16 Fun Picnic Games And Activities For Kids

In this age of millennial kids, gadgets, and children are each other’s best friends. Hence, getting them to go outside in parks or gardens for some fresh air and play with friends is a task for every parent. So we bring you a list of the best picnic games for kids to make their outdoor time fun and interesting. These games will encourage them to stay away from their devices and spend quality time with family and friends. Continue reading as we have put together a collection of picnic games you can enjoy with your children.

In This Article

Fun & Exciting Picnic Games for Kids

While tossing around a frisbee, or ball, blowing bubbles, or flying a kite can be enjoyable for a handful of children, entertaining a larger group of kids during a picnic might necessitate arranging additional games. If you’re looking for some exciting and fun picnic games for kids, we’ve got you covered.

1. Redlight, greenlight

Redlight greenlight picnic games for kids

Image: IStock

Similar to the statue game, redlight and greenlight can be enjoyed by everyone.

How to play:

  • Select one player to be the traffic light or traffic cop.
  • All the other players have to scatter around.
  • When the traffic light says ‘redlight’, players must freeze and stay still.
  • And when the traffic light says ’greenlight’, players must start moving, running and jumping around.
  • Any player who fails to follow the instructions of the traffic light is eliminated.

2. Wheelbarrow race

Wheelbarrow race picnic games for kids

Image: IStock

One of the very popular outdoor picnic games for children is the wheelbarrow race. So find a smooth and comfortable place to play this game.

How to play:

  • Divide the players into teams of two.
  • One among the two is the driver and the other is a wheelbarrow.
  • Set a start and finish line.
  • The driver holds the ankles of the wheelbarrow, and the player who is the wheelbarrow walks on their hands.
  • The team which reaches the finish line first wins.

3. I spy

I spy picnic games for kids

Image: Shutterstock

Games like hide and seek can be enjoyed by kids of all ages and grown-ups too. The best part of this picnic game is that you need no supplies.

How to play:

  • Choose one player to be the spy, who has to count till 10 while keeping the eyes closed.
  • Every other player has to find a spot to hide before the spy finishes counting.
  • Spy has to scout the entire location and find each hiding player.

4. Slap the arm

Slap the arm picnic games for kids

Image: Shutterstock

Slap the arm is hilarious and will get everyone cracking up. Just be sure, you don’t hit too hard.

How to play:

  • Players stand facing each other with one arm’s distance between them.
  • Each player has to make the opposite player move their feet by slapping their hands.
  • At the same time, they need to control the urge to move while the opponent also slaps them.
  • Touching anywhere except the hand is strictly not allowed and disqualifies the player from the game.
  • Whoever moves their feet loses the game.

5. Trampoline

Trampoline picnic games for kids

Image: IStock

One of the fun games for kids at a picnic could be jumping and playing on the trampoline.

How to play:

  • Set up a trampoline at your picnic location.
  • Let the kids climb up on to it.
  • While playing or jumping on the trampoline, whoever falls first has to exit the game.
  • The last player standing wins.

6. Musical chairs

Musical chairs picnic games for kids

Image: IStock

A classic all-time favorite of people across all ages. Select the number of players and get one chair less than the players.

How to play:

  • Choose some music to play.
  • Set up the chairs in a circular shape, the seat has to face outside. Start the game with one chair less than the number of players. For example, if there are seven children playing, you should have six chairs in the circle.
  • Players have to stand outside the circle.
  • Play the music and players start running around the chairs.
  • When the music stops, everyone standing has to sit on a chair.
  • The player, who does not find a chair to sit, is eliminated.
  • One chair is removed and the game continues until there is one player left as the winner.

7. Jenga

Jenga picnic games for kids

Image: Shutterstock

Jenga is one such thrilling picnic games for children, which requires both mental and physical abilities. This game tests the child’s attention and patience.

How to play:

  • Place all the Jenga blocks on a flat surface.
  • Start building the tower with three blocks as the foundation and keep adding layers at each step till your tower is 18 blocks high.
  • Next, each player has to remove one block at a time and place it on the top without disturbing the tower.
  • If any player causes the fall of the tower, he/she is eliminated from the game and the rest of them have to restart it all over again.
protip_icon Quick tip
Family picnics with kids require a whole lot of planning. Don’t forget to pack the essentials such as a portable picnic table, a cozy blanket(if it gets cold), napkins and wipes, a chopping board, plates and cutlery, sunscreen and insect repellent, and lots of snacks and finger food to binge on.

8. Pass the water

Pass the water picnic games for kids

Image: Shutterstock

Here is another relay game for bright sunny days. Enjoy cool water splashes all over. You will need some glasses and water for this one.

How to play:

  • Make kids stand in a row, one behind the other as per their height.
  • Each one has to hold a glass of water in their hands.
  • The task is to pass the water from one glass to another but without turning behind. The kids have to be creative in their approach or lift their hands up and pour it backward.
  • If you spill water, the glass must be refilled and the game starts again.

9. Dance

Dance together picnic games for kids

Image: IStock

Dancing and exercising release happy hormones. So play some music and get grooving to the vibe.

How to play:

  • Set up a music station at your picnic location and play some peppy numbers.
  • Gather everyone and dance like nobody’s watching.

10. Human knot

Human knot picnic games for kids

Image: IStock

This exciting and challenging game requires acute thinking abilities to succeed.

How to play:

  • Make all the kids stand in a circle, facing inwards.
  • Everyone has to stretch their right arm out and hold the left hand of someone else. Ensure nobody grabs the hand of a person who is standing right next to them.
  • The fun starts now. All the kids have to work towards untangling the knot without letting the hands loose. The final goal is to form a full circle again.
  • Kids can go over the arms or under, pass through the legs or do whatever, but ensure the human knot does not get broken.

11. Duck duck goose goose

This fun game is an all-time favorite for kids. It is best played when you have a large number of kids together.

How To Play

  • Make all the kids sit in a circle.
  • Choose a player to start. The chosen kid “it” needs to tap on the heads of the other players one by one saying duck or goose while walking around the circle.
  • The players tapped with duck remain seated and the one tapped with goose gets up and starts chasing “it” whose motive is to avoid being tagged by the chaser till they reach the chaser’s spot and sit down.
  • The chaser now “it” continues the game by choosing to tap by saying duck or goose.
    If the chaser tags “it,” they need to sit in the center of the circle and cannot leave until another player is tagged.

Additionally, you can even include classic favorites such as tag, hopscotch, jump rope, ring toss, and sack race.

Fun Outdoor Picnic Activities For Kids

When you think of picnic activities for children, what is the first thing that comes to your mind? They have to be interesting and challenge the kids, isn’t it? Here are some such activities you can try.

12. Sundae making

Sundae making picnic games for kids

Image: IStock

Sure to make everyone drool, the sundae making game will require different flavors of ice cream, sprinkles, nuts, chocolate sauce, honey etc. Use a timer to make it more competitive.

How to play:

  • Divide the players into teams of equal members and provide them with all the supplies.
  • Assign them a time limit and give them the liberty to go wild and crazy.
  • The team which makes the most delectable and appealing sundae wins.

13. Hit the water balloons

Hit the water balloons picnic games for kids

Image: IStock

Playing with water and balloons is a favorite among kids. To play this game, the only supplies you will need are water, a stone, and some balloons. This can be played individually or in teams.

How to play:

  • Fill the balloons with water.
  • Place them in a row.
  • Make the child stand at a distance of at least 5 feet from the balloons.
  • Target and hit them with a stone and enjoy the water splashing all over.
  • However, make sure there are no kids standing in the line of the stone-throw.

14. Passing the hula hoop

Passing the hula hoop picnic games for kids

Image: Shutterstock

This is an interesting team-building game for kids.

How to play:

  • The players have to stand in a circle or a row and hold each other’s hands.
  • A hula hoop is dropped at the beginning of the circle, between two players.
  • All the players have to move the hula hoop from one player to another without letting their hands loose.

15. Picnic basket relay

Picnic basket relay picnic games for kids

Image: IStock

This game encourages kids to get involved in the setting or wrapping up of the dining area of your picnic. It can be played individually or in teams.

How to play:

  • Assign a picnic basket to the kids.
  • Their task is to organize all the food supplies, blankets, water bottles, drinks, plates, and glasses.
  • Ensure that there is no spillage and cleanliness is maintained at your picnic spot.
  • The one who organizes the basket fastest in a tidy manner wins.

16. Decorating a tent

Decorating a tent picnic games for kids

Image: IStock

For this interesting activity, parents can set up the tent and provide some decorating supplies to the young creative geniuses.

How to play:

  • Play either in a team or individually.
  • Use decorating supplies such as banners, fairy lights, throw pillows, etc.
  • Let your children beautify the tent carefully in their exclusive style.

You can keep the excitement going by also organizing a storytelling session, sing-alongs, crafts, face painting, and even balloon animal-making to ensure a memorable and magical picnic experience for your little ones.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How can I incorporate water games into a picnic?

To incorporate water games into a picnic, consider safe options such as a water balloon toss, a water gun fight, a slip n’ slide, a sponge relay race, or a water balloon piñata. It’s important to prioritize safety by supervising children, avoiding hazardous activities, ensuring participants are able to swim, providing life jackets if needed, and being mindful of the environment.

2. What team-building games are perfect for a family picnic?

To build teamwork, communication, and bonding among family members during a picnic, one can play team-building games such as Tug of War, Egg and Spoon Race, Three-legged Race, Water Balloon or Bean bag Toss, horseshoes, Scavenger Hunt, Relay Race, Capture the Flag, and Human Knot. In these games, family members can divide into teams, race to the finish line, or solve challenges together.

3. What quiet, relaxing games can children play after lunch at a picnic?

You can offer quiet and relaxing games such as board games, card games, crafts, and a nature walk. These activities provide a creative outlet and a fun way for children to unwind after lunch at a picnic.

4. How can I involve parents and other adults in picnic games without taking away the fun for children?

Adults can participate in the games alongside the children, organize the games, act as referees, provide snacks and drinks, and cheer the children on. These actions can enhance the experience for everyone involved, create a positive and inclusive environment, and encourage the children to play and have fun.

Children are always excited about picnics. And what better way to make it more fun and memorable than engaging in some picnic games for kids? Some of these may be known to you, while others may be new and challenging. Either way, these surely double the fun and keep your children entertained. You can keep these games a secret and surprise them on the spot to increase the thrill. So go ahead and try these out on your next day out and make some fun memories.

Infographic: Fun & Exciting Picnic Games And Activities For Children

Children enjoy delicious snacks, open spaces, and exciting games. Can you guess which games would make the best picnic entertainment? Find out through this list below and introduce them to your little ones in your next family picnic.

play ideas for children at picnics (infographic)

Illustration: Momjunction Design Team

Key Pointers

  • Redlight, Greenlight is an exciting team game for a fun picnic activity for kids.
  • I spy or hide and seek is a popular game that people of all ages can enjoy.
  • Musical chairs is a classic all-time favorite picnic activity that brings people together.
  • Passing the hula hoop is a fun team-building game for kids and adults in which participants pass the hula hoop between circles without letting go of their hands.
Picnic Games for Kids_illustration

Image: Dall·E/MomJunction Design Team

Here are some classic outdoor games for kids that never go out of style! These games ensure both physical and mental exercise while being all-round entertainers. Fun for the whole family!

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Melissa Jakes
Melissa JakesEvent planner
Melissa Jakes is the CEO and founder of Rescue Event Planning based in Washington DC. Her company helps nonprofits, small businesses, and entrepreneurs in scaling their operations through impactful virtual events. Melissa's expertise has attracted major corporate clients, including Cadillac, Amazon, and Northrop Grumman, who support non-profit initiatives.

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