Exercise The Mind

strong>Earth, Air, Water

On the trail and hiking in a single-file line, the person at the head of the line starts the game by saying to the person behind him or her either “earth,” “air,” or “water.” The second person has to name within seconds, a bird, fish, insect, plant, or dinosaur within the specified category that is able to move in that category. For example, a tiger walks on the ground, an eagle flies in the air and a shark swims in the water. Then, the second person in line says to the third person in line either “earth,” “air,” or “water.” The game continues until everyone in line has a turn. If a person delays in responding quickly, he or she is eliminated from the game. If a person names something that can travel in more than one category, he or she gets to skip a turn when the rotation comes around again. For example, a hippopotamus can walk on the ground and swim in the water. It should be noted that some birds exist that can walk on the ground, swim in the water, and fly in the air, although not all birds fit into this category. When this situation occurs, the person skips two turns.

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Seven Gargoyles

On the trail and hiking in a single-file line, the person at the head of the line starts this game by counting–starting with number one. The second person in line says number two and this continues through the line while each person repeats the next number in numeric order up to 100. However, on the number seven and any number that is a multiplication of seven, that person needs to say “gargoyle” instead of saying the number. If he or she says the wrong number, doesn’t say the word gargoyle, or pauses longer than five seconds, he or she is eliminated from the game. Once the group successfully counts to 100, other rounds can be played, saying “gargoyle” with another number. A silent version also can be played—instead of saying gargoyle, the participant remains silent, and the person next in line has to say the following number within five seconds or be eliminated from the game.

ABC Food Game

On the trail and hiking in a single-file line, the person at the head of the line starts the game by saying an edible food item that starts with the letter “A.” Each participant takes a turn by choosing a food item that starts with the letter “A.” A participant cannot repeat items that have already been listed. If a participant pauses longer than five seconds, he or she is eliminated from the game. When the group decides that they have listed all of the “A” words, they can then start with food items that start with the letter “B.” Subsequently, they work through all of the letters of the alphabet. Words like cream corn, cheddar cheese, bacon bits, candy cane, rump roast, spaghetti squash, baked beans, and clam chowder count for two turns.

Jared R. Knight is the manager of Programs and Human Resources as Aspen Grove Family Camp and Conference Center in Provo, Utah. He is the author of four books published by Healthy Learning –101 Creative Programs for Children, 101 Age-Appropriate Camp Activities, 101 Games and Activities to Strengthen Families and 101 Swimming Pool Games. He can be reached via e-mail at jared_knight@byu.edu

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