King, send us soldiers!
This is a game played mainly by boys in the open air and evokes the atmosphere of medieval tournaments. It can be played by as many as 30-40 players.
1. As a first step two kings are elected with different methods (voting, counting out, or coming to an agreement).
2. Then the kings choose their players who become their soldiers. The two ‘armies’ must have an equal number of ‘fighters’.
3. The two teams line up facing each other at a distance which enables the players to run about safely. The members of the team form a chain by linking their hands.
4. A dialogue follows between the two teams. The army that attacks first calls out:
1st army: ‘King, send us soldiers.’
2nd army: ‘We won’t.’
1st army: ‘If you don’t, we’ll take one.’
2nd army: ‘Try if you can’
1st army: ‘Who should try?’
5. The 2nd army calls the name of a player from the opposing team; the person called must run to the other line and break the enemy’s chain. If the player successfully breaks the chain, they may select either of the two ‘links’ broken by the successful run, and take them to join the attacking army. If the chain isn’t broken, the unsuccessful player stays behind as the prisoner of the enemy.
6. The dialogue is repeated and now it’s the turn of the second army to attack in a similar way.
7. The game is played until one of the teams loses all its soldiers and the other one wins.
The players should be very careful so that no one gets hurt.
Hunters and wild ducks
A large circle is drawn on the ground. Every second player steps into the circle, they are going to be the wild ducks. The players outside the circle will become hunters. The number of the hunters is divided by five to establish the number of balls to play with. For example if there are 9 hunters, they have 2 balls, but 11 hunters can play with 3 balls.
The hunt begins when the referee blows a whistle. The hunters surround the circle and try to touch the wild ducks by throwing a ball at them. If a duck has been touched, they must leave the circle and stop playing. The ducks mustn’t catch the ball; if they do so, they drop out of the game. When all the ducks have been ‘hunted down’, the two teams change places and roles.
The game can be played against the clock:
- Which team can hunt down more ducks in a certain period of time (3 minutes)?
- Which team can hunt down all the ducks in the shorter time?
- The hunters mustn’t step into the circle.
- If a ball remains inside the circle, the ducks must send it out to the hunters.
- While a duck is busy sending the ball back to the hunters, it can’t be hunted down.
- Hunters, be careful! Don’t shoot the balls with force and don’t aim at the ducks’ faces. Don’t forget it will soon be your turn to be hunted for.
Squirrels get out of your dens!
2-3 players hold hands and form a circle/an enclosure which is called the den. There is another player – the squirrel – in the den. There is at least 1 (or there might be several) squirrel(s) without a den.
Those who haven’t got a den chant:
‘Squirrel, squirrel, brisk squirrel,
It’s raining; the wind’s blowing.
Winter’s coming, you’ll be freezing,
Hurry up, look for a den!
Squirrels get out of your dens!’
When the chant is over, all the squirrels come out of their dens and try to find a new one. But the denless players also try to get themselves a house. When all the dens are taken, the new hunt for dens begins with the same chant.
a) The squirrels and the players who form the enclosure must change roles at regular intervals so that everyone can be active and passive in turns.
b) If there are fewer players, some circles drawn on the ground can be used as dens.
- First the players come to agreement about the size and location of the playing field.
- Then they count out or chose a catcher who is going to be the fisherman.
- The other players are the fish and they must run away from the fisherman to avoid being caught.
- Whenever a fish is caught, they become fishermen and must hold hands with the other fishers. At first it is rather difficult for the fishers acting together to catch fish if they don’t synchronise their movements. However, they mustn’t let go of the others’ hands.
- Later, as the fishers’ chain gets longer and longer their job becomes less difficult, and the last fish are easily surrounded and caught.