Family Dodgeball Alternative

Family Dodgeball Alternative

Written by JaimeKristal Lott

If you are looking for something new to do outside —be it playing with your children or getting some exercise— see below for instructions on Pandodgemic!

There is a new game to play with your kids to help them understand the pandemic better or be just a bit of fun for anyone who likes running around throwing things at each other. Pandogemic (pronounced “pan-dodge-mick”) is a cross between dodgeball and Ships Ahoy –that game where you run from wall to wall in gym class depending on whether you were told to go starboard or to the stern and sometimes even had to hit the deck. For this game, all you need in order to play is a Covid-19 plushie from Scalliwag Toys and a fair amount of open space. 

Dodgeball and Ships Ahoy were always a ton of fun to play, and getting beaned by a stuffed toy is sure to hurt much less than the rubber balls we got pelted with growing up. Not to mention, your kids will likely be exhausted by the time they are ready to quit. 

How to Play

This game is best played outdoors, either in your backyard or a local park. One person is appointed to be the pandemic and this person gets to call out various stations that replace the shipboard directions. These can be things like soap, sanitizer, facemask, vaccination, etc. As there are no walls, you can use your fence, a tree, your jacket, a picnic blanket, or whatever you wish to indicate where each station is. If you would like it to be an additional teaching moment, you can have the kids pretend they are utilizing whatever the station is called when there. 

Now, for an added twist, the pandemic person also gets to chuck the coronavirus plushie at their children or siblings or roommates. However, this person has to either stand on a specific spot or behind their line when throwing the plushie at those running between stations. Once at the station, the runners are deemed safe and cannot have the plushie thrown at them. 

If someone is hit by the plushie, it is their turn to be the pandemic person. Should the person playing pandemic be unable to hit anyone and wishes to switch spots, they can also yell “hospital” which the same as “hit the deck”. The players will have to drop to the ground and pretend to be lying in a hospital bed with the slowest person to lie down being the one to take over calling stations. 

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