most amazing playground games suitable for the whole family.
Connecting With Your Child through Play: The Benefits
Before we discuss the specific playground games ideal for the whole family, it is good to highlight some of the benefits of parent-child playtime.
The truth is that most parents are busy people and they don’t get enough time to be with their little ones. But sometimes, it is imperative to slow down and play along with your kids as a family.
You don’t have to play every time the child plays but finding some family playtime, especially at a playground, is really important for your little ones.
Playing with your kid helps him/her to develop a wide range of skills such as self-control and social skills. Your child’s mind is like little sponges. It tends to soak up everything around it. As the child interacts with you, he/she learns how people behave in social settings.
They also learn what is acceptable by observing how you behave. The other skills that your child develops during family playtime include cognitive flexibility, creativity, and regulation of emotions, peer group leadership skills, and gross motor skills.
Playing with your child also helps build strong relationships. It adds joy, resilience, and vitality to your relationship with your kid and heals disagreement, resentment, and hurt.
By making an effort to incorporate humor and family playtime into how you interact with your kids, you can enhance the overall quality of your family relationships and connect at a much deeper level.
Playtime and laughter play a critical role in building strong and healthy parent-child relationships by bringing both of you closer. It is one of the easiest ways of understanding your child’s abilities and weaknesses.
Incredible Playground Games for the Whole Family
So, what are some of the best playground games that the whole family can enjoy? Let us find out below.
1. Follow the Leader
Follow the leader is one of the simplest playground games that the entire family can enjoy. It is pretty straightforward and requires no planning or special supplies.
To play this game, you can start by walking around the playground with your kids following you. Instruct the kids to copy every move you make as you wander around the park.
Try hopping, jogging, running, skipping, or even spinning in circles as you walk so that your kids can imitate the moves. If you find anything interesting along the way, stop for a few minutes and observe it. Let everyone else do the same thing.
Once you are through with your turn, allow the next person in the group to be the leader and start all over again. Repeat this until all kids play the leader role. Allow the kids to come up with their own unique moves that everyone else must do.
While at it, encourage imaginative play and allow the leader to wander around the park doing whatever they like. They can imitate their favorite animal, vehicle or do whatever pleases them. Just make sure everyone is copying the leader’s movements and actions.
2. Family Tag
As long as there is some room to run, you can always organize a friendly family game of tag. The primary goal of the tag is for the selected person to touch/tag all the other players until there is one untouched player remaining who becomes the winner.
Fortunately, there are different versions of this game that you can try out. They include:
- Free tag: When an individual is tagged, they must freeze in place. To be unfrozen, they must be tagged by another untagged player. The cycle continues until you have one unfrozen player who becomes the winner.
- Everybody’s “it” tag: In this case, everyone is “it” (tagger) and tries to tag others specifically below the knee. If you are successfully tagged on this area of your body, you are required to sit out until the person who tagged you gets out. At that point, you are allowed back in the game.
- Tunnel tag: In tunnel tag, when you are tagged, you stand still with your legs apart. You can only become free when another person crawls through your legs.
3. Reverse Charades
This is an improved and modern version of traditional charades. In traditional charades, one individual acts out a word or phrase while someone else within the group is expected to guess the word/phrase.
However, in reverse charades, everyone within the group acts out a word or phrase while only one person is expected to be the guesser. When everyone in the group is acting out simultaneously, the game becomes much more fun and highly interactive.
Reverse Charades is one of the top and go-to games for families at playgrounds and backyards. Although the name may sound complicated, it is relatively easy to understand the game once you start playing it.
The game is ideal for six or seven players aged six years and above. It is a great team builder and helps kids learn about the importance of teamwork and how to communicate in different ways.
If you are looking for a wild time for everyone in the family, you should try out this game.
Does your playground have a large area of pavement or sidewalks? If so, then you should bring along some chalk for hopscotch.
To play hopscotch, draw a simple grid of squares on the pavement or sidewalk with your chalk and number the square one to nine. Playing the game is pretty easy and straightforward.
Toss a small marker like a small toy, beanbag, or rock into the first square and hop over it. Continue hopping on the rest of the numbers to complete the cycle. Turn around and hop back towards the start collecting the marker on your way back.
Hand the marker to the next player, and on your next turn, make sure you throw it to the next square. If you throw the marker to the wrong number or lose balance while hopping and fall, you are out of the next round.
The player who completes the entire course with the marker on each square number becomes the winner.
The game is excellent for both kids and adults. You can make it more interesting by drawing colorful chalk courses and even decorate them with different designs instead of conventional numbers. You can even adjust the shape and size of the squares for relatively younger kids.
5. Red Light, Green Light
If you need a breather and something a little bit relaxing, then this is the right game for you. The game is great for younger kids. Parents can get involved as traffic cops.
One person is selected to serve as the traffic light and stands on one side of the playing area. The rest of the group starts moving from one side of the play area towards the other side, but they must observe and obey traffic lights.
When the person acting as traffic lights shouts “Green Light,” all players are expected to move towards the other side. However, when he/she shouts “Red Light,” all players are expected to stop and freeze.
The person acting as the traffic light can also face the other players to signal green light and turn his/her back on them to mean red light. This variation usually adds some excitement and fun to the game.
The game is designed to work on the listening skills of your kids and teach them patience. Although you may not burn many calories as the leader, the kids will get plenty of workouts from walking and running.
Nature play and fresh air are critical to child development. However, it doesn’t mean that parents can’t join their young ones in play. Parks and playgrounds need to have versatile green spaces and tools that allow family play.
The games highlighted in this post blend perfectly with the natural surroundings and encourage your little ones to play a crucial role during family playtime. Try them out with your kids, and let us know whether you enjoyed playing them.