How to play the game of Fly


How to win the game of Fly
Last week I casually mentioned that my kids were outside playing the game of Fly and was totally surprised to learn that many people had never heard of this old-school game.

I spent a good part of my childhood playing the classic game of Fly with my sisters. Before we got to play, we’d spend ages trying to find enough sticks to get the game going. It helps my kids that they live next to the bush, but then they will never know the drawn-out frustration of trying to find the ‘right’ stick on a suburban block, and that’s it’s own kind of special memory…

After you got the sticks, you’d set up and get the game going. It’s not a fast game, it’s no an easy game. If you want to win, the game of Fly challenges you to reach a bit further and try a little harder. Hmm, you might say that Fly is the kind of thing kids used to do before screens…

Don't miss the Screen Freedom ebook

Best of all, kids of all ages (that means you!!) can play it together. As many kids as you like. This is a great one to play along the nature strip with all the kids from the neighbourhood. Introduce your friends and family to the game of Fly and see how much they love it.

++ More ways to have fun outside: 10 genuinely fun outdoor activities for older kids ++

How to play the game of Fly

What you need

  • A long, flat, preferably grassy, place to play. Nature strips were invented for this game.
  • At least five sticks, preferably straight and roughly the same size. You can add as many as you like.

That’s it!

What you need to do

Line the sticks up roughly a foot apart.

How to play the game of Fly - line up the sticks

Decide who’s going first (rock, paper, scissors is always a good one for this).

Line up your sticks

Line up and take it in turns to step through the sticks, making sure you don’t touch a stick with your feet (if you touch a stick, you’re out!). Be careful when the sticks are still very close together as it’s just as easy to get out by knocking a stick as it is later when the sticks are much further apart. Especially if you have big feet!

How to play the game of Fly - step carefully in the beginning

Once successfully through, you do the biggest leap you possibly can over the last stick (in other words, you fly!).

How to play Fly - start with a leap

How to play the game of Fly - leap between the sticks

Stay wherever you land and then choose one of the sticks in the row to be placed behind your heel to mark the place where you landed.

How to play Fly - place the stick behind their heel

Imagine each stick has a number from 1 (the first stick in the row) through 5 (or as many sticks as you have). If you call “stick number 2”, the next person in the line will take the stick from position number two and bring it to place behind the heel of your foot.

As you can imagine, the sticks quickly move further and further apart and the game gets much harder.

How to play the game of Fly - step by step

You are out if you touch a stick with your feet or if you need to take more than one step between each stick.

The winner

Keep playing until there is only one person left who can fly through the sticks. They are the winner!


It’s actually surprisingly complicated to explain this simple game, so here are young Max and Lottie to show you how to play the game of Fly. Give it a go at your place!

How long since you’ve played the game of Fly?

How to play the game of Fly

Written by Bron Maxabella

Bron is the founder of Mumlyfe and is so happy to welcome you here. Bron has been writing in the Australian parenting space as Maxabella for more than 10 years and is mum to three mostly happy kids and wife to one mostly happy husband. Mostly happy is a win, right?

We’re very social

More for you

16 hobbies for teens in lockdown and beyond

16 hobbies for teens in lockdown and beyond

Here in Sydney, we are well into our second lockdown for this pandemic. With no end in sight, all the days have begun to look extremely similar. So, it’s time to fix this the only way I know how… trying new things!! If you’re also ready to get out of the lockdown...

Great ideas for lockdown school holidays from a happiness expert

Great ideas for lockdown school holidays from a happiness expert

Lockdown school holidays are upon us again. In pre-pandemic days, many parents and carers would be busily planning holidays interstate or overseas, booking in play dates, organising day trips or tee-ing up visits to family and friends. Instead, a significant amount of...

7 fresh TV series we’re loving that might not be on your radar

7 fresh TV series we’re loving that might not be on your radar

How good is TV right now? I say that as a person who could generally take or leave television for most of her life. Except lately. There are so many fresh TV series these days that you can't help but wear a butt-shaped crevice in your sofa. Can't. leave. screen. I...

Affiliate links

From time to time Mumlyfe uses affiliate links.  It means that Mumlyfe may receive a small commission at no cost to you when you make a purchase using the link.  You can find out more about how it works here.

You may also like


This year, I vow to be a better mum

This year, I vow to be a better mum

Parenting teens is hard. So f*cking hard. But it's also delightful. Sometimes I'm so deep in the hard times that I forget about the soft moments. That buried under the knee-deep clothes on the floor, the defiance, the backtalk and 'the face' (parents of teens will...

50+ of the best Christmas gifts for tweens of all ages

50+ of the best Christmas gifts for tweens of all ages

Those lovely little tweenie tweens are equal parts delightful and depressing. No one does he sulk better or holds a grudge longer than a tween. Especially a tween who wanted an Apple watch but received a calculator instead (this may or may not have happened at our...

1 Comment

  1. cat

    Hi, was just wondering how you would simplify this game and then add challenge in your opinion. doing a little assignemtn and all i can think of is to add less sticks at the start… further apart, or maybe not run but hop. and to simplify would you jump each stick… ?

    thanks for your suggestions


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This