Let’s Go Outside to Play

When my grandchildren come to visit during the summer, it is always fun to go outside to play.  Those indoor toys and games will still be there on rainy days or when the snow is falling.

When the cousins have a play date at my house during the summer, we frequently walk over to the nearby school to play.  Sometimes we play hide and go seek in my yard.

I decided that this year we needed some new games to play in the yard so I headed off to the library for help.  I came home with two books that gave me several suggestions that I think will be lots of fun.


Tag, Toss and Run is a recently published book of lawn games.  It was written by Paul Tukey and Victoria Rowell.

The cover states that there are 40 classic lawn games – with variations.

I think that Crab Soccer looks like fun.  The basic idea is to score goals while moving like a crab.  It is for ages 5 and up and at least three players are required.  (I find that the information about Ages and Players is very helpful in weeding out games that won’t work for my group.)  The players scuttle around on feet and hands with bellies up, in a “crab walk” fashion.  I think if I tried this position, a call to 911 would be required.  The participants cannot touch the ball with their hands, except for the goalie.  A large ball, the bigger the better, is kicked toward the goal.

Wheelbarrow Races – I had forgotten all about trying these back when I was young.  Ages 4 and up.  Players 4 and more.   The person being the wheelbarrow walks on his hands while a partner holds his or her legs.  It is a race to the finish line.

Another book I found at the library is Mom’s Handy Book of Backyard Games by Pete Cava.  The book was published in 2000, but these 101 games don’t go out of style.

Multiple indices are an interesting feature of this book.  One index lists the games by age level.  Another lists games that require no special equipment.  The final index lists games requiring equipment by the equipment required.  These allow you to navigate the book more quickly.

Sardines is a game I know we will try.  It is for ages 5 and up.  This is Hide and Seek in reverse.  One person is It.  The other players count to 20 while IT finds a  place and hides.  When a player find It, he doesn’t say anything, but hides with It.  The rest of the players do likewise until the hiding place becomes packed – like a can of sardines.  The game continues until the last player finds the hiding place.

Marbles Baseball for ages 7 and up.  Two players are required.  The game requires a flat surface like a driveway or sidewalk.  The players  mark off a large square and then a smaller square in each corner.  The square in the lower left-hand and right-hand corners are marked “single.”  The upper right-hand corner is marked “double” and the upper left-hand corner is marked “triple.”  A circle between the two upper squares is marked “home run.”

Players take turns “batting.”  Kneeling about 3 feet from the playing surface, the batter rolls a marble or a small ball onto one of the squares or the circle.  Anything that lands outside the square or circle is an out.  Whoever scores the most runs is the winner.

Walk the Plank is for ages 3 and up.  Two players are  required.  The equipment needed is a rope or tape and children’s binoculars.  To play,  the players lay the 20-foot rope or tape in a straight line.  One at a time, the players take the binoculars and, looking through them the wrong way, try to walk the length of the rope.

Someone trying to walk while gauging distance through the wrong end of binoculars can be a hilarious spectacle for other players.

There are many other games in these books that might be just right for your grandchildren to play.

I’m all set for the upcoming play date with these and other games tucked in the pages of these helpful books.

Thank you for stopping by Grandma in the Mailbox.  Soon it will be time to celebrate the birthday of the United States.  I have some 4th of July postcards that will be traveling to my grandchildren’s mailboxes.  I hope you stop back to look at the postcards.




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