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Some Classic Family Games to Play Along the Knowledge Path

- John Muir

If you want to extend your visit beyond just a wander along this beautiful path, these classic games have been adapted for playing along the Path and will keep your kids entertained for quite a while!

Trail Bingo

All the participants choose something that is likely to be found on the trail; for example, a squirrel, a person wearing a winter hat, a crow, or a person taking pictures. After everyone has chosen something, they can start playing.

1. The game works like BINGO: All participants are looking for the same objects, but only one person can claim each sighting.

2. If the participants come across the item/items being searched. The player who spots the item first should say “BINGO! with the name of the item"

Example: "BINGO! Winter hat!"

Remember…you must say BINGO first!

3. When the item is claimed that particular item may not be claimed by anybody else. Example, if you claim winter hat, other players should find someone else wearing a winter hat. Also, if you find a group of something such as a group of birds, that sighting counts as one bird and only one person can claim it and others must keep on looking for birds or a group of birds.

4. The first person who finds all the objects and calls BINGO for every object is the winner of the game.

Note: Be mindful that the objects you choose are neither too difficult nor too easy to find. For example, instead of simply choosing a tree, you could choose a specific tree like Birch tree or Oak tree.

I packed my backpack for the Path and in it I put…

This memory game will challenge your children and keep their minds focused and sharp!

How to play:

1. The first participant says, "I packed my backpack for the Path and in it, I put…. (example: apples)"

2. The next participant repeats the item as told by the first person and adds their own item with it. (example: I packed my backpack for the Path and in it, I put apples and a water bottle)

3. The third participant would repeat the items of the first and the second participants and would add their own item and so on. (example: I packed my backpack for the Path and in it, I put apples, a water bottle, and binoculars)

4. A player would be out of the game if they are unable to list the items correctly and the game would end when players could no longer repeat the list of items.

To make it even harder, you could make them choose items according to the order of the alphabet and their first letter (e.g. Apples, Berries, Container, Dog leash, etc.) or by theme (e.g. all items have to be food-related, or an article of clothing).

Tree Huggers

This is a fun and entertaining way to keep the family on track while walking along the Path with the additional benefit of learning to identify our local trees. You can find a free guide to the trees of Nova Scotia here.

How to play:

One person will act as a Tree Master, and as you walk along the Path, the tree master calls out the name of the tree and everyone playing would have to run and hug that tree, e.g. “Balsam Fir!” The last one to hug the tree is out. If there are multiple trees of the same type (for example evergreens) then the Tree Master has to provide a specific feature of the particular tree that is expected to be hugged (e.g. Evergreen Trunk! or Evergreen Branch!) in order to avoid any disagreement. The last person left would win and act as a Tree Master for the next round of the game.

And then

This can be a fun game to play with the kids as the little ones are unimaginably creative and you would be amazed by the twists and turns the story could take.

How to play:

1. Nominate one person from the group.

2. This person starts narrating a story that would be based on the settings surrounding you on the path. It can be any topic, real or fantasy.

3. When the narrator is done with their part, they could say ‘and then.” And pass the story to the next person. You never know where these stories will take you!

To extend this activity when you return home, you could help your child write and illustrate one of their “And then” stories after coming back from the walk to treasure the memories.

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