25 Fun Outdoor Games And Activities For Kids

25 Fun Outdoor Games And Activities For Kids

Inspiring kids to play outdoors isn’t easy anymore. When they have such entertaining stuff like video games and the internet at home, why would they want to step out at all? But we know why they should step out.

They will not mind playing outdoors if we make it more interesting than the indoor attractions. In this post, MomJunction does exactly that as we bring you some engaging outdoor games and activities for kids.

Outdoor Games And Activities

1. Digging dinos

An adventure from the past, with a modern twist, makes it a perfect garden game for kids.

Digging dinos

Image: Shutterstock

How to play:

  1. Dig up some mud from the backyard of your house, or any outdoor play area.
  2. Place the toy bones in the mud, and shovel it well.
  3. Smoothen the rough edges from the ground, so that the kids cannot figure out where they are hidden.
  4. Now, give the shovel(s) to your kids and ask them to find out the dinosaur bones.

2. Suikawari

Suikawari

Image: Shutterstock

Suika is Japanese for watermelon and wari means splitting. This is a traditional Japanese game very popular with kids.

How to play:

  1. Blindfold the child and give them a wooden stick.
  2. Ask the child to hit the watermelon with the stick.
  3. Give a time limit such as 1 minute for each player.
  4. Spin the blindfolded player three to five times before they begin to whack.
  5. Within the time span, a player can try several times to crack it open.
  6. The player who cracks the watermelon open wins.

[ Read: Interesting Activities For Kids ]

3. Hide and seek

Hide and seek is one of the most traditional outdoor games to have been played since generations.

Hide and seek

Image: Shutterstock

How to play:

  1. One of the kids has to be the ‘It’.
  2. ‘It’ will have to count numbers from 1 to 10 or more while the other players will hide.
  3. Make sure that you have set up some rules so that the kids do not end up hiding in some unsafe places.
  4. As soon as ‘It’ stops counting, the other kids have to remain hidden.
  5. ‘It’ starts the search, and tags the kids who get seen.
  6. If anyone succeeds in hiding without getting discovered in the allotted game time, they win.
  7. The game continues with some other player being the ‘It’.

4. Freeze or laugh

An ideal childhood game with a twist, freeze or laugh is known by different names.

Freeze or laugh

Image: Shutterstock

How to play:

  1. One player will be ‘It’, and he or she will take each of the other players by their hands and spin them around.
  2. Just as ‘It’ stops, the player will freeze as he or she lands and retains that posture.
  3. Once everyone is a statue, ‘It’ will enter their madhouse and try to make the kids laugh.
  4. ‘It’ cannot touch any of the kids.
  5. The first kid to giggle or laugh will be the next ‘It’.

5. Ghosts in the graveyard

Play this in the night to achieve the maximum fun and excitement.

Ghosts in the graveyard

Image: iStock

How to play:

  1. One kid will be the ghost and will remain hidden.
  2. If the game is being played at night, give kids some torches.
  3. The rest of the players will count numbers for the ghost to hide somewhere.
  4. Once the ghost is securely hidden to find a prey, the other kids will join arms and walk.
  5. The players will chant something, for sprucing up the ambiance. Something like: “Star light, star bright, hope I see a ghost tonight.”
  6. This chant is the signal for the ghost to now attack.
  7. The ghost can pop out anytime, and then it’s a straight game of tagging.
  8. As soon as the kids see the ghost, they’ll have to run back to not get tagged.
  9. The ghost will have to tag someone to be the next ghost before all of them escape.

6. Chalkway Picasso

For this activity, all your kid will need is a couple of chalks and a lot of imagination.

Chalkway Picasso

Image: Shutterstock

How to play:

  1. Give your kids color chalks of their choice.
  2. They can draw any pattern or figure they like, from a snake-n-ladder road game to long waves and a beach in the middle of the park paths. But make sure the paths are not busy with people.
  3. Have a group of children unleash their creativity, to make this activity more interesting.

7. Sack race

Outdoor races are fun and an excellent physical exercise. Sack race adds laughter to it.

Sack race

How to play:

  1. Give one sack to each participant.
  2. They have to stand inside the sack and hold the edges.
  3. When you say ‘start’, they have to hop ahead, keeping the sack as close to the waist as possible.
  4. If it falls below the knees at any time, the player will be disqualified.
  5. The kid who races to the finishing line first wins.

8. Hopscotch

Hopscotch is an all-time favorite playground game for children.

Hopscotch

Image: iStock

How to play:

  1. Draw a pattern of numbers from 1 to 9 in the shape of blocks.
  2. Those will be the landing steps for each player.
  3. Give a pebble to the kid and ask them to throw it in one of the blocks.
  4. Once you whistle, the player will hop with one leg through the blocks.
  5. If a kid lands on the wrong number sequence or outside the line, they will stand disqualified.
  6. When a kid reaches the block where they threw the pebble, they will bend on one leg and pick it up.
  7. Upon reaching the last block, they will turn and return to block 1 still on one foot.
  8. You can allot a time slot to bring variations to the game.

[ Read: Indoor Games For Kids ]

9. Piggy in the middle

Outdoor ball games never bore children. Try this game!

Piggy in the middle

Image: Shutterstock

How to play:

1. One player will stand in the middle.
2. The other players will stand surrounding the middle player — either in a circle or straight line.
3. The players will toss the ball to each other, and the middle player will attempt to catch it.
4. The players have to make sure that the middle player doesn’t catch their throws.
5. But if and when a throw is caught, that thrower will be the next to stand in the middle.

10. Tug of war

Let this war be all about tugs, pulls and fun.

Tug of war

How to play:

  1. Divide kids into two teams.
  2. The teams will stand at an equal distance from the center line.
  3. Once the whistle blows, the two teams will try to pull the other team across the line.
  4. Whichever team crosses the line first loses.

11. Ring toss game

Ring toss is everyone’s loved game that can be played both outdoors and indoors.

Ring toss game

How to play:

  1. Keep the stakes in a chosen spot.
  2. Draw boundaries around the stake.
  3. Each player has to stand opposite to the boundary line and aim their rings toward the stake.
  4. If all the rings are successfully dropped on the stake, the player wins.

12. Kick the can

Apart from kick and fun, it also gives your child a good physical exercise.

Kick the can

Image: Shutterstock

How to play:

  1. Find a bench or seating area that will serve as the jail.
  2. One player will be It, who will challenge the other players to hide, and guard a can.
  3. It has to find the hidden kids. Once It deciphers where a player is hiding, It will call out the name along with the hiding place.
  4. If It is correct, the player has to come out and get “jailed”.
  5. All the players will be called like this and jailed.
  6. When It is busy finding the hidden players, one of the players should come out and hit the can.
  7. It has to stop the player from kicking by running after him and saving the can.
  8. If the player kicks the can successfully, all of the jailers will be freed.
  9. If not, the first player to come out will be the next It.

13. Marbles

These small spherical balls hold your munchkin’s attention for long.

Marbles

Image: iStock

How to play:

  1. Draw a circle first to set up the game.
  2. Place 10 to 15 marbles in the center of the circle.
  3. The player has to choose a shooter marble, which will be used to shoot the marbles inside the circle to throw them outside.
  4. The player has to keep shooting the marbles until none are left in the ring.
  5. Whoever succeeds in throwing all the marbles in the shortest time, wins the game.

14. Dodgeball

Dodgeball is a beautiful team sport that teaches children fundamental skills like dodging.

Dodgeball

How to:

  1. Divide the kids into two teams.
  2. Each team will be throwing balls to eliminate the opposing team.
  3. It can be done in two ways: One team will eliminate a player from the opposite team by either hitting them with the ball or catching opponent team’s throws.
  4. Whoever gets hit by the ball, or their throws caught will be out.
  5. The game can be timed, and whichever team outs with the maximum number of players wins.

[ Read: Water Games And Activities For Kids ]

15. Capture the flag

This team game brings in energy and teamwork together.

Capture the flag

How to play:

  1. Divide the kids into two teams.
  2. Pick up flags of different colors for each team.
  3. Divide the play area equally for each team. Put flags in each territory.
  4. The flags have to be partially hidden.
  5. Once the game starts, the players will try to cross into the opposing team’s territory and snatch their flag.
  6. If a player of the opponent team gets captured while trying to snatch the flag, he or she will have to either perform some task asked by the other side or go to ‘jail’.
  7. If a player gets the flag and flies back to their territory, he or she is safe, and the team wins.

16. Balloon dart game

This is an exciting water game for kids and they will be occupied with it for a long time.

Balloon dart game

How to play:

  1. Fill up some balloons, and tape them on the headboard.
  2. You can fill the balloons with either air or water.
  3. Each player must stand 4ft away from the balloons.
  4. Hand over darts to each player.
  5. Assign a color or number to each player, like “target the red balloons” or “blow at least eight balloons” and that player has to blow the identified balloons with their darts.

17. Jump rope

What’s a better game than jumping and landing fine?

Jump rope

How to play:

  1. Divide the kids into two teams.
  2. Hand them each a glass filled with water.
  3. One group will move the rope for the opposing team’s players to jump with the water glass in their hands.
  4. While they do so, the water will keep dripping off from the cup.
  5. Players have to continue the jump without landing on the ropes or throwing their cups.
  6. Players will continue their rounds as decided by both teams, for example, 8 leaps make one round.
  7. The time taken to make the eight jumps will be counted to decide on the winning team.
  8. The team who performed fastest, and with the most amount of water in their cups stand as the winning team.

18. Ice block treasure hunt

Let the kids cool themselves off with this super fun treasure hunt.

Ice block treasure hunt

Image: iStock

How to play:

  1. You can use big plastic containers to make a huge chunk of the ice block.
  2. Fill up the container with water and add some plastic toys, chocolates, and other trinkets.
  3. Add food coloring and let the water freeze into an ice block.
  4. Give the players some supplies to excavate the treasures out, such as spoons, water, spray bottles, brushes. Do not give salt or hammer to young kids.
  5. Allot time and let the kids experiment with the tools and find their way to the treasure.
  6. Whoever recovers the most number of toys in a given time is the winner.

19. Pool prize search

Pools activities and games are a must on a beautiful sunny day.

Pool prize search

Image: iStock

How to play:

  1. Divide the kids into teams of two in the swimming pool.
  2. Keep them separated using any pool divider.
  3. Put bath bubbles or foam in the pool, if you want.
  4. Have the kids jump in and take their positions.
  5. You will have to put one gift on each side of the pool, for both the teams.
  6. Keep the gift secured tightly with a string or something sturdier so that it remains at its place.
  7.  Whichever team finds their prize first is the winner.

[ Read: Carnival Games And Activities For Kids ]

20. Red Rover

Want some fun and run? The Red Rover is a great running game for kids.

Red Rover

How to play:

  1. Divide the kids into two teams.
  2. The teams will line up opposite to each other with a distance of minimum 20ft.
  3. The first team will form a chain by holding their hands, and will chant, “Red Rover, Red Rover, send (a player’s name) on over!” and demand that the player from the opposite side come to their territory.
  4. The player, who has been called, will run to the other line and attempt to break the chain formed by the team.
  5. If the player fails to do so, they will have to join the opposite team.
  6. However, if the player breaks the chain, he/ she may capture two players whose link was broken and bring them back to his/ her team.
  7. Each team will take turns in calling Red Rover and challenge one player.
  8. The team left with the maximum number of players wins.

21. Rainbow tag

Rainbow tag makes for perfect fun races outdoors.

Rainbow tag

Image: iStock

How to play:

  1. Designate the corners of your playfield as the two ends of the rainbow. Place some object, like a cone, to mark that end.
  2. One player, called the “leprechaun,” will stand in the middle of the field.
  3. The rest of the players will line up in the field shoulder to shoulder, facing the leprechaun.
  4. The leprechaun can call out any color, such as “red”.
  5. Anyone who is wearing red or has red in their clothes must race past the leprechaun to the other end of the rainbow.
  6. If the player gets tagged by the leprechaun, they have to stand on the sidelines.
  7. The game will continue with the leprechaun returning to the middle of the field, calling out new colors.
  8. The player who remains to the last is the winner.

22. Water-can bowling

This is one of the best outdoor games that children can play.

Water-can bowling

How to play:

  1. You can use your old plastic bottles (ideally ten) to stack up.
  2. Choose ten different colors.
  3. Squirt a little bit of paint at the bottom of each container and then fill it up with water so that the bottles look like colored, resembling bowling pins.
  4. Now give a ball to each player and let them have a fun outdoorsy day.

23. Squirt gun painting

This all-time favorite outdoor activity can be played anywhere, even in schools.

Squirt gun painting

How to play:

  1. Take some canvas papers and stick them on a wall using double-sided tape or board clips.
  2. Give your child a squirt gun filled with paint and let them create any painting they want.
  3. Keep changing the paints to bring variations in the art.
  4. Tell your kid that they can keep trying different variations of colors and patterns for each canvas paper.
  5. The board will look different and uniquely contemporary.

24. Balloon pinata

This is a perfect DIY outdoor activity for children.

Balloon pinata

How to play:

  1. Fill a lot of balloons with water so that you can reload your pinata just as the balloons are popped.
  2. Tie your rope ends to a tree branch or at any hook. The balloons need a firm stand, as they will be water-filled and, therefore, heavy.
  3. Attach five balloons at a time to the rope or string.
  4. Give all the kids their turn to whack and burst the balloons.
  5. The player who gets drenched the least will win.

25. Hang in there

Hang in there

Image: iStock

The game teaches balancing skills to children.

How to play:

  1. Hang tough nylon ropes on two poles or anything strong.
  2. Tie these ropes both on the top of the pole and below, leaving a good amount of space for the kids to hang.
  3. The players have to balance themselves and stand in that given space by resting their feet on the bottom rope and holding the top rope with their hands.
  4. All the players will be timed.
  5. When all the players step in, the balance will go awry and the kids will struggle.
  6. You can also add a twist by spraying water at the players with a hosepipe or water gun.
  7. The player who stands on the rope the longest wins.

[ Read: Games To Play At The Park With Kids ]

Once they begin playing outdoors, children get so involved in them that they just want to continue playing forever. Well, that could be a problem again as you have to convince them to come home and have their dinner!

What games did you like from our list? Do you have any more outdoor games to share with us? Let us know in the comment section below.

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MA English Pursuing Child Nutrition and Cooking from Stanford UniversitySudipta is an English Major from the University of Hyderabad. Has considerable medical research writing experience, but also enjoys creative writing and the arts. Her writings aim to make highly scientific/ health material easy to understand for a common reader.She is also a National Novel Writing Month awardee. Sudipta loves to hit the roads to find stories and motivation to fill up her canvases and the pages of her diary.
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