Here is another “backpocket” game that you can play if you have a large group of kids and a large area where they can run. This can be a game that you can play to fill up time at an Easter Egg Hunt, Backyard Bible Club, or whatever the situation. Like Quiet Ball and Silent Football, the point of a “backpocket” game is that it is a game that you can figuratively pull out of your backpocket when you’re in a tight spot, need to fill time, or just need to get the kids doing something organized. Plus, it needs to be a game that the kids will like and Captain Midnight is always a favorite.
Here’s how to play:
-- Have all the kids make a line at one end of the field/gym/open area. They all should be facing you while you are at the other end.
-- Turn your back to them and have one child ask, “Captain Midnight, what time is it?”
-- Tell them a time. For instance, if you say, “3 o’Clock,” then all children take three steps. If you say “10 o’clock” they take 10 steps.
-- As the kids take their steps, have the same child ask again. Then give them an answer. Continue this process.
-- At some point, depending on the size of your playing area, you will need to end things so you will scream “MIDNIGHT!!!” after they ask you what time it is.
-- It is at this point that chaos ensues. After screaming “midnight” or better yet, while you scream it, turn around and chase after the kids as they scurry back to the starting line. They will go absolutely bonkers.
-- Make sure you call “midnight” before a child gets to you. Their goal is to be the first to tag you. Therefore, expect some children to take large steps and even cheat a little. Therefore, it is perfectly acceptable to turn your head a few times and check the progress.
-- As you run, tag as many kids as you can. Those kids are then out. Keep playing until there is one child left. That child then gets to take over your job as the caller if you so choose to relinquish that duty.
-- A good tip is to tag both young and old kids equally. In other words, don’t always tag the slowest or youngest first. You should be faster than the majority of your kids therefore you should be able to tag who you want. This creates more fun and an unexpectedness of who will be tagged as they run back to the line.
-- For an Easter Egg Hunt, you can replace “Captain Midnight” with “Mr. Easter Bunny” or any event that you are having.
Cautions: This game is super fun because the children never know when it is going to be “midnight” and when they hear the word “midnight” and you turn around and run after them like a crazy person the anticipation that has been building reaches a boiling point and they scream and go bonkers as you chase them. However, usually some children will fall and some may even run into each other. So you may need to do a little explaining before the game that there is no pushing, etc. However, serious injuries are extremely rare, although there is always a risk of that when playing any game.
Have fun with Captain Midnight!