Getting your child outdoors is crucial to their overall health, well-being, and development; this is when fun outdoor activities for kids come in. Unfortunately, not enough children regularly spend time outdoors.
Introduction: The Importance of Fun Outdoor Activities for Kids
Children need to move daily, and they need frequent body breaks for both their physical health and their mental health.
A lot of children fall into the trap of wanting to stay inside to watch TV or play on electronic devices instead of getting outside.
Parents need to encourage their children to get out and get moving at least once a day. It should not be a chore for children to go outside, however. The second children feel like they are being forced to do something, they will begin to resent it.
That is why children need to see just how much fun they can have outdoors. There are games to be played, toys like swings and roundabouts to be played with, friends to be made, and adventures to be had. When children know this, they will build healthy habits of wanting to go outside and play.
Outdoor games for kids are a great way to keep their minds and bodies active. Games have the potential to build their self-esteem, improve their social skills, and more.
There are hundreds, if not thousands, of outdoor games to keep children active and having fun. These games often do not require anything other than just a few players and a little bit of imagination.
Read on to learn all about some great games that will keep kids entertained outdoors for the long haul.
Fun Outdoor Activities for Kids and the Whole Family
There is no better way to get the whole family to bond than with outdoor games. This is a time when the family can set aside their electronics, their work, and their school obligations to come together and have some fun. When in need of a break, childrens activities such as hide & seek, or jumping on a trampoline is often well appreciated by the adults.
The great thing about family games is that it adds some friendly family rivalry. Pit siblings against siblings or mom against dad and prepare to laugh and have fun for hours. Here are some popular games that the whole family can play.
Flag Football Fun
Flag football is the perfect game for family gatherings. How fun would it be to finally see which cousin is superior? Can grandma outsmart grandpa? You can even raise the stakes and put some friendly wagers on these family games.
To play flag football, you need roughly five people on each team. You can always adjust this number depending on the size of your family. Gameplay is similar to regular football in which only forward or side passes are allowed, and to win you want to score the most goals.
The only big difference is that there is no tackling! The object is to still get your ball over your opponent’s goal line but to stop someone, you go for their flag. This helps to make it safer so that even young kids can get involved.
Obstacle Courses for All Ages
Obstacle courses are perfect for families with kids of all ages. That is because they can be made as simple or as extravagant as needed depending on who is playing.
Scavenger hunts are great outdoor games because not only do they really get a kid’s body moving, these hunts expand their minds as well because they are in charge of creating the game.
Obstacle courses are sure to have the whole family laughing and searching together in a bonding experience. Here are just a few ideas to help you with your planning:
- Place hula hoops apart for everyone to jump into.
- Bend pool noodles to create tunnels to crawl through.
- Add roadblocks to your game with tires, wood planks, and other backyard items.
Capturing Memories While Having Fun
Playing outdoors with the whole family is something that will create memories that will last a lifetime. One fun game that capitalizes on this could be to create silly family photos.
Families should pose in silly ways outdoors and snap photos with disposable cameras. Another creative take on this would be to have the family recreate old family photos. Is there a slide that the kids used to go down together? Recreate that in this silly game!
Fun Outdoor Activities for Kids: Get the Neighborhood Kids Together
Playing games that involve the entire neighborhood has benefits for all families on the block. This is a great way to foster a sense of community, have kids create lifelong friendships, and create a welcoming environment so that nobody feels left out.
Luckily, there are so many games out there that are suitable for kids of different ages to come together and play. From the classics like hide-and-seek or playing with gardening sets to the new favorites like squishy sardines, there is no shortage of boredom-busting games out there.
Hide and Seek Still Rules the School
Hide and seek is a classic game that will likely stick around for the long haul. It can be played with two kids or 200…although, we do not recommend quite that many!
Hide and seek is also fun for all skill levels from a toddler under proper supervision up to an adult! All you need is a keen eye for a creative spot to hide.
Hide and seek is a popular choice for neighborhood kids especially because this is how they make friendships.
When two kids hide together in the same spot, they are creating a bond and it is up to them to keep each other hidden so that they can win! Giggles are sure to ensue when this happens.
Recently, Hide and Seek got a more modern upgrade with “squishy sardines.” Squishy sardines is a game just like its counterpart, except for in reverse!
Instead of one person counting and everyone hides, everyone counts in this game and then, they try to find the one person who is hiding!
When someone finds the person hiding, they join them until there is only one person that is left searching. Someone new is then chosen to hide and the game repeats!
Creative Games of Tag
If you want to tire kids out, get them moving with a game of tag. Tag is great because it is another game that can be played with a large group. It also has the potential to keep kids entertained!
With tag, there is the classic version in which one person is “it” and tries to pass that role off to someone else by tagging them. There have been some fun and creative twists taken on the tag in recent times.
These new alternatives are great ways to break the ice in the neighborhood and to ensure that everyone gets involved without signaling anyone out!
Lots of kids these days are into zombies. In this easy spin on the tag, everyone who is tagged has to turn into a zombie until there is no one left alive.
This is really fun too for those kids who may not be as athletic as others. It gives them a chance to show off their creative side by acting as super scary zombies.
Some kids are all about running and tagging as many people as possible, others are all about being scary and really selling their roles. This makes it fun for all.
Everyone is “it”
This fun twist on the tag has everyone starting as “it.” This is particularly great for younger kids who often fight over who gets to be “it” first!
In this game, everyone keeps track of how many other players they tag throughout a designated period.
This game is sure to end in fits of laughter as two players approach each other and attempt to tag each other simultaneously! What will they do or will they just give up?
Also, this is another great example of a game that does not single anyone out. Everyone can work at their own pace to tag others.
Tag gets quite the upgrade when played at night. Flashlight tag has all the rules of regular tag, but with an added element of surprise and maybe even spookiness.
Instead of tagging someone with their hands, children will shine their light on others as a way to tag them. This is a great game that will wear kids out before bedtime.
Most noteworthy, it is also a fairly quiet game suitable for at night. The only sound will be the occasional giggle and “got you!”
Quiet Games When Street Lamps Come On: More Fun Outdoor Activities for Kids
Certainly, the tag is not the only game that has a nighttime variation. In fact, lots of games have versions that are safe to play at night.
Hide and seek is another one that can be played by flashlight. The game is completely different at night. There are lots of new places to be able to hide!
Moreover, late-night circle games are perfect for groups of kids who want to relax and unwind. A game of telephone is one where whispering is encouraged. One person whispers a sentence to the person next to them.
The players pass the sentence around the circle until the last person says it aloud for all to hear. The goal is to see how accurate the new sentence given is to the old sentence when the game started.
Sometimes, it is hard to hear what other kids say, thus, making the game fun and challenging.
Other times, kids will get silly and add new words to the sentence that should not be there! In the end, this is a game that is sure to entertain kids as they all anxiously await their turn to hear the sentence.
Late Night Scavenger Hunts
Scavenger hunts are super popular among children, especially when played at night! One easy way to make a scavenger hunt nighttime friendly is by hiding Easter eggs around the yard with batteries in them to make them glow!
Kids can team up to try and find these. It is also possible to have a regular scavenger hunt at night. Just make sure the kids have flashlights. Just like other games, playing at night adds new places to hide things.
Fun Outdoor Activities for Kids: Games for Those Who Need to Unwind
Some children are bursting with energy and need to immediately release that once they are outdoors. When these kids are outside, it is time for them to release all their pent-up energy so that they are ready to relax and unwind when they come inside.
These high-energy kids need high-energy games to keep up with them. Here are a few examples that are great to get their bodies and minds worn out in no time.
Follow the Leader
Follow the leader might just be one of the most basic games out there, but do not underestimate this game for pleasing and wearing out a crowd of kids.
One person starts as the leader and they do an action until others jump in. It is a game that helps work the brain, fine motor skills, and the whole body!
Also, this is a game that puts kids in charge, which certainly, any kid would love. Consider having kids choose different themes to keep the game fresh and exciting.
One of the quickest and most fun ways to release energy is by dancing! There are so many great games that involve dancing. Freeze dance might be one of the better-known ones.
This game requires a group of kids and a way to play music. A song is played and everyone dances until the music suddenly cuts out. When kids hear the music stops, they freeze.
It gets challenging when kids are jumping or moving around quickly. If someone moves, they are out. This game also encourages musical expression. Kids can take turns picking different songs and genres that appeal to them.
Everyone gets to learn new music, and kids get to share a song that they are excited about.
Relay races are a great way to get kids moving. They also teach team-building skills. Kids have the chance to get as creative as they create their own courses.
Teams compete to finish certain challenges first. These can be things like races around the block, climbing certain trees, doing the monkey bars first, and other similar ones.
Fun Outdoor Activities for Kids: Discover What They Love and Recreate Them Outside
To get a kid to play in the outdoors, parents need to bring what they love to the great outdoors. Is there a really popular video game that is all the rage? Have children recreate that with friends outdoors!
Does a kid like watching adventure shows? Encourage them to go outside and create an epic fort-building competition with the neighbors.
Water Games Are Always a Big Hit
Kids love to play in the water. There is just something about it that is a lot of fun. During hot summer months, parents do not need a pool to entertain kids.
Sometimes, all kids need are buckets of water, squirt guns, a garden hose, and creative imagination.
Water Balloon Fights
Water balloons are easy and fun ways to entertain a group of kids. All parents have to do is fill balloons up with water, divvy them up among the kids, and watch as they come up with games that will keep them happy for hours.
Here are a few different popular games:
- Water balloon toss: kids line up across from their partner. Each pair takes a turn tossing the water balloon back and forth before taking a step farther apart. The team that gets the furthest without breaking their balloon wins.
- Water balloon fights: each kid starts with five water balloons. They get a point for each target or person that they hit. If targeting other kids, parents must set ground rules for where kids can aim like legs and feet only.
- Water balloon juggling: how many minutes can a kid juggle water balloons without dropping one? Other kids can throw in added challenges as time progresses to make this more difficult.
If there is already a sprinkler in the backyard, children will have no shortage of games to utilize it for. Sprinklers can take the same old games kids are used to and make them seem new and fresh again.
That is because they are being played in the water! Chances are that tag has been played hundreds of times among neighborhood kids. How many times have those kids played tag with squirt guns, however? It is just one more way to bring the fun!
Outdoor Lawn Games Are a Hit for All Ages
Outdoor lawn games are one of the most fun outdoor activities for the whole family. That is because they are so versatile and pleasing to a variety of different ages.
There has been a fun trend recently of taking normal games and turning them into life-sized lawn games!
It is easy and fun to set up a sports game in the backyard for the whole family. Games like soccer, football, and volleyball only require a few balls and a few nets at most. While these are fun, there are also a few lesser-known lawn games out there that just might help teach kids a new skill!
Bean Bag Toss
Bean bag toss or just “bags” is a fun game for kids and adults alike. It requires eight bean bags and two wooden boards with holes drilled in the middle for tossing.
You can make or buy the materials for this game. Teams are made up of two players who stand opposite each other. The two teams take turns tossing the bean bag into the hole on the board across from them.
Teams get points for whether they get the bean bag in the hole or on the board. The rules vary but one thing does not change, this game is a lot of fun for kids to get involved with too!
Ladder toss is another popular game among kids and adults alike. In this game, teams take turns throwing two golf balls attached with a rope onto the rungs of a ladder. They acquire points in a way that is similar to the bean bag toss.
Lawn darts is a fun outdoor twist on the popular classic game of darts! In lawn darts, children take turns tossing oversized darts onto an opponent’s circular target for points.
Unlike the real thing, these darts will not hurt anybody! They are made from the inflatable and other lightweight materials.
Also, it is super easy to create a homemade set. This game is great because it is both physical and mental. Kids will have to add up their points, and they will not even realize that they are practicing math!
Every home needs a giant pair of lawn dice. Having this on hand instantly means that a family can play any of their favorite classic dice games outside. You can also use these dice as tiebreakers for any other games that someone may need to decide something for.
Kids can also make up their own silly dice rules for what happens when someone rolls a certain number. These giant dice come in handy during relay races and obstacle courses too.
Fun Outdoor Activities for Kids: Games for the Creative Souls
Truly, there is an outdoor game for everyone. Even those who sometimes prefer the more creative side of games than the physical aspects will not have a problem finding the perfect game for them.
Luckily, there are quite a few fun outdoor games that kids can play that will also get their creative juices flowing. Theater and improv games are perfect for those kids who want to let their creative side run wild while also having fun outdoors still.
Join the Improve Party
Kids do not always get to play in big groups. Thus, it is important to take advantage of certain games when all the neighborhood kids get together! This game of improv is super easy, especially for anyone who loves to act.
One kid starts by acting out any scene they want without saying a word or telling anyone what they are doing. Next, someone joins their scene and does an action that would fit what they think is happening. The only catch is that they also cannot say a word!
Soon more people join and in the end, there should be a cohesive scene or a lot of laughs if no one can guess what the other person before them was doing. After a few minutes, everyone can stop and share what they thought was happening and what they were doing.
Add to the Motion
Another fun creative game is to have everyone sit in the circle. The first child kicks off the game by doing a motion like clapping, singing a note, or snapping.
Each kid who goes next has to do the motion of all the people who went before them and then they have to add their own!
Kids can see how many motions the circle can do before it gets messed up. This game is not as easy as it looks, especially when more people get involved. It requires concentration.
Simple Sound Games: Fun Outdoor Activities for Kids That Rock
Some outdoor games for kids are of the quieter variety. These are the games where kids can sit together and just enjoy the simplicity of a game.
For these games, kids do not need anything other than their voice! Since kids are outside, however, they can use that to their advantage and add fun outdoor elements to otherwise basic games.
The Laughing Game
This game is sure to have kids in fits of laughter by the time all is said and done. The object is quite simple. Children lay in a circle in the grass with their heads on each other’s stomachs.
One kid starts by saying “ha.” The next kid adds another “ha.” This goes around in a circle and the goal is that everyone adds a ha without the group erupting into fits of laughter! It may sound easy, but once those tummy vibrations start going, kids will giggle which will make it hard to complete the task.
Trivia has always been popular and now, it tops the list of fun outdoor activities for the whole family! There are so many different categories that you can include in family trivia.
To make this game outdoors, write the questions and answers on giant pieces of poster board or use a big portable whiteboard. If someone gets the question wrong, use the outdoors as part of the fun! Have them run laps, somersault, or something else that gets them moving.
Truth or Dare
Truth or dare is the perfect outdoor game. That is because kids can sit quietly in a circle and just focus on the true aspect of things, or they can utilize the great outdoors as their playground.
There are more possibilities for fun questions to ask and tasks to dish out when things are outdoors! Truth or dare outside also covers more space.
It is a way to get multiple kids and homes involved which makes it a lot of fun. For their part, adults just need to make sure that they set rules and boundaries to keep everyone safe and on the same page when doing the dares in this game.
No Shortage of Fun Outdoor Activities for Kids With Creative Minds
The options are endless when it comes to getting children outside to play. It comes down to making sure they know the importance of staying active, finding games that interest them, and encouraging them to make friends.
If kids see parents spending time outdoors, it sets a good example and it will get them craving some time outdoors as well! There are so many outdoor games for children flying solo, groups of kids, and the whole family.
Try a new outdoor game today or one of the old classics with a modern spin. No matter which one you try, you will be glad that outdoor games for kids provide hours of entertainment.