With summer in full swing, now is the time to maximize your time outdoors. Whether you have a playground in your backyard or one down the block, summer is the season to enjoy it. Hitting the playground to spend some quality family time with your children is an excellent way to start your day and beat the midday heat.
As parents, you may often find yourself sitting on the sidelines while your children play. However, playground games are a great opportunity for you to join in the fun while keeping your kids engaged and safe. Try these four playground games to play with your kids to unleash your inner child and reap the benefits of outdoor family time away from screens.
#1 Hide and seek
An old favorite, there is nothing more exciting than the thrill of the “hunt”. Have your little one find an excellent hiding place while you cover your eyes and count, then switch roles. Make sure to have defined parameters, so that they won’t leave the park in an attempt to win. Hide and seek will keep you both engaged while sharpening your child’s counting skills and their attention to detail.
To have some outdoor fun, try playing tag. One person is assigned “it” while the others race around trying to catch them. Once a person is tagged out, they become “it,” and it then becomes their job to chase down another unsuspecting victim. Not only fun, but it is also an excellent way to get some exercise. Define the rules ahead of time so things like “tagbacks,” aren’t argued about.
In the game of Lava, you make believe that the entire ground is made of hot lava. The object of the game is to keep moving around the playground, but you can’t step onto the ground. If you want to get a little more in-depth in your play, you can create an obstacle course to go through while staying away from the lava lurking beneath. Playing lava is an excellent way to teach your children to follow directions, increase their balance and flexibility, and most of all, have fun.
#4 Ghost in the graveyard
If you have a larger family or neighbors to play with, Ghost in the Graveyard is an excellent game for the group. One person is the “ghost, ” and they hide. The other players race around to try to find the ghost. Once found, the player who discovers the ghost in waiting yells “ghost in the graveyard” to signal the other players. The person who found the ghost is safe, but the other players have to avoid being tagged by the ghost. The person who is tagged becomes the hiding ghost, and play begins again. Your kids will learn how to collaborate and work in a team as they search for the elusive ghost.
Summer is the perfect time for you to resurrect the memories of playground games of your childhood while making sure your kids get valuable outdoor and family time. Check out Step2’s play structures for your backyard to get everyone outdoors and moving this summer and beyond.