30+ Super-Fun Outdoor Games For Kids of All Ages

Outdoor Games For Kids

In this new digital age, many kids are spending their downtime inside on devices. While this isn’t always a negative, there are multitudes of studies demonstrating the benefits of kids spending time outdoors.

From vitamin D and exercise to socialization, improved sensory skills including coordination and cognitive function, outdoor play is proving to be a crucial aspect of childhood which cannot be skipped.

Outdoor play is also proven to decrease stress and improve happiness, so we have come up with 50 super fun outdoor games for kids (and adults too)!

Some of these games are oldies but goodies, some are new takes on old games and some you may have never come across before at all!

Studies show that unstructured outdoor play promotes creativity, which is a wordy way of saying that even though we’ve given you rules, they’re made to be broken! If your little ones come up with a better variation, go with it!

In fact, we’d love to know if there’s a more fun way we should be playing our games!

Here are 25 Awesome Outdoor Games your kids will love:

25 Awesome Backyard Games Kids Will Love

Simon Says

kids happily playing outside
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An oldie but a goodie, Simon says is one of those games that works for all ages, requires no equipment or props (but they can be a fun addition), can be as high or low energy as you want and can keep everyone thoroughly entertained.

What’s great is that it works across all ages. The bigger kids can either play Simon, or, they can help the little ones. It’s easy to explain the rules and it’s so much fun for the kids.

How to Play: One person stands up the front as the leader, with the rest of the players facing them. The leader is “Simon” and Simon gives commands with two variations, saying either:

  1. Simon says sit on the ground!
  2. Sit on the ground!

If Simon starts the command with “Simon says” then everyone must quickly do what Simon says, which in this example, is sit on the ground. If the phrase “Simon says” isn’t used, the players ignore Simon. If anyone gets caught not following correctly then they’re out.

For more great Simon Says Ideas click on that link you just passed over. We love the game so much that we wrote an entire article about it.

  • Best For: All-Ages
  • Number of Players: Minimum of three people (1 Simon and 2 players)
  • What You’ll Need: Nothing but yourself for a traditional version of Simon Says.

Scavenger Hunt

kids looking at a treasure map
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Scavenger hunts can go for hours! They can be suited to any age – nice and easy for the little ones, or more challenging with quizzes and riddles for the big kids.

You can also tailor them to suit your yard and include the house for a bigger area. You can really get creative and encourage your kids to do the same. Scavenger hunts can be tailored to a theme for parties and are just a really fun game for kids to play!

This is great because the big kids get a sense of responsibility and have to get creative to guide the little ones through. Clues can start easy and get progressively harder, which means the bigger kids will have to explain the clues to the little ones as best as they can.

  • Best For: All ages! If you have a big range of ages it works well to buddy up a big kid with a little kid and they can go through the scavenger hunt together.
  • What You’ll Need: At a minimum, pens & paper to write your list of items to find, or your clues.  For more creative scavenger hunts you’ll need more materials.
  • Number of Players: Best with 3 or more.

Lava! Lava! (AKA The Floor is Lava)

This one can be a seriously fun energy burner for the kids and works really well at a playground. Want to tire your kids out? Make the ground lava and be a lava monster! Boom! Happy and exhausted kids!

Plus this game really gets their imagination going. Once you’ve finished, you can calm the kids down by getting them to draw their lava world and them leaping over it.

How to Play: This game does require some setup. If you’re playing in the backyard then you can use outdoor furniture (that you don’t mind being stepped on), logs, trees or even towels and other pieces of fabric to create a course. 

Once you’ve set up your course, the game is to jump from piece to piece to avoid stepping on the ground, because it’s lava! You can either just jump around avoiding the ground or make someone a lava monster whose job is to catch people. This increases the fun and the sense of danger

  • Best For: Pre-schoolers – Pre-teens
  • Number of Players: 2+
  • What You’ll Need: Relatively sturdy and secure items that can be climbed/hopped or jumped on

Sly Fox

This is another great kids game that doesn’t require any equipment and really relies on quick reactions and good attention from the kids!

How to Play: One person is chosen to play the “fox” who stands with their back to the other kids who are standing a distance away in a straight line.

While the fox has their back to the other kids, they can crawl, creep, run or walk closer to the fox. The fox’s job is to catch them moving closer and so when the fox turns around, the players freeze!

If the fox sees someone moving, the player has to go back to the starting line. The first player to reach the fox without being caught wins either points or they get to be the fox the next round.

  • Best For: Pre-schoolers – pre-teens
  • Number of Players: This game is more fun with more people, but can be played with as few as 3.
  • What You’ll Need: Nothing but the kids!

Duck, Duck, Goose

children playing duck duck goose
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Another high-energy classic, this is another amazing kids game which will keep them entertained and leave them all tuckered out!

  • Best For: Pre-Schoolers – Pre-teens
  • Number of Players: This is a real party game and works best with bigger groups. A minimum of 6 players works best
  • What You’ll Need: High energy and a space big enough to form a big circle

How to Play: Everyone except one child sits in a circle. The one kid standing is the “Goose” and they walk around the circle, gently tapping everyone on the head and saying “Duck” out loud.

When the Goose decides it’s time, they tap someone and yell “GOOSE!” instead of duck. The new Goose jumps up and chases the old Goose around the circle.

The goal is for the old Goose to sprint around the entire circle until they get to the empty spot left by the new Goose where they sit down.

If they make it to the empty spot without getting caught, then the new Goose repeats the process. If the new Goose is quick and catches the old Goose, then the old Goose starts again.

Marco Polo

small kid at the side of the pool
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A classic pool game, Marco Polo is a great kids game for in or out of the water. It’s made for loads of giggles and fun! It’s also a nice little history lesson for the kids about the famous Italian merchant who traveled the silk road and then had a fun kids game named after him!

If you play in the water it does wonders for building confidence for kids learning to swim.

How to Play: Marco Polo is a type of tag game played in a swimming pool rather than on dry land. The players choose one person as “it.”

Once chosen, the “it” player closes his or her eyes and tries to find and tag any of the other players. To start, the “it” player shouts “Marco” while all other players shout “Polo” as they attempt to avoid getting tagged.

And instead of using sight, the “it” player must rely on hearing and sound localization (such as splashing). If the “it” player successfully tags another person, that person becomes the new “it.”

>>Complete Marco Polo Game Rules<<

  • Best For: This classic is a fun all-ages game!
  • Number of Players: Again, more is more depending on the space you have.  A minimum of 4 is best for the most fun
  • What You’ll Need: A swimming pool and a blindfold if you want to use one

Tug of War

kids playing tug of war
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This is a great team activity which big and little kids (and even the biggest kids, adults) can get involved in! And best of all, tug of war used to be an Olympic sport, so you can tell your kids that they’re basically training to be Olympians!

How to Play: Divide your players into two teams. Lay out a strong length of rope with a marker indicating the center point. This can be on the ground or on the rope itself.

Players line up in their teams at each end of the rope. As a general rule, the strongest players should be at the back. Players pick up the rope and when everyone is ready, a referee blows a whistle or yells “start”.

Players pull as hard as they can on the rope, walking backward and trying to pull the other team towards their side. The team which pulls the other team across the central marker are the winners.

  • Best For: This one is best for the bigger kids, grade-schoolers and up
  • Number of Players: This can be a 2 person game, but it’s extra fun with even-numbered teams!
  • What You’ll Need: A sturdy rope and enough space for your teams to move

Keep the Balloon Off the Ground

children playing with red balloon
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This one is for competitors, is simple, super fun and great for hand-eye coordination. It’s also a great option when you have leftover party balloons and kids full of sugar who have energy to expend!

How to Play: Take a balloon and throw it in the air and then take it in turns to tap it up into the air again. The goal is to stop the balloon from ever hitting the ground.

You can count the number of times you hit it up and try to beat your score each time. This is a great one for little kids to practice their hand-eye coordination and counting skills all at once!

  • Best For: This is one for the little kids, although some big kids will happily play with the little ones because they’ll have to throw themselves around to save the balloon!
  • Number of Players: Minimum of 2
  • What You’ll Need: Just a balloon and a sense of fun!

Hide & Seek

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We love this game for the creativity it sparks in kids. The obvious hiding spots tend to get used up quickly and so kids are forced to think of new ideas for where to hide. 

Plus the suspense of the seeker being near you when you’re hiding (without finding you) is amazing!

  • Best For: This is a great one for all ages. You can pair up any little ones with the bigger kids – they will LOVE getting to hide and be a part of the game with their older cousin or sibling.
  • Number of Players: Minimum of 2
  • What You’ll Need: A big enough area with hiding spots for everyone.

How to Play: One person is the designated seeker. They close their eyes and count (slowly!) to twenty out loud. While they’re counting, the rest of the players scatter and find hiding spots.

Once the seeker has finished counting, they can go and seek the other players. The first person to be found is the seeker in the next round and the last person is the winner of the round.

If you’re brave, you can change up your hiding spot while the seeker is looking for you making for a dynamic round!

If your kids are getting bored with this game be sure to check out our article on alternative ways to play Hide and Seek.

Sidewalk Chalk Matching

This one is amazing for the little ones who are learning colors and shapes. It also lets them practice their motor skills. So fun plus cognitive and motor skills in one!

How to Play: Using different chalk colors, draw matching shapes in the same colors i.e. yellow triangles, blue circles, green squares, red triangles etc.

Mix up the shapes so no duplicates sit next to one another. Then get your little ones to find matching pairs by jumping on the color and shape that you call out. Whoever gets the most pairs wins!

  • Best For: Pre-Schoolers who are learning their shapes and colors
  • Number of players: Any number for this game – the only limit is how many color and shape combinations you can come up with!
  • What You’ll Need: Multi-colored chalk and enough pavement to draw your shapes on.

Bocce Ball

four colors bocce balls on the ground
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This game has been played for centuries by the ancient Romans and Egyptians.  Italian immigrants took it to America, where it has become a favorite backyard game.

In these stressful days, we all need a way to relax and, if we can do that with our family in our own backyard, then it’s even better.  Playing a game of Bocce ball is the way to have all that while giving us the chance to exercise and enjoy a little competition.

How to Play: Teams play against each other to try to hit the pallino or jack – or get as close to it as possible by aiming and throwing their bocce balls in that direction while keeping the bocce balls within the court. Bocce ball can be played by two individuals or by teams of up to four players on each side.

For a full set of Bocce Ball game rules CLICK HERE.

Be careful when buying a Bocce ball set, while the balls may all look similar, there are actually huge differences in quality. Be sure to check out our handy Bocce Ball Buyers Guide to help you purchase the perfect set for your needs.

  • Best For: It is suitable for any age group from four upwards. There are smaller, lighter balls available for young children and beginners.
  • Number of Players: 2-8
  • What You’ll Need: You will need to buy a Bocce ball set in advance and then have it ready for play.  There should be eight balls in at least two different colors and a single pallino/jack.

Washer Toss Game

kid playing washer toss game
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This simple, but exciting game will bring an element of competition to your family picnic in the park or barbeque in the yard. A party game for people of all ages or a solo pursuit for relieving stress, the Washers Game is a versatile and fun form of exercise.

How to Play: The aim of the game is for individuals or teams to compete against one another to try to be the first to reach a winning score of 11, 17 or 21 points.

For detailed rules and tips on how to play check out our Guide to the Washers Game.

  • Best For: This is a game for all ages.
  • Number of Players: 1-4
  • What You’ll Need: Two washer pits or boards, 8 washers

Kick the Can

kicking the can
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This game is a cross between Hide-and-Seek and Tag. It is exciting and energetic, the rules are simple and it can be played just about anywhere.

  • Best For: Anyone who is over the age of four and can run and kick a can.
  • Number of Players: 3-10 (best with 4 players or over)
  • What You’ll Need: A metal can, bucket or similar receptacle.

Cornhole

kids at the backyard playing cornhole
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Cornhole (aka Bean Bag Toss) isn’t just a game you play during a tailgate party it’s also perfect for the backyard. Get your kids together for a friendly competition while you get the grill going. The loser gets to help you set the table.

>>CLICK HERE For Cornhole Game Rules<<

  • Best For: This game is best for grade-schoolers upwards.
  • Number of Players: 1, 2 or 4
  • What You’ll Need: A Cornhole Set (2 Cornhole boards, 2 sets of Cornhole bags, A large, flat open space, A tape measure, or a ball of string

Red Light, Green Light

kids ready to play red light green light
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This quick, easy game can be played just about anywhere, but using a big space in your backyard will make it even more fun. Just remember to mark out the start and the finish line with string or in some way to avoid arguments.

This simple, fun game requires players to listen and develop awareness and gross motor control (agility).

How to Play: The main idea is that one person controls all movement (Like a traffic light) from the front of the play area and the other players have to try to creep forward without being detected.

  • Choose the player who is going to be the Traffic light standing at the front of the play area.
  • All the other players must be behind the starting line.
  • When the Traffic Light calls “Green Light” players are allowed to move forward. This is called with the Traffic Light’s back facing the players.
  • Traffic Light calls “Red Light” while simultaneously turning around to view the other players. If any players are spotted moving after “Red Light” has been called, they have to return to the starting line.
  • The winner is the person who gets to the finish line and tags the Traffic Light.

Variations: Give different instructions on how players must move towards the finish line. Expand the game by introducing other colors to the lights with different requirements.

  • Best For: Pre K – Grade 5
  • Number of Players: A small group of players works best.
  • What You’ll Need: No equipment needed.

Capture the Flag

children happily playing capture the flag
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This game has been a favorite with leaders at Summer Camp or for other organizations that have to keep a large group of kids occupied for a lengthy period.

The main aim of the game is to enter the other team’s territory undetected, capture their flag and make it safely back to your own territory.

It is a simple high-energy game that keeps kids active and alert.  It requires minimal equipment and organization.

This backyard game can be played by kids of a mixed age group. The older kids can do the organization and the younger ones can do the running and hiding. If the game is played in a large space with plenty of hiding places, you will not see your kids for quite a while.

How to Play: Divide the total number of children into two teams. Each team should have its own designated area where they will place their flag. If an opponent is caught in your territory you can “tag” them and send them to a holding pen/jail.

Enemies can be freed from your jail by members of their own team who risk entering your area, tagging them, and returning to their own area without being caught. Once a player has captured the opposing team’s flag and managed to return untagged to their own area, the game is over.

>>Capture the Flag Game Rules<<

  • Best For: 4+
  • What You’ll Need: 2 flags or markers (anything bright and light-weight, such as a Tshirt, will do), A large area, which can be roughly divided into two
  • Number of Players: This game is best played with a large group of players so that you can organize them into teams.

Obstacle Course

kid running on a tire obstacle course
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This activity is only limited by the imagination. It can be tailored to individual children’s abilities, interests, and ages. It promotes dexterity and improves both fine and gross motor skills.

  • Best For: All ages from toddlers to fit elderly people
  • Number of Players: Suitable for one child or a large group of children. Just make sure that they are supervised and know about any potential hazards.
  • What You’ll Need: Various obstacles (you can buy or DIY)

How to Play: You and your child can decide which obstacles to set out.  Many of the obstacles can be found around the house and do not need to be specially bought or designed. Remember to leave sufficient space around each obstacle to avoid participants from bumping into each other.

Try to be creative in the use of the obstacles, for example:

  • A large cardboard box can be used to crawl through or jumped over.
  • Foam pool noodles make ideal hurdles to jump over or wiggle under.
  • Ropes of varying lengths can be used for skipping or simply walking along next to.
  • Old tires or hoops can be hopped in and out or crawled through.

Of course, it is possible to buy obstacle course equipment so that you have a permanent obstacle course set up in your backyard where kids can burn off energy any time they feel like it.

Red Rover

kids playing red rover in the backyard
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WARNING! This game can get rough and adult supervision is advisable.

I think children across the globe have played this game in one form or another. The aim of the game is to get through a barrier of hands that the opposing team has joined together. It is a rough and tough game of speed and assessment of risk.

  • Best For: Players aged 8 upwards due to the rough nature of the game.
  • Number of Players: Red Rover should be reserved for large groups of kids. You need at least 4 players per side – any less and the game is pretty anti-climatic.
  • What You’ll Need: No equipment needed.

Tag

children playing tag at the backyard
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This is a traditional backyard game that has been played for generations in one form or another.  A great way to keep your kids fit and healthy.

How to Play: The basics rules of Tag are simple to understand. Someone is “It” and they have to run around and try to “tag” the other players.

  1. Decide who is going to be “IT”.
  2. All the other players run away.
  3. “IT” must chase the other players and try to tag them.
  4. If you are tagged by “IT” you become “IT” and the original chaser must run away.
  5. You then run around and try to tag another player so that they can become “IT” in place of you.

There are so many different ways to play Tag and you can even make up your own version if you like! You can even include equipment like flashlights if you want to play after dark, but in the original version, no equipment is needed.

  • Best For: Players from as young as 2 or 3 years of age can understand the rules.  A game for everyone.
  • Number of Players: 2-20
  • What You’ll Need: You don’t need any special equipment

Rounders

boy playing rounders on the sand
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Rounders is a fast team game that is easy to organize in your backyard. In this game, two teams play against each other to get as many players from the opposite side out at the same time as trying to score as many rounders as they can.

Although it is a simple game, it requires skill, speed, and great team play.

  • Best For: Players aged 8 years and up.
  • What You’ll Need: 1 tennis ball, 1 bat (or a tennis racket), Five cones to mark out five bases in the form of a pentagon ( a five-sided shape.)
  • Number of Players: Each team can have 9 players on the field at a time. A team can be made up of a minimum of 6 players to a maximum of 15.

Four Square

Four square enables children to reap the benefits of fresh air and motor skills development. Since the game is simple to play and adaptable to all age groups, it is a popular outdoor activity for school playgrounds, neighborhood youth groups, and summer camps.

The classic game requires nothing more than a bouncy ball, sidewalk chalk, and a hard surface (such as wood or asphalt) on which to play. With enough practice, children can use the game to build important traits like hand-eye coordination, game strategy, and social skills among peers.

How to Play: Use the sidewalk chalk to draw a large square (approximately 10 ft. long on each side). Divide this large square into four equal quadrants. Going clockwise, number each quadrant from 1 through 4.

Each player stands in a quadrant. The player in quadrant 1 “serves” the ball to one of the other three squares. A player in the served square must hit the ball into another square without letting it bounce more than once.

Players either rotate squares when someone misses or get replaced if there are children waiting in line to play. The object of the game is to make it to the server square and remain there as long as possible.

Variations: Since the four square game is a global phenomenon, children around the world enjoy variations of this activity. For example, players in Sweden call the game “King,” and participants defer to the player who serves the ball until the next player takes the lead.

  • Best For: All ages ranging from elementary school through late adolescence. Four square helps younger kids build manual dexterity and important gross-motor skills. Older kids can even participate in tournaments such as the Four Square World Championships.
  • What You’ll Need: A bouncy ball, sidewalk chalk, and a hard-surfaced court
  • Number of Players: Minimum of four (one player for each of the four quadrants)

Hopscotch

girl playing cute hopscotch
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Practice numbers and promote fun on the playground with hopscotch. As one of the most recognizable childhood activities worldwide, hopscotch is a great way for children to get active while using counting and reasoning skills.

Players can use the traditional method of drawing a hopscotch grid on the sidewalk using chalk or turn it into a safe lawn game by using hopscotch mats or foam pieces. If playing on the beach, use a stick to draw a hopscotch grid in the sand.

How to Play: Label the hopscotch grid with numerals 1 through 9. Each player gets a turn to toss a small rock or beanbag into a numbered section on the grid.

Next, the player must then hop from one box to another (using one or both legs) to progress in the game. Players win the game by tossing the rock to the box with the highest number and reaching it successfully.

Variations: Worldwide variations include circular grids, timed hopscotch, and crazy squares.

  • Best For: Pre K – Grade 5
  • What You’ll Need: Sidewalk chalk as well as a rock or small beanbag
  • Number of Players: One at a time

Marbles

six striped marbles
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If you are looking for an outdoor activity that children have enjoyed across the generations, it is hard to top marbles. This classic game enables children to use marbles of varying size and color to practice aim and develop sportsmanship with their peers.

Younger kids can use marbles to adopt a new hobby, strengthen hand-eye coordination, and develop fine motor skills. Older kids can use marbles to practice strategy and hone gaming skills necessary for other social activities like bowling or playing pool.

How to Play: Since many people consider marbles collectibles, players must first decide whether they are playing for “keepsies” or whether the winner returns the marbles to the original owner at the end of the game.

To set up the game, draw a circle on the ground with a diameter of about six feet. Place the marbles in an “X” pattern in the middle of the circle. Players take turns attempting to hit a marble and knock it out of the circle. The player with the most marbles in the end wins the game.

  • Best For: Grade school through early teens. Note that the younger the child, the larger the marbles must be for safety considerations.
  • What You’ll Need: Sidewalk chalk, marbles
  • Number of Players: Minimum of two

Mother, May I?

Looking for a safe lawn game or yard game with no extra supplies or equipment required? The classic game of “Mother, May I?” fits the bill.

Similar to Red Light, Green Light, this outdoor activity teaches listening skills while helping children learn body awareness and hone varying ambulatory styles. It also teaches brainstorming abilities as children must come up with numerous suggestions or directions in which to move.

How to Play: Choose one player to stand at the front of the play area while the remaining players line up at the opposite end. Players then take turns asking the main player if they “may” go forward by making a movement suggestion.

For example, the player might ask “Mother, may I take three giant steps forward?” The main player can either say “Yes, you may” or make another suggestion (“No, you may not. But you can take five baby steps forward instead”).

A player who makes it to the finish line first becomes the new “mother” of the game.

  • Best For: Pre K – Grade 5
  • What You’ll Need: No equipment needed
  • Number of Players: A small group of players

Spud

If you want to make the most of a large, grassy outdoor area, playing spud is a terrific choice. Spud is a high-energy outdoor activity that borrows themes from dodge ball.

Players toss the ball high for someone to catch and yell “SPUD!” before trying to get someone out of the game.

Because it teaches sportsmanship and agility to both younger kids and older kids, spud is a popular choice for picnics, playgrounds, camps, and retreats.

How to Play: Because it requires a big outdoor area, spud is an ideal yard game or lawn game. Choose a player to be “it” and assign a number to all other players.

The “it” player tosses the ball skyward and then calls the number of the person who must catch the ball. Once the player catches the ball, he or she yells “SPUD” so that everyone freezes.

The player with the ball then tries to hit another player so that the person gets a letter for each impact (first S, then P, U, and D). If successful, the new player gets a letter and becomes “it.” But if not, the person who threw the ball is now “it.”

The first player to get a complete set of letters (S-P-U-D) loses the game and must step out, and the last player left on the field wins the game.

  • Best For: Grade 5 and up
  • What You’ll Need: Very soft ball that does not hurt on impact
  • Number of Players: Up to eight players

Monkey in the Middle

Monkey in the Middle is a classic game that resembles a reverse form of dodge ball. In this outdoor activity, two or more players toss the ball to each other while the “monkey in the middle” tries to block or intercept the throw.

The game is a great way for younger kids to learn catching skills and helps older kids practice strategy and good sportsmanship.

How to Play: Two players face each other and a third player stands in the middle. The two players toss the ball back and forth to keep it away from the monkey in the middle.

If the middle player catches the ball, then the player who tossed it becomes the new monkey in the middle. This yard game is a great way to build upper-body agility and interact with others outdoors.

  • Best For: Elementary school and up
  • What You’ll Need: Soft playground ball
  • Number of Players: Three or more

Horse

Horse is a classic game perfect for older kids who want to build creativity while showing off their basketball skills. This game gets kids off of the electronic devices and back onto the basketball court. With just two players, a basketball hoop, and a rubber or synthetic ball, any team player can have fun for hours.

How to Play: Think of Horse as “Simon Says” with a basketball. First, choose a player to go first. This player then makes up any crazy routine before shooting the ball. (For instance, the player might decide to twirl three times before shooting the ball into the hoop.)

If the player makes the shot, then the other players must do the same wacky routine before shooting. But if the player misses the shot, the next player gets a turn to choose a wonky routine before a shot.

Any player who cannot make a shot gets a letter until someone gets enough letters to spell out H-O-R-S-E. The player standing without spelling out HORSE wins the game.

  • Best For:Kids old enough to play basketball (around Grade 4 and up)
  • What You’ll Need: Basketball hoop and a rubber or synthetic basketball
  • Number of Players: Two or more

Parachute Games

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If you are looking for fun outdoor activities to play a memorable field day, look no further than parachute games. Perfect as a lawn game, using a parachute is a great way for younger kids to get exercise, fresh air, and sunshine.

These games can also foster teamwork, making them a great choice for P.E. class for older children as well.

How to Play: There are numerous variations of parachute games. Common parachute activities include the following:

  • Mushroom – Kids hold the edges of the parachute to create a mushroom on a windy day.
  • Waves – Players vary arm movements to make small, medium, and large waves.
  • Treasure Under the Sea – Players create waves while one participant tries to retrieve an object from under the parachute.
  • Popcorn – Players on one side of the parachute try to bounce objects (like pom poms or gaga balls) off while players on the other side try to keep them on the parachute.

As you can see, there are boundless ways to enjoy the parachute game as long as kids have grownup supervision and creative minds.

  • Best For: Kids of all ages
  • What You’ll Need: Nylon parachute; optional accessories include beanbags, pom poms, gaga balls, or balloons
  • Number of Players: Eight to 10 players

Jump Rope and Double Dutch

little girl playing jump rope outdoors
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Jumping rope is a fun yard game with potentially lifelong benefits. This cardiovascular activity is a great use of energy as a child, and the skill can go on to become an invaluable aerobic warmup for grownup sports like basketball, track, wrestling, and boxing.

In addition to the single rope, double dutch is a perennial social activity as well as an integral part of most jump rope festivals and tournaments.

How to Play: Jumping rope as an individual involves standing forward with shoulders and hips aligned, bending the knees, and then jumping one or two inches off the ground as you swing the rope.

With double dutch, two players turn the ropes and the third player enters the middle diagonally to jump (keeping the pace of around twice the rhythm of a single rope to match the double speed).

  • Best For: All ages
  • What You’ll Need: One or two jumping ropes
  • Number of Players: One for individual jump rope; three for longer ropes or playing double dutch

Jacks

Jacks is one of the most recognizable games played worldwide. With origins dating back millennia, this game is a time-tested activity for building dexterity and enjoying endless hours of fun outdoors.

Players of all ages can develop strategy and reasoning skills by learning to throw, catch, and manipulate the bouncing balls in numerous paths and patterns.

How to Play: The object of the game is to be the first participant to complete 10 rounds successfully. Choose a player to go first and then scatter the jacks into a small outdoor space.

The first player tosses the rubber ball in the air and grabs a jack before the ball bounces. Using the same hand, the player grabs the ball immediately after the first bounce. If the player succeeds, he or she moves the jack to the other hand and then moves to the next round.

Players lose turns if they cannot pick up the jacks in time or grab the ball before it bounces again. Keep taking turns until one player successfully finishes round 10 and wins.

  • Best For:Grade school and up
  • What You’ll Need: A small rubber ball and a set of jacks (also known as knuckle bones)
  • Number of Players: Two or more (taking turns)

Giant Outdoor Games

If you are looking for the perfect front lawn game or outside activity, nothing says phenomenal fun quite like giant outdoor games.

As supersized versions of beloved indoor games, giant outdoor games allow complete immersion into a group activity while providing the health benefits of sunshine and fresh air.

Children of all ages can fully engage in a fantasy world of fun activities rather than confine themselves to a sedentary lifestyle at the kitchen table.

Popular giant outdoor games include supersized pick-up sticks, lawn dominoes, Angry Birds balloons, and giant chess or checkers.

Outdoor Games For Kids
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