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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, July 4, 2006

Play outdoor keiki games

Advertiser Staff

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Summer means great weather, so go outside for some fresh air and good, old-fashioned backyard play with the keiki.

Consider "Rock, Paper, Scissors" (no, not the hand game), said Randy Miyashiro, programs director for Kama'aina Kids.

The game's perfect for a group of at least 10 kids maybe at the next family get-together with all the cousins or even on a day when the neighborhood kiddies are feeling restless.

"Rock, Paper, Scissors" is appropriate for children ages 6 to 12 and lasts about 45 minutes. Not only is it fun, but it teaches teamwork and cooperation, Miyashiro said.

An adult should supervise; remind the children that safety is the priority, so any rough-housing should be addressed. Here's how to play:

  • Set up your playing area, with the size depending on the number of players. A large backyard, field or basketball court works. Using cones (or a rope, slippers or shoes), create a rectangle with a line down the center, parallel to the width. This will serve as the "battle zone."

  • Then divide the group into two equal-sized teams. The children basically will play traditional signs of rock, paper and scissors as teams, rather than individuals.

  • After you designate the number of rounds that will be played (choose an odd number of rounds, such as 5 or 7), you will then give each team 30 seconds of prep time before each round. During prep time, each team will choose their sign from rock, paper or scissors. Once the teams have decided, they will face off in the "battle zone."

  • On your cue, the teams will simultaneously throw up their team sign. If one team loses the battle (for example, rock defeats scissors), the losing team must then attempt to run back toward their "safe zone," which is the back of the playing field.

  • The winning players must chase the losing team and tag them before they reach the "safe zone." Any player who is tagged before reaching the "safe zone" joins the other team.

    Repeat until you have a designated winner.