WHAT’S THE TIME, MR WOLF? is a kids-game known in many English speaking countries and Middle/South America. This is a easy outdoor (indoor if the room is big) kids game where you don´t need any material to play the game.
Beside the fun this game – as any good kids game does – gives, there are useful skills to learn. The kid playing the role of MR/MS Wolf will need to guess the distance and progress of the other kids as well as perform some kind executive function.
How does it work? The rules!
Number of kids: Minimum of 2
Tools required: None
1.) The kid starting as Mr./Ms. Wolf turns their back to the other kids, who are starting from the same spot (the distance can vary and should be adjusted to the location where you play and the age of the kids).
2.) The kids who are not Mr./Ms. Wolf asking “WHAT’S THE TIME, MR WOLF?” and the wolf replies with the time, he alone decides.
3.) If the wolf says 3 o´clock, the other kids make 3 steps.
4.) But if the wolf calls Dinner/Lunch-Time he will try and catch one of the kids (who is going to become the next Mr./Ms. Wolf), before the reach their starting point.
5.) If the other kids reach Mr. Wolf before Dinner/Lunch-Time is called, they win.
There are many variations for the kids-game – “WHAT’S THE TIME, MR WOLF?” – and we encourage everyone to find the best variation for your kids. Maybe share your favorite variation in the comments?
But we want to give you some ideas, as the rules given above are very basic. First, the kid playing as Mr. Wolf is usually allowed to turn around. You can also use a different “sign” to signal that it is Dinner-Time. Example: A wolf howl.
It is also a great idea, to adjust the whole concept. This Brazilian version of this kids-game is a good example for this. Again, a child is playing as Mr./Ms. Wolf and is hiding. The other kids are walking around and singing; Vamos passear na floresta, enquanto o seu lobo não vem! Está pronto seu lobo? (Let’s go walking in the forest while the wolf isn’t there! Are you ready, Mr Wolf?). Instead of saying the time as in the basic game, he will replay with different things he is doing; brushing his teeth, preparing his cloth …. he is busy and the kids are save. This continues till the wolf is ready and either catching the others by surprise or calling “I am ready”. He will try to catch them and the first kid he catches, is going to be the wolf in the next round. Again, there can be a save spot implemented in this game.
Have fun playing the game – and don´t forget: Play with your kids!