With summer here, we all love to spend as much time outside as we possibly can. Especially those who may live in the cold winter climates! But, when there are multiple kids in the family, the age difference can be a problem when trying to find games that everyone can play together outside. How do you find balance when Playing Outdoor Games with All Age Groups? This great article from Hands On As We Grow gives great tips on how to make sure everyone is included in the outdoor games that everyone loves this summer!
Change Things Up In Order To Give the Advantage to the Little Kids
Everyone loves to win, but there are times when you’re working with more than one age group that it just works better if the little ones get the advantage. Generally, the older kids will understand the goal of keeping the little ones entertained and if you offer a bit of an enticement to the older kids (maybe an extra half hour before bedtime?), they’ll comply.
Think of games that automatically are easier for little kids, such as Limbo! Or, take the example given in the article and modify a game of Hide & Seek by having only the biggest kids hide, while the little ones seek. Or, create teams and have one team hide while the other team has to seek everyone out. Perfect!
Pair Up Older Kids With Younger Kids
If you going to play games where the little kids might still get confused by the rules or how to play, pair them up with an older child to help! Older kids will love the feeling of being “in charge” and like to feel that they are mature and capable enough to handle such a responsibility.
You also want to make sure the older kids don’t get bored, though. Work on having them do things that will make it a bit more difficult for them, such as doing races or hopscotch backwards. Or make their activities timed with them having to beat the stopwatch!
Allow the Young Kids to Lead
Attention spans are small, but even two-year-olds can manage being a leader for a few minutes in games like Simon Says or Red Light, Green Light!
Giving a child the sense of power that comes with leading can help build their self-confidence and even if you have to remind them frequently what needs to be done, they will enjoy it! Just make sure you set a limit on what is happening and make sure they are aware of what will be happening next (like when it will be someone else’s turn).
If something isn’t working, don’t be afraid to change direction and do something else! Making sure you have a relaxed attitude about the “rules” and your sense of humor is in check are always mandatory when playing games with a group of kids. Especially if there are multiple age groups mixed in!
Hopefully these tips will help to make your outdoor games this summer a bit more manageable, while allowing everyone to have fun!
Click on the following link for more details and to view the original article and image credit: How to Play Outdoor Games for All Ages, Together