Last year we shared some of our favourite games to play at Forest School and we received such good feedback about it and thanks for the ideas that we thought it was probably about time to share some more! So if the kids (or facilitators!) you work with are bored are bored of the same set of games or you’re looking for some new ideas to throw into the mix, then we’ve got you covered. Team games are a fantastic way to get a group to interact and bond and for the young people playing to develop crucial ‘soft’ skills such as teamwork, communication, conflict management and leadership (and all whilst having fun!) So without further ado, here’s part two of our favourite Forest School games…
This is a fantastic game when energy levels in a session are high! Start by choosing a ‘seeker’ who has to choose a spot, close their eyes, and count to 30 whilst everyone else playing hides. Once they’ve done that the seeker opens their eyes and looks around (without moving from the spot – they can turn but not walk) trying to spy those hiding. If they see someone, they call their name and that person is out. They close their eyes again and count down from 30 whilst holding up a hand. Everyone has to come and high five them and then go and hide again. The seeker opens their eyes and tries to catch someone out. Next time they count down from 25 whilst everyone runs to high five them and goes to hide before the seeker opens their eyes. This continues, reducing by 5 each time. The last person remaining at the end wins. We’ve had some incredible rounds of this with hiders managing to hide within meters of the seeker without being seen, see how your kids get on with it!
This one is a slightly calmer game, but still lots of fun. The game starts when a category is chosen (e.g. animals, food, plants…etc) and everyone goes one-at-a-time to the facilitator and whispers something from that category to them. All suggestions are written down in a random order. Now everyone sits in a circle and the facilitator will read out the list and choose someone to start. That person will choose someone else and guess what they’ve chosen from the list. If they are correct, they have to sit behind the person guessing (which starts that player’s empire) and the person gets another go. If incorrect, play moves to the person they guessed. If you correctly guessed someone’s choice and they have people sat behind them, you get the whole row, hence building your empire. Play continues until one person has all players sat behind them in a line and has successfully conquered all other empires.
Hobbit goes by many names so it’s entirely likely that you already know this one! Everyone stands in a circle with a nominated player stood in the middle, blindfolded, and equipped with a water gun. They are the blind dragon and they are guarding a bag of marshmallows or bunch of keys (the janglier the better) at their feet. The facilitator points at someone randomly in the circle who has to get to the middle and retrieve the treasure without being soaked. The dragon can only use the water gun if they hear a noise. If you get caught, you have to go back to the circle and it’s time for someone else to have a go at taking on the dragon!
This game was actually created by one of our Home Education group attendees but it has been so well received by their peers that we thought it was worth a share! For every 5 people playing, one is a hunter and the rest are survivors. It’s a collaborative game with the goal of the survivors being to get from the start point to the safe point. The hunters are aiming to tap and freeze every survivor and prevent that from happening. The game starts with the hunters at the safe point and the survivors at the start point (these must be reasonably far apart). Once the game beings, hunters must attempt to tap all the survivors and freeze them. Survivors can be freed by their peers but make sure you avoid the hunters (although you can’t guard your victims too closely!) This is a real test of teamwork, who will be successful – the hunters or the survivors?
Sometimes we just need to be reminded of the classics right?! Sardines is a slightly more fun (arguably) and topsy turvy version of hide and seek. There is just one hider with everyone else assigned seeker roles. The goal is to find the hidden player but once you do, you must hide with them. This continues until everyone is squeezed together, hiding in the same place. The last person to find them loses.
We hope this post has been useful as a resource for your Forest School or outdoor education sessions – why not comment and let us know how they go if you try any of them out. Or perhaps you’ve got your own favourites that you’d like to tell us about – we’d love to hear them!
Author: Hannah Durdin, Content Officer & Forest School Leader
Date: Tuesday 2nd August 2022