39. Lava trouble

Lava trouble is particularly good for smaller children. It is so called because we imagined that the floor was covered with Lava and the object of the game is not to get burnt. It is a game probably every family with young children has played at some point.

The aim is to jump or climb from one piece of furniture without touching the floor. This version is a highly active race game that requires physical jumping climbing and sometimes getting a few bumps and scratches, so players should entertain themselves at their own risk!

First, an adult should lay the course by positioning furniture, preferably soft furniture such as armchairs, sofa and so on around the room, or around two rooms and intersperse them with sofa cushions on the floor so the distance between each item is a manageable jump or climb for all the participants. Use any other resources you have, such as kitchen chairs, study chests and rugs.  Make a circular course so that the player can go around at least three times.

Each player is timed to complete the course. The aim is to get around without touching the actual floor, which is covered in lava.

Cushions are assumed to be floating platforms on the floor. Younger players should be given an advantage, such as only having to complete the course twice. Each player (including adults) must complete the course three times, with their fastest time being the time that wins.

Note to competitive Dads (and Mums) –in common with all games in this book, ensure that the ‘winning’ is split out evenly among family members if any kind of biases in who wins emerge.

Remember that if you touch the floor, that round is disqualified. The winner is the person with the fastest time out of three times around, with no disqualifications.