10 Outside Games to Play with Kids

10 Outside Games to Play with Kids

It’s summer time and we’re using any excuse to get outside and have some fun!  During the summer months, we disband our formal small group and head outside instead for some serious fun!  Of course, we try to use water whenever possible, but many of these games are adaptable for indoor playing (in a gym) on a rainy day as well.

Sponge & Sidewalk Chalk Bulls Eye Game

Picture and further instructions at Mamas Like Me

# 2: Hole in the Bucket

Hole in the Bucket Game (20 Summer Games for Kids)

Complete Instructions at The Parent Dish

#3: Ziplock Baggy Toss

Water Ziplock Game

 Complete Instructions at The Parent Dish

#4 Fill Up the Bottle

Fill up the Bottle

On each team, one person lays on ground while holding a 20-oz plastic pop bottle on their forehead. Teammates run to bucket to fill up their 4-oz cup then they attempt to pour it into teammates pop bottle while standing over head.  First to fill the bottle wins!

Game Idea Adapted from Fun Attic, Photo from Flickr

#5 Boats and the Lighthouse

Boat and Lighthouse Game

One player is designated to be the lighthouse. One quarter of the players assumes the role of “rocks” and they scatter in a bounded area. All the other students become ships and boats of various sizes. The ships blindly navigate their way (blindfolded) their way about, attempting to reach the safety of the lighthouse. If a boat bumps into a rock, the boat becomes and extension of the existing rock and makes the noise “swish” (water lapping against the rocks). The lighthouse constantly goes “Beep! Beep! Beep!” to help the ships reach the safety of the lighthouse.

Game Idea from Kids Activities, Photo from Flickr

#6 Catching Stars

Catching Stars Game

Divide the players into two groups: Stars and Catchers. Set up two boundaries about twenty feet apart. Catchers stand in the middle of the two boundaries while stars stand on one side of the boundaries.

Stars: Say “Star light, star bright, how many stars are out tonight?”

Catchers either give a number (of stars) or say:  “More than you can catch!”

If they give a number, stars take that many steps.  If they say “More than…”, stars run to one end of the boundary or the other without getting caught.  The winner is the last person to get caught or first person to successfully cross.

Game Adapted from Kids Activities, Picture via Flickr

#7 Leaky Ladder

Leaky Ladder Game (10 Great Outdoor Games for Kids)

Put a ping-pong ball into a two-gallon bucket. Assemble the kids about ten feet away, next to another bucket of water.  Give each player a paper cup and tell them that they have to put enough water into the ping-pong bucket to make the ping-pong ball float out of the bucket. Let kids try to fill the bucket on their own. If they don’t make it within the time limit, explain how a bucket brigade works, then give them another try.

Full instructions at Parents.com, Picture via Flickr

#8 Hop in a Hoop

Hop in a Hoop Game (10 Games for Outdoor Fun)

Scatter hoops of varying sizes around the yard or gym.  Call out an instruction for travelling around the hoops (not going in them yet though). When you call out a number that is how many children must get into each hoop.  Children must not push other children out of the hoop even if they have too many. Also all parts of body must be in hoop – no toes over edge. If too many or not enough children in hoop all those involved are out. When the hoop has the required number of children, have kids pull the hoop up to waist height.  This saves anyone else cheating and trying to get in the hoop.

Game from Teaching Ideas, Picture via Flickr

#9 Tail Tag (Pick Pocket Tag)

Tail Tag Game

Use flags, bandannas or strips of cloth to be used as a tail.  Players have a tail inserted into his/her belt or pocket that is hanging at the back-side.
All players chase one another trying to collect tails, while protecting his/her own.  Players with the most tails collected in a specified time are the winners.

Game Idea from Kid Activities, Picture via Flickr

#10 The Big Chill

Jump Rope (The Big Chill Game)

Divide kids into groups of three, as many groups as you have jump ropes.  Have one kid hold a cup of cold water while jumping rope three times (the other two kids swing the rope for them).  Whichever group has the most water in their cup at the end wins.

Game from Ann Arbor Public School, Picture via Flickr

Happy Gaming!


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