"There is a pleasure in the pathless woods," the infamous poet Lord Byron once said. Indeed, there are many pleasurable activities to enjoy outdoors in densely forested areas. In fact, there are several games that are best played among the trees that will help to keep your youngsters busy in the fresh outdoor air for hours.
Predator and Prey is a game played by children in forests around the country. Campers, students and friends learn about the game Predators and Prey, along with the basic principles of camouflage and surviving in the woods, while engaged in this activity. You need a group of at least 10 people to play the game. Start by choosing one person to be the predator; the rest are prey. The prey get a few minutes to hide themselves in the woods before the prey starts searching for them. During game play, the predator tries to tag the prey. Whenever someone who is prey is tagged, it signifies that they have been caught, and they are out. When only one prey remains who has successfully evaded the predator, this person wins and gets to be the predator during the next round.
Beat the Wind
Kristen Laine, a writer for "Great Kids, Great Outdoors," recommends playing a catching game with leaves in the woods. This game is best played in a densely forested area on a windy day in autumn, when the leaves are turning from greens to reds and oranges and yellows and falling from the trees to the ground. To play this game, look upward and be ready for the next gust of wind. When it blows the loose leaves off the trees above, track a falling leaf, run to the spot where you think it will land and try to catch it. You can compete against the wind, yourself or your friends. The winner accumulates the highest number of leaves caught.
Camouflage is a popular game played in the woods at summer camps, as it works best with a large number of school-age children. Similar to Predator and Prey, this game also requires one person to be the seeker, or "It," and the rest to hide from that person. It differs, however, in that the person who is It cannot move. To play, this person closes her eyes and counts to 10 while everyone else scatters and hides behind trees, bushes, logs or whatever else they can find in the woods. You must hide someplace where you can still see the It-person.
UltimateCampResource.com explains that after 10 seconds, the person who is It opens her eyes and closely inspects her environment, not moving from her vantage point. If she thinks she sees you, she describes how you look in your camouflaged environment, and if she is correct, you must come out and admit you've been found. If you are the last person to remain camouflaged and undetected by It, you win and get to be It next round.
A freelance writer based in San Francisco, Ann Bartkowski began writing professionally for the New York State Department of Heath in 2006 as a science educator. She holds a Bachelor of Science in biology from Bates College. Bartkowski has published numerous articles for various websites, specializing in nutrition, children, health and the environment.