Sunday, 4 May 2008


Climb a tree - imagine the tree as a road map, with a first rest stop for a hand, then a foot, and so on. Choose a good, thick tree with wide branches for perching and plenty of routes to explore.

Water fight – A few principles:
1. Go outdoors! Seriously.
2. The warmer the weather, the longer you’ll enjoy it.
3. Wear only clothes you’d gladly ruin.
4. Bear grudges, and always get your revenge, (at least until the water runs out).

Explore the woods.

Treasure hunt – a sequence of clues reveals the route to a hidden prize. The clues might be cryptic, riddling, or rhymed – the challenge of solving each is an appetiser before the main course of treasure. Set one up for friends, or invite a friend to do so for you. Find a route, write clues, test it out, and hide something. It works indoors too – a clue tucked inside a CD might direct the hunters to a particular passage in a book on a shelf, a drawer, a coat pocket, beneath a pot plant…

Scavenger hunt – a list of things to collect, maybe within a time limit, maybe in a specified place. The list might be literal – a feather; a blue cup; a foreign coin – or descriptive – something brown with no corners; a photo of someone you’d like to punch – or a clue – ‘Elizabeth and the Portcullis’ (3,5,5)* – or made up of any combination thereof. Hunting around the house works well too. A variation – rather than collect the items, photograph them.

Explore a cemetery. Look for a headstone that commemorates a date of death near to the date of your own birth. Imagine the person, their lifetime, their dreams.

Make a bonfire. Burn it in the company of friends. Dance around it when it's raging, sing together when it calms at little, and tell stories around the embers. Or just stare at the shapes in the flames.

Orienteering courses are all over the place. Maps cost a pound from the park warden. Try it.

*The solution is “One Penny Piece,” so that is the item that would need to be retrieved.

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