source: | 2000 Games, Devotions, Themes, Ideas and more for Youth Work
only for private using

Terrain game: The wild woods

An entry from Antje D., based on the story „The wild wood“ by Tonke Dragt. Different knight games were integrated into this story. If you need further ideas for this game take a look at the collection of ideas under knight games. This game has been developed for 8 players and 2 members of staff but can also be built up to be played with more players. The game takes approx. 3-4 hours.

Introductory round

In king Unauwen’s kingdom there were many brave knights and those who wanted to become one.

  • Tjuri

    Tiuri is such a person. He is still young, a squire. However if he is lucky he will be knighted this year. He is already practised with a sword and shield and does not fear any duel.

  • Piak

    Piak is his friend. He spent a long time learning from the wise hermit Menaures in the mountains. Piak knows the mountains like the back of his hand but also knows how to survive in the woods. He stays at Tiuri’s side in all dangerous situations.

  • Jaro

    Jaro, a brave and skilled hunter, has also committed himself to stand at Tiuri’s side. Previously he had served the enemy, the black knight with the red shield. All of his people carry a red shield. They are the feared “red knights”. However had given up his red shield one day and helped Tiuri to flee from the black knight’s castle. Tiuri has trusted him ever since.

  • Knight Ristridin

    Ristridin is an elegant knight in King Unauwen’s kingdom. He owns a castle and lots of land but it did not keep him there. He handed everything over to his brother and set off as a travelling knight always in service for his king.

  • Knight Bendu

    Knight Bendu is a brave hero who does not flee from any danger. It is a poor person who has him as an enemy. It is not very easy to win his trust!

  • Knight Ewein

    Knight Ewein is still young, always happy and ready for adventure. A mission in the wild woods full of dangers and challenges is right up his street!

  • Knight Arwaut

    Knight Arwaut is also young with dark hair and amused eyes. He rides like the wind and when he is on the hunt with his eagle, he is in his element.

  • Customs officer Ardian

    Customs officer Ardian was a travelling knight before the king decided to trust him with some very important tasks. He is in charge of the customs station on Rainbow River. He guards the borders of the kingdom and that is bitterly needed because the black knight with the red shield, the scoundrel, keeps making treacherous plans.

Allocating the roles

The children select a number between 1 and 8 and receive an ID card. The leaders should play the roles of Menaures and Miss Ismeralda.

Knight battles

When the knights are bored they like to measure their strength in tournaments. This is how they tend to attain glorious surnames.

  • Shield carrier:

    A child stands in the circle and a second child tries to hit him with 5 balls which he defends with his shield. They then swap over. A player who lands a hit or the player who defends against the ball wins a point. The group winner receives the nickname: The defender.

  • Killing rats with a sword or axe

    A mouse (candy) is killed on a board. Each player has two goes. 2 points for anyone who makes two equally good hits, 1 point for the second go, 1 minus point for those who just injure the rat a little (cruelty to animals). Group winner: The rat killer

  • Sword fight:

    Two children stand on a tree stump and fight out who will fall from the stump first. Group winner: The sturdy

  • Snake eggs:

    Water bombs must be carefully rolled with a sword and brought into a barrel/container. Group winner: The snake killer

  • Archer

    A target is hit with a bow and arrow. Maybe the building of a bow and arrow can be additionally integrated into the game.

  • Stone throw

    Shot put with a boules ball or target throwing.

  • Falcon flight:

    Let paper planes fly from a high point if possible. The winner is the player whose plane stays in the air the longest.

There are approx. 45 minutes in total for warming up and getting to know each other. All of the points are written down.

Terrain game

  • Hunting for game

    There shall be a feast but the game is not there to be eaten. Go on the hunt.

    • Group 1: Tiuri, Piak and Jaro.
    • Group 2: The others.

    Animal cards are hidden on trails – approx. 5-10 per game. Groups can also catch a living spider (extra points).

  • Catching and hiding

    At the end of the trail there is a message.

    • Message for group 1: „Whether customs or not: Hide in the woods until darkness falls and then cross the rainbow river. Warn king Unauwen: The black knight wants to attack the kingdom.“
    • Message for group 2: „Tiuri and his friends do not want to pay customs. They hide in the woods until darkness falls to sneak over the border river. Catch them!“

    Hide and seek in a limited section of the woods – there is also a time limit e.g. until a signal sounds.

  • All come back together.

    After a test of courage (let a spider crawl over the hand) and a letter from the king, customs officer Adrian is reconciled. They carry on together.

  • Riddling

    A new message: from Marius, a friend from the woods. „Help! The red riders have set the woods alight but I don’t know where. Please help us otherwise the woods will be burnt down! However you should arm yourself – make some spears.“

    • Riddle with Sudoku. The solution shows the way. (Example: 72 steps SW and 24 steps into the woods.)
    • Long spears are made from branches, arrow heads and string.
      Nickname: The artful, the skilled
  • Life-saving news

    In the place where it is burning balloons are hanging in the trees. They are targeted and burst with spears. Two balloons have a message in them.

    • Message 1: „From the wood animals: Many thanks for your help. We have hidden provisions for you at the rowan tree.“
    • Message 2: „From Marius: You are probably thirsty. Follow the trail (blue arrows) to water.“

    At the water source bottles of water are hidden for everyone.
    If no ladies are present maybe you can organise a burping competition. Nickname: The noisy

  • Danger

    New message: Danger once again. The red riders have attacked the castle, kidnapped Burgfrau Ismeralda and laid a bomb. Quickly make your way to the castle and defuse the bomb.

    • Go back, look for the alarm clock and defuse the bomb.
    • Look for Ismeralda (member of staff) and free her.

    The children who are in the camp until someone finds and defuses the bomb receive additional points.
    If the alarm clock rings beforehand everyone receives points deducted.

Prizes and the feast

The points from the rally are added to the game results from A.


  • Game 2 P
  • Predator 3P
  • Spider 5P (We added up the points per group and divided them by 3 (or 5))
  • Success at hiding 5P for the child from group 1, bonus for the group
  • Someone found 5P for the child from group 2, bonus for the group
  • Bomb defused 10P for the players involved
  • Bomb exploded –10P for all

The children can take as many sweets as they have points. Their surnames/nicknames are read out loud. There is a proper picnic with bread, meat and fruit/vegetables. Everyone has their own pocket knife and a board.

Ideas from: Tonke Dragt: „A Letter for the King“ (youth book), and „The Wild Wood“ (and installments).

[ © | 2000 Games and Ideas for Youth Work ] - 2000 Games and Ideas for Youth Work
picture youthwork picture youthwork picture youthwork picture youthwork picture youthwork picture youthwork