Sometimes, all it takes is a fun outdoor game for children to let out their pent-up energy and have a great time. Additionally, the advantages of playing outside for one’s health are unmatched. Participants can freely run around and shout, and caregivers and parents appreciate outdoor games as they prevent boredom and ensure tired kids ready for bed. Organize outdoor activities and games for parties or simply enjoy quality moments with loved ones in the yard.
Here are a few enjoyable and imaginative outdoor games that can be played with children.
Outside games for toddlers and preschool kids
These enjoyable outdoor games are suitable for younger individuals due to their less complex nature and lack of high competitiveness.
1. Kickin’ croquet
In order to create a croquet course, pool noodles or hula hoops can be used. The children can then kick bouncy balls through the wickets. Firstly, cut the pool noodles into different colors and ensure they are long enough to form an arch for kicking the balls through. Proceed to design a personalized croquet course using the arches and secure them to the ground using garden stakes. To play, the children can kick their balls through the course. Points can be awarded for each wicket passed or for the child who completes the course first. Alternatively, colors can be called out and the children can kick the balls through the matching arches.
2. Colors and shapes sidewalk chalk game
One way to help toddlers develop motor skills and learn about shapes and colors is by creating a grid pattern on the sidewalk or driveway and drawing different shapes in a variety of colors. In this turn-taking game, instruct your child to step on the color or shape you call out. Each correct color or shape will earn them points, making it a fun learning experience for everyone involved.
3. Ice block treasure hunt
To create a cool idea, freeze small toys and colored ice cubes into a large block of ice. Begin by filling a large container, of any shape, with approximately one inch of water. Place four or five small toys into the container and allow it to freeze until solid. Once this layer is completely frozen, add more water and additional toys, then freeze again. Repeat this process until the container is filled. To ensure completion, it is recommended to prepare the block in advance as it may take a day or two. When the children are ready to play, remove the block from the container and provide them with various tools to help retrieve the toys from the ice. Useful tools may include spray bottles, paintbrushes, spoons, small screwdrivers, and salt. While this activity is most suitable for preschoolers, toddlers can also participate with guidance from an adult.
4. Monster bean bag toss
To create monsters for this toss game, you can use cardboard. Additionally, these cardboard monsters can be used as photo backdrops for added fun. You have the option to draw the monsters on large pieces of cardboard and place them on a wall. Alternatively, if you’re feeling crafty, you can frame the cardboard monsters and prop them up using a long piece of wood at the back. During the game, kids can take turns throwing three bean bags to determine who can successfully land the most inside the monster’s mouth.
5. Pool noodle ring toss
To play this game, you should have four pool noodles. Start by cutting one pool noodle in half to make two goal sticks. Determine the desired distance between the goals, which can be smaller for younger children and larger for older children. Use garden stakes to secure the noodles to the ground. Then, take one of the remaining noodles and form a circle by connecting the ends with duct tape. Repeat this with the other pool noodles. During the game, players will take turns throwing the circular noodles onto the goal sticks. Keep track of the scores, and the winner is the person with the most points after five turns.
Outside games for elementary school-aged kids
These games played outdoors are slightly more complex and also include more competitive elements, making them ideal for children aged 6 and above.
6. Backyard mud run
If you have children who enjoy running and climbing, a do-it-yourself obstacle run is an ideal activity. Construct a course using materials such as tires, hula hoops, hay bales, boxes, string, and any other objects you have on hand. Organize a race for each child and use a stopwatch to time them. If possible, incorporate a mud pit or a kiddie pool filled with dirt and water. Consider giving prizes for the participant with the best time, the one who gets the muddiest, or the individual who completes the race in the most entertaining manner. As party favors, you can provide plastic bugs or other items that the kids can discover in a tub of mud.
7. Water cup races
This game is similar to the popular carnival game, but it can be played in your backyard. To set it up, attach one end of a string to a tree or deck and the other end to a solid surface. Use a hole puncher to make holes in plastic cups, then hang one cup on each string with the open end facing the players. Each player will use a squirt gun to spray water into their cup and try to be the first one to push it to the end. You can play in pairs or have one string and cup for each player.
8. Nature scavenger hunt
The objective of this game is for children to find every item on their list in order to complete the hunt. Provide them with paper bags to collect their items and allow them to compete either as teams or individuals to determine who can gather natural objects, such as leaves, round items, seeds, litter, and treasure, the fastest. The advantage of a nature scavenger hunt is its versatility throughout the seasons, enabling children to play it repeatedly.
9. Dunk bucket
This modified version of a traditional dunk tank is ideal for warm days. Create your own by connecting a target to a bucket, thus when someone successfully hits the target, the person sitting in the chair beneath will get drenched. This enjoyable and watery game can be played by any number of individuals.
10. Pingpong toss
First, fill plastic cups with water until they are halfway full. Arrange these cups in five rows. Make sure to label each cup with a specific score, ensuring that the cups closest to the children are worth one point and the cups farthest away are worth the highest number of points. Place a basket filled with pingpong balls near the cups. Allow the children to take turns tossing their balls into the cups. Each player will have 30 seconds to toss as many pingpong balls as possible. At the end of the game, the player with the highest score will be declared the winner.
Other Outdoor Games for Families and Friends
Tall Man Hamburger Contest
When families come together, grilling out becomes an enjoyable activity.
This competition is specifically for those individuals who are experts in hamburgers and have a deep appreciation for a well-made, towering, and meticulously assembled hamburger.
This game is loved by adults, and even the kids can have their own mini-contest.
This game is simple and straight to the point, which is the kind of game I like.
When assembling your hamburgers, make them incredibly tall and stack them with every possible condiment available for hamburgers.
The person who finishes eating the entire tall man hamburger first will be the winner.
Candy Balloon Relay
Balloons are filled with joy, particularly when the objective is to burst them as fast as possible!
If you still have any balloons remaining after playing this game, you can also explore these enjoyable and eccentric balloon crafts.
To play this outdoor game, split all participants into two teams.
Each player should be given a balloon that contains a piece of candy.
In a sequential manner, every player is required to sprint towards a specified location, burst their balloon, unwrap their candy, consume and digest their candy, and race back to touch the succeeding player.
The team that pops all their candy balloons first emerges as the winner.
When choosing candies, make sure to select ones that are not considered to be a choking risk.
This new game, which is crazy, includes players of all ages.
The act of playing ball has certainly been infused with some fresh contemporary elements.
This highly rated and loved game is packed with loads of memories, fun throws, and giggles!
Water Balloon Challenge
If your yard doesn’t have any shade, this game is an ideal way to cool down.
Pair up all the individuals and instruct them to throw water balloons that are equally filled and sized to each other.
It is common knowledge that smaller balloons with less filling are harder to pop.
The pairs begin near each other and progressively move further apart with each throw.
The winning pair is the one that can keep their water balloon from popping for the longest duration.
Outdoor obstacle course.
Races create an atmosphere of competition, and you can construct an impressive obstacle course using materials at your disposal.
To create an amazing obstacle course, utilize your swing set, trampoline, old tires, and ropes.
Split your group into two teams and determine which team completes it the fastest.
Imagine playing horseshoes, but instead of using regular metal horseshoes, you use aerodynamic foam darts!
Ideal for families who have children and teenagers.
This game, which is super compact, is easily portable for your next vacation or can be set up in your back yard!
Colorful water tag.
When it comes to tag, there are numerous variations, but nothing beats the enjoyment of something that results in a mess.
First, fill your water balloons with water and then incorporate a small amount of food coloring, ensuring that everyone is dressed in play clothes.
To play the game, the individual designated as “It” must touch another person by launching a brightly colored water-filled balloon.
Once a person is labeled with a color, they become “It.”
Continue playing until all of the water balloons are finished.
The game is won by someone who doesn’t have any color.
Slippery Tug of War
Divide your teams evenly to have a fun game of tug of war.
To commence the game, place a tarp in the designated area and pour soap and water onto it. Then, allow the teams to start tugging, while they strive to maintain their equilibrium.
Water Balloon Dodge Ball
This game is similar to dodge ball, but instead of using regular balls, water balloons are used.
Dodge ball that is simple, enjoyable, and much less painful compared to the traditional version.
Blanket Drag Race
Start by grabbing some blankets and make an effort to pull your teammate across the lawn as quickly as possible.
It will be undoubtedly easier if your partner is less than 4 feet tall.
Picnic Basket Relay
Many teams participate in a competition to determine who can arrange a picnic the quickest by laying out the blanket, setting up the silverware and plates, among other tasks!
After one player completes the setup, they hastily gather everything back into the basket and subsequently hand it over to the next player.
To engage in a game of Pictionary, simply put up a large chalkboard or dry erase board outdoors.
Drip, Drip, Dunk
Instead of the usual “Duck, Duck, Goose,” players will add a fun twist and say “Drip, Drip, DUNK!”
When the word “DUNK!” is said, the individual who is designated as “it” will pour water over the head of another person.
In this game, each player is equipped with a balloon tied to their ankle and they engage in the activity of running around the yard, aiming to burst the balloons of other participants solely by using their feet.
The person who possesses the only balloon without people inside is declared the winner.
Flashlight Hide and Tag
Select an “It” as soon as darkness falls.
After everyone hides, the chosen person waits for a duration of three minutes.
Then the person who is “it” spends three minutes searching for all the people and then proceeds to “tag” them with a flashlight.