How to Play: Mother May I?

• Ages four and up
• Three or more players needed
• Outdoor activity
• Light competition

How to Play

• Establish a start and finish line.
• The leader (pick a random player, the birthday child or adult, depending on the age of the children) stands behind the finish line.
• The children spread out across the starting line.
• The leader gives the first command, such as "Molly, you may take three baby steps." Molly then must ask, "May I?" If she does not say this, her turn is over. If he does, the leader can say, "Yes, you may," in which case Molly then takes three baby steps toward the finish line.
• The leader can arbitrarily change his or her mind and say instead, "No, you may not. You may take five giant steps." Again, Molly must ask, "May I?" If the leader says, "Yes, you may," Molly moves five giant steps toward the finish line.
• The first child to reach the finish line wins, but since the leader can manipulate the game so that certain children win, this is a good game to calm unhappy children.
Steps which can be taken include:
baby steps, giant steps, hops, jumps, twirl steps, backwards steps, leaping steps, waddling steps and tiptoe steps. Children can make up additional kinds of steps.

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