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Reviving Outdoor Play: Retro Games for Active Families

Escape the screens; run free at Sweet Forest Breeze.

Kids playing tag in open space

During the eclipse week, my kids and I embraced great outdoors. Armed with nothing but a big gold playball, we ventured outside and got our bodies moving. We dusted off some classic games and even improvised a few new ones along the way.

This outdoor escapade got me pondering—why do we default to screens when boredom strikes? There's something magical about engaging our minds and bodies, catching our breath on a "base". Being physically active and mentally stimulated helped me achieve a state of flow, a chance to be a zombie; no phone scrolling required. Through my kids' laughter and fun, I found my 10-year-old self, back in the 1980s, no worries, no next, just joy.

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So, let's ditch the screens and get moving! Here's a curated list of timeless games to keep boredom at bay:

  1. Hide and Seek: This timeless classic involves one person hiding while others seek, and then the roles reverse. No list is complete without it.

  2. Tag: Channel your inner sprinter as you evade being tagged by the designated "it."

My Kids taught me the following: All a modern twist on the classic game of tag that adds elements of strategy, mystery, and role-playing.

Bulldog Bulldog:

Players: Ideally, a larger group, best with 6 or more participants.

  • Setup: Designate one or two players as "bulldogs" in the middle of the playing area. The rest start at one end.

  • Gameplay: Players must run from one end of the playing area to the other without getting caught by the bulldogs. Once caught, players become bulldogs and help catch remaining players. Last player caught wins and becomes first bulldog in next round.


  • Players: Best played with group of 4 or more.

  • Setup: Secretly choose one player to be the "imposter" and the rest as "detectives."

  • Gameplay: Detectives must figure out who the imposter is before they tag everyone. Imposter tries to tag as many detectives without revealing their identity. If a detective suspects someone, they call out their name. Correct guess reveals imposter, wrong guess eliminates detective.



  • Players: Best with at least 4.

  • Setup: Designate one or two players as "zombies" and the rest as "survivors."

  • Gameplay: Zombies try to tag survivors, turning them into zombies. Game continues until all survivors are tagged. Last survivor standing becomes first zombie in next round.

3. Red Light, Green Light: A game of speed and agility where you freeze on "red light" and dash on "green light."

4. Statues: Strike a pose and hold your position until the caller says "statue," but beware—movement means elimination!

5. Big Gold Playball: Buy at the grocery store, repeat after dog pops,

These games are entertaining and promote outdoor activity and family bonding. So, next time boredom looms, remember to escape the screens and run free at Sweet Forest Breeze.

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