When summer finally comes around, it’s time for children to get outdoors, get active, have fun and burn a ton of energy. Sure, there are plenty of games to be played inside, but they can’t compare to the fun you can have outside.
Of course, despite these opportunities, you are likely hearing the words “I’m bored!” come from the lips of your child or their friends as summer winds down and they get ready for the routine of the school year. Below are 10 games they can play outside that will entertain for hours.
There is nothing quite like a game of hide-and-seek! This can be played with two people or a large group. Designate one person as the seeker and while they close their eyes, everyone else hides. The first person to be found becomes the next seeker. Alternatively, you can also make one location as safe, and the hiders have to make their way back to the safe spot without getting caught.
This game will take a little planning on your part, but it sure is a lot of fun. This is ideal if you are having a birthday party or your child is simply having a lot of friends over. You can create a list of items that they have to find or you can simply tell them to find one thing at a time and send them on their way. You can spend a few minutes hiding things like mittens, marbles, dog bones, etc., in random places.
All you need for hours of fun is some sidewalk chalk and you can make a hopscotch grid. Then, you number the squares one through nine and find a small rock to toss. Gently throw the rock to square one, hop to pick it up and turn around to hop back. The next toss has to go to square two and so on. If you miss your square, your turn is over.
Mother, May I?
One person acts as the mother while other players ask “Mother, may I take ___ steps forward?” The child in charge says yes or no. These can be steps, jumps, leaps baby steps, etc.
Red Light, Green Light
Here is the perfect game for blowing off a ton of energy! One person stands at one end of the yard or a designated placed at the park while the others are at the opposite end. The solitary child acts like traffic light, with their back to the group, and says “Green light!” to offer permission for others to run. Randomly they yell “Red light!” and everyone has to stop. If someone gets caught moving, they have to go back to the end to start over.
Although any type of tag is a good time, freeze tag teaches children to work as a team. If the person who is “it” tags you, then you have to freeze. The only to become active again is for someone else to unfreeze you by tagging. The person who is it has to try to get everyone else frozen.
Divide children into two teams standing opposite of one another. Each team stands in a line holding hands. One team says “Red Rover, Red Rover, we call ___ over!” The child they called over from the other team has to run and try to break through the line. If they are unsuccessful, they join the team. However, if they are successful, they get to take someone back to their team with them.
If you have a pool, or are at a public pool or beach, you can play this water variation of tag. One person is “it” and must close their eyes. They yell “Marco!” and the other players respond by saying “Polo!” The person who is it has to rely on their ears to find a person to tag.
One child can skip by themselves, or if there are at least three, then two can operate the rope while one person jumps in the middle. A challenging variation is Double Dutch, requiring users to use two ropes that turn in opposite directions.
If you have some plastic outdoor chairs, you can play this game. Simply place the chairs in a circle, with one less chair than there are children. They will walk in a circle while you play music, but then when you press pause they have to quickly sit in a chair. The person without a seat is out, and you remove a chair every time.