Summer is an incredible time for kids! If you find yourself stuck indoors looking at screens, why not try these great outdoor games and get some fresh air together?
Despite the title, this is an Aussie classic! A fun spin on the regular backyard variety, French Cricket only requires a bat, a tennis ball and at least 2 players (though 3+ is preferable). Here are the rules:
- Organise your players into a circle
- Choose someone to be the first batter, who then stands in the middle.
- The ‘stumps’ are the batter’s legs below the knees, and the rest of the players bowl the ball underarm to try to hit them.
- The batter must hit the balls bowled to him or her. The batter can move his or her feet if contact is made. If the batter fails, he or she has to stay in place.
- If the batter is bowled or hits the ball and it is caught by one of the other players on the full, the batter is out.
- Once out, the batter is replaced by the player who caught or bowled him or her out.
Note: The usual rule is that players must bowl the bowl from where they first touch it, but let younger players move closer to have a better chance.
This is a fun party game for a large group, or simply a great way to entertain any young explorers in your household! You’ll need to purchase a model dinosaur kit and a roll of small circular stickers. We think it makes a great treat if they’ve been well behaved through the Christmas period. Here’s how it works:
- Find a spot in the backyard where you can either dig up the dirt or dump some sand.
- Put a sticker on each model piece, and number them with a texta.
- Bury the numbered pieces in different locations, keeping note of how many are buried.
- Let the kids loose and watch as they dig for ‘dinosaur bones’. Collect them all in a central place, so they’re not competing against each other, but working towards the same goal.
- Assemble your discovery to find out what dinosaur you have uncovered!
Note: If you can’t find a model dinosaur, don’t worry. This game can work with anything you’re happy to bury (except food).
It’s amazing how much rubbish we can generate in the holiday period. This year, instead of putting all those empty soft drink bottles in the recycling, keep them for backyard bowling! Once you’ve got ten, it’s incredibly simple to play:
- Line up the bottles in a triangle like bowling pins – four at the back, then three, then two, then one at the front.
- Use any ball you may have as your bowling ball.
- You don’t need to follow traditional 10-pin rules. Keep it simple: for every pin knocked down, the player gets a point.
- Play as many rounds as you want. The player who knocks down the most 'pins' is the winner.
Note: Paint or papier-mâché your bottles to make them feel like real pins!
Clothesline Art Show
Summer is a great time for the kids to make art – but where do you display all the things they make? Simple: hold a clothesline art show in the backyard!
Set up a table outside with pencils, paint, textas or any other art-making materials you might have.
- As the kids make things, hang them up to dry on the clothesline using pegs (you may need to buy a new bag of pegs, things might get messy!)
- Get the kids thinking about interesting ways to hang their artworks. Upside down? Back to back? Anything goes.
Note: Make it feel like a real exhibition by inviting other children from the neighbourhood to participate, and then asking their parents around for the ‘grand opening’!
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