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11 Fun Games To Play This Weekend To Make Your Kids Feel Like Action Heroes

The animals have escaped the zoo, and we need your kid's help to get them back!

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1. Canyon Racers

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Set the scene: You're at the edge of the Grand Canyon, and you must reach the other side for safety before your nemesis does.

How to play: Two players try to push a cup along a string by blowing air into the open end. The first person to get their cup to the end wins. To set up, cut a hole in a cup and put it on a piece of string. Run that string between two trees, walls, or posts.

How many can play: 2

What you need:

2 cups

2 pieces of string

Tape

Poles

Scissors

2. Race Against the Clock

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Set the scene: Some important people from city hall are missing, and it's your mission to rescue all of them before a very important press conference. It's a race against the clock — can you win?

How to play: Gather stuffed animals and hide them around the backyard while players close their eyes. Set the clock for 5 to 10 minutes, and the game begins. Players must locate and return each stuffed animal one at a time before the clock runs out.

How many can play: 2 or more

What you need: At least 4 stuffed animals (more if you have more players)

3. Secret Agents

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Set the scene: Two opposing secret agents happen to be in the same southern European town. One agent must run; one agent must stop them.

How to play: This is a fun take on hide-and-go-seek. Pick a foreign country the agents meet in and then begin the hide-and-go-seek game. To add a foreign language lesson, teach them how to count to 10 based on the country they chose.

How many can play: 2

What you need:

A space

An imagination

4. Can You Climb Everest?

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Set the scene: You and your group of experienced climbers are trying to make it to the peak of Mount Everest. Avalanches, tumbling rocks, and other elements are trying to prevent you from completing your climb. Can you make it to the top of Everest?

How to play: There are two teams, the summit and the peak. The peak team sits at one end of the yard, rolling balls down the yard (the mountain.) The summit team crawls on all fours up the grass (mountain) toward the peak, trying to avoid the balls. If they are tagged, they are out.

How many can play: 4 to 12

What you need: Several soft balls

5. Zoo Escape

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Set the scene: A zoo keeper is wandering the grounds at midnight when they hear commotion all around them — the animals have escaped! The zoo keeper has to get all of the animals back into their zoo pens before it's too late.

How to play: This is a fun spin on the classic game Kick the Can. Players pretending to be animals hide while the zoo keeper (the person who's "it") closes their eyes and counts. The zoo keeper has to tag the animals to get them back in their pen. The twist? In the middle of the field, there is a can. If one of the animals is able to knock over the can without getting tagged, all the captured animals are released.

How many can play: 3 or more

What you need:

A can or large hollow object to kick

6. Sneaky Cookie Thieves

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Set the scene: Two teams have secret cookie recipes in their headquarters they need to protect, but they must obtain their opponent's recipe as well. Sneak quickly and quietly, but don't forget to protect your recipe too!

How to play: A take on capture the flag, this game has two teams create fun cookie recipes on a large piece of paper and roll them up into a bottle. The bottle is placed in the middle of a circle in their "headquarters." The first team to get the opponent's recipe back to their own headquarters wins.

How many can play: Teams of 3 or more

What you need:

2 bottles

2 pieces of paper

2 pens or pencils

7. Catch the Kitty

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Set the scene: A kitty is stuck in a tree. You and your team of firefighters must catch the kitty as it jumps from the tree.

How to play: This is a spin on the classic game Spud. Each firefighter gets a number, and one person is designated as "the kitty." The kitty tosses a ball into the air, and all of the firefighters scramble away. The kitty then calls out a player's number and runs away. That person then has to run and catch the kitty. If they succeed, they yell, "Got the kitty!" and gain possession of the ball. Everyone freezes, and the player tries to toss the ball to someone else. If the kitty touches them, they get a letter (first K, then I, then T, etc.), and they become the kitty. If they miss, the person with the ball is the kitty again, and the game is repeated.

How many can play: A small or medium-sized group is best.

What you need: A soft ball

8. Street Racers

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Set the scene: It's a scorching hot summer afternoon out on the race track. The racers are ready, and the race conductor has a tricky track planned for them. On your mark, get set, go!

How to play: This is a modern spin on Red Light, Green Light. The race conductor stands apart from the racers and can say "green light" for go and "red light" for stop. If a racer doesn't stop, they have to go back to the starting place. The first person to reach the conductor wins.

How many can play: A small group is best.

What you need: Eager racers

9. Eye in the Sky

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Set the scene: You're agents in training, and before you can go on your mission, you must pass your final test: obedience and action.

How to play: This take on Simon Says puts Simon in a slick three-piece suit and the players as prospective agents. Instead of Simon, players must do what the special agent says. But if the special agent gives them an action with saying "Special Agent says," and they do it, they're out. The last person standing becomes the next special agent.

How many can play: A small group works best.

What you need: Eager agents and one special agent

10. Walking Through the Shadows

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Set the scene: How stealthy are you? Can you make it past the guards without someone noticing you or your shadow?

How to play: This is a spin on the classic game of tag. There is one guard; that person is "it." The guard must chase the spies and tag players' shadows with using their foot. If a player's shadow is tagged, they become the guard.

How many can play: A small group works best.

What you need: A field with plenty of sunlight

11. K-9 Unit

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Set the scene: The mayor lost the key to the city, and it's up to the trusty K-9 unit to find it.

How to play: A player chosen as the K-9 stands in the middle of the circle while a key is passed around the backs of the people in the circle. While the key is passed around, the group chants the following chant three times before stopping. "Key, key, who has the key? Is it you, or is it me?" Once the passing stops, the K-9 sniffs around the circle and gets three guesses at who has the key. If they don't get it, players pass the key again. If the K-9 doesn't get it on the second pass, the key holder comes forward by saying, "Oh, K-9, oh silly me, I'm the one who has the key." The previous key holder then become the K-9, and the game is repeated.

How many can play: Any size group works.

What you need: A key (preferably a fake one or a duplicate so it doesn't actually get lost)

Being an action hero can be exhausting. After playtime, treat your kid to the action hero of snack time, Mini Babybel.

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