Games are effective for kids to play and learn and this one adds connecting to nature. For a play-of-the-day how about a nature follow the leader game? It’s easy to play, for any number of people of any age, practically anywhere, and provides lots of exercise too.
To play, find an area outside, such as park or a playground. One person can start off being the leader. Depending on where you play, you might be able to go over bridges, under swings and slides, across a grassy area, up and down hills, and around trees. Then switch to another person. Each leader gets to decide the route so even young kids can be the leader and go at their own pace while the rest follow.
For big spaces, the line can run, hop, skip, jump, crawl, and roll, likely getting grass stains on clothes in the process. Because this game can be played over and over, play clothes are advised because if knees don’t get grass stains the first time, they will surely pick them up later.
Look around for possibilities that aren’t obvious, like balancing along boards that divide areas. Often, these are right in the ground but if they are raised up, grownups or bigger kids can help the littler ones across.
Imagination can get some exercise too. Everyone can pretend they are robots following a leader robot, or dinosaurs, dragons, or whatever else kids can imagine. The park can be a frozen wasteland to get to the ice palace (just in case you need another idea to play Frozen) or one of the Lego worlds. Maybe everyone will be on a quest or rescue.
Not only are kids doing this outside, they are connecting to nature in a very playful way. Nature supports their activity and becomes a part of it, almost like another participant. Can you and your child go wild for nature with a nature follow the leader game?
(For the whole series of ‘go wild for nature’ check the play-of-the-day blog posts, starting with #1 on rewilding. )