When it comes to the great outdoors, there’s plenty of games that can be enjoyed by children of all ages, and in some instances, even the parents! Playing outdoor games is a great way to get your kids out of the house. Besides all the fun they will have, there are also a ton of proven benefits associated with outdoor games.
Playing outdoors ensures our children are getting the necessary amount of exercise, and helps develop the muscles and coordination of children as a result. Best of all, engaging in outdoor games allows for the development of other important life skills, such as social interaction.
In this regard, we look at some outdoor games that have become popular with children. Some games are more classic, while others have been introduced quite recently.
List of Outdoor Games for Kids
Potato Sack Race
We begin the list with an instant classic, one of the best outdoor games for kids, that was first introduced back in the 1800s, also known as ‘gunny races,’ potato sack races become the main attraction at many a carnival. They say a classic never dies, and this is true for the much beloved potato sack race.
The game can be played with a minimum of two players, the maximum is completely up to you. The players line up while standing in potato sacks, and upon the blow of the whistles, hop their way across the finish line!
If you don’t have any potato sacks, the pillow cases will do. If you want to make this a family tradition, perhaps consider purchasing burlap sacks for this very purpose!
A fun-filled outdoor game that even adults can join in with.
We’re all familiar with the game of volleyball, and while a real of volleyball poses certain safety risks for young children, Balloon Volleyball is a much more laid back affair.
All that is needed for a game of Balloon Volleyball are some balloons and a piece of string. To play: players lie on their backs and kick a loose balloon back and forth over a line of string pulled tight as the “net”. Should the balloon touch the ground, the other player is awarded a point, much like regular volley ball.
If you don’t happen to have any string, then a row of toys or a sheet makes a great alternative.
Also consider playing this with a group! You can find giant balloons online here, and use of these on a much larger playing field outside!
Outdoor Games for Kids: Boochie
Boochie is game that takes elements from a series of different ball games, and combines them into one action-packed game that provides hours of fun for adults and children alike.
The Boochie set comes complete with 4 rings, 4 bean balls, 4 wrist trackers and 1 twelve-sided Boochie ball, and all of this can be transported within the carry bag included.
Boochie turns the world of ball games on its head, by offer children a series of fun throwing challenges that’s guaranteed to keep them entertained for hours due to the variety of different games available.
Hide and Seek
As well as being a tried-and-tested classic, Hide and Seek requires no upfront investment whatsoever. All you need is somewhere with plenty of places to hide! Days out in the park can become much more enjoyable with a simple game of hide and seek, as children just love hiding from others.
In case you aren’t familiar or need a refresher, in order to play one player must cover their eyes and count up to a specific number. Consider counting for longer with littler kids who might take a minute to find a spot. Once the number has been reached, the counter must then go and seek out the others. If you want to mix up things a little, you can instill a ‘home base’ which can people can retreat to if they feel they have been hiding for too long.
If you plan to play this game outside, make sure to set clear boundaries with your children so they understand how far they are allowed to go. This game may be innocent and have low risk, but it is always better to be careful if you are in a public place to ensure your children’s safety.
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Kick the Can
If the kids have enjoyed a good game of hide and seek and are looking to take things to the next level, then why not consider a game of Kick the Can?
All that is required for a game of Kick the Can is a can, bucket or anything that can effectively be kicked over. A holding pen is then designated for all the captured players to be held.
Like Hide and Seek, a player is allocated as ‘it’ and must cover their eyes and count while their friends seek out hiding places. However, when players are captured, they are placed within the holding pen. If one of the un-captured players are able to kick the can that is placed in the middle of the play area, then all captured players are released.
The game is over when all those hiding have been placed into the holding pen. If you wanted to add another level of complexity to this game, consider dividing the children in half and playing with teams! This can help even the odds if you are playing with a wide age range of chidren.
Although a staple in many homes, there are those who may not be aware of how much fun Swingball actually is. You may be asking yourself how much fun can a ball a string really be, but many families turn to Swingball for some much-need respite and bonding time.
Whether there’s only one of you, or ten of you, a simple game of Swingball is not only energetic, but helps fill an otherwise mundane weekend. This is a game easily stored in your garage or backyard, and helps get you and your kids out of the house!
Scrabble is a popular word game that’s been part of many get social gatherings and Christmas celebrations. Playing the game on the lawn could prove to be troublesome, due to the uneven surface and the size of the playing pieces. However, if you’re still keen to inject some learning while the children are outside, then why not play ‘Lawn Scrabble.’
All that is needed for a game of Lawn Scrabble is some large pieces of cardboard and some marker pens to make up your letter pieces. Once complete, simply turn the lawn into a giant Scrabble play area, using the same rules as its smaller counterpart.
Not only is Lawn Scrabble a lot of fun, but it’s also very cost-effective.
Klutz DIY Piñata
Although piñatas are built for destruction, that doesn’t stop them being a lot of fun, especially for children. Often a staple of children’s birthday parties, piñatas can also be used to entertain children at a loose end while out in the garden or park.
Klutz Piñata Kit Maker not only allows children to enjoy a game of piñata when the fancy takes them, but they can also decorate them to their own specifications. If you have a birthday party coming up, why not ask the children to help you with the making of the piñatas’.
Red Light, Green Light
Red Light, Green Light is one of those games that’s so simple, anyone can pick it up. Children stand behind a starting line, and another child will stand about 30 feet in front of them, with their back turned. They will then be responsible for shouting out two commands, one being red light, the other green light.
Like the traffic lights that inspired the game, the children at the starting line must respond to these signals. So when green light is shouted, the children must try and tag the child shouting the commands. However, as soon as the child shouts red light, all children must stop. The child will then turn around, and if they catch anyone moving, that child will be sent back to the starting line.
Red Light, Green Light is a true test of nerves as well as a game that really raises the excitement level. Trying to reach the child before the stop signal is announced can really get the blood pumping, adding to the fun factor of the game. This makes for a classic outdoor game, a game that needs lots of room to move around!
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Mabua Ring Toss Game
Ring toss games have always been enjoyable, whether you play them at the fun fair, or at home. Finding things for children to do while exploring the outside world can be challenging, especially if you’ve exhausted other avenues. However, the Mabua Ring Toss Game is a fully mobile bundle of fun that will keep the children entertained for hours.
Complete with its own carry-case, the Mabua Ring Toss Game can be transported to a number of outdoor venues. So whether you’ve a weekend of camping ahead, or lazy Sunday in the garden with the family, the Mabua Ring Toss Game is a great investment that will ensure you’re never at a loose end while enjoying the great outdoors.
Hopscotch is a game that has been enjoyed by almost every generation. While today’s world is filled with a number of entertainment channels, it can be hard to believe that such a simple game can still be enjoyed by children. The fact is that many children love a game of hopscotch, and it all it takes is some creativity.
If you have a paved area in the back garden, then your child can create a hopscotch playing area with some chalk, which can be easily washed away afterwards. Similarly, if you’re looking to play the game in the back garden, you may want to create a play area by investing in a hopscotch play mat.
The basic rules behind hopscotch is that an object, such as a small stone, or beanbag, is aimed towards the number 1 grid in the play area. The player must then hop through the squares, ensuring they do not miss any or step on any lines. On the way back the player retrieves the object and then passes it to the next player. On the next turn, the child would aim for the number 2 on the grid, and simply repeat the process.
The other reason that hopscotch is so popular is the fact that the play area can be fully customized as you see fit. So a game of hopscotch can be as easy or as challenging as a child wants it. Different playing areas allow for a series of different outcomes.
Get the kids outside the house and jumping around! Hopscotch is a sure way to burn off any extra energy they may have!
Air Scoop Ball
Ball games are always a popular choice for keeping children entertained while they’re outside, but sometimes the same old ball games can become monotonous. Fortunately, the Air Scoop Ball play set allows children to enjoy the excitement of catching a serving a ball, while improving their hand-to-eye co-ordination.
The Fun Air Scoop Ball set is a set that only requires a small investment. It can be used for a number of outdoor activities. So regardless of whether you’re visiting the beach, or playing the back garden, this fun little set will provide players with hours of fun.
What could be more fun for a kid than telling other children what to do? This alone could be why the game Simon Says is played globally and enjoyed by children of all ages. Some may not have experienced the game yet. Seeing as the game can be played without spending a dollar, it’s certainly worth considering. If you’re looking for some inspiration for outdoor games this is a solid option.
A selected child will issue a set of requests to the other children, such as ‘put your hands on your heads’ or ‘touch your nose.’ However, the demands must be started with ‘Simon says’ otherwise any requests carried out will mean that child is out of the game.
This is a game that’s not only fun, but actually promotes how children process information before they act on it, really giving their brains a workout in the process.
KanJam was first introduced as Garbage Pail Frisbee in the 80s, but fear not, the game has been cleaned up a lot since its first guide. Now known as KanJam, the aim of the game is to aim your Frisbee into the can of your opponent, while trying to defect any Frisbees aiming towards your can.
KanJam can require a slightly larger space to be played, so if you’re planning a day out in the park or on the beach, then this can be the ideal travel companion to ensure boredom is kept at bay.
While Kanjam is slightly more expensive than some of the other games available, the price is reflected in the quality of the product. The tins are highly durable, so there’s very little chance of the cans being damaged in the first one or two games.
These are just a mere selection of the many outdoor games for kids available. Most of these games require very little investment. Little by little, it won’t be long before you have a vast selection of outdoor games in your arsenal. Its the little games like these that make vacations, reunions, and trips to the grandparents house memorable.
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