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Family Games Newsletter - September 2010
September 01, 2010
Welcome to the September 2010 issue of our Family Games Treasurehouse newsletter. In Australia, we celebrate Father's Day on the first weekend in September. It's a great excuse for a picnic get-together, but you don't really need a special occasion to celebrate with your family.
In our last issue, we looked at a number of outdoor team games suitable for a large group of players. In this issue, we'll look at some games that are good for picnics in large outdoor spaces and a couple of indoor games in case your celebration gets washed out by the rain.
Outdoor Picnic Games
Ball Trap is an active outdoor game for any number of players. One player (the Caller) has a tennis ball or similar while the rest of the players move around him. The Caller calls out the name of a player and throws the ball to that player (the Catcher). If they catch the ball, they then try to hit any other player gently on the legs by throwing the ball. If the Catcher failed to catch the ball, the Caller tries again by calling another player. If the Catcher hits another player with the ball, that player becomes the new Caller; otherwise the Catcher becomes the new Caller.
Astride Ball needs a basketball or soccer ball, although you could use a tennis ball for older players. Players are arranged in a circle around the central player, with their hands on their knees and their feet spread apart so they are touching the feet of adjacent players (if your group is large enough). The central player tries to throw the ball so that it passes through the open legs of a player, using an under-arm motion. The outside players cannot move their feet but they can take their hands off their knees to catch or block the ball. If they catch the ball, the players swap places and the catcher scores one point. If the outside player blocks the ball from going between their legs, they score one point but do not swap places. If the ball goes between their legs, the central player scores one point. Any player who moves their feet loses one point. The first player to score (say) ten points wins the game.
French Cricket is a popular outdoor game in Australia for any number of players. You will need a cricket bat and a tennis ball for this game. One player is the batter while all the other players are fielders. The batter and fielders can stand anywhere they like but, once in position, the batter cannot move his or her feet. One fielder starts the game by throwing the ball underarm to try to hit the batter on their legs, between the ankles and the knees. The batter can bend their body (without moving their feet) to avoid the ball or they can try to hit the ball with the bat. If no one catches the ball after it is hit, any fielder can throw the ball at the batter's legs from the place the ball stopped. The batter cannot move their feet to turn around and face the fielder. Any fielder who catches the ball or who hits the batter on the legs swaps places with the batter.
Indoor Celebration Games
I've mentioned Table Story in previous issues as a great indoor word game for all the family and I'll repeat it here since it is one of my family's favourite games. Everyone sits around a table. One player starts a story which the next player must continue. For example, "Sally and Jim were walking along the beach one cool morning. It had rained the previous night and the sand was still damp. They looked further along the beach and saw ..." Each player then takes turns to add a few sentences to keep the story going. The story can change direction and it doesn't always need to be realistic, but it must always make sense. After a few rounds, the original story starter can end the story.
Authors is a fun card game for four to six players. The deck is shuffled and dealt one at a time face down. It does not matter if some players have more cards than other players. Player One (to the left of the dealer) asks any player (by name) for a specific card. For example, he may say, "Alisha, do you have the Seven of Hearts?" If the chosen player has the requested card, she must hand it face up to Player One. Player One can then ask any player (including the same player again) for another specific card. This continues until a chosen player does not have the required card, ending player One's turn. The player to the left of Player One then has their turn to ask for any card, and so on. The object of the game is to form 'books' of four cards of the same rank (for example, the four Eights). When a player forms a book, it is placed face up on the table in front of the player. At the end of the game, the player with the most books wins the game. To make it easier for younger players to play, you may allow them to simply ask for ranks while older players must ask for specific cards. For example a young child would say, "Jack, do you have any Fives?" Jack would then hand over all the Fives in his hand.
As we have mentioned in our last few newsletters, we hope to publish some of your favourite games from Family Games Treasurehouse along with many, many more games in an easy to print book form. Look for our Party Games ebook coming out soon.
Finally, click on the image/link below to find out how you too can break the '9-to-5' routine by starting your own website that can earn you money and give you more time to enjoy with your family.
Until next time,
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