Games to Play at the Park
By Jim Radenhausen
Updated September 22, 2017
Some kids may be fine having fun on the slides, swings, monkey bars and other playground equipment when you take them to the park. Others may get bored easily and want to do other activities. With all the space available at the park, kids have plenty of room to run around and be merry. You can have them engage in any of the following games to ensure they have plenty of fun at the park.
Kids can play traditional tag, with a seeker chasing runners until he tags someone else to be "it," but kids also can play variations of the game. To make regular tag more challenging, have the "it" player keep one hand on the spot on his body where he was tagged while running after the others (making it more difficult for "it" to run). For frozen tag, whenever the seeker tags someone, have that person freeze in place in whatever position she is in at the time. The frozen player only becomes mobile by having another player crawl through her legs. When every player is frozen, the game concludes. You can turn tag into a team effort by playing blob tag. Have the seeker join hands with everyone he tags, forming a chain of seekers in pursuit of other players. At some point, you will have a large group of kids (who form the blob) chasing just one or two others. The game ends once the blob has absorbed any remaining players.
Your group of kids can play the traditional game of hide and seek, in conjunction with tag. After establishing a home base have one player cover his eyes and count to 10, with the other kids finding hiding places. If the seeker finds someone and tags the hider before he makes it to home base, that hider will be "it" for the next game. Another variation involves just one player hiding while all the other players cover their eyes and count. Whenever a seeker finds the hider, have him join him in that hiding spot. The end of the game comes when every player ends up in the same hiding space. You can have kids hide a small object in the park (one that others will not find easily), leaving others to search for it. Have the hider give clues in regard to how close or how far the seekers are from the object. Once a seeker finds the object, he can have a turn as the hider.
Captain of the Ship
You can take on the role as leader for a game like Captain of the Ship. As the captain, you give orders, and any child who makes a mistake either leaves the game or becomes a shark, in pursuit of other players to get them out of the game. After establishing a base as your ship (let's say you choose the swings area as the ship), make sure players understand the orders that you will be giving them. You can have players do any of the following: grab a partner and dance (the love boat); lie down on their stomachs (hit the deck); lie on their backs and stick up one leg (periscope up); run to the left (port); run to the right (starboard); run to the swings (to the ship); run to the island to avoid sharks (shark attack); and run to you (to captain's quarters).
Jim Radenhausen is a freelancer who began writing professionally in 1998. A resident of Reeders, Pa., he spent over two years working at the "Eastern Pennsylvania Business Journal." Radenhausen received his bachelor's degree in English/professional writing from Kutztown University in 1997.