Holiday With The Kids - Free Games To Play At The Beach or The Pool  

by Pool Builders on 06-16-2012 in Articles

If you are planning an outing to the park, pool or the beach, why not play these fun games which are guaranteed to keep your kids giggling and having lots of fun. And make sure you join in as well; it's sharing moments like these the children will always remember. The bigger fool you make of yourself the better. Your kids will roll their eyes with embarrassment, but will always remember this as special time.

Slow Motion Tag
Age suitability: 7+

Based on the standard game of tag that children have enjoyed playing for years, Slow Motion Tag is exactly what it says on the tin… Tag in slow motion. Slooooooow sound effects are a required part of the game and your children should have great fun moonwalking in slow motion to get away from the 'tagger'. Variations on this could be Fast-Forward Tag (where the game is played at super quick speed, with all words being said very-very-quickly-also!) and Sdrawckab Gat (backwards tag!) where no player is allowed to move forwards.

Grab the Flag
Age suitability: 9+

You will need: a very large open space, two flag or similar bright objects, two picnic rugs, enough players for two teams

Grab the Flag is suitable for your older children and you can be sure that any onlooking adults will also want to join in! Divide into two teams, each with a territory of a similar size, clearly marked out by paths, trees, flowerbeds, or lines made with flour. Each team has a flag -- a bright T-shirt will do -- which it hides deep inside its own territory, making sure it is visible and reachable. Each team also needs a rug placed a distance away from its flag to act as a jail. Each team then splits into attackers and defenders. Attackers must sneak over the boundary, locate and grab the flag of the other team, and bring it back to their own territory. Defenders must guard their flag by tagging any attackers inside their territory. If tagged, captured attackers are led to jail, where they must wait to be freed. This is done by another member of their team touching the rug without being tagged themselves, and shouting "Escape". Any prisoners can shout "Save me" to warn their team they have been captured, but they must not shout any other instructions or give clues as to where the flag or the defenders are. If an attacker grabs the flag, but is then captured before reaching his own territory, the flag must be hidden again and the attacker sent to jail. The game ends as soon as a flag is carried over the territorial line -- no throwing!

Helicopter
Age suitability: 6+

You will need: a large, empty space, a piece of thin rope and a cushion

A few rounds of this particular game always livens things up. It doesn't matter how many of you there are, but you do need a suitable open space. Get a piece of rope (a washing line is ideal) about 20ft long and tightly knot one end around the cushion. All players stand in a large circle with you in the centre holding the non-cushion end of the rope. Swing the rope gently around you as you turn on the spot. Players must leap over the cushion as it approaches them. Anyone entangled forfeits being crowned champion, but gets to carry on jumping. Vary the speed and direction that you turn, request hops or star jumps, or demand players squeak, roar or shout out their name as they try to avoid the cushion. And don't get too dizzy yourself!

Lilo Game Ideas
Age suitability: 6+

You will need: several lilos and a swimming pool

You may have access to a swimming pool on holiday or, if you are fortunate, even have one in your back garden! Invest in a couple of cheap lilos for hours of wacky racing. There are not only backwards, forwards and sideways races to master, but also the clinging-on-underneath race and the balancing-on-the-pillow-end race. Your kids will also enjoy Taming the Croc. For this, they will need to hurl themselves on to their lilos pretending they are crocodiles to be wrestled with, then roll with their crocs from one end of the pool to the other, writhing around and making as much splash as possible. Points can be awarded for most impressive croc-wrestle.

Sleeping Shark
Age suitability: 2+

The only essential for this game is a player who doesn't mind getting wet. Adults are particularly good at this and must lie in the shallows, pretending to be asleep. Any children playing must approach and ask, "Are you awake, Mr Shark?" With great caution, they might then try to prod him with a finger or shake his arm to check whether he is still asleep. The shark grumbles and rolls around a lot until he thinks it time to launch a surprise attack, when he pounces and shouts and tries to catch someone, making as much noise and splashing as possible.

Jump or Dive
Age suitability: 8+

You will need: a swimming pool

Another swimming pool game. One of your children runs towards the pool and, just at the moment when his foot reaches the side, the other shouts either, "Jump!" or, "Dive!" A correctly executed plunge scores two points, a belly flop (of which there will be many) scores one, and a wrong judgement nothing.

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