Friday, June 1, 2012

Great Outdoors Month by Jena Galifany

June has been designated Great Outdoors Month. It is the time to get out in the open as much as possible and enjoy the world around you. I live in the high desert so being outside in the daytime can be hazardous to my health. Temperatures can reach from high nineties to the low hundreds. It is better to get the outdoor time in after the sun goes down.
Doug and Steve @ Knotts 2011

What can be done after the sun goes down that’s fun for the kids? Did you ever play hide and seek? It’s a simple childhood game where one person is “It”. That person would cover their eyes and count to twenty while the others all hide. Then the It person has to find them. If they are found but can make it to the counting spot, aka “home” before It tags them, they are free. If It is looking for someone else, the others can try to run for “home” and be free. Simple, right?

Now, our version of the game is this: Everyone wears black clothing that they don’t care if they get wet in and a sturdy pair of old sneakers. Each player is armed with a super-soaker and a squirt gun. Have a centrally located plastic kitchen sized garbage can filled with water. Floating in that water is a large stockpile of water balloons ready for use. If an attack is going on a balloon can be scooped from the container as you run by. These are ammo for every one to use.

The game is now played along these lines. No lights should be on in the yard so hiding can be creative. Be sure that there is nothing that can be a hazard in the dark yard. You don’t want anyone to fall during the game. Everyone hides. I’ve hidden by lying down in the shadow of a fence. I suggest checking for ants before trying this. My husband has spent time sniping from up in a tree. My youngest took a pail of water balloons up into her tree house and clobbered anyone who tried to sneak by below her. She was only five when she did this.

Now, everyone is It and everyone is fair game. The players may take up a hiding place to snipe from or if they are more adventurous, they can go out hunting the others. It’s all good fun and cooling in the summer heat. I have two and a half acres so our games got to be rather large.

 For her sixteenth birthday, my older daughter wanted a game of water wars, our name for the game. She wanted to have a couple of her friends on her team and she wanted to “hunt” boys. My son, my nephew, and my husband were the branded targets for the night. The girls had a blast keeping the guys on the run.

One should note that after the game has ended, be sure to let all the targets know. After the girls had their fill of hunting, they came in to watch a movie and eat popcorn. After a while, I noticed that my husband was missing. I went out to the yard and found him. He’d been sitting up in a tree, getting eaten by bugs, waiting for the girls to sneak by. No one told him that they were coming in for the night. Now, there’s dedication to fun in the out doors!

Jen in meditation @ Knotts 2011
All of this fun can take place once the sun goes down, after a barbeque or a day spent back-packing or taking a nature walk at a local park. The important thing is to get outside and enjoy the health benefits of fresh air and exercise.

What are your favorite out door games? Did you ever have a Badminton set or a croquet set out in your yard? We did when I was a kid. We also had a large tent set up in the back yard all the time. I spend a lot of time in that tent. My siblings and I were always out side and we had a great time. How about you?


Jena Galifany writes in the genre of sweet romance and adventure. She can be found at her WEBSITE, or on Facebook.


Jannine Gallant said...

Your water fights sound like a really fun family tradition. We did have a croquet set when we were kids. My girls still use it, setting up a crazy course when we visit Grandma.

Colleen Connally said...

When the kids were little, we were always outside playing ball of some sort. Now, it's playing ball with our dogs. They're big babies and the cutest things. One retrieves the ball and gives it to the other to return it to whoever throws it. They're too funny.

JenaGalifany said...

Thank you, Ladies, for your comments. I wish I still had a nice yard for a croquet set. I enjoyed that. My Puppy Dog just turned 13 yesterday so she doesn't play ball like she used to. But she likes to search the living room for hidden goodies!