Know any games for small spaces?

Making a den: one tried and tested game for a small space.

This blog is by Nicola Baird sharing ideas about thrifty, creative and eco-friendly ways to raise children. For more info about my book Homemade Kids click here

“I’m always looking for games I can play in small spaces,” said Granny Fiona  (my mum) unpacking another of her charity shop finds.

This time it is two badminton racquets and two white plastic shuttlecocks. She looks after her five-year-old grandson regularly and wants to make sure she can entertain him in a rather small garden that is kept super tidy and growing vegetables.  There are lots of places that Jago can’t really go, or hide.

The new badminton game turns out to be too tricky for a five-year-old to play, especially if Granny is also looking after his 22 month old sister so cannot pay proper attention. But her bigger grandchildren, my Lola, 13, and Nell, 10, think it is great whacking a plastic do-dah over the deliberately lowered washing line. The washing line is in a covered area (other people might park their cars in this sort of a space), so anyone hitting the plastic paned roof has a point deducted. Hitting the pile of bricks keeping the washing line low is a no-no too.

When I join the game – just as Nell reckons she’s had enough – I discover it is like a boot camp. Whacking the shuttlecock back in reply to Lola’s serve appears to be impossible for me. But I get a proper workout picking it up off the ground, every minute for about half an hour.

Back home I look at my washing line with new interest.

I’ve already used it to hang a rug over to create a tent, and as a spot for a sliding pinata. Now I know how to turn my back garden into a sports hall. I think we could use a rope slung across the bookshelf and sofa in the sitting room to make a badminton court if there was a need on a very rainy day.

Over to you
Have you got any good ideas about active games for small people in small spaces?

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2 Comments on “Know any games for small spaces?”

  1. artytime Says:

    Alice (4) likes to make an obstacle course in our tiny dining room for Ruth (1). Things like jumping in and out of a hoop, crawling under a chair, throwing a beanbag into a basket, walking along a scarf on the floor etc. Invariably Alice has the most fun though!

    • homemadekids Says:

      Hi, some lovely ideas, esp the scarf over the gorge (sorry, floor). Kids love indoor obstacle courses – I just watched my 10 year old balance her way along the back of the sofa during her journey out of our sitting room and on her way to bed tonight! I know you like art, do look at the wonderful description of how to make 3D paint using bicarb of soda (I think!) at this blog, Nicola x

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