Growing up, I was lucky enough to have a group of kids roughly my age to play with nearby. We lived just up the street from a lake, and the kids that lived on the lake had the absolute best yard to play in. I don’t ever recall them having a sandbox, a swing set, or even that many toys, really. But they had a lake we could swim in, a tree we could climb on, a hill made for rolling in the summer and sledding in the winter, and the perfect open grassy area for pretty much any game we came up with.
I remember playing kickball, baseball, tag, red rover, red light green light, sharks and minnows and every variation of TV show/movie that was popular in the mid-to late-80s (The A-Team anyone?).
May 21-27, 2012 is National Backyard Games week. It’s a week set aside to encourage families and friends to play together outside. Thinking back on the games I played as a child, I realized how little my kids know about these games. It’s not that we haven’t made an effort, it’s that rarely are there any other kids outside to play with. Have you ever tried to play freeze tag with just your little brother? It’s pretty lame.
Here are a few resources to get you outside and playing in your backyard. It might be a little quiet out there at first, but my hope is that as more and more of us encourage our kids to play freely outside, there will be more kids to play games with.
A great resource with more than 70 well-loved outdoor games. Explains how to play each game, and lists useful information like how many players are needed, what ages can play, what kind of space you need and any necessary materials.
We have the girls’ book and it has some great ideas, such as 14 Games of Tag, jump rope games, hopscotch and jacks.
Now get outside and play! Last one off the computer is a rotten egg!