Family Night Games: Follow The Judge To Court

This is our absolute favorite night game to play with a variety of ages.  Usually I am all about the competition, and if there is no way to win, why play.  But this game is challenging without being too competitive.

  • Everyone line up in a single file line.  The person in the front of the line is the “Judge”
  • The Judge leads the group through the yard or around the house.  Everyone must stay in line close behind him.
  • Ok here is the point of the game:  Try to sneak away without the judge knowing you are gone.  The most opportune time would be when you turn a corner of the house or when you pass a tree.  It is easiest to sneak away if you are in the back of the line.
  • Every once in a while the Judge will turn around and look to see who is missing (so we usually have to make up a rule that you can only turn around every 10 steps or something for the little kids.  If you are turning around to look every step it is no fun.) When the Judge turns around he must jump and completely turn 180 degrees.  No peaking over your shoulder.
  • The Judge tries to find people who sneak away.  He will call that person by name and say where they are.  If the person is caught they must go in line right behind the judge.
  • If the Judge wants to turn around he has to make a circle as big as a car.
  • If you are caught 3 times you become the judge.
  • The funnest part is trying to sneak in the back of the line without being caught by the judge.  This adds a lot of challenge to the game. (Sometimes we play that if you sneak back in the line 2 times it erases 1 of your times being caught.  But you don’t need to add that, just have fun sneaking back in and then running away.)
  • Of course this game is best played in the dark.  If you live in Alaska in the summer, good luck.

So What? The entire family can get a thrill out of playing this game.  It is not just for the little ones and the rest of the family pretends to enjoy it.  Even mom and dad can have a blast rolling on the ground or ducking behind bushes.

This game also allows everyone to have a turn to be in charge.  When you are judge you have complete control over where you go and have to responsibility to find the missing people.  Pay attention to each other’s leadership skills and learn how you handle the spot light.