4641 fun outdoor
Children Enhjoying Outdoor Games. Photo: Parentmap

There seems to be study after study, advocating outdoor time for kids. Experts suggest a correlation to everything from better overall health, to lower anxiety to better eyesight.

1. Camouflage

It’s kind of like speed hide-and-go-seek. The person who is “it” chooses a spot in the yard to stand. Everyone else forms a circle around them.

Whoever is “it” will yell “camouflage,” and count down from ten. Everyone else tries to hide as best they can in those ten seconds. The seeker must then try and find as many people as they can–without moving from their spot.

When someone has been found, they’re out. Once the seeker gives up, the hiders who weren’t found circle up again for another round. The game continues until only one person is left hiding; they are the winner! Now switch seekers and play again.

Number of player: More than 3

2. Kick the Can

This game is a variation of tag and hide & seek. One person or a team of people are designated as "it" and a can is placed in the middle of the playing area. The other people run off and hide while the "it" covers his or her eyes and counts to a certain number. "It" then tries to find everyone. If a person is tagged by "it", they go into a holding pen for captured players. If one of the un-captured players manages to kick the can, the captured players are released. The game is over once all the non-"it" players are in the holding pen.

Number of Players: Ideally at least three

Equipment: A metal can

3. Chinese Jump Rope

This game requires three people, or just one or two people with really good chairs. It is easily done inside, assuming a sturdy floor. This game resembles regular jump rope in that you jump. A lot. But you jump in a pattern. Two people (or chairs) put their feet inside the rope and stretch them out, standing far enough apart for the third person to jump between them. The third person, or jumper, faces one of the people holding the rope and jumps in a pattern of left, right, inside, outside and on the ropes. What pattern you use is up to you, but all the players should use the same one. The game is started with the rope around the ankles. Once the jumper does the jump correctly, the rope is moved up to the calves. Then to the knees, then the thighs. Usually it doesn't get any farther than that. Once you miss, it is someone else's turn.

Number of Players: Preferably three, but it can be done with one or two

Equipment: A stretchy-type rope or 5 to 6 meters of rubber bands tied together in a circle

4. Stop

Like Camouflage, it includes short bursts of running but isn’t as tiring as games like tag. Here’s how it works. One person starts in the middle, holding a ball. (You want a softer ball, like a kickball, plastic ball, or even beach ball.) Everyone else circles around them. The person in the middle tosses the ball into the air and calls a name.

Everyone except whose name was called runs as fast as they can away from the ball.

Whoever’s name is called has to run forward and catch the ball. Once they have the ball in their hands, they’ll yell “STOP!” Everyone else must stop running immediately.

The person with the ball must then attempt to hit someone from the circle with it. If they succeed, that person steps into the middle for the next toss. If they miss, they are the ones who have to start in the center and call a new name for the next round.

Number of Players: Preferably more than three

Equipment: A ball

5. Blind Man's Bluff

A favorite game in Tudor and Victorian England, this game is yet another variation on tag. The person who is "it" wears a blindfold and tries to tag the other players. Be sure to play this in an area safe from obstructions and other hazards.

Number of Players: A small group

Equipment: A blindfold

6. Johnny on the Pony

One team crouches in a line, with their arms locked around each other’s waists. Essentially forming a wall. The other team jumps on top of the line with the intent of staying on. If everyone makes it to the top, they win if they can shout “Johnny on a pony!” three times before the bottom team can shake them off.

Number of Players: Preferably more than three

7. Steal the Bacon

Teams are divided evenly and each person is designated a number. Each team stands on opposite sides with a shoe sitting in the middle (doesn’t have to be a shoe, just something easy to hold). When a number is called, the designated players from each team run for the coveted item and try to get it back to their side. If you succeed, you get a point.

Number of Players: A small group

Equipment: A shoe or something easy to hold

What to consider when shopping for outdoor games:

They should be age appropriate. In other words, if you have a toddler, make sure that whatever game you get your child isn’t too heavy, too big, or too dangerous for them.

Look for games that are more than just fun. Lots of toys are designed to do more than just entertain. Some will help hone your child’s motor development or hand-eye coordination, while others will just help unlock your kids creativity.

Don’t be afraid of simple. Sometimes the best games are those that allow your child to use their imagination.

Think about how many players you need. For example, if you have one child, make sure you pick games that can be played alone too unless you want to spend your whole summer as player two.

best wishes and quotes for kids on first day at school Best wishes and quotes for kids on first day at school

We provide you some ‘first day at school wishes and quotes’ that will help you send your child to school with a smile on his ...

11 fun facts about christmas 11 Fun Facts about Christmas

As all we know, Christmas is a Christian holiday honoring the birth of Jesus. It has evolved into a worldwide religious and secular celebration, incorporating ...

12 little known facts about christmas 12 Little-Known Facts about Christmas

Why Rudolph the reindeer has a red nose? What do people eat for Christmas dinner in Japan? Need a little conversational ammunition this time of ...