Introduce a love of nature with some good old-fashioned tree games. Create some fun childhood memories just by heading to your local park, or your own backyard, and introducing kids to some tree games. Here are a few ideas for you to try.
Play the 'hug a tree' game
This game should be played in an area where there are plenty of trees. Players get into pairs and one person is blind-folded. They are then led to a specific tree by their partner. Here, the blindfolded ‘tree-hugger’ feels the tree and has to remember, the shape, texture and smell of the tree. Then they are taken back to the starting point, their blindfold is removed and they have to try and identify their tree.
Limber up and climb high
Climbing trees is one of the real joys of being a child. It is a great way to observe and appreciate nature and a great activity for children to do with their friends. The fun can be quickly ruined with a broken limb so here are a few tips to keep tree climbing safe:
- Always step on branches that are thick and strong enough to hold your weight
- Select safe footholds
- Don’t go higher than a set point (parents should set height restrictions).
- Always descend the tree facing the trunk.
Countdown to 'five trees'
Similar to hide-and-seek, Five Trees is a game that needs to be played in an area that has at least five large trees in it. Each tree is given a number from one to five. The child who is ‘in’ stands with their back to the trees and counts to 20. Each of the other players hides behind a tree so that they cannot be seen. The player who is ‘in’ turns around and shouts out the number of a tree. Anyone hiding behind that tree is then ‘out’. Everyone else is safe. Then the child who is ‘in’ turns around and counts to 20 again, while those still playing run and hide behind a different tree. Continue this, until there is only one hider left!
Building a tree house for your kids is the perfect project to do as a family and will provide years of fun and happy memories. A tree house can be as simple or elaborate as you wish and provide endless hours of fun for children. You can build one high in the boughs of the tallest tree for older children or low to the ground with just one to two steps up for younger ones. The important thing is to start with a plan and get children involved every step of the way: picking a tree, designing the tree house, purchasing materials and then building it.