9 Classic Driveway Games Your Kids Will Love
You remember the porch light coming on and Mum calling you in for dinner. You remember pleading for five more minutes before slapping a mossie on your arm. There’s still five more minutes of sunlight before you’re completely reliant on the porch lights and you can’t possibly waste it. Besides, Jack’s mum is still cooking his dinner and it wouldn’t be fair to leave him to play by himself.
For any person over 30, this scene pretty much sums up the average Australian childhood. To see it making a comeback generations later is wonderful, especially considering today’s technology. Be it with a chalk stick or cricket bat in hand, kids are back on the driveway and having fun, but what exactly are they playing?
Hopscotch is one of those games you can’t ever imagine going away. Hopscotch has been popular all over the world for decades, and while each country has their own unique version, the game has pretty much stayed the same since it first made its way onto Australian driveways.
To play, draw a hopscotch board on the driveway using chalk by alternating double with single squares and giving each a number. Toss a pebble, stone or small piece of chalk onto square one. Hop over the square to complete the board, returning to pick up the pebble on your way back. Toss the pebble into square two and repeat until you’ve completed the entire board.
Handball is a fun, fast-paced game that works on coordination skills. With chalk, draw a large square on the driveway and separate the square into four smaller squares by drawing a cross in the middle. Each player stands in a square with a rank order: king, queen, prince and joker. The king starts by bouncing the ball in his own square before hitting it into another player’s square. The player must then hit the ball, or move to the joker’s square.
3. Box ball
A simpler version of handball is box ball, which is more like tennis using a rubber ball and the hands. Two players use open hands to bat the ball into each other’s squares and if they miss, the other scores a point. Alternatively this can be played like ping pong by drawing a simple line down the middle using chalk, which serves as a net.
4. Jump rope
Jump rope is another classic that you can’t imagine will ever be phased out. This nostalgic activity is great exercise and the number of players can vary. To play, choose a jump rope rhyme such as Teddy Bear Teddy Bear and perform the actions as you jump rope. The longer the rope, the more people can jump in the middle. Anyone that stops the rope is out.
5. Beanbag toss
Beanbag toss takes some serious concentration and is an excellent control game. The kids start by drawing a circle on the driveway before each taking a different coloured bean bag. They must then toss the bean bag into the circle. If they miss they must keep trying, if they get it in the middle they must take a step back to increase the challenge. The one furthest away wins.
6. Red light green light
One person stands with their back to the others, who line up at one end of the driveway. The person at the bottom of the driveway calls out “green light” and everyone must move towards her. When she says “red light” she will turn around and everyone must freeze. If you’re caught moving you’re out.
7. Pretend car wash
This game’s for the little ones in your life, and particularly great if your toddlers have toy cars they love to ride around in. Set up a pretend car wash using a bucket of soapy water and a sponge and let them go nuts. Having washed down the car, they can then ride through the sprinkler to hose off all the suds. Fun!
8. Kick the can
A game that combines both tag and hide and seek, kick the can requires one person to stand in the centre of the driveway next to a can. This is the base for the game. All other players must find a place to hide in the garden. The person who is ‘it’ may then walk through the garden to find the other players. By saying “I see Katie behind the wheelie bin” Katie must then return to the base. The other players must try to get back to the base to kick the can before being spotted to free Katie and any other player that’s been captured.
9. Sight word islands
A great game for learning words is ‘sight word islands’. Let’s say there are three players. Start by drawing a winning circle and then draw sight word circles moving away from the winning circle to make a path for each player. Each player must choose a path to follow. To get to the winning circle they must jump on each site word circle one at a time and read them out loud before moving to the next one.
Simple and easy to clean
Children will happily play for hours on the driveway, and any mess their play leaves behind can be simply washed away with a hose. That’s a win win for kids and adults, so what are you waiting for? Why not play a driveway game today?