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Peaceful games
Peaceful games

These fun games rely on ingenuity, and the activity is not too intense. They are great to play in between very active games, and kids will be able to spend a long time outside playing these games. Make sure you have enough warm layers for this outdoor fun.

Guess and run

Minimum 3 players


In this game, the winner is not the fastest player but the one who is best at guessing their own speed. Every player guesses how long it will take them to run between two certain points. Then they try running to see how close their guess was. The players try to improve their ability to estimate how long the run will take.

Simon says

Minimum 3 players


In this game, the winner is not the fastest player but the one who is best at guessing their own speed. Every player guesses how long it will take them to run between two certain points. Then they try running to see how close their guess was. The players try to improve their ability to estimate how long the run will take.

Step tag

Minimum 3 players


The players line up on the same starting line and the tagged player decides how many steps will be taken and in which direction. The players step forward as instructed and then remain in their places. The tagged player takes one step fewer than the other players. After stepping forward, the tagged player tries to reach the nearest player and touch them. Players can try to stretch themselves as far as they can but they must keep one leg on the ground. If the tagged player can touch another player, they are tagged and the game continues from where it left off. The type of steps can be agreed upon at the start of the game: mini steps, mouse steps, giant steps, etc.

Living snowman

Minimum 2 players


In Germany, children learn to build a slightly different kind of snowman together. Begin in the normal way, by rolling up a big snowball to make the snowman’s legs. The next snowball is made a bit smaller and is lifted onto the first snowball to make the snowman’s torso. Arms are made out of snow or twigs and placed on the left and right sides of the torso. The snowman’s buttons can be made from stones, pine cones or even acorns. Everything is ready – except the head. This is not made out of snow – instead, the children stand behind the snowman to give him a face. They each take it in turns to see what they look like as snowmen. It is a good idea to take some fun photos of these snow characters.

Giant's leap

Minimum 3 players


This game aims to get players working together to jump as far as possible. The first player jumps as far as possible from the starting line. The next player jumps from the place where the previous player landed. Each player adds their own jump to the overall leap. If space is limited, the players can occasionally jump backwards. Players can either jump from standing, take a run-up or do a triple jump. If there are a lot of players, competing teams can be created.

10 sticks on the board

Minimum 3 players


This classic summer game has been around for decades. The game requires ten wooden sticks and a board, as well as a stone or piece of wood to be placed under the centre of the board. One of the players is chosen at random to be the searcher. The sticks are placed on the low end of the board and then a player stamps on the other end to send them flying everywhere. The searcher must collect all 10 sticks and put them back on the board while the other players go and hide. When the searcher has put all of the sticks back on the board, they shout, “Ten sticks on the board!”, and begin searching for the hiding players. When the searcher finds a hiding player, both of them start running towards the board. If the searcher gets to the board first, they touch the board and shout the name of the person they have found, and that person is imprisoned and must wait until the rest of the players are found. If a hidden player makes it to the board first, they stamp on the board, sending the sticks flying again, and then run back to hide. The other hidden players can also rescue imprisoned players if they get to the board and send the sticks flying before the searcher gets there. When everyone has been found, the first player found becomes the searcher.

Snow angel

Minimum 1 players


This winter game is well known in at least Denmark and Finland. Lie on your back in soft virgin snow. Open and close your legs to draw the shape of an angel. Flap your arms up and down in the snow to create wings. You can then decorate the angel: give it hair, eyes and a mouth using things like stones, sticks and pine needles – whatever you can find outside. A candle can also be placed in the angel’s hand and the hem of the skirt can be decorated.

Snow bowling

Minimum 3 players


This winter version of the familiar bowling game originates in Germany. First, a bowling lane is made by trampling the snow down tightly. The skittles can be empty plastic bottles and the bowling ball can be a suitably large bouncy ball or football. If you can make a tightly compacted snowball, that can also be used. The winner is the player who can knock over the most skittles.

Snowball race

Minimum 3 players


This German game works best with wet snow. Each competitor begins with a snowball the size of their hand. When the leader of the game says, “Go!”, each player puts their snowball on the ground and tries to make it as big as possible by rolling it through the snow. The winner is the one who makes the biggest snowball in the agreed time. Get everyone rolling giant snowballs!

Number ball

Minimum 4 players


The players sit in a circle and one of the players is in the middle holding a ball. A number is given to each of the other players. The player in the middle throws the ball up into the air and shouts a number. The person whose number was called has to try and catch the ball before it drops to the ground. If they are successful, they become the thrower. If they cannot catch it, the player in the middle carries on throwing the ball.

Kiss dance

Minimum 6 players


This is a game from Poland. To start with, the players form a circle around one player who is blindfolded. The other players begin to move round in the circle and the player in the middle points to someone. The player who was pointed at stands back-to-back with the player in the middle and the two players join arms at the elbow. The circle begins to count, “One, two, three!”. On “Three”, the back-to-back players turn their heads left or right. If they turn to face different ways, they shake each other’s hands and someone from the circle comes to be blindfolded. If they turn to face the same way, they kiss each other on the cheek or hug, as agreed at the start of the game. The same player continues in the blindfold until they succeed in turning their head a different way than the person they point to.

King of the forest

Minimum 4 players


This Finnish game should be played in a forest or park that has a high point, such as a large stone or mound. One of the players is the king of the forest. A throne is chosen for this player so they can look down over their land. The other players start the game far away where they cannot be seen and they try to approach the king of the forest from different directions by creeping behind trees or crawling quietly along the ground. The aim of the game is to touch the king of the forest or the throne. When the king of the forest sees someone approaching, they shout the player’s name. The player must then return to their starting place or hide and then try again. If a player succeeds in touching the king of the forest or the throne, they become the new king of the forest.

Invasion

Minimum 3 players


The players draw out a base on the ground the same size as their footprints, and they stand in their bases. One of the players has a small stick, which they throw towards someone. When the stick is in the air, the other player tries to kick it as far as possible and then measures how many steps (shoe lengths) there are between their base and where the stick ended up. They then expand their base by an area the same size as the number of steps they have measured. If the stick falls in the kicker’s own base, they lose the area that the long edge of the stick is pointing to. If a player no longer has enough space to stand on both feet in their base, they are out of the game.

Catch the stick

Minimum 4 players


The players draw out a base on the ground the same size as their footprints, and they stand in their bases. One of the players has a small stick, which they throw towards someone. When the stick is in the air, the other player tries to kick it as far as possible and then measures how many steps (shoe lengths) there are between their base and where the stick ended up. They then expand their base by an area the same size as the number of steps they have measured. If the stick falls in the kicker’s own base, they lose the area that the long edge of the stick is pointing to. If a player no longer has enough space to stand on both feet in their base, they are out of the game.

Conspiracy

Minimum 4 players


One of the players is the guesser, and they go somewhere where they cannot hear the others. The others are in a circle and they choose a leader from among their number. The leader begins making a certain movement and the others copy it. When the leader changes movement, the others also change. The guesser goes into the middle of the circle and tries to work out who the leader is. The others must be careful not to give it away by looking at the leader. When the guesser finds the leader, someone else becomes the guesser.

Mirror

Minimum 3 players


One of the players is the mirror and they stand with their back to the others. The others line up on the starting line about 20 metres away from the mirror and try to creep towards the mirror. The mirror turns around suddenly to face the moving players. If the mirror notices someone moving, they shout that player’s name and the player has to go back to the starting line. The player who touches the mirror first and shouts, “Mirror”, becomes the next mirror.

Sardines

Minimum 3 players


One of the players is the guesser, and they go somewhere where they cannot hear the others. The others are in a circle and they choose a leader from among their number. The leader begins making a certain movement and the others copy it. When the leader changes movement, the others also change. The guesser goes into the middle of the circle and tries to work out who the leader is. The others must be careful not to give it away by looking at the leader. When the guesser finds the leader, someone else becomes the guesser.

Circle of friends

Minimum 3 players


The players form a circle around one of the players. The player in the middle keeps their knees straight and leans forwards, backwards or sideways. One of the people in the circle catches them and nudges them gently back to a standing position. The player in the middle then leans in a different direction, and other players support them so they do not fall. The player in the middle changes every couple of minutes.

Photographer

Minimum 3 players


Keep your mobile phone in your pocket – we will be taking a different sort of photo! One of the players is chosen as the photographer. They take the hand of each player one by one, spin the player around a few times and let them go. The player remains in the position they happened to end up in after being spun around. When the photographer has spun all the players around, they see who has ended up in the funniest position – in other words, whose “photograph” is the best. The person chosen by the photographer becomes the next photographer.

Colour

Minimum 3 players


This classic Finnish game can also involve younger players – and it will be familiar to grandparents all over the country. One of the players is the “colour” and they stand against a wall with their back to the others. The others line up on the starting line about 20 metres away from the colour. The colour says, “The person dressed in red can move three chicken-steps forward”, or a variation on this theme. The colour’s orders change all the time and the type of step can also change – for example, a giant big step, a little mouse step, etc. The first player to touch the colour and shout, “Colour”, becomes the next colour.