Light, Moderate or Vigorous – how much of each should your child be getting?

Kids should be active in promoting a healthy lifestyle and growth. When children are trained to have a healthy lifestyle at a young age, they will manifest the effects and benefits in the long run. Through regular physical activity, they will improve their cardio-respiratory fitness and weight management. Moreover, it reduces the risk of health conditions, such as heart disease and diabetes.

Different Types of Physical Activity Based on Intensity

It is a form of exercise that requires energy and movement of the body. Any activity can have instant and long-term health benefits. Having regular activity improves the quality of your life. For kids, it would be best to have group activities to keep them entertained.

Light Physical Activity

Light physical activity is the movement of your body, reaching 1.6 to 2.9 metabolic equivalents (METs). METs are used by researchers to gauge the exertion of an individual in a standard way. The measurement is based on how much oxygen an individual utilizes during a specific activity.

Light-intensity physical activities involve standing up, sitting down, or moving around in a particular location. Some examples include:

• Household chores such as washing the dishes, ironing, and dusting
• Food preparation or cooking
• Light housework such as making the bed and doing laundry
• Working at a standing workstation.
• Simple gardening like pulling the weeds around the plant
• Doing your hobbies: sewing, drawing, painting, creating arts, and knitting
• Playing musical instruments like piano, guitar, violin, or drums.
• Casual walking such as strolling inside a museum, walking around a gallery, or window-shopping at a mall
• Playing billiards
• Basic yoga

Moderate Physical Activity

Moderate physical activities are actions that burn calories three to six times or faster than sitting quietly. These exercises reach three to six METs.

In these activities, children sweat more than light physical exercises and breathe a little harder, but they can still speak while moving their bodies. Some of the examples of moderate physical activities are:

• Walking briskly or jogging about 3½ miles per hour
• Bicycling around ten miles
• General gardening such as raking and trimming shrubs
• Dancing any genre
• Walking and carrying golf clubs
• Water aerobics
• Tennis or Badminton (doubles)

Vigorous Physical Activity

Vigorous physical activities are activities greater than or equal to six METs. Vigorous activities. These activities need the highest amount of oxygen consumption to accomplish a specific action.

Vigorous physical activities include:
• Running or jogging 5 miles per hour
• Walking rapidly for 4½ miles per hour
• Bicycling more than 10 miles per hour
• Heavy backyard work, such as landscaping and wood chopping
• Swimming in freestyle laps
• Aerobics
• Playing basketball with friends
• Tennis or badminton (singles)

Components of Physical Activity

There are four components of physical activity. To achieve total fitness, the body of an individual should focus on each component.

• Cardiovascular endurance measures the ability of your heart and lungs to work together to supply the needed oxygen of the body.
• Muscular strength is the amount of power you can exert in lifting. Fortunately, crossfit equipment for kids can provide tools for your children.
• Muscular endurance is the ability of a specific muscle to work continuously in an extended period.
• Flexibility is the ability of the joints to move in a range of motion.

Kids can attain physical fitness if they participate in activities that improve their cardiovascular endurance, muscular strength, muscular endurance, and flexibility. They will most likely coordinate when they work with other kids. Doing collaborative activities like our Starlux Pool Party with friends can motivate them to exercise and move freely.

Key Takeaways

Nowadays, kids spend more time watching television and playing online games. They are now less active in playing and doing physical activities. Allowing the children to participate in group activities and competitive sports can help them maintain their physical fitness. Crossfit equipment for kids also encourages the children to have a workout.

Teach them to take part in simple household chores, such as gardening or washing the dishes. If the children want to have vigorous activities, some specific workouts or exercises work for kids. They will learn the value and benefits of doing physical activities if they start young. Moreover, they can carry this habit until they grow old. Read more to know how exercise can also benefit the mind.

Give your imagination a workout by stepping out of the (boardgame) box.

It was a dark and blustery night. The branches eerily rustled in the wind as the clouds reluctantly shifted, revealing bursts of silver from the full moon overhead. Noah reached into the hollow of an ancient scrub oak tree to remove a glowing gem that brilliantly reflected the beams from above. He waved frantically towards his sister, but then he heard them coming. His stomach dropped as he heard footsteps running faster and faster toward him. He raced for the safety of a nearby clump of trees, his heart pounding with excitement. Was this really happening, he thought, or was he merely a pawn in their intense game?

A man holds the Vikings of the Northern Lights scepter while dressed in medieval garb.

What if the next game box you opened allowed you to not only hold a game piece, but to actively be the game piece. In addition to all of the benefits you get from traditional game play like strategy and teamwork, active group games have the added benefits of encouraging physical activity and nurturing imagination. If you love opening a new game box, unwrapping the game pieces, digesting the rules and mastering the game, think about the excitement you would get going one step further…being a part of the game outside of the box.

A man stands inside a large, LED outlined box in the middle of a field.

In 2012, researchers built a literal five foot box out of PVC pipe and cardboard. They tested over 100 subjects by giving them word association tests while sitting inside the box and outside the box and also, in a room with no box. The people sitting outside the box answered more questions correctly than either of the other groups, proving the theory that you really should “think outside the box.” People that think outside the box grow their creative and strategy skills. That’s what game enthusiasts can do with active games and you – as a game retailer – can too.

Four kids run through a dark backyard playing Capture the Flag REDUX.

Adding active games like Vikings of the Northern Lights or Capture the Flag REDUX to your is a great way for you to expand your family game nights in a healthy, active way. Studies show that being outdoors and active can improve both mental and physical health. Plus, with most sports activities and group gatherings postponed for the time being, what better way to get out the wiggles than to run around the backyard in friendly competition!

Take a step out of that boardgame box. You may be surprised at what you find.

Which Witch?

Can you feel the magic in the air? With Halloween getting closer, it’s hard to resist the urge to throw on our pointiest hat, whip out our wands, and bust out our broomsticks like our favorite witches and wizards! Some are clever, some are cool, and some are just plain creepy. Witch-ever is your favorite, it’s easy to spell-out why October is the season of the witch!

WICKED WITCH OF THE WEST

Hold onto your hats and your little dog too because we’re starting with one of the classic witches! Since 1900, the Wizard of Oz’s Wicked Witch of the West has turned us all into cowardly lions with her gruesomely green complexion, high-pitched squeal, and nightmarish flying-monkeys. For better or warts, this iconic villain has become a fixture in pop culture history. Whether you’ve read the books, watched the movies, or experienced her softer side on Broadway, this clever crone has melted our hearts in addition to…melting.

GANDALF

Keeping up with the classics, we have to mention our favorite wand-ering wizard, Lord of the Rings’ Gandalf. His great power, wisdom, and leadership has taught us to never give up on our quest, no matter what dangers lie ahead. If only we all had mentors like Gandalf to guide us during our darkest witching-hours.

WILLOW ROSENBERG

If you love teen drama, amazing character development, and killer action sequences, chances are that Buffy the Vampire Slayer has played a huge role in your life. And even though Buffy is the supernatural star, we can’t help but relate to the endearingly awkward Willow. Nothing is better than watching Willow come into her own as the most powerful witch in Sunnydale. Although she sometimes dabbles too much in that ol’ black magic, Willow always comes through in the end. And for that, we will always be under her spell.

WITCH HAZEL

Who doesn’t remember watching Looney Tunes on a Saturday morning and trying to mimic her famous cackle? And who else learned just how painful that was for the vocal cords? That just goes to show you that the wand-erful Witch Hazel is an inspiration to us all. From her voice to her look to her mischievous schemes, Witch Hazel conjures up the perfect image of the cartoon witch.

SABRINA THE TEENAGE WITCH

Sabrina Spellman is one of those witches who really knows how to brew up nostalgia. Whether you know her as a cute cartoon in the Archie Comics, a sassy sitcom star in Sabrina the Teenage Witch, or a serious scream queen in the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, she is the kind of friend that would make any ghoul-squad complete. And if you have trouble deciding which Sabrina is your favorite, her feisty feline Salem will always feel familiar.

MERLIN

Here’s a warlock who really knows how to possess the cultural zeitgeist for hundreds of years. There are so many legends around him that no matter how many times you brush up on Medieval history or rewatch The Sword in the Stone, you may never unlock the full mystery behind this shape-shifting super-sorcerer. But no matter how mysterious, Merlin’s love of Camelot and loyalty to King Arthur has always left us charmed.

MARIE LAVEAU

The Voodoo Queen herself! A mainstay in New Orleans lore, Marie Laveau allegedly worked as a hairstylist and gathered many secrets about the elite of New Orleans from her clientele. She would then approach people on the street and know everything about them despite having never met them before. She was a seasoned Voodoo practitioner who also was a prominent community figure. Over time, her reputation continued to grow, and she remains a huge figure in New Orleans culture to this day. You may recognize her from American Horror Story, where she was played by the indomitable Angela Bassett.

ELMINSTER AUMAR

If fantasy role-playing is your thing, then you know all about Elminster from the Forgotten Realms campaign setting and novels for Dungeons and Dragons. Witty and wise, Elminster is a natural storyteller whose chaotic goodness creates excitement and intrigue wherever he goes. Known as the Sage of Shadowdale, Elminster is of curse the kind of warlock you want on your side.

SARAH, MARY AND WINIFRED SANDERSON

They’ve put a spell on us and now we’re theirs! Since 1993, Hocus Pocus’ Sanderson Sisters have made us root for the villains. With their relatable sibling rivalry, hilarious antics, and killer harmonies (Bette Midler, c’mon!), we almost want Hocus Pocus to be a hags to riches story rather than end with their demise. Well almost…they were pretty evil witches. Regardless, these iconic ladies have proven to be three of our favorite Hallo-queens and will continue to inspire group costumes for generations.

ALBUS DUMBLEDORE

It goes without saying that Dumbledore is not only one of the best wizards of all time, but he is an amazing influence on millions of Harry Potter fans. Whenever we felt like we’ve gotten the short-end of the broomstick, Dumbledore made us feel like we could overcome anything. Even though he proved to be a more complicated hero in the end, we will always be thankful for the expert advice he imparted on us: be kind, always fight for the greater good, and “one can never have enough socks.”

BONUS WIZARD… YOU

With Howl-O-Ween around the corner, we can finally unleash our inner-magic with an epic glow-in-the-dark game that brings fantasy to life! A combination of hide-and-seek, tag, and scavenger hunts, Wizards and Werewolves is a team-based game that brings two mythic forces together for a backyard battle of strategy, speed, and skill. Wizards and Witches use their wits to search for the glowing crystals and stop the hunting Werewolves from taking over the yard! Available here, the game comes with 12 light-up game pieces and offers three levels of play, ranging from easy-to-play for beginners to highly strategic for advanced game play. Be your own favorite witch or wizard with Wizards and Werewolves!

Embrace your inner monster.

Halloween is creeping up and it seems that everyone has a favorite monster of the season. Maybe you’re a sucker for vampires or your go-to is a ghost. Do skeletons make you weak in the knees, or maybe you’re more of the tall, dark and hairy Werewolf type? Whether you dig zombies or are spellbound by witches, find a way to honor your favorite monster this Halloween haunting season with these fun monster mania tributes.

1. BREW UP A BASH

A woman dressed as the mad hatter enjoys some tea and crumpets.

Nothing says “I heart witches” more than hosting a Witches Tea Party. Conjure up a spooky table with a cauldron centerpiece full of the perfect party potion punch and floating eyeballs. Decorate your table with fake cobwebs and spiders and serve witches’ fingers made from chocolate dipped pretzels. Witch-ever treats you choose…Halloween fun is brewing!

2. GHOULISH FUN

If you go ga-ga for ghosts, plan a fun and easy Ghost Hunt. It’s a spooky scavenger hunt game with lollipop ghosts. First, grab a batch of lollipops and  wrap them with white tissue paper or a Kleenex. Tie string or yard around the base of the lollipop to form the ghost’s head making an extra loop with the string to hang it.  Then, use a black permanent marker to draw eyes and a mouth on each one. Next, hang the ghosts around the yard or room adjusting the level of difficulty for the ages participating. For younger kids hang the ghosts at eye level, for older kids, make them higher and harder to find. To amp up the ghastliness, use flashlights to hunt them in the dark.

3. WALK WITH THE DEAD

If you go batty for Dracula, then Vampire Karaoke just might be your thing. Create a music playlist with fun party songs along with some Halloween favorites. Give everyone their own set of plastic vampire fangs and let them choose a song. It might be a pain in the neck, but everyone has to perform with their song with the fangs in their mouths. Bonus points if you can work vampire puns into your chosen song. You can even add some home made blood to your fangs. Get ready to laugh until the sun comes up!

4. JOIN THE DARK SIDE

Howl-oween is the perfect time for werewolf lovers to honor their favorite full moon monster with a glow-in-the-dark game that’s a combination of hide and seek, tag and scavenger hunts. Wizards & Werewolves is an epic team-based game that pits two mythical forces against each other in an exciting backyard battle of speed, skill and wits. Bare your teeth and howl as you join the werewolves, stalking prey, guarding the crystals and hunting down wizards. Available here, the game comes with 12 light games pieces and offers three levels of play ranging from easy-to-play for beginners to highly strategic for advanced game play.

5. ACT LIKE A MONSTER

If your favorite monster is the Frankenstein Monster and you want to leave your friends in stitches, play a few rounds of Monster Mash Charades. Here are the nuts and bolts of it: First make a list of Halloween type activities like trick or treating, carving a jack-o-lantern, or hollowing at the moon. Then, write them down on small sheets of paper, fold them and put them in a plastic pumpkin. Divide your group into teams and let team members choose a paper and act it out without talking, only grunting like a monster. Whichever team can guess the most right is the winner. Frankly, it’s the best version of charades out there!

6. GET WRAPPED UP

If your mummy is your favorite monster, then here’s a good way to show it. The Toilet Paper Wrap Relay Race always get the pulses racing as you try and mummify your friends. The best part is that you probably have the supplies for this game already on hand. Start by dividing your group into pairs and giving one player on each team a roll of toilet paper. Have the player with the roll stand across the playing field from his or her partner. At “go” the players with the toilet paper race down to the other end and start to wrap up their partners from head to toe like a mummy. Then the “mummies” must run back across the field to the finish line. It will be a race to see which team finishes first, and then everyone can relax and unwind.

7. DANCE YOUR BRAINS OUT

If you are looking for Zombodie to love, then hosting a Zombie Dance Party could be for you. Have your guests dress up like zombies with ripped clothes and fake blood. Then, dig up some tunes to die for, like Michael Jackson’s Thriller and Monster Mash. Begin the music and let everyone start dancing. When the music stops, they must return to being zombies. Much like musical chairs, the last one to stop dancing is out of the game. After several rounds, the last one standing is the winner. The rest of the dancers can R(est) I(n) P(ieces).

Awoooooooooo! Here are the top 7 full moon activities for kids.

Can you feel the excitement? The moon has been growing fuller night by night and now it’s shining its brightest. Every 27 days, the moon completes a lunar cycle and shines at its fullest, lighting up the sky, controlling the tides and stirring up all kinds of energy and excitement. Each full moon is another opportunity for heightened energy and activity that – with a little imagination – can lead to a lot of family fun. Let your toes start twitching, feel the goosebumps arise on your skin, and let loose the howl that is surfacing from deep within you! Here are the best full moon activities for kids to embrace your inner werewolves, harness the energy of the full moon and celebrate it.

1. GATHER FOR GHOST TALES

You can’t have a list of full moon activities for kids without throwing some ghosts in there. Gather some logs, gather some friends and gather around the fire pit for a chilling, thrilling night of ghost stories. There’s nothing like a full moon in the sky to create the perfect atmosphere for some hair-raising tales from the other side. You may want to consider the age of your audience before going all out creepy. Take a look at this selection of kid friendly ghost tales.

2. EXPLORE THE NIGHT SKY

Did you know that the moon is the easiest celestial body in the night sky to observe with the naked eye?  Because the surface of the moon is covered with massive craters and inactive volcanoes, it’s easy to distinguish the complexities of its surface. If you have a telescope or binoculars, it’s even more interesting to explore and chart the cool features of the moon. For more fun lunar facts and answers to questions like “How was the moon formed?” and “How big is the moon?” visit Nat Geo Kids.

3. WALK WITH THE DEAD

A full moon is the creepiest time to pull out your fangs, fake blood and green face paint and take a Zombie Walk through your neighborhood. Invite some friends and neighbors to dress up like their favorite monster or scary movie character and then take your party crew on a zombie parade under the moon. You can turn any traditional costume like a baseball player, nurse, or cowboy into a gory zombie by adding some torn clothes and blood, or you can choose some of your crew to dress like “the living” and then let the zombies chase them down your street. Plus, you probably already have the ingredients you need to make fake blood.

4. FIGURE OUT WHO DONE IT

If you’re looking for a party activity that your guests will die for, host a Full Moon Murder Mystery. You can create your own murder mystery theme with this beginner’s guide to planning a murder mystery. Or you can shop online for downloadable kid friendly mystery party games with all kinds of fun themes and virtual non-murder mysteries here. Whether you plan your own or download a game, customize the theme, storyline, and decor to include mentions and references to the full moon.

5. MEDITATE UNDER THE MOON

Harness the full energy from the moon by meditating with your family under its lunar light. It’s a fun and easy way to teach your kids the power of meditation. First, find a place where the moonlight is completely visible either outside or by a window. Next, sit comfortably and close your eyes. Then, let your body feel the luminous beams of the full moon. Take several deep slow breaths and concentrate on the moonlight and its cleansing effect on your mind and body.

6. TAKE A NIGHT HIKE

There are so many fascinating things to hear and see on a moonlit family hike. Find a path or trail that you are familiar with, bring flashlights or headlamps and wear reflective clothing. Listen for signs of nature that you can’t experience during the day like the hoots of an owl or the chirping of crickets. Look for bats and lighting bugs and other nocturnal creatures. And, let the full moon help guide your way to a fun family full moon memory.

7. GO WITH THE GLOW

As the full moon creeps near, organize some friends for a fun night of glow-in-the-dark games under its lunar light. For a pulse-pounding outdoor glow game that’s a combination of hide and seek, tag and scavenger hunts, check out Wizards and Werewolves.

It’s is an exciting backyard team competition of speed, skill and wits that pits two mythical forces against each other. Play as a wizard and embark on a perilous journey to capture glowing magical crystals. Or bare your teeth and howl as you join the werewolves, stalking prey, guarding the crystals and hunting down wizards.The game offers three levels of play ranging from beginner to highly strategic advanced game play and is the perfect game to play under a full moon.

Next time the moon is bright in the sky, try some of these full moon activities with your kids!

Another Sequel Nobody Really Wanted

The spring of 2020 was long and stressful. Many parents were juggling jobs and trying to homeschool multiple children, as well as keep them socially connected and active during the pandemic. To some parents, the quarantine situation may have felt almost like a horror movie, and the fall of 2020 could be the sequel. As the summer days wind down, it’s looking like more and more schools will be keeping their doors closed and offering virtually learning to their students. Parents, brace yourself for another semester as teacher, entertainer, discipliner and social coordinator. Here are some homeschooling tips that might help.

1. Entertainment for All

Two kids laugh in their backyard.

When you’re trying to keep multiple kids from getting bored, it’s easier to think of group games and activities that will entertain various ages all at one time. Start by making a “boredom buster” list of fun games and active ideas to post on your fridge. Then, when someone says “I’m bored,” consult the list. Be sure to let your kids contribute to the boredom busters – no idea is too silly. Activities like backward bike races, dance parties, blind-folded balloon volleyball, pillow fights, limbo contests, backyard bowling and freeze tag are all fun, easy to learn and adaptable for all ages.

Glow Battle is a great boredom buster and a wonderful way to get excess energy out of your kids. You can play Glow Battle anywhere that there is open space to run – in the yard, in a basement or in the garage. It’s easy to set up and simple for all ages to play. Identify your teams with different colored glowing bracelets. Then, use the harmless, glowing foam batons to attack your opponent, and send them running back to their base to “recharge” before they get hit again. Whether you are trying to get your group active or offer a creative alternative for your homeschooling version of gym class, Glow Battle is an ideal way to keep your kids entertained between subjects.

2. Time Off for Good Behavior

A kid crouches on the ground and smiles at the camera while taking a break from homeschooling.

Virtual learning is not just stressful for the parents. It’s also hard on kids, and their brains are going to need some breaks. Since the majority of virtually learning involves digital devices, students need time off of screens for a mental break, as well as to give their eyes a chance to relax from screen strain. Offer your kids an easy rewards system for school work completed. For example, for every hour of school work they do, give them fifteen minute breaks of free play time or board game play.

3. Encourage Exercise: Homeschooling PE

In addition to burning off excess energy and maintaining good health, physical activity helps kids learn better. Studies show that regular exercise allows kids to sharpen their focus, be less impulsive and have fewer disciplinary problems. Meaning that kids that get moving during the day, actually stay focused longer when it’s time to sit down for schoolwork. Experts recommend that children get sixty minutes or more of physical activity every day, either all at once or broken down into smaller time segments.

Capture the Flag REDUX is a good way to provide small group social interaction and also remain outdoors. It’s the classic game of Capture the Flag revolutionized with glow-in-dark orbs, glowing bracelets and futuristic borders marked with LED lights. It’s the perfect way to provide active, social interaction for kids, teenagers and even adults. Plus, you can mix it up with 12 game variation cards for more ways to play Capture the Flag and other games…because, let’s face it, who knows if this homeschooling sequel will become a trilogy or not!

4. Provide Safe Social Connections

Teens play Wizards & Werewolves while homeschooling.

With the new rules of quarantine, it’s best to limit large social engagements. However, even if they’re homeschooling, children do need some sort of social interaction each day whether it’s with siblings or the one or two friends down the street that are in your chosen circle. Playing with them outside might be the best way to encourage social opportunities with less risk.

Wizards & Werewolves is the perfect way to engage kids’ imaginations while getting them up and moving. Play as a Wizard to search for glowing crystals or bare your teeth and hunt as a Werewolf in this outdoor game of hunting, hiding and howling!

Seven Ways to Make Your Next Family Trip Memorable

When camping with kids and teens, you can sometimes face the problem of them getting bored, which can turn what you hoped would be a fun family camping trip into a bad camping trip.

In order to keep boredom at bay, it’s nice to have a list of the most fun camping games for kids and teens on hand for your next camping trip. Seasoned campers know how to keep kids and teens entertained and busy. Having them set up the tent, stack firewood, and hook up the water lines is a good start in my book.

For parents who are new to camping, you may need some games at the ready to keep the kids engaged in the Great Outdoors. The last thing you want is your kids sulking about their lack of wifi. Here are seven ways to make your drive-to vacation memorable this year: 

1. Camp Olympics

Sure, the real olympics are cancelled this year, but that doesn’t mean YOU can’t compete. A good way to get everyone involved in some physical play is Camp Olympics. No need to add weird sports like curling or pole vaulting. Stick with foot races, long jumps, swimming contests, and even some wrestling. These Summer or Winter Olympics can be used yearly to track record setters for years to come. Not a bad addition to the family history books that are hidden in your garage somewhere.

2. Glow Battle

Battle like a ninja samurai using harmless glowing swords! Family, friends and neighbors play organized sword fighting games using (harmless!) glowing foam weapons. With 10 variations, it encourages kids and families to play together. Available here.

3. Washer Toss

Washer Toss is a good way to rest up after the Camp Olympics. It’s a fun game that can get competitive even though it is played at a more relaxed pace. You don’t want your kids running all over the place right before bedtime. Washer Toss is a good way to calm everyone down and get ready for the sleeping bags or hammocks.

4. Fishing Tournament

How about a Fishing Tournament? The winner could win a cash prize or get to skip any part of the packing up chores when the camping trip is over. The winner is the fisherman with the most pounds or the largest number of fish overall.

5. Capture the Flag REDUX

Capture the Flag REDUX is always a go-to game for all ages no matter where you are. It’s definitely one of the best outdoor camping games. You can even play after those memorable sunsets with Capture the Flag REDUX, our glow in the dark version of Capture the Flag. The kit’s 25 reusable light-up game pieces allow for up to 10 traditional Capture the Flag players. It also includes 12 alternate ways to play, allowing for 4-20 players.

6. Scavenger Hunts

Whether you need a game for the day or a week-long challenge, Scavenger Hunts never get old. How many items could you find over the course of a week at a campground? I’d say 50-100 if you want to make things interesting.

Some honorable mentions for the best outdoor camping games include:

  • Mini-Ping Pong
  • Dodgeball
  • Tennis, as many campgrounds have courts.
  • Tent Race (Make setting up the tents a competition among the kids and keep the recorded times for each trip.).
  • Rain Hike Challenge (you thought I would throw in some board games for rainy days? Haha! Teach the kiddos a little toughness. They won’t melt).

Keep this list of games handy as you head out for your next camping trip. Getting active and competitive with your kids and will make them forget about the lack of wifi out in the woods. It doesn’t hurt us adults to forget the internet world for a while either!

Want more games? Here is our best outdoor games list that includes 50 of what we think are the best outdoor games.

Today we’re going to talk about several fun variations of Capture the Flag. Now, if you’ve ever played Capture the Flag you know it’s one of the best outdoor games ever created. But did you know there are multiple different ways to play besides the traditional manner?

The basic concept of Capture the Flag is defending your territory and invading the enemy team’s turf. Stealing their flag and returning it to your side of the field is the ultimate goal. Along the way, you must avoid getting captured and sent to jail. Click here to learn how to play Capture the Flag. The following variations of Capture the Flag add twists and turns to the rules and tactics.

If you have a large group playing CTF you might wanna think about adding some spice to it. How do you do that? With multiple flags! One college set an actual world record for the most people playing CTF. They used a pile of flags and it looked like a Braveheart scene.

Everybody loves Halloween so why not have a costume based Capture the Flag game? We’ve heard stories of people dressing up like Star Wars characters, Marvel characters, and other superheroes to play CTF. This variation adds quirky fun, especially for younger children.

Getting stabbed in the back is no fun as an adult – you know, devious coworkers and all. But having a turncoat involved with Capture the Flag is quite fun. It adds a twist to have one spy on each team working behind the scenes for the other team. This traitor, chosen randomly/secretly, gets one chance to steal the flag and take it to his real team. If he gets caught he has to go to jail like a real spy would. This is a big shake-up that makes everybody nervous, making for a better game.

There are ways to play Capture the Flag with only one flag. Some people refer to this as  “neutral base” Capture the Flag. This variation involves having the flag in the middle of the field. Each team tries to get it back to their specified home base. This often turns into a big tug-of-war as the flag sometimes moves only inches at a time. This fun variation of Capture the Flag is a war of attrition, so be ready for a long battle.

Groups who mix paintball with Capture the Flag create an epic gamer concoction. The game is played the same way as if you were tagging the players except now you are using paintball guns. Get hit by one paintball then you go to jail or are out of the game. Obviously you want to wear protective gear just like when playing regular paintball. This variation is great for teens and adults.

One of the best ways to mix things up is to make the flag throwable. You simply use a ball for the flag. This can be a football, tennis ball, soccer ball, etc. Once a team member grabs the ball-flag they can throw it to their teammates. This can make the game go really fast. One thing to note is the players cannot throw the ball-flag all the way over the line to their own territory. We refer to that as cheating!

For water lovers, there are fun variations of Capture the Flag just for you. Teams have played using kayaks or in their swimming pools. You need a floating flag for a lake unless you want to go all in for scuba gear. Expensive!

Another water variation is using water balloons instead of tagging players. Get hit with a water balloon, go to jail, soaked.

What about multiple teams above the standard two-team CTF? All you need to do for three or four teams is divide the playing field up into thirds or fourths. This is a chaotic way to play the game since teams will be attacking from many directions. No worries. Chaos means added fun when we’re talking outdoor games. And since you need lots of players for this awesome Capture the Flag variation, it’s a good excuse to meet new people as you invite them to play.

Get out of jail options make for an interesting variation of CTF. There are reports of games where players can get out of jail in other ways besides being saved by a teammate tagging them while in the pokey. Here are a few:

  1. The jailbird has to say the alphabet backward to a ref.
  2. 50 push-ups frees the captured player.
  3. Trivia questions from a ref can free a player who is incarcerated.

 

Once you’ve tried all the daytime variations of CTF what are you gonna do after dark? Play Capture the Flag Redux… duh! Since our game glows in the dark, teams don’t have to quit this outdoor game after the sun slides behind the horizon. This fun variation of CTF is the most popular version created in modern times. The main concept is protecting your glowing flag while hunting down the enemy team’s flag. All players are visible to each other as they wear glowing wristbands. CTFR has many variations of its own, including:

  • Hunters vs. Werewolves
  • Fugitives
  • Fireflies

 

If you have your own fun variation of Capture the Flag please let us in on it in the comments section below. Other outdoor game lovers want to know. A simple twist here or there can make for bonus excitement when it comes to classic games. To enjoy the game even more, here is an article we wrote on how to throw an unforgettable Capture the Flag Redux party.

Today we’re gonna follow up on last week’s instructional article by talking about how to play the Capture the Flag REDUX variation. Last week we broke down the traditional rules and concepts for how to play the traditional version of Capture the Flag. Now we will do the same thing for our glow in the dark version of this classic outdoor game.

The concept and theme of Capture the Flag stays the same. Two teams try to defend their territory and their prized possession, a flag, from each other. How to play Capture the Flag Redux involves defense and offense. They meld together as each team defends their flag while trying to steal the other team’s flag.

The victory goes to the team that grabs the enemy flag and returns it to their own territory without being tagged.

The big difference in our version and old school Capture the Flag is the thrill of playing the game when the sun goes down. We wanted a game that doesn’t have to be shut down when the sun slides behind the horizon. You could play the traditional version in the dark if you didn’t mind falling in a ditch or running head first into opponents. Scroll to the bottom of this page to watch our video on how to play Capture the Flag REDUX.

Capture the Flag Redux makes it possible to play the game because the game pieces all glow in the dark. You can see the enemy because they wear glowing wristbands and the field is marked with glowing orbs. The flags are visible too of course since fumbling around blindly looking for the flag at dusk would be insane!

Capture the Flag Redux Game Image

The setup for CTF Redux is easy. Wait for the sun to set, then divide all the players into two teams. Mark the borders of the field of play just as you would for any sport needing boundaries. Also, each side of the field needs a jail. Jail is for enemy players who get caught (tagged) in the opponent’s territory. Jail is marked with glowing orbs.

The last phase of the setup is each team hiding their flag on their side of the playing field. Make it hard for the enemy to find it, but don’t break the rules by putting it under something so it’s not visible at all. Digging a four-foot hole is clever but totally illegal.

As the game begins keep in mind you need some light to play since running in total darkness can cause injuries.

The game starts when all players are ready and someone gives the countdown to begin. Any of the following screams will work:

  • Let’s get it on!
  • Ready to rumble?
  • FREEDOM!!!

Each team now tries to grab the other team’s flag. They have to defend their own as well. Attackers go after the flag but can be stopped and sent to the glowing jail area. The back and forth continues until one team gains the advantage by locking up many enemy players. This makes it easier to overwhelm the remaining opponents with an assault that wins the game with a flag capture.

Some planning will help get the victory. Capture the Flag is a battle and battle plans are not created for the heck of it. They actually help. Teams need to designate which of their players are attackers and which need to hang back to defend their own flag. This keeps up a balanced effort.

Having no defenders makes it easy for an organized attacking team to snatch the opponent’s flag in no time at all.

Each team must choose how to play Capture the Flag Redux. Aggressive or patient? Both strategies have their merits. Either way teams must eventually go for the flag in order to win the game. Doing so is risky since players can be tagged and sent to jail as soon as they cross the border into enemy turf. Jailbirds can be rescued by teammates so it’s not a life sentence.

You can see that Capture the Flag Redux is an improvement over the traditional daytime version. Why should the fun stop at sunset?

Now that you know how to play the Capture the Flag Redux variation we will let you in on a secret.

Not only does this game make outdoor gatherings perfect for nighttime fun, it adds variety. There are several additional variations included in the game kit. Werewolves and hunters are only part of the additional fun!

Click here to purchase Capture the Flag REDUX

If your children enjoy playing glow in the dark neon games, check out our game store.

We’ve been tossing around ideas on how to throw an unforgettable Capture the Flag Redux party. After some brainstorming, we have come up with a bunch of terrific ideas and tips for making a kids’ party top notch. One member of our team suggested that before the party each and every smartphone should be tossed into a lake or otherwise destroyed!

Not a bad idea, but let’s bring it down a level. There won’t be any need for parent-on-iPhone violence. With these tips and tactics, the youngsters attending the party won’t be worrying about any stupid screens. They will be too busy ripping and running while trying to capture the flag.

An obvious thing to do when planning a big outdoor party is to check the weather. Yes, you will be trusting known liars who get carried away on local TV stations with their fancy maps. But it’s good to have an idea of the temperatures and chances of rain. By the way, just because it may rain is no reason not to have the party. A little rain never hurt anyone and can even make playing the game more fun.

If we waited on predicted perfect weather days to do outdoor events, we would be stuck inside 90 percent of the time.

Capture the Flag Redux Game Image

Figuring out where to have your epic Capture the Flag Redux party is as important as the weather check. If you’re inviting more than twenty kids then you want to have a big area to play the game. A local park is an option, as well as a state park which will have plenty of woods to enhance the game. Smaller groups can use a large backyard or the neighborhood playground. If you can swing it, try to pick a location with an amazing view. Somewhere with a waterfall or mountains in the background.

We won’t tell you who to invite to the party. But here is something to add to the invitations… some instructions for how to play Capture the Flag. The kids coming to the party don’t need an online course on how to play or have fun. But knowing the general idea of the game will get things moving faster. Parents can still tell everyone the rules before starting the party. The adults will appreciate not having to answer 20 questions since everyone has seen the rules and concepts before they arrived at the shindig.

As you can imagine some parents are picky about their kid’s clothes. After spending an arm and leg to buy the apparel, we can’t blame them. So it is wise to alert parents that Capture the Flag Redux will involve dirt, sweat, and even a stretched shirt or two. With this warning, no one will send their child to the party dressed like they’re going to a White House formal. And just like rain, a little dirt, sweat, and a twisted T-shirt never hurt anyone. Let’s toughen up our kids just in case life ever gets tough for them. Hint, it will.

As you plan your amazing Capture the Flag Redux party, you will have awesome snacks and a perfect cake lined up. But remember that this game does tire out the players. So be sure to have plenty of water or Gatorade on hand. It would be a shame to have players drop out of the fun because of cramps or heat exhaustion. We want the kids to be tough, but we know you’re not running a boot camp either.

Depending on how long the party is set to last, the teams will need mixing up now and then to keep it fresh for all the invitees. We can’t have one team dominating the contest for six hours if the party is an all-day affair. Parents can make sure the teams are evenly matched from the start or tweak the teams as the party goes on. It can get demoralizing if one team keeps winning easily.

Stick a competitive mom or dad on the team that is struggling if need be. That should fire up the underdogs… and tick off the team that is finding it too easy to win!

There are lots of ways to make parties for kids memorable. Taking the time to plan a Capture the Flag Redux party is a great step. It would be easy to let the kids mill around indoors and gobble down some cake and ice cream. They will love it, but it won’t stick in their minds as a top-5 party of their youth. What will make the top-5 list is a party where they ran wild and competed against their friends in a time-tested strategy game. Maybe they did it while getting soaked with rain. Or lost three pounds of water weight from sweaty fun.

It’s weird how the best memories involve getting a little dirty and doing something physical in a competition.

To learn the best Capture the Flag strategies for winning, download our FREE Capture the Flag Strategies eBook.