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10 outdoor GAMES to do with young learners

The quickest way for your young students to fall in love with you is to take them to the school courtyard and play fun games with them. So if today is a sunny day and you have enough energy to control a small chaos, consider taking your pupils outside and playing a few of the games we’ve listed below.

Mr Wolf

How to play:

 

1. Nominate one child to be Mr Wolf. They then stand by the far wall, facing it. 

 

2. The rest of the kids are all on the opposite side, as far from Mr Wolf as possible. 

 

3. Collectively they’ll ask: What’s the time Mr Wolf?

Mr Wolf responds with a time, i.e. It’s 4 o’clock! (remember he’s looking at the wall and doesn’t see anybody)

 

4. All kids advance by as many steps as the time provided by Mr Wolf (in this case 4 steps)

 

5. Students ask again: What’s the time Mr Wolf?

 

6. Eventually, when Mr Wolf thinks students are close enough after being asked about the time he responds: Dinner time!!! Then quickly turns around and tries to catch one person.


7. The person Mr Wolf caught becomes the next Mr Wolf.

Freeze Tag

How to play:

 

1. Depending on the size of your group, assign 1-3 students to be the chasers. 

 

2. When the chasers catch someone that person has to freeze and cannot move unless they’re revived. 

 

3. To be revived student needs to raise their hand, wait for a free person to come over and answer their one question. The question the frozen person asks can be anything, i.e. What colour do you like? Where do you live? Etc.

 

4. The free person answers, they high five and the frozen person is reanimated. 


5. The game ends when everybody is frozen.

Throw The Ball

How to play:

 

1. Students stand in a circle.

 

2. One person throws the ball to someone while saying a word, i.e. GREEN

 

3. The person who catches the ball must reply with an association, i.e. GRASS

 

4. If they didn’t catch the ball or cannot think of an association in under 3 seconds they must go on one knee.


5. The next time the same person fails they must go on both knees, then elbows, then lie down, then they are out.

Shark Attack

How to play:

 

1. Make two long and parallel lines on either side of the playing area. Leave as much space as possible between the two lines. 

 

2. In the middle of that area is the Shark

 

3. On the other side of one of the lines are the rest of the kids

 

4. When the Shark yells Attack! the kids must run from behind their line to the other side without being caught. Only when they cross the other line they are safe. 

 

5. Everyone caught by the Shark becomes the shark helper. 


6. Shark catches by simply touching a person. That person then must freeze and wait for the end of the turn.

Fruit Salad

How to play:

 

1. Similar to Shark Attack, students must run from one side to the other without being caught. It can be two lines with large empty space between or two walls on either side of the play area.

 

2. The chaser stands in the middle.

 

3. Now, every student is assigned one of the fruits: apple, orange, grape, pear, blueberry. 5 different fruits for the whole class is a good number.

 

4. When the chaser shouts Apple! and all student with that fruit must run to safety. The chaser can also shout Fruit Salad! In which case everybody needs to run.

 

5. If the chaser touches someone that person is out and needs to sit down. 

 

Variations:

 

There are also variations with colours where the word for everybody is rainbow, or for animals where the word is safari, or for vehicles with the word traffic

1..2..3... Monsters see!

How to play:

 

1. One student, the Monster, puts their hands against a wall, covering their eyes so they’re standing by the wall and cannot see what’s behind them.

 

2. The rest of the group are on the other end as far as possible. 

 

3. The Monster shouts: One, two, three, Monster see! in that time the rest of the students can advance closer to the wall where the Monster is standing. 

 

4. However, after saying SEE the Monster immediately turns around and looks at the students.

 

5. This means that when they hear the word SEE they must freeze where they are and not move. If the Monster sees someone move they can go to that person and catch them, which kicks them out of the game.

 

6. The Monster goes back to its spot by the wall, turns around, and screams again: One, two, three, Monster see!

7. The goal of the rest of the students is to touch the wall without being caught.

 

Note: I don’t think it matters that much but if you want to be grammatically correct, ask them to say …Monster sees!

Bang! Bang!

How to play:

 

1. Stand your students in a circle. If you have over 20 kids in the group then split them into two or three circles. 

 

2. Decide on a theme, i.e. fruit or animals

 

3. The first person needs to form a gun with both of their hands, point at someone and say Bang! Bang! followed by a name of a fruit. 

 

Bang! Bang! Watermelon!

 

4. The person they are aiming at needs to immediately pick someone else, point at them and name a different fruit. 

 

Bang! Bang! Pear!

 

5. And so on. The game should be really fast paced. 

 

The fun part is the gun and saying Bang! Bang! If a student forgets to do that they are dead and need to wait for the round to finish. 

6. When all but the last two men standing are dead, have them engage in a cowboy duel. They start back to back and then walk 5 paces in opposing directions after which they must immediately turn and shout Bang! Bang! The fastest gun wins.

Robin Hood

How to play:

 

1. Set up 3 targets with increasing difficulty, so the first one should be relatively easy, the second one medium hard and the last one difficult to hit. 

 

2. The targets can be anything from an empty bucket to a simple plastic bottle with some water for weight. 

 

3. You will also need a small ball, or a rock (or really anything students can easily throw).

 

4. Now, every contestant has 3 targets to choose from. The easy one is 5 points, the medium one is 10 and the hard one is 30. 

 

5. Before they throw they need to announce which target they are aiming at. 

 

If they hit it, they’re awarded with points.

 

If they miss, they have to answer your question. 

 

Easy target gets questions such as:

Name one animal.

What’s your favourite food?

Name 5 colours.

 

Medium target gets questions such as:

Name 6 body parts.

What things do we do in winter?

What did you do last weekend?

 

Hard questions:

Spell the number 13.

Use a Past Simple tense.

Use helicopter and ice cream in the same sentence.

 

The student with the most amount of points at the end either wins a price or is excused from homework.

Bomb!

How to play:

 

1. To do this game you’ll need a bomb-like object (a ball or a plastic bottle with water should do) and an egg timer with a distinct ticking noise. 

 

2. Stand your kids in a circle.

 

3. Decide on a theme, i.e. animals, colours, vehicles, school objects. 

 

4. Students pass the Bomb while naming the vocabulary. The trick is that each person needs to first repeat the previous word and then add their own. For example:

 

Rob: Lion! Snake!

Tom: Snake! Elephant!

Julia: Elephant! Bear!

 

The reason for this is to slow down the game, otherwise the bomb would be passed around too quickly. 


5. When the timer goes off, the person currently holding the bomb explodes and needs to leave the circle.

Duck, Duck, Goose.

How to play:

 

1. Students sit around in a circle.

 

2. One person, walking outside of the circle, is the Goose.

3. The Goose needs to tap someone’s shoulder and yell: Duck!

 

4. Then the Duck gets up and starts chasing the Goose around the circle. 


5. If the Goose manages to outrun the Duck and take its empty spot then the Duck goes around and names the next Goose and tries to outrun it.

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