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Games to Play in the Woods

Visiting the natural setting of the woods presents a great time to enjoy nature, learn about wildlife and play woods related games. Whether you are an adult or child, you can enjoy these games while you’re camping, hiking or traveling through the forest in your own backyard. While playing them, always be considerate for safety and have an adult present if children are involved.

Tent Race

Setting up camp is not the most exciting thing but you can make it more exciting and involve the children with a tent race. Lay out all of the gear for two tents and set up teams of equal number if possible. Start the tent race and see which team can put the tent together the fastest. To fully complete the tent, every team member must jump inside and zip the door shut.


Manhunt is a version of the classic hide and seek game that is perfect for a wooded area. Designate boundaries using duct tape, ribbon or caution tape. Form two equal teams, and flip a coin to determine which team is “it” and which team gets to hide. Once the team goes to hide, the other team tries to find them after 2 or 3 minutes. The hiding team must successfully get the majority of their players back to base to hide again. If they do not make it, the roles are reversed and the game is played again.

Leaf Catch

The fall months present the opportunity to play the simple game known as Leaf Catch. Find small tree with a lot of leaves. Give each player a 1-minute round to catch as many leaves as possible while the other players shake the tree to get leaves off. The leaves must be held or placed in pocket to count.


Have players dress up in their browns and greens to blend in with the forest as much as possible. Assign a person to be the “Spotter” and give the other players a couple of minutes to hide. Once in position a player cannot move. The object of the game is for the “Spotter” to find the people hidden amongst the woods. The last person found is declared the winner and chooses the next “Spotter”.

Animal Echo

A wooded version of Marco Polo is known as “Animal Echo”. Players hide in positions all around the woods. The “Animal Caller” sounds out a common animal call like a wolf, bird or bear. The other players must echo the sound and recreate it. The “Animal Caller” uses the sounds to locate players and chase them through the woods. The first person tagged becomes the “Animal Caller” during the next round.

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