Tag! You’re it! With warm weather making its long-awaited return, and as everyone desperately shakes off that dingy cabin fever, what better way to welcome back summer with open arms than to get outside and rediscover the sheer fun of backyard games? The last full week of May before Victoria Day is recognized as National Backyard Games week in the U.S. – why not take a cue from our neighbours to the South and get outside and in on the fun?
When the sun is shining and the grass is bright and green, it’s hard not to want to run around outside, enjoy the fresh air and take in the blue skies. Put the video games away, unplug that computer, and take the phone off the hook. Before the kids can even begin to think about whining “I’m bored,” pull them out in the backyard and play one of those old-time, good-natured, great-to-be-a-kid games! Know the best hiding spot in the whole yard? How about putting it to the test with a game of Hide-and-Seek? Feel like you need a little more wind in your hair? How about Freeze Tag?
Not sneaky enough? Kick-the-Can is a great spin on the old classic Hide-and-Seek, but with a few tricks thrown in. One person is tagged ‘it’. An empty can is stood up in the middle of the yard, and the one who is ‘it’ stands by the can and counts to 20, 30, any number of choice. Meanwhile, all the other players (typically a minimum of at least three) scramble to find the ultimate hiding spot. After counting, the person ‘it’ goes in search of all the other players, tagging them and placing them in jail. Any players that are brave enough to leave their hiding places without being tagged and can kick the can over will succeed in releasing those in jail… and the game goes on! It’s guaranteed fun that can last for hours!
Still not tricky enough? Wait for the sun to go down and then the bar will really be set high. Spot-Light Tag is another great twist on Hide-and-Seek. Just like Kick-the-Can, one person is deemed ‘it’. While they count to the magic number, all the other players scramble to find the darkest, most secretive hiding spot. The person ‘it’ then takes a flashlight and attempts to shine some light on those in hiding, tagging them with a ticket to jail. Any of the other players not found can sneak from their trusty hiding spots to tag those in jail, thereby setting them free. It’s another game that can tease and thrill for hours.
Lucky enough to score one of those 30-degree May afternoons? Why not set up the sprinkler, the Slip-N-Slide or, even better yet – have a water balloon fight! The afternoon will be filled with squeals, screams and giggles as water-filled balloons burst and explode right on target! Invite friends over to get in on the summer fun!
Backyard games are a great way to have some classic, good-natured fun, and get some healthy exercise as well. After being cooped up all winter long, nobody can turn down the opportunity to stretch their legs and soak up some sunshine! So call over the friends, bring the kids and get outside!