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English Playground Games by Natasha Hunston

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English Playground games, by Natasha Hunston


Base Dodgeball

  • This is best played in a field with trees or things to hide behind.

  • One person is ‘it’ and stands in the middle of the playing area with a ball

  • Everyone else stands at one end, in a ‘safe zone’

  • The aim is to run from one ‘safe zone’ to the other (at the other side of the playing area) without getting hit by the ball. If you get hit by the ball then you join ‘it’. Fetch another ball and try to hit people too.

  • The winner is the last person running between the two safe zones.


Chain tag

  • Choose two people to be ‘it’, the must hold hands or link arms, this is the beginning of the chain.

  • Play tag as normal, except, when ‘it’ catches someone, they must link arms or hold hands with the person on the edge of the chain.

  • The chain will get bigger and bigger and must not break.

  • The winner is the last person to become part of the chain.


What’s the time Mr. Wolf

  • Choose one person to be ‘Mr Wolf’. They stand at one end of the hall, facing the wall, while everyone else stands at the other end of the hall, facing Mr Wolf.

  • Everyone shouts “What’s the time Mr Wolf”

  • Mr Wolf replies by saying a time (only complete hours, no half past/quarter to e.t.c) for example “It’s 5 O’clock”

  • Players have to take the corresponding number of steps towards Mr Wolf

  • When Mr Wolf (without looking!) thinks that the players are close, he can respond to the question with “It’s dinner time!”

  • When Mr Wolf shouts this, he turns around and chases the players back to the other end of the hall. If he catches anyone, they become the next Mr Wolf.


Crab football

  • This is exactly the same as normal football except you have to remain in the crab position the entire time!


Piggy in the middle

  • This works best in groups of three, but you can use more if you want.

  • Every group needs a ball (either a tennis ball or bastketball/similar)

  • Choose one person to be the ‘Piggy’

  • The other players throw and catch the ball, while Piggy tries to intercept the ball.

  • If Piggy catches the ball then the player who did not catch it becomes the next Piggy.

  • If your group is very big, you could have more than one piggy, and even more than one ball.


 Hot Chocolate

  • One person is ‘it’, and stands at one end of the hall, facing the wall.

  • Everyone else stands at the other end of the hall, facing ‘it’.

  • Players have to move forward, until ‘it’ shouts (or whispers!) “Hot chocolate”, when everyone has to stop moving and freeze. If ‘it’ notices anyone moving, then they send them back to the start.

  • The aim of the game is to touch ‘it’s’ back first. The winter becomes ‘it’ in the next round.


1, 2, 3, Dragon

  • Everyone stands in a straight line, holding the shoulders of the person in front.

  • The person at the front of the line is the Dragon’s head, the person at the back is the Dragon’s tail.

  • The tail shouts “1, 2, 3, Dragon!” and the head tries to tag the tail, without breaking the chain.

  • If the Dragon breaks, then it is dead and the head goes to the back of the line and becomes the next tail.

  • If the head catches the tail then they move to the back of the line and become the tail.


Duck, duck, goose

  • Everyone sits in a circle, except for one person who stands on the outside.

  • This person has to walk round the circle, tapping everyone on the head and saying ‘duck, duck, duck...’ with each tap.

  • When they tap someone on the head and shout ‘Goose,’ that person has to get up and chase ‘it’ around the circle and back to their original place. If they don’t catch ‘it’ before he/she sits down in the empty space, then they become ‘it’ for the next round.

  • If they manage to catch ‘it’ then ‘it’ must walk round the circle again and choose another Goose.


Down, down, down

  • This works best in groups of about five, although it can be more.

  • Each group has a ball (a tennis ball is best) and plays catch as normal.

  • If someone drops the ball, the next time they have to catch it with just one hand.

  • If they drop it again then they have to go down on one knee and catch it with both hands

  • If they drop it again, one knee and one hand

  • Then, both knees both hands, both knees one hand, then both knees but NO hands

  • Finally, they have to lie on their back on the floor and catch it with both hands, one hand then no hands. After this they are out.

  • The winner is the last person standing.

I am the greatest

  • This is a game to practice doing Handstands.

  • Everyone stands in a circle and chooses someone to start (Player 1).

  • Then we sing a little rhyme which goes like this:

    • Player 1(while doing a handstand): I am the greatest!

    • Everyone else: Oh no you’re not, Not for the longest. Under, over, Pepsi Cola, 1, 2, 3, let’s hit it!

  • Immediately after the end of this rhyme, everyone except for Player 1 does a handstand and tries to stay in the air for the longest amount of time possible.

  • Player 1 is the judge, and when everyone is standing up again, he/she decides who did the longest handstand. This person becomes the next Player 1 and they start the rhyme again.



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