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Terrain games

Outdoor games are a great way for children and young people to let off steam in the fresh air. That's why we've put together a few ideas for you here.

What exactly are terrain games?

When it comes to off-road games, the name says it all: they are Group gamesthat only take place outside in the fresh air - i.e. in meadows, fields or in the forest.
There is a large selection of different terrain games: for large and small groups, for children of different ages and even terrain games at night.

Some games require certain materials, while others work great without preparation. Of course, it must be ensured that all players are clear about the rules before the game begins.

Even if some participants may already be familiar with a game, the rules have to be explained calmly to the others. It is also a good idea to choose a referee who will ensure fairness during the game.

Important: So that your terrain game does not turn into a fiasco, you should make sure that the terrain is also suitable for your game. Problems are inevitable in a meadow full of sharp stones and nettles.

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1. Group game: Scavenger hunt

The scavenger hunt is the classic among the terrain games, it is also one of the movement games and is reminiscent of a treasure hunt. 3-4 people set off with a treasure in their luggage and mark their path with chalk or colored ribbons. After 20-30 minutes, the rest of the group sets out to find the treasure.

They follow the markings of the hunted in the hope of either catching up with them before they reach their destination or of finding their hiding place at the destination. The group has won if they find the treasure in the time frame specified in advance.

Is your group too small? You can also modify this treasure hunt so that you can play with fewer people. There are no hunted people in this variant. A leader simply prepares the schnitzel before the game and the group then goes in search of the treasure.

Is your group very large? Then simply divide the hunters into smaller sub-groups and send them on the hunt for the treasure every 15 minutes. Of course you have to measure the time per group here so that you can choose the winner.

  • Group size ≥ 5
  • Minimum age from 8 years
  • Playing time about 90 minutes
  • preparation medium to high
  • material Marking material (chalk, colored ribbons), treasure, task notes

2. Group game: Flashlight battle

The Flashlight Battle is a particularly simple terrain game for dark winter days or at dusk in summer. In this night terrain game, two groups do not play against each other, but each player is on his own.

The game is best played in a demarcated area in the forest, or on a terrain that is not too clear, so as not to make it too easy for the players. Before the start, each player gets five crepe strips visibly stuck on the jacket, everyone equips himself with a flashlight and then it starts.

The players put on their socks in the field and try to catch other players with the beam of light from the flashlight, if possible without being caught themselves. Everyone who is lit has to give the corresponding opponent a masking strip.

Attention: at the moment of handing over the crepe strip you must not illuminate the two players.

At the end of the game the crepe strips are counted and the players with the most strips have won.

This game can be perfectly played in the tent camp before a night hike.

  • Group size ≥ 5
  • Minimum age from 12 years
  • Playing time about 30 minutes
  • preparation little
  • material Masking tape and flashlight (one for each player)

3. Group game: knocking game

The entire youth group is divided into two subgroups of unequal size. Depending on the total number of players, there are 4-8 “knockers” who hide individually in a previously defined area in the area. They make a noise every three minutes by hitting two sticks loudly and clearly (alternatively you can use a whistle).

This gives the searching group clues as to where the knockers are hiding. If a knocker is found, it must join the searchers and help find the other hiding spots.

The game ends when all knockers are found or when the time is up. It is best to agree on a signal that can be heard by everyone and that signals the end of the terrain game.

This game is a perfect activation game that you can play perfectly at the beginning.

  • Group size 15-30
  • Minimum age from 12 years
  • Playing time about 45 minutes
  • preparation little
  • material Sticks and whistles

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4. Group game: Stamp game

Do you think that field games can only take place in pure nature, but you don't have the options for an excursion into the countryside? This game is a great example of a terrain game that only works in the city.

The group is first divided into teams. They go out and try to collect business stamps in shops. The group with the most different stamps won.

Warning: It is very important to emphasize that children should behave well in the shops and politely ask for the stamps so as not to step on anyone's ties.

  • Group size ≥ 5
  • Minimum age from 12 years
  • Playing time about 60 minutes
  • preparation no
  • material paper

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5. Group game: photo safari

The photo safari is a terrain game for youth groups that also takes place in the city. The children are divided into teams of 4 people, all of which are equipped with a disposable camera or a digital camera. Before it can really start, a topic (e.g. love, friendship, future, past, etc.) is drawn from a lottery wheel per group.

The groups then set off in the city with the task of creatively capturing the drawn topic in photos. Here it can be imaginative. The duration of the game can be varied depending on the size of the city and the group.

When the time is up, the group leader collects the cameras again and the terrain game is over for the time being (at least for the time of the tent camp). At a meeting after the camp, the pictures should then be developed or printed out so that you can make collages from them and review the game and the experiences again.

It is important that the young people not only concentrate on taking pictures during the game, but also pay attention to the traffic. In addition, unsuspecting passers-by who present themselves as “good subjects” should not be bothered by being photographed without being asked.

  • Group size ≥ 8
  • Minimum age from 13 years
  • Playing time about 90 minutes
  • preparation medium
  • material Lot box with topics for photo safari, disposable cameras or digital cameras

6. Group game: smuggling game

The entire group is divided into two teams: police officers and smugglers. Depending on how difficult you want to make the terrain game, you can vary the ratio of the two groups. The group of police officers set up a headquarters with a prison on the marked out area. A small free zone is marked out around the control center.

The police are now trying to arrest the smugglers on the entire site by touching them. The smugglers then have to go to prison voluntarily and without grumbling. However, they have the chance to get free again by tapping a smuggler who is still free.

During such a liberation operation, the free smuggler enters the free zone, in which he cannot be arrested. Once he has made it there, nothing stands in the way of liberation. The task of the police officers is to arrest all smugglers.

The police officers get one point for each inmate. For each free smuggler, however, two points are deducted.

Not exciting enough yet? As an additional task, the smugglers can transport contraband goods (for example gummy bear bags) from one place A to another place B, which the police officers try to prevent. The smugglers then receive an additional point for each goods transported.

If you notice at the end that one of the two teams was clearly superior, it makes sense to adjust the respective size of the groups.

This game is one of the simulation games. If you are interested in this type of game, you can read more about it here.

  • Group size ≥ 10
  • Minimum age from 12 years
  • Playing time about 60 minutes
  • preparation little
  • material possibly gummy bear bags as contraband

7. Group game: hunter and hunted

This terrain game is a modified version of the classic game “catch” and can be played perfectly in school from break game. It takes place in a previously clearly defined forest and begins with each player drawing a name from the lottery hat.

If it is your own name, the piece of paper is put back and a new one is drawn. The name drawn then stands for the target person who must be caught during the game of the terrain game.

The players now have 5 minutes to hide on the grounds until a signal tone initiates the game. Now everyone tries to find the target person drawn and tap it. Once you have done that, you bring the trapped person to the previously defined collection center, where they are then eliminated from the game.

The only way to get out before you are finally taken to the collection center is if the person in charge is caught himself. In this case, the person who was previously transferred will be released. Whoever is still on the field at the end of the game has won.

  • Group size ≥ 12
  • Minimum age from 8 years
  • Playing time about 20 minutes
  • preparation little
  • material Note with the names of the players in a ticket hat
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