Picnic Games – Cornwall

Exploring Cornwall, Picnic games, Pocket Pal -

Picnic Games – Cornwall

With its stunning beaches, beautiful countryside, and intriguing history, Cornwall has to be everybody's favourite holiday location. It's not hard to find the perfect picnic spot in this gem of a county but what is there to do when the pasties and cream teas have all been gobbled up? We have some fascinating facts, and amusing picnic games for the whole family to enjoy. Lowena dhis! (Have a nice day!)

By Fi Darby



Cornish Time

Fun fact: At the summer solstice, Land's End in Cornwall has 16 hours and 22 minutes of daylight. On the same date John O'Groats in Scotland has 18 hours and 22 minutes of daylight.

Game: What's the time Mr Cornwall?

Cornish time is well known for being very relaxed! In this game one player is chosen to be 'Mr Cornwall', and stands with his back to the group. The other players call, 'What's the time Mr Cornwall?' as they creep closer. Each time they call, Mr Cornwall turns around and answers with a 'Cornish' time. Anyone he spots moving is out. When he gets to 'dinner time' Mr Cornwall chases and catches any remaining players. The last player is the next Mr Cornwall.

'What's the time Mr Cornwall?'
    'One-ish o'clock!'
'What's the time Mr Cornwall?'
    'Two-ish o'clock!'…
'What's the time Mr Cornwall?'
    'Dinner time!!!'

Spot the Pilchard

Fun fact: Whole villages were once involved in the Cornish pilchard industry. Everyone relied on good catches for survival. It was the huer's job to spot the huge shoals from the cliffs.

Game: Pilchard

Several players lie side by side but head to toe on the picnic mat like pilchards (or sardines) in a tin. They have to stay really still while the huer watches carefully to see if any of the 'pilchards' move. If someone does move, the huer cries, 'Fishy, fishy, on my dishy! I want (insert name) for my tea!' The named person jumps up and tries to run away from the huer. The game continues until everyone on the mat has been 'caught' by the huer.

Gig Racing

Fun fact:  When large ships arrived at dangerous Cornish harbours, the harbour pilot would be rowed out to meet them in a Cornish pilot gig. He would climb aboard, then guide the ship safely into harbour. Today gig racing is a popular Cornish hobby.

Game: Row your gig

Players get into pairs and sit on the floor, facing each other with their legs outstretched, and holding hands. Starting very slowly, the players sing this song (to the tune of Row Your Boat), rocking backwards and forward in time as they sing. The song is repeated, getting faster and faster each time.
Row, row, row your gig,
Up the waves and down,
If you fall into the sea,
Please try not to drown.

All the Little Fishes

Fun fact: The conger eel is quite common in Cornwall, and likes living inside shipwrecks. Fishermen sometimes catch eels but they usually throw them back into the sea because not many people like eel pie for supper!

Game: Conger Eel Tag

Like normal tag but different! The Head Eel (one person) runs around trying to catch the other players. As players are caught, they hold hands with the Head Eel to become a Tail Eel. As more people are caught, they hold hands with the last Tail Eel to form a long conger eel. The last person to be added to the conger eel is the winner.

Man the Lifeboats!

Fun fact: There are 14 lifeboat stations in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. Many of them welcome visitors, and all of them rely entirely on gifts from the public to keep up their life saving operations.

Game: Miss Mary's Shoe

This is a traditional clapping game that can be played in pairs or around a circle. Starting with clapping their own hands, players alternate this with clapping someone else's. On the repetitive section at the end of each line, players should clap someone else's hands three times.
Miss Mary went to Looe, Looe, Looe,
To see what she could do, do, do.
As she looked at the view, view, view,
She lost her bright red shoe, shoe, shoe.
A seagull had a chew, chew, chew,
Then off with it he flew, flew, flew.
The orange lifeboat crew, crew, crew,
Gave chase into the blue, blue, blue.
Just one thing left to do, do, do,
Decide if this rhyme's true, true, true!

11 YEARS OLD (and older)

Party Time

Fun fact: The folds around the edge of a Cornish pasty are called crimps. An experienced crimper can crimp between three and four pasties a minute.

Game: I baked a pasty

This game relies on memory skills and a touch of culinary creativity. Players take it in turns to repeat a sentence, adding to the list of ingredients as they go. If they can't remember the list, they are out. The winner is the player with the best memory (and the biggest pasty).
Player One – 'I baked a pasty, and in it I put some tasty cheddar.'
Player Two – 'I baked a pasty, and in it I put some tasty cheddar, and a pinch of paprika.'

Crossing the Border

Fun fact: The River Tamar forms a good part of the border between Devon and Cornwall. Most visitors enter Cornwall by crossing the Tamar at Plymouth on the A38 or near Launceston on the A30.

Game: Devon or Cornwall?

Before you set off on your picnic, choose six places in Devon and six in Cornwall (the stranger the names the better). Write them down but keep them secret. At your picnic location make some kind of border (a rope is useful for this or a line in the sand). Decide which side of the line is Devon, and which is Cornwall. As you read out each place name, players have to decide whether it is in Devon or Cornwall, and run (or jump or skip) into the right county.

For extra points you could ask players to spell each place name!

Cornish Crows

Fun fact: Choughs (chuffs) are the only members of the crow family with red beaks and red legs. They're very rare but some do live in the far west of Cornwall. Keep your eyes open.

Game: Chough, chough, crow

This is a version of the popular game duck, duck, goose. All the players but one sit in a circle. The standing player goes around the circle tapping each person on the head, and saying 'chough'. When they decide to say 'crow' instead, the player whose head has been tapped must jump up and run round the circle. The caller chases them round the circle. The last person back to the empty space is the next caller.

Where in Cornwall am I?

Fun fact: Kernow is the Cornish name for Cornwall. There are a few theories about its origin but one popular one is that it refers to the shape of the Cornish peninsula via the Celtic word for headland or horn, 'kernou.

Game: Brown Willy

The place name Brown Willy isn't rude; it means the Hill of Swallows, and is based on the Cornish words for hill and swallow 'bronn' and 'wennill'. Have a go at matching the Cornish place names below with their correct translation.

1. Launceston    a) Wooded land
2. Marazion    b) Sand dune cove
3. Lostwithiel     c) The church of St Stephen
4. Porthtowan    d) Beech trees
5. Looe    e) Little market
6. Fowey    f) Sea lake

Chocolate O'Clock

Fun fact: Whilst Cornwall has plenty of luxury chocolate shops; the Cornish fairing is the traditional biscuit of Cornwall. Think ginger nut with more butter and less crunch.

Game: Chocolate Roundabout

For this game you'll need to pack a dice, a hat, a pair of gloves, a knife and fork, and a big slab of tasty chocolate. Players sit in a circle and take it in turns to throw the dice. As soon as someone throws a six, they stand up, run around the circle, sit down again, put on the hat and gloves, then, using the knife and fork, eat as much chocolate as they can.

The other players continue to throw the dice. The chocolate eater can keep eating until someone else throws a six. Be warned, if the next six comes along quickly, you might not get any chocolate!

For a really fun but messy experience, try this one on a hot sunny day!

Brown Willy

Answers: 1c, 2e, 3a, 4b, 5f, 6d