Saturday, March 21, 2015

Random Games

This entry was originally published in the Kings County Record on March 17, 2015.  It was heavily influenced by the enjoyment I got from watching more than 60 kids playing simple games with simple toys.  It demonstrated that kids still know how to have fun and that computers and i-pods and the like haven't completely ruined their imaginations.  A huge thanks to the staff at Atlantic Community Church for organizing "Super Kids."
Random games are a wonder aren't they?  Have you ever thought "Who the heck thought to put a rope through two golf balls and throw them at a ladder?"  Maybe you question the mental state of the person who first threw a lawn dart.  Recently I have been helping out at the Atlantic Community Church with their "SuperKids" program and it is amazing how entertaining and how much of a workout small random games can be.

For a number of Wednesdays now the super kids at "SuperKids" have been engaged in random games.  These games include props from beach balls to rubber chickens and we have been able to engage up to 40 kids at a time.  Now, I admit, these games may not engage an overly serious adult, but if you can embrace the inner child you have lurking deep down inside, these games will get you laughing and exercising.

Next time you and your friends are hanging out and having some social drinks, why not blow up a couple of balloons, place some glow sticks inside them, turn out the lights and see how many long you can keep hitting the balloon up in the air.  With the right mind set this game can be very fun and requires very little investment in equipment or materials to play.

That game didn't interest you, then this summer when you're enjoying the beach, take a couple of rubber chickens from the "Dollar Store" and have chicken races.  I know rubber chickens can't actually run, but if you put the chicken between your knees and race your buddy 50m down the beach without dropping the chicken.  I bet before you get half way, you'll be wondering why it's so difficult while laughing so hard you can't keep your knees pinched together to hold the chicken.

Seriously, how bored do you have to be to think of the multitude of card games that exist?  How do you think of a game like volleyball, which I love by the way? When you put people on the banks of river, how long is it before someone picks up a rock and throws it, but who threw the first stone?  I've killed a lot of time, and likely threw out my shoulder a couple of times skipping stones but I find it almost therapeutic.

I know, I'm asking more questions here than I'm answering but it is a sense of curiosity that likely led to a great deal of these games.  Some games were derived out of a necessity.  I would even hazard a guess that lawn darts may have been derived from a need to practice spear throwing by a hunting tribe or clan.

 I don't think I have ever invented a game but after "SuperKids" tonight I have decided to challenge myself to create a game.  Since I like being outdoors I am going to create a new game outside for winter time.  It might be a race to see who can stack snowballs to a certain height from ten feet away.  Hey I think I just invented a new game.  Now I challenge you to get outside and invent your own game.  Don't do it alone though, engage your friends to help you.  I like solitaire but I love 45s.
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