By Tara Ziegmont of Feels Like Home
Summer picnic season is well underway. If you’re going to a picnic or hosting your own, it’s always a good idea to have some games planned for the smaller picnic goers.
Here are the games I organized for my church’s recent picnic. These games were great because the older kids (as old as 13-14) were able to play with the younger ones (as young as 3-4), and everyone had a great time.
- Water balloon dodgeball – Each child starts with one water balloon. When you get hit with a water balloon, you have to sit down and you’re out of the game. After you’ve thrown your water balloon, you may come back to the bucket and get a new balloon and throw it at someone else. For a group of 14 kids, we used about 60 water balloons in this game. You could also play this game with squirt guns, if you didn’t want to fill all those water balloons.
- Sponge relay race – Divide the kids into teams of 5-6. Each team needs a big dishpan full of water, a sponge, and a jar or wide mouth container. The dishpans should be at the far end of the area, around 20 feet away from the teams, and the jars should be next to the team. Each child will soak the sponge in the dishpan, keeping as much water as possible in the sponge, then run back to the jar and squeeze the sponge into it. The first team to fill their jar til it’s overflowing is the winner. (This game works best with really big sponges and smallish jars.)
- Limbo – All you need for this one is a stick. Have two adults hold the limbo bar as all of the kids pass underneath. If anyone falls, touches the ground with their hands or arms, or touches the bar, they’re out. The last kid to successfully pass under the bar is the winner.
- Tug of war – We used the same teams as we had for the relay race earlier. Tie a knot in the center of the rope, and mark a space about 10 feet apart as the neutral zone. The team that wins is the first to pull the knot over to their own side. Encourage the kids to tie handles into the rope to make it easier to hold on to, and help the little ones to do it.
- Bubbles and water play – After the organized games were over, I put out bubbles, bocce ball, bean bags, and dishpans full of water with the sponges. The kids had fun making up their own games, blowing bubbles, and playing.
What are your favorite picnic games?