Summertime brings plenty of opportunities for picnics. You may hold a small picnic in your backyard for a few family members and friends, or you may end up attending a large picnic gathering for your church, place of work or other organization. More likely than not, the bigger the picnic, the bigger the number of children in attendance. Help the picnic organizers plan plenty of activities and games for children of all ages.
Types of Games
Relay races, eating contests and water games are all classic picnic games. You can have a variety of racing games at a picnic so that there is a race for children of all talents. A wheelbarrow race can pair less physically able children with quick runners. A three-legged or sack race gives children a chance to have a bit of silly fun. Eating contests include speed eating pies or ice cream or awarding prizes for the most creative edible concoction. Other picnic friendly games include tag games and large treasure or scavenger hunts.
The number of children attending a picnic determines the number and size of the games you can play. Races and contests will not work so well if you only have a few children or adults willing to play the games. You may need to have several games running at the same time if you have a large number of children attending the picnic.
While the games you choose should be directed at children, keep in mind that some adults may want to play as well. Also, small children may not be able to participate in relay races or eating contests. Have a special area set up for children under age 6. Keep the games played in this area simple but fun. You may also want to stick with games that aren’t too active, to avoid having children getting too wound up. Hot potato, where children pass a potato (or other object) to each other in a circle, is a fun, simple game, such as Duck, Duck, Goose.
Keep in mind the length of the picnic and any other planned activities during the event when choosing games. You may only have time for a game or two before the meal and a game or two at the picnic’s end. When planning the picnic, determine how long each game will last and the order you want the games to be played. Be flexible in your scheduling though, as some games may be more popular than others.
Enlist the help of other adults to help you plan and supervise the games. You may want to form a game committee for bigger picnics. If some games take place in a pool, hire a lifeguard to keep an eye on swimmers. Before each game, stress the importance of safety to the children playing. Let them know that being too rowdy or running in the pool area will disqualify them from playing.
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