Simple Playground Games

Updated March 17, 2017

Occasionally children need a little structure during a trip to the playground. You can accomplish this by organising playground games that provide structure, encourage group play and can lead to new friendships.

Basketball Spin

This game puts a spin on traditional basketball. Divide the children into two teams and line up each team behind the basketball court’s foul line. Place two basketballs under the goal. One at a time, a player from each team must run halfway to the basketball goal. There the players spin in a circle five times, then run to retrieve one of the balls. After retrieving a ball, each player must shoot and make a goal. After the player makes his goal, he can return to the line and hand the ball off to the next teammate, who repeats the process. A player has five attempts to make a goal. After the fifth attempt, he may return to the line and tag the next player. The game continues until every player on the team has returned to the line. The first team to complete the relay wins.

Snake Tag

Organise children into three or four groups of any number and select one child to play “it.” Instruct each group to link together by grabbing onto the waist of the person in front of them, creating a snake formation. The child in the front of the formation acts as the head, and the child in the back acts as the tail.

The child selected as “it” must attempt to link onto the tail of one of the snakes. If she is successful, the head of the snake leaves the line and becomes the new “it” player. Each snake must twist and turn in order to prevent whoever is “it” from latching on.

Flamingo Relay

Divide the children into two teams and line up each teammate shoulder to shoulder. The teams should face on another and stand about 12 feet apart. Give a ball to one player from each team. These children will be the team passers, and they should stand about 5 feet in front of the first player on their teams.

Once the game begins, the first player must stand on his left foot while his team passer tosses him the ball. The pair must toss the ball back and forth five times. During this time, the child in line may not drop his foot. If he does, the toss count starts over at one.

Once the player completes the five tosses, the passer moves to the next child in line and repeats the process. This continues down the line. Once the last player in line completes her tosses, she must immediately switch and stand on her right foot and complete another five tosses. The passer then travels back up the line with each player completing five tosses on the right foot. The first team to complete the relay wins.

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About the Author

Based in Atlanta, Renee Kristi has been writing since 2001 and her work now appears on various websites. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Spelman College and a Juris Doctor from Georgia State University College of Law.