Flowerpot-Sally – Lockdown PE Activity

Today I brought out one of our classic long-running and home-made-up “skill” games: Flowerpot Sally. For those of us lucky enough to have a garden here is a simple game for kids that maybe you could just about squeeze into the “doing something PE-y each day” class. Many years ago I played in an Aunt-Sally team in Oxfordshire, which inspired this game that our family has played during the summer for years.

What You Will Need to Play Flowerpot-Sally

The equipment is pretty basic:

  • Three flower pots. Ideally one will be heavier than the others to form a decent base. The top two flower pots should be roughly the same size so that they stack as shown below and ideally be plastic.
  • Two balls or beanbags. Personally I think that balls are better as they allow you to bounce the ball giving a different strategy to the game.
  • Somewhere to play.
  • Two or more players.
  • If only grown-ups playing: beer.
Flowerpot-Sally Equipment - 3 flowerpots and 2 balls or beanbags
Flowerpot-Sally Equipment

Flowerpot-Sally Rules

The aim of the game is to be the first player to score a set number of points, without exceeding the target. The recommended target score is eleven for beginners and twenty-one for advanced player, but feel free to agree on your own winning score before you begin.

In turn, each player takes two shots or throws from a designated throwing spot or mark on the ground.

If you knock both of the upper flower pots over, without hitting the base pot, you score one point.

If you knock just the top flower pot over you score five points. The middle pot must remain on the base.

The player whose turn it is must go and retrieve the balls from the game area before throwing. They must do this quickly (run). This breaks up the moments of standing around. (To make it more PE-y, if someone makes a score everyone must cheer and do the number of star jumps matching the points just scored – one or five).

(Optional) If you score more points than the target score, such as scoring a five when on twenty points, then the score does not count.

If using balls rather than beanbags then a single bounce is permissible. This may test the ability of the person who mows the lawn, but actually bumps and lumps make the game a bit more interesting.

Flowerpot-Sally Variations

Points for Difficulty

If your players are getting too good, then you can up the points available for scoring from either a more difficult personal position, such as whilst hopping, or from standing further away or, as we did today, bouncing on the trampoline. Agree the points available before someone makes a killer shot ricocheting off the shed and the neighbours’ cat.

Easter Egg/Sweety Top

For a tantalising and tasty twist, place a small Easter egg , chocolate or wrapped sweet on the top of the flowerpot stack. Knocking off the treat, and only the treat, will win you that sweet and either victory of that round or 6 points depending on what you decide.


One Comments

  • Jane Saunders

    27 March 2020

    Brilliant [SoloDad]. I particularly like your additional rule for the adults-only situation – beer! I guess, neighbouring Oxfordshire, I ought to get playing.

    Reply

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