“Hey run run! Look out! Catch him; don’t let go of the ball this time!” Does this remind you of something? Well, playing games with our friends outdoors are all part of our collective childhood memories! As I go down memory lane, I find that I really miss all the fun time spent with my friends outdoors. I think our generation was never short of friends to play with, games or places to play. Coming to today’s kids, it appears as if they have been deprived of all the fun we had as children.
Is it the lack of space or the lack of time? Or is the overdose of technology to blame? Kids these days spend most of their time indoors, glued to the screen either with video games, play stations or the idiot box. Gadgets have become their new age friends. However, studies after studies show that physical activity is essential for a child’s healthy development, and here are just some of the benefits:
- Better immunity
- Lower risk of type 2 diabetes
- Improved cardiac function
- Better cognitive development including focus and memory
- Better self esteem and confidence
But even if we manage to convince our kids to go out and play, they’re usually clueless about what to play. So let’s solve their problem by teaching them our favorite childhood games – classics that’ll hold strong for every generation!
5 Fun Outdoor Games to get your Kids Moving
1. Hide and Seek
Practically everyone alive has heard of this game! A person is declared the seeker and closes his eyes and begins to count, while the others find places to hide. When the seeker is done counting, he opens his eyes and starts the search for the hidden players. This game is a lot of fun for children, and even adults can join in! It also teaches toddlers and young kids the concept of object permanence, besides improving agility and concentration.
We called this game Kunte Bille in Kannada, and it may be known by different names in other parts of India. For this game, we draw squares on the ground – three single squares followed by a pair of squares, and the pattern repeats again. Each player is handed a flat square stone called a “bache” or “pawn”. The pawn is tossed on the pattern on the ground and is supposed to land exactly inside the square for the player to continue. She then hops into each square progressively, picks up the pawn she tossed and hops back, all the while staying within the square’s boundaries. This game is excellent to promote balance and hand eye coordination.
3. Lock And Key
This is a fun chasing game that involves a lot of activity. One player, the seeker, starts chasing the rest of the players. When he manages to catch one, he can lock himself by keeping a hand on top of his head and shouting ‘Lock!’ He will remain in the same position till the other players give him a key. Then the seeker has to chase the other player and the game continues. This is a good game to get the kids all breathless and sweaty!
4. Human Chain
We used to play this game from tree to tree, since we had a lot of trees in our locality. The seeker will decide which tree or gate the players should reach. Then everyone gets together to form a human chain or escape and run from the seeker. If the seeker touches any player who’s running unattached to the chain, this player becomes the new seeker. This is a wonderful game where children can learn the importance of team work and the safety in sticking together!
5. Gilli Danda
This is a traditional Indian game involving two sticks where the bigger one is the Danda and the smaller one is the Gilli. A player tries to hit the Gilli with the raised end of the Danda. While the Gilli is still in the air, he strikes it again, hitting it as far away as possible. The player then tries to run to a designated point outside the circle before the Gilli is retrieved. It is an outdoor game mostly played in day light, lot of vitamin D for kids.
Playing outside with our friends gave us a lot of lovely memories to look back to. Let’s give our kids the same opportunity – a lot of fun outdoor time without gadgets. You’ll be surprised how much they enjoy their outdoor time too!