It’s definitely the best time of year to be celebrating sports, especially if we’re lucky enough to be enjoying warmer weather. It’s also nearing the start of Wimbledon, one of the country’s favourite outdoor sports (again, weather pending).
As June comes to an end, we are making our way through National School Sports Week headed up by the Youth Sport Trust. Since 2008, the Trust has sought to work with young people in getting them to enjoy being active, whether it’s a sport, or any other active endeavour. Schools are being encouraged to #CelebratePE, and this year there is an emphasis on children in earlier education, fostered by a partnership with Entertainment One. This year’s initiative has been called the Power of Three, and is using TV superheroes PJ Masks to help spread awareness. Children aged 2-5 are the main target of the campaigning, with a recommendation that they fit in 30 minutes of activity per day.
We do love a good bit of friendly competition on the netball court or the football field, but as we discussed #CelebratePE, we couldn’t help reflecting on some of the most exhilarating activities of our own childhood: playground games. Perhaps some of these will spark some nostalgia among our readers!
What’s The Time Mr Wolf?
A learning experience appealingly packaged as a highly energetic and often tense playground game! Numbers from 1-12 are painted on the ground; one player is Mr Wolf, and the rest of us were then instructed to move up through the numbers until the wolf replied ‘dinner time’. It’s at this point it’d descend into what was essentially a mad chasing game.
Oranges And Lemons
In hindsight this one was probably a little dark for primary-aged children, but we enjoyed it nonetheless. Two players form an arch and sing the eponymous song, dropping their arms on the final word; the unlucky person is then out.
Also known as Red Rover, this is best played in large numbers! Running from one end of the playground to the other, avoiding capture until all players were tagged and became ‘bulldogs’ was easily the most common way to ensure an entire class of children would be ready for a quiet afternoon! This classic has stood the test of time, and it’s still played worldwide today.
Stuck in the Mud
Anyone else remember this gem? Much like classic tag, although once tagged you have to remain still (or stuck in the mud) until another player ‘frees’ you by crawling through your legs. Shorter players always seemed to be at an immediate disadvantage with this one! Best played on a dry day, else it can become messy very quickly!
Not a game per se, but definitely a high energy activity that sparked a lot of group participation. Best played with a long rope swung by two people, and as many jumping players as you can squeeze in! There are many variations of games using skipping ropes, you can find a great list of ideas here.
We’re definitely not endorsing this as a safe playground game, but it sure was fun when we were at school! Players in pairs would race against other pairs, taking it in turns to ‘leap’ over each other. It’s probably a good thing that a lot of schools have banned this one nowadays; saves a fair few bruised knees!
You can see what schools across the UK have been doing this week by following #CelebratePE on social media, and don’t forget to Tweet at us with your favourite playground games!