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Mountain; PeakingPeaking


With all the games you play, you want to keep the idea of "peaking" in mind. Peaking is ending a game while participants are still having fun. Kids will remember a game by how it it ended. If they are bored because they were playing it too long (even if they were having tremendous fun at one point) they will tend to remember it as boring. If they were engaged and enjoying the game, they will want to play it again. Usually this will mean limiting the amount of times played, rather than stopping in the middle of an exciting game.


The Principles of Peaking:

  • End the game while players are still having fun
  • End the game before players lose interest or become bored
  • Increase complexity and add variety as children adapt to the game
  • Do not play a game too often
  • Do not play a game too many times in a row
  • Play a variety of different types of games




Eliminations aren't forever - You don't always have to wait for everyone to be eliminated, invite players back in at times or end the game once everybody has had a turn and start over.

Sub-elimination - Turn regular elimination games into sub-elimination games. Only a certain number of players sit out, in a line in order of when they were eliminated. When the line is full (when you have 2 or 5 or however many players sitting out, depending on the game and total number of players), and someone is eliminated they go to the back of the line and are replaced in the game by the first person in line. From then on anyone eliminated is replaced by the first person in the line.

Fair Teams -  One of the most important factors contributing to enjoyment of any team game is that the teams are fair. Take into consideration the ages, sizes, genders, and friends when splitting groups.

Competitiveness - Do you have certain participants who become antagonistic toward each other or get into disagreements when playing games? Try putting them on the same team so that they work together toward the same goal.

Revival - Players can feel left out if they have to wait too long to be freed during a game. Try calling out "3, 2, 1, everyone's up" to get everyone back involved in the game and give the game a little jolt of excitement.

4 Winner Chicken Dinner - Try ending the game with four winners and share the joy of winning.

Total Elimination - All that being said, don't be afraid to play a game to the very end. If it's going well, don't end the game until every single person has been tagged; sometimes the most epic moments are when everyone works together to get the last few hold-outs.

You were so close - Always encourage participants to keep playing and to try again.


Mountain Summit with View; Peaking

The feeling of leading a successful game.