Just the idea of leading games for a group of kids is enough to make most people nervous. There are a lot of factors to consider: what games will they enjoy? Are they age appropriate? Do we have enough space and the right supplies? What if the kids aren’t interested, and heaven forbid, what if they don’t have fun?!
With the right setup and the right attitude games leadership can be a breeze.
Check out our top tips for games leadership and get ready to play!
Where to play:
The games portion of your event can take place in almost any space. Ideally you’re looking for a large, open and mostly flat area. Size requirements will depend on the type of games you’re hoping to play, so if you have your heart set on a giant parachute make sure you keep that in mind when you’re looking at different venues. Relay games are a little more versatile. Keep the end markers close together for young kids; these races are more about fun than endurance. Most importantly, make sure your games area is free from hazards (holes in the grass, branches, glass etc) to make sure that your fun goes uninterrupted. If space is really limited stick with stationary games like Simon Says or Hot Potato.
Types of Games:
There are 3 main types of games that we include in our party packages: free play, parachute, and relays. Of course there are endless options for the types of games you choose, but these are a great place to get started!
Free play games are great for drop-in events. If you’re expecting your guests to come and go at different times it can be difficult to bring the kids together for organized play. For these types of events we suggest carnival games, lawn games (like bocce ball, ladder ball, and giant board games), bubble stations and craft stations. These activities let your guests have fun at their own pace, but lack the energy pumping enthusiasm of an organized games portion.
Parachute games are always a kid favourite! Even when I was in school, if you walked into the gym and the parachute was out everyone got excited! Parachute games are great for young children and groups with mixed ages because almost everyone can participate. Organize the children into a circle around the parachute. Explain to them that some parts of the parachute have handles and some don’t. Let them know they don’t need the handles for any of the games; this will prevent them from fighting. Some of our favourite parachute games are Shark Attack and Cat and Mouse. There are so many parachute games to choose from, so pick what sounds fun to you!
Relay races are a fantastic way to expend some energy with fun and active play. Relays require 2 or more teams, depending on how many kids are participating and the amount of equipment available. First, organize the kids in a line so that they are standing side by side facing you. Explain that you will give them numbers and assign a meting place for each number. If there is an extra kid on 1 team, pick 1 person from each of the other teams to run the relay twice. When explaining the rules act out what they will be doing, or have a friend demonstrate while you explain. Always, always, always encourage the teams to cheer each other on. The louder and more enthusiastic you are in your cheering, the more fun everyone is going to have! Have each team line up in single file behind the start line. In each race the kids will have to run to the finish line and back while doing different things. When they return to the start line the next kid goes, and so on until every kid has completed the race. Have them sit down when they return to the line. When all the team members are sitting the race is over. Be creative with your relays. If you don’t have the equipment you’re looking for, improvise with what you have on hand. Our favourite relays are Egg on a Spoon, Hopball Races, Crab Walks, Potato Sack Races, and Hockey Stick and Ball races.