A little Christmas tradition we have is to make our own copy of Shadow in the Forest (or Waldschattenspiel if you speak German), which is a cute little game where an adult controls a witch trying to capture all the elves, played by the children. The game is played in the dark, however, with the witch being a candle and the elves hiding in the shadows of the trees. I change the theme slights though – since it is Christmas, the elves are playing a game of hide and seek with Father Christmas (the candle).
With permission from the publishers, Kraul, I have made a little tutorial showing you how you can make it yourself too. Here is the publisher’s website if you just wants to buy the game straight up – http://www.spielzeug-kraul.de/. I’ll also show you how to play it – it’s very easy!
Disclaimer: This game features a candle, so there is a bit of fire, combined with the cardboard this could be dangerous! Obviously only play this with an adult present and be careful! This is a great opportunity to teach children about the dangers of fire and being responsible around it. You could always use an electronic one.
So without further ado, here is the guide:
Step 1. Gather your materials. You will need:
Parcel paper (or another bit of large flat cardboard)
Paint (definitely green)
A tea-light candle
Step 2. Make 10 trees
To make each tree:
Cut 2 identical triangles
Cut a slit in the bottom of one tree, and the top of the other
Paint them green!
Step 3. Prepare your potato
Cut out some of the parcel paper/flat cardboard to make the board, around 60cm X 40cm.
Cut off the end of your potato, to leave a rough circle.
Step 4. Create Santa’s path
Mix some paint together to get a roughly brownish colour – or any colour you want.
Dip the end of the potato into the paint, then press onto the parcel paper to create a path, as shown in the pictures.
Step 5. Create your elves
With your plasticine or playdoh, mould however many elves as there will be people playing minus 1 (one of you will be playing Father Christmas!). If there is only going to be 2 elves, make 2 more and have them control 2 elves each. Make them around 2 cm high and thin enough to hide in the corners of the trees.
Allow them to dry out (or just be careful with them when you play with them if you’re too eager!)
Step 6. Play!
The aim of the game is different for Father Christmas and the elves. Father Christmas wins when he has caught all the elves, while elves win when they all meet under one tree.
Decide which adult will be Father Christmas and control the candle.
Light the candle and place in on a space in the centre of the board. Turn of the lights/close curtains/make is a dark as humanly possible.
Now, Father Christmas closes his eyes, and the elf players hide their plasticine elf piece behind a tree (so they are hidden in the shadows) at opposite sides of the board from each other.
Father Christmas rolls the dice, and can now move that many spaces on the board in one direction. If at any point the light shines on an elf, that elf is now frozen. It will remain frozen until another elf meets him/her at the same tree. Even if Father Christmas moves and the elf is no longer in the light, it is still frozen until an elf rescues him.
If at any point, all the elves are frozen, Father Christmas has won!
After Father Christmas has moved, the elves get a chance to move. Father Christmas closes his eyes, and the elves can move anywhere that is in the shadows, unless they are frozen of course! (a torch can be handy at this point)
If at any point the elves are all together under one tree, the elves have won!
Each team takes it in turns to do their action until someone has won!
That is it! Simple!
So hopefully this may spark a new Christmas tradition. We like to make it Christmas Eve day, then wait for the sun to set and play it before bed, ready for Father Christmas to make his real life appearance. I hope I explained it ok; any questions as on our Facebook page and we can help you out!
Ready Steady Roll