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Outdoor fun with three in a row

What you need

  • 4 longish ‘sticks’ (garden canes, broom handles or swimming noodles)
  • 6 matching items (e.g. pebbles)
  • 6 matching items (e.g. leaves)


  • Developing gross motor skills
  • Learning to take turns
  • Learning about being healthy and how their bodies change when they exercise

The experience

Find a suitable place in the garden or even in the park (searching for 4 longish sticks and matching items could be part of the game)

Using the 4 sticks to create an evenly spaced frame with 9 squares (similarly to a noughts and crosses board). 

Decide who is going to have which set of items and take turns to place the items in a chosen square. The first person to have three of their items in a row is the winner!

For older children, why not use number or word cards instead of the matching items – try to place the numbers in order or make silly phrases using three words, the silliest one is the winner.