Do: play family games outdoors

Play Outdoors

It’s easy to spend too much time indoors in winter. The wet weather and menacing winds can put you off but shouldn’t. Fresh air cleanses the mind and body; it will certainly blow the cobwebs away and leave you feeling invigorated. Asking the kids to go outside can sometimes be met with moans and groans so make it a tempting proposition. It doesn’t have to be gruelling walk in the hills – although that is good too!
Games are great way to have some family fun and exercise together. Take a ball or some equipment outside and learn a few simple team games. Here is one that we tried this week that practises some techniques and game skills linked to volleyball.

How to play

Split into two teams. Each team stands in an area that is divided by a volleyball net. Don’t worry if you don’t have one. We didn’t – we just had a dividing line. The ball is then thrown between the two areas. It is allowed to bounce once before being caught. Players are allowed to pass the ball to other team members before throwing the ball over to the opponent’s side but it must be thrown over before 5 seconds is up.
Points are scored if:
  • someone on the team catches the ball without it bouncing
  • the ball bounces twice or more in the opposition’s area
  • someone on the opposing team fumbles or drops the ball
  • someone on the opposing team throws a ball out of the area of play
Ensure that there are a few rules. Tell players that they are not allowed to run with the ball and insist that the ball is thrown overarm to ensure it flies in an arc through the air. This happens automatically if playing with a net. You can play around with the rules to suit the ability of those playing but be consistent once they’ve been decided.
The winning team is the first to score 11.