10 Ideas for Playing in Long Grass

27 August 2013 · 8 comments

in 10 Outdoor Ideas Series, Early Years Outdoors, Nature Play & Learning, Outdoor Play

One of the best things about the summer is how quickly everything grows. In long grass, there are lots of different grasses and wild flowers to be found. Not only is this good for minibeasts and other wildlife, there are also many traditional games and past times which can be enjoyed. If there is one thing you can do in your school, it is let some of the grass grow long. Play hard, play long and enjoy the last of the summer days…

Long grass

Make Grass Whistle

Find a wide blade of grass. Stretch the blade between the bone joints of your thumbs. Kiss both top knuckles and as you do so, blow gently through the small gap where the blade of grass is fixed.

Dandelion Pipes

Pick a dandelion and remove its head so that all you are left with is the stalk. Gently squash one end slightly and make a split in it, like a reed. Pop it into your mouth and blow. With a bit of practice you can make a whole variety of sounds. In this video clip, the stalk is removed to make different sounds. However you can make little holes to play like a pipe or a penny whistle.

Mini Tug-of-War

You and a friend each need a blade of grass, the longer the better. Each person makes a loop with their blade, giving the ends to the other person to hold between their thumb and index finger. Loop each person’s blade together. On the count of three start tugging. See whose blade breaks first.

Beheading

Each person chooses a plantain stalk and head. Take it in turns to try and decapitate the head. If your  stalk wins, see how many other stalks it can behead before becoming too weak. Does the size of a plantain stalk affect its performance?

Human Spinning Tops
Find a place where the grass is nice and soft. Stretch out your arms and spin around at least ten times or until your are nice and dizzy. Then try walking in a try line…

Be a Seed Carrier
Turn an old walking sock inside out and put it over your shoe. Go for a walk through the long grass and see what seeds are being transported on the sock. Plant them in a seed tray and see what grows.

Lucky hunting
Clover thrives on many school playing fields as well as in long grass. Organise a hunt for a four-leaved clover. What tactics and what equipment are needed? Make a meticulous plan of action.

Scatter Seeds Poetically
Here’s a tree in summer (present a long grass with seed heads on it to your friend)
Here’s a tree in winter (run hand up stalk, removing grass seeds)
Here’s a bunch of flowers (present seeds caught in hand to your friend)
Here’s the April showers (chuck seeds over your friend’s head)

Have a look at the photos in this Nature Bag blog post for the illustration.

Goose Grass Ganders
Sneak up behind your friend and plant some goosegrass on their back. Time how long it takes before they notice it is there.

Ear Tickling
This is wonderfully annoying. Find the longest grass stalk you can. Pick it and use the end to gently tickle other people’s ears as you walk and talk. Don’t poke it right inside their ear as this could hurt and damage the middle ear. It is incredibly tickly. Is it possible to carry on a normal conversation when someone is doing this to you?

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Tom Bedard August 27, 2013 at 23:34

I have always liked to crawl in the long grass to spy at the rest of the world through the blades of grass.

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Diana Fedora Tucci August 28, 2013 at 12:04

One of my fondest memories of childhood is the field beside my childhood home that was left to grow over with long grass. All the children of the neighbourhood, myself and my three sisters would spend our summer days playing a game of tag/hide and seek through it. It has stayed with me as one of my greatest memories of childhood.
Your blog post is lovely, Juliet!

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Debi August 28, 2013 at 20:23

These are wonderful ideas! Makes me wish we had a lovely patch of long grass somewhere in our neighborhood to enjoy.

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Sarah MumofThree World August 31, 2013 at 14:12

Some lovely ideas there, I think my kids would really enjoy the seed-carrier sock thing. I used to do the ‘tree in summer, tree in winter’ thing as a kid myself.
Popping over from Country Kids.

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Juliet Robertson August 31, 2013 at 15:35

Thanks for all your comments everyone! Grass is such a good free play resource.

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Kriss September 1, 2013 at 10:44

it’s wonderful for kids to learn that they can have great fun just playing in the grass and not just with fancy toys
#countrykids

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Coombe Mill - Fiona September 2, 2013 at 10:55

What a list of fun activities for children to do with/in long grass!, outdoors in the fresh air and free – thanks for linking up and sharing with Country Kids.

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Leila - Mud Mud Marvellous Mud September 2, 2013 at 21:17

These are brilliant ideas! I can’t wait to try them with Little Man 🙂

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