Best Day Ever!
Updated: Nov 8, 2018
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5 Cheap & Fun Games to Play With Kids (or not kids)
1. Leaf Maze
2. Marshmallow shootout
3. Blindfold Sardines
4. Pictionary telephone
5. Rubber band wars
Leaf Maze Tag
This one is easy. Just get a rake and start wandering. You don’t have to be a maze architect to do this. The creation comes to life as you wander making paths. You should a lot of intersections, curves and dead ends in the process, but hey, do what you want. If a path doesn’t work the way you like, cover it up. It’s fun just to have people wander or race through, but my family, neighborhood kids and youth group kids love to make it a tag maze. One or two people are ‘it’ and the fun begins. No jumping over any leave barriers along the way!
SUPPLIES: A yard with trees in the fall
½ inch pipe insulation and fresh mini marshmallows work best. Stale marshmallows don’t shoot nearly as well. The pipe insulation is cheap. Like a dollar & a quarter for 8 feet. That’s four 24 inch shooters which is long enough. You can play many kinds of games. In your house you just want to make sure 1. Noone puts the marshmallows in their mouth to shoot them and 2. You have everyone in socks or barefoot to help keep marshmallows from getting smashed as much on the floor. You avoid them a little more if you can feel them and they don’t get into the shoe tread.
You can play elimination (you get hit, you are out) with the last one or last team standing as winners. 3 hits and you are out. Get hit and have to go to some neutral place get back into the fight. Just shoot at each other. There are larger group versions I’ve come up with and would be happy to share those if needed. If you play outside, just remember to check and clean shoes of before going inside to avoid a serious mess.
SUPPLIES: One 2-foot length of pipe insulation for each person
At least one bag of mini marshmallows
Sardines is a reverse hide & seek game that’s been around forever. One person hides someplace while everyone else is waiting 5 minutes in one place or room. The group then goes in search of the one. If you find that person, you then quietly join them in the hiding place. The goal is to not be the last one wandering around by yourself.
If you have a smaller space or if it’s light outside, the original version doesn’t work as well. But if all of the ‘searchers’ are blindfolded, light doesn’t matter and a smaller house then is a whole new opportunity for the classic game.
For a twist, allow the original ‘hider’ to move to a different location, but only one or two times, so the rest don’t get frustrated.
SUPPLIES: Anything to use as a blindfold
This is a game that is best with at least 5 people and up to 15 if you have time. Each person is given a pen/pencil and one card or sheet/scrap of paper for each person playing arranged in a stack. As small as 3x5 works. Everyone writes on the top sheet a word or phrase (no more than 6 words), keeping it hidden from the others. Once everyone has theirs written, everyone passes the entire stack they are holding to the person on their right (or left as long as everyone goes the same direction) Each person reads what is written and places that piece of paper on the bottom of the stack so no one else can see it. They must, as best they can, draw a picture of what is written. Once everyone is finished, they all then pass the entire stack to the next person. That person looks closely at the picture before placing it on the bottom of the stack out of sight. Their job is to decipher what the picture represents and write the words. Everyone passes the stack again and the process continues until the stacks gets back to the original people. Write-draw-write-draw-write..etc.
The whole activity is a fun process, but it’s most entertaining at the end when everyone reveals each stage and shares the progression of their phrase.
SUPPLIES: Something to write with
A lot of pieces of paper
Rubber Band Wars
If you have any of the little plastic army men or any kind of 2-3 inch play figures this is extra fun. But you can even use crayons or clothespins or game pieces. Just arrange them on opposite sides of a room and then use the rubber bands to see who can eliminate their opponent’s pieces first. Either race or take turns. You can make it a little more interesting by allowing the use wooden blocks or Lego created barriers, as long as all targets are at least a little bit visible and the barriers can also be shifted my your shooters.
If you don’t have rubber bands, use the marshmallows and shooters you have from above!
SUPPLIES: Some kind of targets
Whatever "barrier" materials you want