Children's Picnic

Members in the diocese of St Albans orgnise a picnic during the summer holidays and invite young families, toddler groups and Rainbow/Brownie groups. Ideally the picnic is based in a play area nearby but an alternative venue is also needed in case it is wet, for example the Church hall.

Families are asked to bring a packed lunch (this way they will have food they enjoy) and members provide juice for youngsters and tea and coffee for mums.

Games to play can include:

  • Pass the Parcel with sweets and Mothers' Union stickers or pencils in the layers

  • Oranges and Lemons

  • The Farmer's in his den

  • Dead Lions - if the children are hot this will cool them down

  • A small pack of sweets or some fuit to take home can be given to the children at the end of the picnic.


Games instructions

Pass the parcel -

To play:

  1. You need a small gift and music that you can turn on and off
  2. Wrap the gift in newspaper, or coloured wrapping paper
  3. Put candy, or very small prizes in between some of the layers if you wish
  4. For older children, you may wish to put forfeits between some of the layers
  5. Oganise the children to sit in a circle
  6. Give the birthday child the parcel to start with
  7. Play the music and ask the children to pass the parcel around the circle.When the music stops, whoever has hold of the parcel gets to unwrap a layer of paper
  8. If the children are aged three and four, try and make sure that everyone gets to unwrap a layer - maybe even put candy between each layer so that everyone gets a prize
  9. Once the layer of paper has been removed, start the music again, and ask the kids to continue passing the parcel around the circle
  10. The game continues with a payer of paper being removed every time the music stops
  11. The winner is the person who takes off the last layer of paper to reveal the prize.


Oranges and Lemons -

This is a game based around the old English children's song, called 'Oranges and Lemons', about the sounds of church bells in various parts of London.This is how it is played:Two children form an arch with their arms. They determine in secret which of them shall be an 'orange' and which a 'lemon'. Everyone sings the 'Oranges and Lemons' song (see below).The other children in the game take turns, to run under the arch until one of them is caught when the arch falls at the end of the song. They captured player is asked privately whether they will be an 'orange' or a 'lemon' and then goes behind the original 'orange' or 'lemon' team leader. The game and dingng then starts over again. At the end of the fame tehre is usually 'a tug of war' to test whether the 'oranges' or 'lemons' are stronger.

Oranges and LemonsSay the bells of St. Clement's; You owe me five farthings, Say the bells of St. Martin's; When will you pay me? Say the bells of Old Bailey. When i grow rich,Say the bells of Shoreditch.When will that be? Say the bells of Stepney? I do not know, Says the Great bell of Bow. Here comes a chopper to light you to bed! Here comes a chopper to chop off your head! Chip chop chip chop the last man's dead! (The arch comes down tapping one player.)


The Farmer's in his DenThis is an old fashioned children's party game, and is just great for young ones. It's a singing game, and can be played with pretty much any number of kids. It's based on the Farmer's in the Den rhyme, which goes: The Farmer's in his den The Farmer's in his den E-I-Ad-E-O, the Farmer's in his den The Farmer wants a wife The Farmer wants a wife E-I-Ad-E-O, the Farmer wants a wife The wife wants a child The wife wants a child E-I-Ad-E-O, the wife wants a child The child wants a dog The child wants a dog E-I-Ad-E-O, the child wants a dog The dog wants a bone The dog wants a bone E-I-Ad-E-O, the dog wants a bone We all pat the bone We all pat the bone E-I-Ad-E-O, we all pat the bone To play

  1. The children all stand in a circle and one child is chosen to be the farmer. The farmer stands in the middle of the circle
  2. The children begin to sing the song
  3. As the children sing, "The farmer wants a wife", the farmer chooses another child as 'the wife'
  4. As the children sing, "the wife wants a child", the wife chooses another child to come into the circle as the child
  5. Then another child is chosen as the dog, and finally the bone
  6. The child chosen as the bone has the dubious pleasure of being patted by all the children as they sing, "we all pat the bone"!


Dead Lions -

After lots of activity this is a great game to quieten things down. Choose a large open room and get all the children to lie down and pretend to be sleepy lions. If you are doing a particular theme you can get them to pretend to be fairies, pirates, dinosaurs or whatever fits your theme instead. Explain that whoever moves after the game begins will be out. During this time you can walk around the room, talking to them and trying to make them laugh. Each child who is out can help you try and make the others laugh. The last person left sleeping is the winner.