The snow laden pine trees in our yard now look like a Christmas card scene. Forest green limbs dressed in glittering white.
This snowfall called to me like snow sirens. But instead of luring me to treacherous rocky shorelines like mythological sirens, the snow enticed me out into the invigorating crispness of gently falling white flakes.
Our yard is now a perfect game board for playing fox and geese. (All I need now are some willing participants . . . .) To play Fox and Geese, gather as many people for this game of tag in the snow.
To play this wintry game, make paths through the snow in the shape of a wagon wheel. Stamp down a four foot circle in the center of the wagon wheel. This is home — a safe zone for the geese. Select one person to be the fox (it). The rest of the players are the geese.
The fox chases the geese along the trails in the snow. All players must stay on the trails at all times. Players cannot jump from one trail to a different one. Geese may run into ‘home’ for a momentary rest where they will be safe. The fox cannot tag them if the geese are in the ‘home’ circle. However, the geese cannot stay there very long. After a minute or two, they must leave the home circle. The fox cannot enter the home circle nor can he tag any geese that are in the ‘safe’ home circle. He may run through the circle in pursuit of a goose if the goose keeps running through the circle and doesn’t stop inside it.
When the fox tags a goose, their rolls are reversed. The goose now becomes the fox and the fox becomes a goose. The new fox begins chasing the geese trying to tag one of them. Play continues until a). everybody gets too tired b). everybody gets soggy, wet, and cold c). the fox gets frustrated because he can’t tag anybody and he is it all of the time d). all of the above!
You can play variations of Fox and Geese. Instead of making a wagon wheel shape in the snow, make paths that go every which way. Paths that zig. Paths that zag. Paths that curve all over the place. This adds challenge to the chase. Have more than one fox if there is a large group of players. Have more than one safe ‘home’ for the geese. And, Grandma is always allowed to have 1-2 (or more) helpers if she so chooses when she is the fox!
During the summer, you can make fox and geese paths by spraying white spray paint (or any color of paint) on the lawn. Fox and geese have to run on the painted lines.
This is a simple activity that you can play in the snow with your grandchildren — one that can strengthen your relationship with them and create lots of fun memories.