Haha, just found these photos of our backyard twister game from our summer holidays. All you need is chalk and some pavers to write on! This has to be one of the easiest DIY backyard games ever – I feel a little silly explaining what we did as it’s so simple, but here goes:
- Draw coloured circles on the ground. Initially I tried to space them out like a traditional twister mat, but then the kids decided to help, which meant that all orderliness was abandoned. Our circle became quite numerous, and much smaller…. (and actually I discovered this was a blessing when we began playing later on)
- Have an adult (or another kid) randomly call out a colour and a left or right hand or foot. Each player has to put the corresponding hand or foot on the that colour.
- Keep going until someone tumbles over, and then start again.
For us this was just a fun activity in the backyard on a summer’s day, but it actually does help with preschooler colour recognition, knowing their left and right, being able to figure out how they need to arrange their body so they can reach each colour as it is called out. Reaching and stretching like this is also a great gross motor / vestibular workout for their little bodies!
If you are doing this with preschoolers like Bee (who is 3 years old here), then we found that lots of smaller circles everywhere was easier, so it’s not too tricky to find a spot she could reach. Her limbs are still comparatively short at this age, so there’s no way she could stretch over her sister, like how adults or older kids would.
For older kids, you could make the circles bigger and fewer, and you could use an actual twister colour spinner thingie (technical term), or you could roll a die and assign a colour to each number. Actually, depending on what you’re working on, you could have numbers written in the circles, instead of colours.
Either way, have fun!
For more backyard fun, you might like:
- Let the kids take the lead, with these 8 tips on encouraging good old-fashioned backyard play.
- Using chalk on pavers again, to make a number grid for some gross motor number recognition play, or for some hands-on reading (and scrubbing) of sight words, letters or shapes.
- Add a DIY fairy door to a tree stump or fence, to invite some whimsical imaginative play. Or you could make your own fairy garden!
- Make your own Play Snow and make a mini snowman (that won’t melt in the summer sun), or maybe make some mouldable cloud dough ‘sand’ and create your own backyard beach scene. Or you could host a pretend backyard birthday party with moon sand cupcakes (and LOTS of glitter for sprinkles!)
- Conduct a little home science experiment to discover what lives in the dirt in your backyard. Try this at different times of year, and see if you get different results. Then you can use some of that dirt for this planet earth craft idea.
- Water beads are an amazing sensory material for the warmer summer months. We used some in this ocean sensory tub, which was a big hit for my marine-loving girls.
- Or if you have a trampoline, this number recognition jumping game was easy and fun. JJ asked to do this over and over again!