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Outdoor Games for Kids of All Ages

Summer is a great time to be outside, and as playing outside has many benefits for kids, we should definitely be encouraging it more. From staying fit to develop gross and fine motor skills, we should be playing outdoors, and some of the best ways to do that are with some games that everyone can enjoy. This summer try some of these outdoor games for kids and families and get the kids moving.

Obstacle Course

Have a family-friendly competition in the backyard with your very own obstacle course. Use hula-hoops, cones, chalk to draw boxes to jump in and out of, pop-up tunnels, anything for kids to weave in and around of and get moving about. Have timed races and a good laugh.

Recycled Bottle Bowling

Paint ten large plastic bottles as bowling pins (go traditional white with red stripes or paint each one a different color and get creative. Use glow-in-the-dark paint for night-time games). Use a small beach ball or tennis ball to roll from a distance and knock down as many pins as possible. These are great to pack away for another summer to use over and over again too.

Four Square

A game played in schools for years, Four Square is easy to play. As a parent, you may remember there is a whole load of rules, some may have been just made up on the spot but make the rules simple and stick to them. Draw one very large square in chalk on concrete and divide it into four other squares for one person each to stand in. Number the squares one to four. The person in square one will start the game and pass the ball to someone in another square, letting it bounce once in that other person’s square before they gently pass it to someone else. If it double-bounces, or bounces within the passer’s square instead of the receiver’s then that person is out. Official Four Square rules can be found here: http://www.squarefour.org/rules.

Doggie, Doggie, Where’s Your Bone?

A more relaxed, but fun game nonetheless, is Doggie, Doggie, Where’s Your Bone? Have someone be the “doggie” and be sat back turned away from the rest, who will be sitting lined up. They will be passing an object between them (the “bone”). This can be anything but a toy dog bone works great! Someone will be hiding it behind their back, and when decided who it is, all will shout “Doggie, doggie, where’s your bone?” The “doggie” turns around and tries to guess who has the bone by who is looking the guiltiest!

Scavenger Hunts

Put together a scavenger hunt for everyone to enjoy! You can put hidden items somewhere specific or ask them to find general things found naturally anyways, like specific birds or to bring back a certain color flower. This can be as big or small as you want it to be, with a scavenger hunt taking place just in the backyard or by taking a walk around the neighborhood.

Ghosts in the Graveyard

This is essentially a version of tag that is a little bit different and a lot more fun (at least my kids think so!) There are different versions but a common one is having a “ghost” hide while the rest count from 1 o’clock to midnight. Once “midnight” comes around, the kids shout “Star light, star bright, I hope I see a ghost tonight!” The ghost then comes out and tries to tags someone to be the next ghost before they make it back to the safety zone.

Red Light, Green Light

Whoever is “It” stands across the yard with their back turned and declares “red light” or “green light”. When “green light” is shouted, the other kids have to make it across the field towards whoever is It. When whoever is It shouts “red light!”, everyone has to freeze as “It” turns around to try to catch someone moving. If so, whoever is moving must go back to start. Whoever reaches and tags “It” first is the next “It”.

Make sure everyone stays hydrated and has plenty of sunscreen on and get ready to have a wonderful time playing some of these games outside. Which ones will you be trying?


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