3 ways to test your critical thinking and problem-solving in nature

3 ways to test your critical thinking and problem-solving in nature

Games are not just for childhood – many encourage critical thinking, fast problem-solving and new ideas. Here are a few ideas for outdoor and nature-based games to play with the kids in the school holidays.

There are so many ways to connect with nature, and playing games is an excellent option. So much so that it’s one of the ‘ways’ we encourage nature connection as part of the Adelaide National Park City movement.

1. Outdoor camping games

Some family games we grew up with are best played outdoors.

Fire Tender is a fun camping game for kids and families. One blindfolded player sits in the middle of a group with sticks on the ground around them.

Other players must sneak up and steal the sticks and take them back to their spots without being heard and pointed out.

If the blindfolded player hears them, they’ll point in their direction and call out. If a person is called out, they‘re out of the round.

2. Ball games and sports

Kids can play simple outdoor games like handball (or 4-square), beach cricket, basketball and soccer to do some fast problem-solving and get competitive with their friends and family.

Want to make it a bigger challenge? Change the goals and see who can kick a ball into a netball hoop.

There’s also a traditional Kaurna game called Parndo, where one person kicks the parndo (ball) high into the air and other players try to catch it.

Read the rules on the Australian Sports Commission factsheet

3. Board games

There are board games that help you learn about different plant and animal species, like Wingspan and Arboretum.

Arboretum looks simple, but you’re soon using a lot of strategic thinking to try to build a great botanic garden of your own.

There are also history-based card games like Chronology that help you test your knowledge about history, including natural history.

There are games in every format that encourage critical thinking while highlighting nature – from video games that get you to find different elements and work with recipes, to interactive fiction (think ‘choose your own adventure’ books), and even tabletop adventures. Have a go at some that connect you with nature, or try writing one of your own!

Find more ways to connect with nature with our 50 Ways to be part of Adelaide National Park City.