Playground games are great for burning off energy and getting some fresh air so we’re dedicated to making sure you get the most out of your playground markings. We have already explored how to play Hopscotch, King Square and Duck, Duck, Goose so now we’re looking at how to play more classic playground games including What’s the Time Mr. Wolf, Piggy in the Middle and Snakes & Ladders.
How to play What’s the Time, Mr. Wolf
What’s the Time, Mr. Wolf is a classic game but one that sometimes causes disputes due to the sizes of steps that some children take (imagine normal steps versus strides). Thankfully, our Mr Wolf playground marking takes care of that, with the steps marked on the ground so no one can cheat.
When playing the game, one child will go to the wolf end of the game and face away from the other children. The children at the other end will then ask “What’s the Time, Mr. Wolf?” The wolf will reply with a number in the form of time (e.g. 3 o’clock) which will correspond with the number of steps that the children are to take towards the wolf. The children move that number of steps and count them out loud. They will then ask again.
As the children progress, they will be getting closer and closer to the wolf, who will be calculating the total steps taken. When the wolf thinks they are close enough, they will respond to the next question with “dinnertime!” and chase the other children back to the beginning. The child caught – if any – will be the new wolf. If no one is caught, the wolf stays for another turn.
If, however, the wolf hasn’t realised how close the children have gotten, one of them may be able to tap the wolf and become the new wolf.
How to play Piggy in the Middle
Piggy in the Middle is a brilliant game to improve throwing and catching skills, as well as agility. To play, you will need at least three players. One child stands in the middle of the circle and the others stand around the outside of the circle. Those outside will then throw a ball to someone else who is roughly opposite them (essentially just not someone right next to them as it will not cross the circle properly).
The child in the middle has to intercept the throw, catching it themselves and may need to employ some smooth running and jumping skills to do this. Once they have caught the ball, the child who threw it will then swap places with the child in the middle, until they manage to catch the ball.
If the child is in the middle for a long time, it may be a good idea to swap them out with someone else. To make the game harder for those around the outside, you could enact a rule of using bounce passes.
How to play Snakes & Ladders
This classic board game isn’t just for the table! Children use themselves as their pieces and will run up the ladders and down the snakes on the playground marking.
You will need a large dice to play this game and you can speed the game up if you don’t have much time by using two. Each player will roll the dice on their turn and move along the numbered game board according to whatever number they rolled. If they encounter the bottom of a ladder, they will ascend to whatever higher number that ladder leads to and if they land on the top of a snake’s head, they will travel down the snake’s body to whatever square houses the tip of the tail.
If a player lands on a square in the middle of a ladder or a snake, they will not take any action, as you must be on the bottom of the ladder or head of the snake to move on them. The winner is the first player to reach the final square on the game board.