With spring officially here, take advantage of
Alberta’s warm days by playing games outdoors and making
use of your backyard, local playground or provincial park.
We asked three “playful” experts for their suggestions.
Vince Ellis, sports specialist at Calgary Child’s Play; John
Davis, assistant executive director at Adventurers School
Age Care; and Jason Lidberg, assistant general manager,
YMCA Calgary, offered these ideas.
Perfect for kids and parents who like to get silly, this is like
a normal game of soccer, says Lidberg. Players walk on all
fours with their bellies facing up to crab-walk and kick the
ball on their way to victory.
This is a fast-paced game to get heart rates racing, says
Davis. Everyone receives quick commands from the
captain, including: “Captain’s coming!” (Salute the captain);
“Submarine!” (Lie on your back, one leg in the air);
“Starboard/Port/Bow/Stern!” (Run left, right, forward or back
until told to stop); and “Swab the deck!” (Pretend to scrub
Embrace the simplicity of tag and its variations, recommends
Lidberg. Whoever is “it” must slither on the ground to tag
players, who must stay in a small area. Start with all players
touching the snake, then count down “ 3, 2, 1, snake in the
grass!” If the snake tags you, you’re “it” and you’re going to
get a little dirty!
6 games for
kids & families
Play, learn and have fun this summer
A variation on basketball favoured by Ellis: hang hula hoops
on regular basketball nets. Players dribble and toss the ball
through the hoop to score.
Ellis suggests relays with easy skills for younger crowds,
such as passing a ball over their heads or under their legs
down a line. For older kids, he suggests breaking down
sports skills such as football where each team member must
hike, kick or pass the ball.
Nature bingo/scavenger hunt
Make a bingo card or scavenging list based on things found
in your local park, and add in activities such as jumping
jacks, burpees or running laps, suggests Lidberg.
— Zoey Duncan
See this story on applemag.ca for more games.
Take advantage of warm days and play games together as a family.