Summer is coming and that means it is time for outdoor games. As the weather gets warmer it is time to get your children out of the house so they can get some exercise and have fun. There are thousands of different games that can be played and many of them involve very flexible rules and little or no equipment, but they all have some things in common; they all help the kids expend energy and they all help with family unity.
Chase games involve having one player who is designated as “it” who chases and attempts to tag all the others. The basic game involves all the kids running around avoiding being tagged, sometimes with a designated location, usually a tree, as being home base where they cannot be tagged. When it tags another child that child then becomes it and must lead the chase. There is no end to the game and no designated winner, but all the kids will get exercise and enjoy the game for hours.
Another popular chase game is hide-and-seek. The game starts out with it hiding his eyes on home base and the other kids hide as he counts to ten, or twenty, or one hundred. It then yells out, “Ready or not, here I come,” before starting to hunt for the other players. Any player found then has to run to the home base before being tagged by it. After everyone is found either the first player tagged or the last player tagged then becomes it and the game starts over.
Yet another Variation include freeze tag where if a player is tagged by it, he must stop where he is until another player tags him and then he can continue to the home base. For this variant, the kids can also designate that anyone away from home can then be tagged. Whoever is the last player tagged becomes it and the game begins again.
Capture the Flag
Finally, for a more organized approach to chase there is capture the flag. In this game the kids are divided into two teams and each team has a flag they have to protect while at the same time trying to get the opposing team’s flag across a line in the center. Here the rules vary; either the players can be tagged anytime they are on the wrong side of the line, or only if they have the flag in hand. A tagged player can either be out or forced to freeze until he is tagged free by a teammate, and the flag can then either be returned to its original place or can be left where it was. The game is won when someone crosses the line with their opponents’ flag.
Exercise is one of the healthiest things a child can do to avoid obesity and related childhood diseases and instilling exercise in a child when he is young is the best way to make this a lifelong habit. When your children are out of school and daylight lasts deep into the evening, it is even more important for your children to be outside and outdoor games are some of the best ways to get them off the couch and away from the television.
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