With Mid Term Break just around the corner and the kids off school for a few days here are a handful of ideas we’ve brainstormed to help you have some family fun together, without spending any money (hurrah).
1. Tell Me No Lies
This game is perfect for breaking up the tiresomeness of a long car journey or when the walk back to the car just seems too far. It tends to be the most fun when the answers aren’t necessarily 100% true – a little poetic license goes a long way.
6 questions for children to ask grown ups:
- Who did you sit next to at school? Did you like them?
- When you were little what was the most trouble you got in to? Who was the naughtiest in your class?
- What were you good at at school? Were you the teacher’s pet?
- What was the best job you’ve ever had? What do you do all day now?
- Who was your best friend at school? Why do you like them?
- What nickname did you get given at school?
6 questions for grown ups to ask children:
- Who is your best friend at school? Why do you like them?
- What kind of pet would you have if you could have anything at all? What would you call it?
- What are you most good at?
- What is the bravest thing you’ve ever done?
- What do you want to be when you grow up?
- What’s the best joke you know?
Tip: Grandparents and those with a great imagination tend to be very good at this game.
2. Pick Up Sticks
Task everyone in the group to find a number of good sticks, that is ones that are pretty much the same diameter and no more than a foot long. Depending how easy or hard you want the game to be you will need about twenty sticks.
Once you have all the sticks together, grab them in to a bundle and stand them on their ends. Then simply let them go so that they all fall higgledy piggeldy on to the ground.
Starting with the youngest player, all each player has to do is pick up a stick off the pile, one at a time, without disturbing any other sticks. This is not as easy as it sounds. If you disturb a neighbouring stick you loose your turn. The person with the most sticks in their stash at the end of the game is the winner.
Tip: If you have a big age range in your group introduce a rule that anyone over 10 must play the game with their left hand (if they are right handed, and vice versa).
3. Matchbox Treasure Hunt
There’s something very satisfying about showing off your treasure at the end of this game. For those competitively minded groups who need a winner it’s best to appoint your judge before you start and make sure that the matchboxes are anonymous.
To start, each player is given an empty matchbox and a time of 30 minutes to collect as much treasure to fit in their matchbox as possible.
Depending where you are your treasure could include things like:
- a match
- a small birdfeather
- a daisy
- a button
- a small leaf
- something that could be folded up
- a shell
- a colourful stone
Tip: You vary the size of matchboxes, depending on age and/or ability, to up the fun stakes.
4. Stick in the Mud
This is a very old chasing game that is good for a large number of people, about 10 or more is perfect.
First of all establish your boundaries so that no one runs off; make sure your ‘mud’ area is not too big (you’ll get exhausted) or too small (the game will be over too quick).
Choose someone to be It and then, once you say go, everyone else must start running. The person who is It now has to touch the others to make them into sticks. Once you’re touched and turned into a stick you must stand still with your hands in the air and legs apart. You can only move again once someone else has crawled under your legs to free you.
You can’t be turned into a stick yourself if you’re in the process of freeing someone else, ie crawling through their legs.
The game ends once everyone is turned into a stick and there is no one available left to free the sticks. Or you’re exhausted.
To make the game even more fun you could designate a Time Out area where you can go to catch your breath and not be caught. The only rule is that just one person is allowed in it at a time so, if someone else visits Time Out when you’re there, you need to move on, even if you’ve just arrived. A bit mean, maybe, but all part of the game.
Tip: The big patch of grass next to the playground at Ards Forest Park is perfect for this game!
5. Nature Scavenger Hunt
Give each child or team the task of finding the following items. Whoever does it the quickest is the winner
- A feather
- Something to eat
- Something beginning with S
- Something that crawls
- Something fluffy
- A white flower
- 3 different leaves
- Something to wear
- Something that’s red
- A rock or stone with different colours
- A shell
- A seed
- A twig with a bend in it
- Something soft
- Something hard
- Something green
Tip: Follow the marine trail through Ards Forest Park for best results. Whoever has the most number of items by the time you get back to the playground is the winner.
What are your favourite free games to entertain the kids with? Please share!