Advertisement

Outdoor fun for the kids

Outdoor fun for the kids
Getty Images

Kids are not meant to be stuck indoors 24/7, and they naturally thrive when they play outside, says Meghan Fitzgerald, a former school principal and the cofounder of Tinkergarten, a company that designs outdoor games for children. Even the simplest outdoor play teaches kids skills in a fun, hands-on way that nothing else can – especially not a screen. Kids just think they’re playing and having fun together, but in the process, they’re also learning scientific principles, having valuable social interactions, getting exercise, and releasing stress, Fitzgerald explains. Plus, as long as the pandemic is around, playing outdoors is safer for everyone.

Whether you’re looking for classic backyard games, lawn games, water games for kids, or games that will boost your kids’ IQ, we’ve got you covered. These outdoor games for kids are simple, frugal and easily adapted to any age.

Capture the flag

Capture the flag
Getty Images

Teamwork is the name of the game in this classic outdoor game for kids. Start with at least six players, and divide into two teams. Mark a designated playing space and establish a home base with a “flag” for each team. On “go,” each team tries to run into enemy territory, steal the flag, and make it back safely to their side. However, if you’re tagged by an opposing team member, you’re frozen and can no longer help your team. Keep the space small for younger kids, but for older children, you can add obstacles, hideouts, or play it in the dark.

Ghost in the graveyard

Ghost in the graveyard
Getty Images

Gather at least five kids, and designate a home base as the safe spot. Choose one person to be the ghost. The ghost hides while the rest stay at the base and count to 30. The kids then spread out and look for the ghost. When someone finds him or her, they yell, “Ghost in the graveyard!” and everyone attempts to run back to base before the ghost tags them. If the ghost tags someone, that person becomes the new ghost. If the ghost doesn’t tag anyone, the last child back to home base is the ghost.

Afterwards, you can tell these 13 best ghost stories to give you goosebumps.

Sardines

Sardines
Getty Images

This easy outdoor game for kids is like reverse hide-and-seek. Start with a group of four or more children, and pick one kid to be “it.” All the kids count to 30 while the child who is “it” finds a hiding spot. The kids then spread out and look for the hidden child. When they find him or her, they quietly hide with the other kid(s) until all the children are hiding in the same spot or as close as they can without being seen. The last one to find the spot becomes “it” for the next round.

Kick the can

Kick the can
Getty Images

Pick an open area, preferably paved, like a driveway, and set an empty tin can in the middle. Gather at least four children, and pick one of them to be the “guard” or “it.” The guard counts to 30 while the other children hide. The hidden children’s goal is to kick the can without getting tagged by the guard. The guard’s goal is to protect the can, keeping it from getting kicked, by tagging any kid running toward it. Once tagged, that child is frozen where they stand. The child who kicks the can wins, or the guard wins if he or she tags all the other players out.

Hospital tag

Hospital tag
Getty Images

Regular tag is fun, but these tweaks to the rules can take it to the next level. Choose someone to be “it.” That child chases the other kids, trying to tag them. Once a child is tagged, they have to cover the spot where they were tagged with their hand to keep playing. The second time they are tagged they cover that spot with their other hand and keep playing. The third time they are tagged, they have to go to the “hospital,” where they are out for the rest of the game. The child who is “it” wins when all the other players are in the hospital. The first child in the hospital is the next “it.”

Watch out for these 13 silent signs of anxiety in children

Advertisement

Red rover

Red rover
Getty Images

Divide at least 10 children into two groups. Place each group on separate ends of an open space, like a field or large yard. Each group forms a line, holding hands. One line starts the game by chanting, “Red rover, red rover, send X right over,” where X is the name of a child on the other team. That child then runs across the field and tries to break through the line at any point. If the child fails, they join that team’s line. If they succeed, they choose a player to bring back with them to their original team. Play until all the kids are in one line.

Learn the 11 surprising reasons French children are so well-behaved.

Red light, green light

Red light, green light
Getty Images

Gather a group of at least five children, and choose one to be the traffic light. Put the traffic light at one end of an open space and the rest of the kids at the other end. The traffic light starts with his or her back to the group. When that child yells, “Green light,” the group runs toward them. At any point, the traffic light can turn to face the group and yell, “Red light,” and everyone must stop running. If a child keeps running through a red light, they are out. The traffic light continues saying “red light” or “green light” until they are tagged by another child, who then becomes the next traffic light.

Mother, may I?

Mother, may I?
Getty Images

Start with a group of at least five children, and choose one to be “mother.” Line up the group of kids on one end of the open space, and place the “mother” on the other end, facing the group. Kids in the group take turns asking, “Mother, may I…?” filling in the blank with a request to move. They may ask things like “May I take three hops on one foot forward?” or “May I do one cartwheel?” or “May I run backward for two steps?” Mother then says “yes” or “no.” The first child to successfully reach mother and tag him or her is the next mother.

This game is also a good way to instill some of the manners you should be teaching your kids.

Skipping rope copycat

Skipping rope copycat
Getty Images

There are many skipping rope games to play, but a popular version involves copying the other players. For this outdoor game, start with at least two children, each with their own skipping rope, and space them apart in a circle. One child starts by doing a trick – say, jumping the rope once on one foot. The next child then performs the first trick and adds one of their own, like jumping in a circle. The third child must perform both tricks in order and add one of their choosing. Continue around the circle, with each child adding on a trick. When a child fails to perform the sequence in order, they are out. Continue until only one child is left.

These leisure activities burn more calories than you realise.

Never miss a deal again - sign up now!

Connect with us: