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Are you looking for a game that will tire out a large group of children?  This is perfect for parties, picnics or large gatherings of family or friends.  You can play stations inside or out – or combine the two. Make the game longer (and more exhausting) by extending the playing area.

The game consists of six A4 pieces of paper which you attach in different places. These are your ‘stations’. Station 1 might be on the bathroom door, Station 2 may be on the wall by the front door, Station 3 might be on the garage door or on a tree halfway down the garden.  

To start the game, each player is given a starting word.  Don’t let players work together unless they are tied together and can’t separate!  More than one person can start with the same word. You have 9 starting words for your group.

At the given signal, players all run off to the stations to search for their starting word.  Each station has two columns of words. They need to find their starting word in the left-hand column of one of the stations. Each word will only appear once across all of the stations. If they can’t find their word, they need to try another station.  When they’ve found it, they look across the row to the column on the right. In the Pirates example below, the starting word “Mutiny” gives you the second word “Rope”. Now the player must rush around, back to all the stations to find the word “Rope” on the left hand side.

And so on. As players find their new words they write them down in a list.  Each player must keep going until they find the word “FINISH” in the right hand column.  This is their cue to run back to the adult in charge, who has been having a cup of tea and watching everyone run round.  

The adult in charge will check the player’s sequence of words against their master copy to make sure they’ve found everything. The first player to return with a correct sequence is the winner. Give all players time to finish, even if they took a while. Anyone who finishes quickly can be given another starting word to do ‘for fun’.

Attached to this post is a set of Pirate themed stations, created by my brother, Anthony. There are 6 stations and one master sheet. If you’d like to make your own version with vocabulary that fits your party theme (you’ll need 81 different words), then you can change the master tab and the stations will automatically update themselves!  

Please share the versions you create by commenting on this post so that others can use them too!

Download Anthony Wood’s (Pirates) Stations Spreadsheet.

I’ve created a special mathematical version of stations that poses questions which must be solved before the answers are searched for. There are differentiated pathways – some are much more difficult than others.

Download Ellie’s Maths Stations