Tuesday, 28 July 2009

The Nail Game

This is an Alpine classic, known to anyone who’s been on an Austrian skiing holiday that included a visit to the local tavern. It’s a competition of judgement and strength where players compete to be the one to hammer the nail all the way into the log. It provides a great opportunity for male bonding as it combines strength, hammer dexterity and a dousing of competition in one neat ‘hanging out at the bar’ package.

The game proved itself to be a winner with a bunch of competitive Dads at this year's Camp Bestival event.

How do I play it
  • The object of the game is to be the person who takes the final strike to get the nail into the log.
  • First, tap a good-sized nail into a solid log or wooden block.
  • Each player takes the hammer and strikes the nail in turn. If they are particularly bold they might go for getting the nail all the way in. I’ve never seen this happen, though am sure that if you’re a challenger for the Austrian Championship it’s a possibility.
  • If, as usually is the case, the player only gets it a short way in, the hammer is handed around the group, with the last striker getting the point.

Organised Fun at Camp Bestival

Last weekend, the Organised Fun team reminded Camp Bestival festival goers how to make their own fun for free. We performed throughout Sunday in the Bookworm tent and rallied large numbers of festival revelers to join us in some homespun fun. Particular favourites were a mass game of 'Race on your face' (see earlier blog entry for full rules) and the kids thoroughly enjoyed various versions of Musical Human Chairs (again see earlier entry).

If you'd like details of any of the games played or indeed if you have any ideas of other games you'd like to get featured in the next book then I'd love to hear from you. Email me at organisedfunforeveryone@gmail.com

For more pictures and information about Camp Bestival click here

Heading off for the summer holidays with the kids?

Then click here to read this Organised Fun piece in the Times today. Should give you a few tips on how to keep them entertained.

Sunday, 26 July 2009

Bobby Dazzler Dolls

The Bobby Dazzler gang in their customised horse box shop were at this year's Camp Bestival and were one of my favourite features of the whole weekend. These guys have managed to re-invent the doll wheel and come up with these fantastically quirky dolls that are that little piece of creative genius. Check out their wares at www.theworldofbobbydazzler.co.uk.

Priced at around £20 for handmade pieces of magic, I have no idea how they manage to turn a profit but they're definitely worth every penny.

Playground Games are dying a death

A new piece of research by Robinson's Fruit Shoots published earlier this week has highlighted that playground games are dying a death as a result of our cotton wool culture and overly protective nanny state.

According to an article in the Daily Mail, more than three in four of today's little girls do not play with skipping ropes. The figure compares with 94 per cent of their mothers who remember skipping to rhymes and songs when they were at school.

Little more than 33 per cent of boys play conkers, while 83 per cent of their fathers have fond memories of glorious conker battles at the same age. A growing appetite for computer games and television is not the only reason that traditional games appear to be passing the present generation by. The survey shows that parents believe today's 'cotton-wool culture', in which children are molly-coddled and not allowed to take any risks, is to blame.

Eighty per cent of parents said modern health and safety regulations were behind the demise of traditional playground favourites such as skipping, conkers, hopscotch, British bulldog and climbing trees.

The research not only highlights the demise and future death of those traditional games that we nostalgically recall from our childhood, more importantly it raises concerns around the loss of a key stage in childhood where kids learn crucial social skills. It's through these games that children learn right from wrong and how to socialise and interact with their peers. After all, Lara Croft is going to be great to show the kids how to navigate their way out of canyons whilst being chased by crazed terrorists, but she's not going to be particularly good at teaching them how to make friends.

Saturday, 25 July 2009

Andy's Ace Heads and Tails Game

This is a brilliant game invented by my friend Andy (or maybe he picked it up somewhere - I can't remember). Either way its a winner for large groups to tease everyone into an afternoon of homespun fun. Put simply (well it's hard to complicate it as it is indeed a simple game) the game involves a slow process of elimination by the toss of a coin.

How do I play it?
  • Get everyone to stand up and decide whether to put their hands on their heads or their tails (i.e. their bums)
  • Toss a coin and whatever it lands on determines who stays standing up i.e. if it lands on tails then all of those with their hands on their heads have to sit down
  • This process of elimination continues until you are left with a winner (or two).

Friday, 24 July 2009

50 ideas to make this a thrifty summer of fun

If your watching your purse along with your waistline this summer, then you might want to check out Style Magazine's guide to thrifty summer fun. Click here to read more, and check out their recommendation in point 33.

Thursday, 23 July 2009

Field Day Festival - Saturday 1st August

If you're fancying some London stylee festival fun othen get yourself down to Victoria Park on Saturday 1st August: www.fielddayfestivals.com

Apart from having a reputation for showcasing some of the best new and emerging musical talent, the event also features a Village Fete jam packed with exactly my kind of Organised Fun.

Indeed the Organised Fun team are such fans that we will be showcasing the Human Fruit Machine in the Village Fete area, and giving away free samplers of the book to anyone who comes along to have a crack at the human version of the dusty pub classic. Hopefully see you there!

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Hide & Seek Festival - Friday 31st July and 1st & 2nd August

If you're kicking around on 1st & 2nd August, then why not head to the Southbank Centre and join the Hide and Seek crew at their summer festival of fun. There will be all sorts of games and shenanigans for you to get stuck into and the weekend will be rounded off with a family day on the Sunday.

If you're a stressed out parent then why not drop by with the kids and give yourself some QT with the Sunday papers. From 1.30pm to 3.30pm we will be showing you a whole host of children's games to get you stuck into organising some summer fun yourself.

To see the full festival programme click here

Looking for ideas to keep your kids entertained this summer


Friday, 17 July 2009

Post it notes - the new social networking

Just when you thought you'd got a handle on the latest social networking craze, some bugger re-invents the wheel. Some enterprising, though arguably bored Farringdon office workers showed us that social networking exists beyond the realm of the computer screen (what meeting people in real life - weird). What started out a s a simple 'hello' from graphic designers Ryan Tym and Richard Holt's office, turned into a fully fledged chat with the office opposite. Over the next two days the conversation unfolded with two floors above and below getting involved. The relationship progressed to a marriage proposal by the end of day two, which was blessed with post work drinks at the pub.

Sunday, 12 July 2009

The Dictionary Game or Call My Bluff

For those looking for a more cerebral line in after dinner entertainment, then let me remind you or indeed tell you about the wonderful Dictionary Game. The Dictionary Game or Call My Bluff involves players taking it in turns to guess the correct, or near as dammit correct, dictionary definition of a chosen word. It sounds a bit dull when described, but as these hazy pictures testify this game has taken many a dinner soiree late into the night.

How do I play it?
  • Players take it in turns to lead each round. Each leader chooses an obscure word from the dictionary, one which they’re fairly certain no one knows the definition of.
  • All the guests need to write a plausible definition for the word. The objective of the game is to confuse other players into selecting yours as the correct one. If you have an inkling of what the actual definition is, then write this out as if correct. It’ll earn you extra points.
  • When done, everyone secretly submits them to the holder of the dictionary. The dictionary holder needs to write out the actual definition on another slip of paper to prevent players easily guessing the correct one.
  • Each definition is then read out and players must guess which is the right one. Scoring is as follows:
  • All players choosing the actual definition get two points.
  • Players also get a point for each person who selects the definition they wrote.
  • If no one identifies the correct definition then the leader of that round gets a point.
  • To buy Organised Fun click here

Sing Song Ping Pong

Sing Song Ping Pong is up there as one of my favourites to while away a long and arduous car journey. It has nothing to do with singing prowess but is more a test of lyrical knowledge. Put simply, players take it in turns to sing a line from a song and then compete to come up with another song line featuring a word that's just been sung - comprende? OK I've spelt it out more clearly below.

How do I play it?
  • Decide who’s going first and that person sings a line from a song
  • The rest of the group must then think of another song that features any of the words that have just been sung. For example if I was to sing ‘Golden brown texture like sun’, the rest of the group would have to find another song that featured any of those words, for example ‘I won’t let the sun go down on me’ then perhaps followed with the next person singing ‘Things will be great when you’re down town, don’t wait a minute more…’. I’m sure you get the idea
  • Players then score a point each time they correctly sing the connecting line. I’d suggest having a nominated person to keep a track of scores. It’s impossible to do when you’re racking your brain for song lines
  • To buy Organised Fun click here

Saturday, 11 July 2009

The Lying Down Game

Looking for a spot of aimless entertainment, then why not join the international movement that is the Lying Down Game. The game was apparently started by two doormen who whilst on holiday in Majorca bored of the traditional holiday snap decided to add a novel new theme.


How do I play it?
  • Choose as public place as possible
  • Lie face down with your hands by your sides and get a friend to take a picture
  • Load it up onto one of the many Facebook sites for others to enjoy.

Friday, 10 July 2009

Remember When? A novel take on Charades

If you're bored of the classic game of charades, and are looking for something a little more challenging then Remember When could be the game for you. It makes the most of the inherent pleasure of reliving shared memories, as friends take it in turns to act out embarrassing and memorable episodes to enable the victim to be tormented all over again.

How do I play it?
  • Before starting, each guest takes some time to recall episodes that they know the gathered will remember or have shared before. Try to choose those that are as embarrassing as possible so less about when Josie got pregnant and focus more on the time she went on a first date and her beau vomited over her at the restaurant table (and yes, that did actually happen. Dave, you are forgiven). They can be about themselves or about another mutual friend or member of the gathered party. There are bound to be a couple of obvious ones that a few people plan to do and I’m sure there’s an offender in your group who might pop up more than once
  • Once ready, guests take it in turns to act out their episode. The entertainment value of this game is normally more than enough to negate the need to add a competitive element, but if needs must you can award points for how quickly the gathered party guess e.g. 4 point if they guess in 30 seconds, 3 points if within a minute, 2 points if within 90 seconds and 1 point if within two minutes.
  • To purchase Organised Fun click here

Sunday, 5 July 2009

Scissor, Paper, Stone, Ray-gun

This one is blends the traditional game of Scissor Paper Stone with an added element of Top Trumps. It's a winner for kids as as it means they can battle it out over whether a stick of dynamite beats a fire squirter, or whether a tractor can destroy a Landrover . All very subjective but certainly encourages some healthy debate.

How to play
  • Form a fist with your hand and on the count of three form the shape of either a pair of scissors, a piece of paper or a stone and hold your hand shape out in front of you
  • The rules of the game are that the shape that you form will either defeat or be defeated by the other players. Scissors cut paper but are blunted by stone and paper wraps stone
  • Once the kids have got the hang of this, they can introduce a weapon, vehicle or even animal of their choice and embark on a healthy debate of which one would win if they met face to face
  • To purchase Organised Fun click here

Saturday, 4 July 2009

Fork Off (or The Fork Game if you're playing with kids)

A family favourite of our friend Simon. It's great to entertain the kids at a restaurant when waiting for their food to arrive.

How do I play it?
  • The aim of this game is to skewer your opponent’s fork by shunting yours underneath the curvature of their handle
  • Players start by facing the forks handle to handle. The first person to go gently taps or flicks their fork handle with the outside mid joint of their index finger aiming to slide their handle under the arch of their opponent’s. This is impossible to do in a single movement and must be achieved by a series of dexterous manoeuvres
  • The rules of play are that you’re only allowed to shunt the end of the handle (most important) and only one shunt per player per go
  • The player who gets theirs under first is the winner
  • To purchase Organised Fun click here.