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Healthy Happy Kids

Updated on February 6, 2013

Healthy Happy Children Playing Outside

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Promote Outdoor Activities For Your Children

©joaniebaby 08/09/2012

When I was a young child, we had all types of outdoor games we played when our family came together for a Sunday afternoon, or any other time. The adults played with the children which made it all the more fun. All of these games were conducive to good exercise and helped children work off their excess energy. Now days, with both parents working, there isn't time for such interaction, and both parents and children suffer for the lack of that. Children find their enjoyment in front of the TV or playing video games, neither of which promote exercise or healthy living. Usually while they are watching TV they are also munching on non-healthy snack foods. Double trouble!

My hope, in publishing this Hub, will be that it can promote more outdoor activities for young children and their parents. By doing so, everyone will benefit and the family will become a stronger, healthier and happier unit.

Some of my very favorite games from years ago include the following:

SIMON SAYS
This is an especially fun game for three or more players--the more the merrier. However, too many and it is hard to keep track if everybody is following Simon.

The player chosen or volunteering to be Simon stands in front of the other players. Simon tells the other players what they have to do. When Simon commands the players like this: Simon says touch your nose, the other players must touch their nose. If Simon commands: Touch your nose, the other players just stand still. If one of the players touches his nose, he is out of the game. You only follow Simon's commands if he first says "Simon says." The last player to follow all the directions correctly becomes the next Simon.

When you are Simon, you want to change the routine of your commands so you can fool the other players into doing what they are not supposed to. This game produces lots of laughs and helps children to listen carefully and follow directions.

Annie, Annie Over

This is a game that I had completely forgotten about and was one of my favorites living on the farm and playing with my cousins.

To play this game, you need at least two players, or two teams of players, a small ball like a softball, baseball, football, or tennis ball, and a low building which you can run all the way around.

The team, or player, who has the ball yells out "Annie, Annie Over" and throws the ball over the building. If the ball does not get over the building, the player yells "Pigtails" and throws the ball again. The team on the other side of the building tries to catch the ball, and if one of the players catches it, the players split up and run around the building trying to confuse the other team about who actually has the ball. The player who caught the ball tries to throw it at one of the players on the other team, or catch and tag them.

If one of the other players is tagged or caught, they become a member of the catching team. When one of the players on the throwing team reaches the other side of the building without being caught, that is their side now. When the last player on a team is tagged, that team is then the winner.

Besides being a lot of fun, this game teaches how to play together, eye and hand coordination, how to follow directions, and running, all of which are good exercise for the players.

Fox and Geese in the Snow

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Fox and Geese

My absolute all time favorite outdoor game was Fox and Geese which was played in the fresh fallen snow of winter. The perfect white snow was just inviting me to run out into it and make the Fox and Geese circle. If you have never played this game, and if you live where it snows, try it out with your children and grandchildren. They will love it and it is great exercise during the winter months.

If there has been a fresh new snowfall and you have a space about 20-25 feet in diameter to make a circle, get ready for some fun. The deeper the snow, the better it is for this game. Fox and Geese can be played by two people, but is much more fun with four or more.

First, the players need to walk around, one person behind the other, to form the 20-ft. circle, tramping down the snow as they go. Then standing at one side of the circle, walk straight through to the other side, cutting the circle in half. Make at least six sections this way, and stamp down a small circle in the middle where the lines intersect. This spot is called the Hen House.

Now that you have the circle made and sectioned off, it's time for the fun. The players choose one to be the Fox, or one player can volunteer. The Fox and the Geese (the other players) all start in the Hen House. The Fox yells out "Geese, Geese" and the Geese start running down the spokes of the circle to avoid being caught by the Fox. When the Fox tags a Goose, that Goose goes to the Hen House and remains there until all Geese are tagged. The last Goose tagged is the Fox for the next round of the game.

As I said earlier, if the snow is deep, it is harder to run around and the players get tired more quickly, which makes it more fun and challenging.

Just like any other game, you can make up your own variations of how you want to play it. Once again this is a game that adults and children can play together making for great family unity.

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