The Best Outdoor Games For Kids
As I mentioned before, my goal for the summer is a lot of old fashioned fun. I’m tired of buying into the idea that kids need to be involved in classes and camps and museum trips and carnivals all summer. Yesterday was the first day of Project Summer Won’t Suck For The Summers and it went….pretty terribly.
I saw this great list of 150+ easy and inexpensive things to do this summer with kids at Unpink Life and may very well staple it to my kid’s foreheads.
Another idea I had, as I watched six neighborhood kids sit around yesterday (the first day of summer vacation) “with nothing to do,” was a list of easy to play outdoor games. I’ve been looking around and have come up with 10 of my family’s favorite neighborhood outdoor games.
1. Blob Tag
This is an excellent game, especially for a group of kids of various ages. The youngest child starts the game, the first person she tags, becomes part of the “blob” and go after the rest of the players.
2. Driveway Baseball
This game uses chalk to create a “baseball field”. Your balls are flat stones or beanbags that are tossed onto the chalk field. The rules are a little complex with this game so it may be easier for the five and up set.
3. Flashlight Tag
My kids love games with flashlights on those nights we stay out in the yard late talking to neighbors or friends. We’re also heading up north camping this summer and the flashlight games will be a big hit out in the dark camping grounds. You’re tagged if you’re “hit” by the flashlight’s beam.
4. Shark (or dinosaurs, or hawks and mice)
This game is simple and gets kids moving, which is important, yes even if you have a Wii. One child is the Shark, the other kids are fish. They’re “safe” while on beach towel or hula hoop “dens”. But when the Shark calls out, “Fishie, fishie, cross my ocean”, all the fish have to make it to another den without getting tagged. If you’re tagged you’re a shark too. The game’s over when there are no fish left.
5. Cold Potato
A full water balloon with a small leak is passed around from kid to kid, the goal is to not be the one holding the leaky balloon when it’s totally emptied.
6. Musical Sprinklers
Kids dance and keep moving while the sprinkler’s on. One kid is in charge of turning it on and off.
7. Red Light, Green Light
The classic game. I put it on my list, because it’s amazing the simple games we forget to teach our kids, thinking they’ll instinctively know it.
8. Octopus Tag
In this game one player is the Octopus who calls all the other players to cross his ocean. If they’re tagged, they become seaweed who remain stationary but try to tag the fish passing by.
9. Elbow Tag
One kid is it, the other is chased and everyone pairs off (if you have an odd number of players, make a team of three linked arms) linking elbows. The chased person can seek safety by linking onto a pair of linked kids, forcing the kid at the opposite end off the link to be chased.
10. Obsta-Cool Course
This game will take some creativity on your part and your kids. You’ll need water, buckets, water balloons and squirt guns that are all laid out in an obstacle course. Perfect for a hot day when that one friend who’s got a pool is on vacation so you’re stuck in your own backyard.