Lots of people suddenly find themselves homeschooling – including ourselves. Children need a regular outlet for their energy, even if it is just a five minute run-around in the garden or local greenspace. It helps keep things calm and everyone happy and positive. Playing a game together lightens any tensions that might arise from suddenly finding yourselves in the new roles of being teacher and student and strengthens the bond between you by having a positive experience together.
We love tag games. Kids love tag games. Surely, adults love tag games if given half a chance! There are endless variations of tag but this is one of our favourites: You’re only safe is… It is great for learning to identify different plant and tree species, setting boundaries and letting off steam!
You will need
- at least two people
- an outdoor space – the bigger the better but you can even play in a small garden; make sure there are not too many trip hazards though nor plants that could accidentally be trampled (stay clear of patches of wild garlic and bluebells too)
- plant or tree ID resources if you need and have
So, here is how to play it:
- Agree on a boundary
- Go around the area together and have a look at 4-6 different plants or tree species; try and identify them together if you can. If you don’t know what they are, you can always make up a name or use descriptions (e.g. the tree with the white/smooth/flaky bark, the funny face, the fairy pond)!
- The tagger calls out one of the names; the others need to get to that plant or tree and touch it to be safe before getting tagged. If they get caught, they become taggers themselves.
It doesn’t always have to be plant or tree names, you can also vary the play by adding different challenges or adjusting it to the age of the children, e.g. by using colours (‘something blue’), simply touching leaves, sticks, trees or including other moves like ‘off the ground’, touching trees with different parts of the body…
This game is taken from one of our absolute favourite Forest School books, Learning with Nature by Marina Robb, Victoria Mew and Anna Richardson. It is truly inspiring, an absolute treasure trove of ideas and should be mandatory for everyone who is doing their Forest School training!
As always, we would love to hear from you! Send us your experiences and/or pictures; it would make our day! Let’s create a virtual outdoor community to support each other.