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Crossing the River

Minimum number = 6 for one team or 12 for two teams
If there are more than 11 children divide them into two teams. They the stand in a team line at one end of the room. Give the person at the front of the line two cushions. Set chairs opposite each team several paces away (the same length for each team). Explain that they are on the banks of a wide river and they must cross to the other side, marked by the chair. They may only cross two at a time and they must always be standing on a stepping stone, represented by the cushion. Anyone putting their foot on the floor (in the water) must go back and the transfer starts again. The first team to get all their people across wins.
The trick is that the first person puts one cushion on the floor within stepping distance, and steps on to the cushion, then the second also steps on to the cushion. They then place the second cushion ahead of them and both step on to it. The leader child then picks up the first cushion and uses it for the next step. Eventually both of them will have crossed. The companion now crosses back (on cushions again) leaving the leader safe, and becomes the leader for the next crossing.
Do not reveal the technique unless they are really stuck figuring it out for themselves! 

Find the Ball

Minimum number = 10
Form a circle with one child inside. One child in the circle has a ball, which they hold behind their back. All the others hold their hands behind their backs too. The one with the ball starts to pass it around when the leader says go. The child in the middle must identify who has the ball by saying STOP - The children must stop passing the ball immediately - and then pointing to them. If they are right they change places, if not they stay “it” for up to three goes. The ball can change direction at any time and children can pretend to be passing the ball as well as really passing it.

Fish Race

Minimum number = 6
Divide into two teams (or three if more than five in a team). In front of each team a table with a fish cut-out from card lying at the near end. The tail is folded so it stands slightly upwards. The first person in each team is given a wafter (can be a piece of thick card, hardboard, etc.). When the leader says go, they must race their fish off the end of the their table using only air to push it along by means of the wafter. As soon as they get the fish off the end of the table they pick it up, put it back at the beginning, give the wafter to the next child and go to the back of their team. As soon as everyone has had a go they all sit down. The first team to finish is the winner. If the fish comes off the side of the table it must be put back (as far as it had gone) and wafted onwards.

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Index of Children's Games

Children dancing in a circle
Image from Wikimedia Commons