4. Throw the cushion

Equipment: A cushion.

This game is very simple. Each member of the family stands in a circle and the cushion is thrown around the circle several times. Then each member in turn gets to select an adverb -that’s any word ending in ‘ly’. The cushion must then be thrown and caught in the manner of the adverb. Favourite adverbs include quite simple ones like ‘slowly’, ‘quickly’, ‘softly’ ‘high’ ‘low’ etc. But this can be expanded to include more adventurous ones like ‘fiercely’, ‘sadly’, ‘secretly’ etc. The cushion is thrown round twice before the next player gets to choose. It can be fun to add ‘with a..’ categories after a couple of rounds such as ‘with a twist’, ‘with a song’, ‘with a flourish’ although adverbs are still ok.

Children who are too young may enjoy this game more if they don’t have to think of the adverbs, indeed, exhausted parents may prefer a version that involves sitting in an armchair and directing proceedings. In fact this game can be played from a sitting position if required.

The final stage in the game is to include categories where you imagine the cushion to be a specific object such as a bar of soap. Here the instruction can be ‘as if its slippery’ or ‘as if its on fire’ or simply ‘as if its a burning log’ as if its a sleeping baby’, ‘as if it is a gold ingot’.
The game is best kept fairly short- it won’t be long before you may have run out of novel ways to throw the cushion. An alternative for older children is to introduce a second cushion. Then you have two cushions circulating in opposite each with a different nature.