The title of this series, Mind Game Monday, suggests it will highlight games designed to somehow improve the mind. And that's how I planned it. However, today's selection is probably better for the body than the mind. I can argue, though, that physically active, healthy kids will be more likely to have healthy, active minds. So, there you go.
Before I dive any further into the game I've picked, I think a little defining and history are in order.
What is a snipe? In actuality, a snipe is a type of bird. That's about as involved as I'm getting with real snipes.
What is a snipe as related to a snipe hunt? I didn't do a ton of research on this. By that, I mean I looked at Wikipedia. I usually take that site with a grain of salt or sometimes use it as a jumping off place for research, knowing that anything I read there will need to be verified. But since this is just an article about a kid's game, I'm comfortable with relaying what I found there, which is:
A snipe hunt is a type of practical joke, in existence in North America as early as the 1840s, in which an unsuspecting newcomer is duped into trying to catch a non-existent animal called a snipe. While snipes are an actual family of birds, the snipe hunt is a quest for an imaginary creature whose description varies.
The target of the prank is led to an outdoor spot and given instructions for catching the snipe; these often include waiting in the dark and holding an empty bag or making noises to attract the prey. The others involved in the prank then leave the newcomer alone in the woods to discover the joke. As an American rite of passage, snipe hunting is often associated with summer camps and groups such as the Boy Scouts. (Wikipedia)
My husband told me he took a few people snipe hunting when he was a kid. I asked for his definition of the practice and he said it's a "wild goose chase for a mythical creature".
If you didn't previously know about snipe hunting, that scene in Up now makes a lot more sense. You're welcome.
Let's get back to the game.
I don't recall how I stumbled upon this gem. I have a vague memory of first seeing it in a catalog from Rainbow Resource, but I'm not sure about that. Any who, I read the description and knew my kids would love playing this game. And I was right.
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As you can see from the above picture, Snipe Hunt consists of two creatures named Smartin and Biela and their nest. Play is simple. Hide the snipes and find them. The first person or group to return their snipe to the nest wins.
I think Tres is trying to figure out just what this odd little creature is supposed to be.
Of course, you could hide any object and have your kids look for it. What makes this particular game so neat is that after several minutes of not being found Smartin and Biela begin to make spurts of a digital chirping, purring, roaring kind of sound. This keeps kids interested. Just when they start to get discouraged, they hear the tell-tale sound. The longer the snipes are away from their nest the more frequently they make sounds. When playing at night (which we haven't done yet but I want to badly) their eyes also flash. We're talking mega fun, folks.
I snapped this right after they heard a snipe make its first noise. It looks like The Boy is covering his ears, but he's cupping them to hear better (or so he thinks...I question his method).
The first time we played, I hid the snipes and the kids raced to see who could find theirs first. After that, the kids played on their own. One would hide a snipe behind the house and one in front. Then they would meet at the porch steps, declare the hunt on, and go search. They played over and over and over.
I want to get a huge group together, increase the search area, and play in teams. Doesn't that seem like such a fun group game? (I'm imagining a bunch of my adult friends and I playing, though. It would be ruthless.)
Still searching... Notice the kitten is wondering what's up.
There are very few kids that wouldn't find Snipe Hunt exciting and want to play it frequently. If I think really hard, I can only imagine that video game or technology obsessed children and those who are unfortunately already living a sedentary lifestyle would shun this game. Concerning that thought, I am going to be a little blunt now. Those children are perhaps the kind who need a game like Snipe Hunt the most.
See, this game gets you moving. The Boy thinks he's on to something. Though, Little Mama is looking a bit stumped.
If you fret that your child falls into one of those categories, I want to assure you that it's okay to make them go outside, move around, and use their bodies for play. Sometimes, even with children, the technology and/or lazy cycle needs to be broken to show children how good some fresh air and movement is for them. It's much harder to stop bad habits as an adult. We need to help our children cultivate good habits now.
But enough preaching...
We have a winner!
If you've ever been on a snipe hunt or taken someone snipe hunting, please tell me all about it in the comments. Make my belly laugh!
You Pinterest lovers can see all Mind Game Monday selections on my Pinterest board.