101 Free and Fun Activities and Games for Kids
Make it Fun and Imaginative
All around the world computers, hand held games consoles and TV game consoles are enjoyed by children and adults every day, we come home from work or school, have a bite to eat then it's game on.
Computer games take us to a different reality away from the Humdrum of our daily lives and into a world of adventure where we become the hero or the villain for that matter and save the day or get away with the biggest robbery in history.
We can win the Super Bowl, rescue a Princess or even take the role of a city crime lord all from the comfort of our favorite armchair.
Back in reality it may be a great feeling winning that Olympic 100 meters Gold Medal in a new world record time or killing the big boss man at the end of a level but whilst we are sitting there twiddling our thumbs and fingers on that controller the fact is that we are in reality getting very little to no exercise whatsoever $6.
Although the games may be stimulating our brains into finding solutions to problems, the game creators have built into the games, we are becoming lazy, losing ourselves in worlds that have been created by other people instead of creating our own games and imaginary worlds as children always did in the past before computers were even invented.
We used to be active and let our minds take us on adventures with our friends, we were pirates, soldiers, explorers and the world outside was our playground, our minds and our bodies were always active and we were always tired at bedtime.
52 Build your own crossbow
Go Fly a Kite!
Before computers and games consoles came along children had to find other ways to amuse themselves, make up their own games and even make their own toys to play with, in an earlier article I showed How to make a simple crossbow which kept my friends and myself amused for days as we hunted each other down and shooting each other with clothes pins.
There were endless ways we found to amuse ourselves which kept our minds and bodies active, we were always up to something or other and always running around having fun and the best thing about it was that it was all free, we didn't have much money and to be honest we didn't need any money either we had fun with whatever we had around us.
A plastic carrier bag and a long piece of string tied around the handle of it makes a great kite you might not have been able to do stunts with it like an expensive kite but it is just as much fun to fly.
We went home dirty, hungry and tired but we went home thinking about how much fun we were going to have the next day.
We got up to all sorts made up many different games, that Children today seem to have forgotten.
1 Hide and Seek
4 Kick the Can
9 Red Rover Red Rover
Fun and Games 1-10 Team Games
1) Hide and seek, an old favorite, How long can you evade capture?
2) Kerbie, all you need is a soccer ball and a road this is a 2 player game. 1 person stands on the sidewalk at one side of the road and the other person stands at the opposite kerb, you score a point by throwing the ball and hitting the kerb opposite if the ball returns to your side of the road its 1 point to you the winner is first person to score 21 points (best played on a quiet street with little traffic flow
3) Borders, this is team hide and seek, players team up in pairs one team are seekers the other teams are the runners, the game is called borders because the runners are not allowed to go outwith a set area "The borders", the seekers count to 100 and the runners try to get as far away as possible within the set borders, when the runners are caught they to become seekers which can add to the fun because the other teams do not know that they have been caught, the last team caught are the winners and become the seekers in the next game.
4) Kick the can Another version of hide and seek but you need an empty can to play it, it can be an empty coke can or even an empty beans can, the seeker is also the guardian of the can which sits behind him/her on the floor, as in hide and seek the seeker counts to a set number then sets out to find the hiders, when the hiders are caught like tag with a tap on the shoulder or arm they become prisoners until the last person is caught if someone who hasn't been tagged manages to kick the can one of the prisoners is released and has the time that it takes the seeker to replace the can to get away, the game ends when the seeker has successfully captured every player.
5) Tag you're it, another old favorite, that has children running around for hours, keep tagging to stop being "it"
6) Shadow Tag you're it, the same as tag you're it, except that instead of tagging a person you have to jump or step onto that persons shadow.
7) Freeze Tag, classic tag game but when you are tagged, you have to stand still until all players have been tagged or until another player tags you to unfreeze you.
8) Blind Mans Buff, Another take on tag except that this time the tagger is wearing a blindfold, when the tagger catches someone they must guess who it is that they have caught by feel the caught person if guessed correctly takes over the blindfold.
9) Red Rover Red Rover, for this game to work you need at least six players the players break up into 2 teams and hold hands in a line, one team calls out "Red Rover, Red Rover" then the name of a member of the opposite team, that team member must then break away from their team and run towards the other team, the runners aim is to break through the other team by breaking the link, i.e running at the other team and breaking through the held hands, if a player breaks through they get to choose a member of the other team to join them in their team. if a player fails to break through then they must join the team that they failed to beat. when a team is down to one player, he/she must try to break through if that person fails the other team wins.
(10) British Bulldog, A multi player game where you need quite a large area to play, the game involves bull dogs and runners, the aim of the game is fro the runners to get to the opposite side of the playing area without being caught by the bull dogs. the game usually starts with two bull dogs and the rest of the players are runners, when a runner is caught they join the bulldogs the last runner caught is the winner.
14 Horse Chestnut Tree
14 World Conker Championships
16 Bows and Arrows
19 Twig fishing Pole
Fun and Games 11- 20 stick games
Imagination plays a major part in a child's play they find a stick or a twig that has fallen from a tree laying on the ground and it becomes a host of different things to amuse and have fun with.
11) Pirates Ahoy, the stick becomes your cutlass as you sail the seven seas looking for that elusive treasure.
12) Zorro, Again your stick turns into a sword as you become the hero from the movies drawing that magical Z in the dirt.
13) Racehorse jockey, The stick becomes a whip as you race with your friends trying to win the Kentucky Derby.
14) Conkers, if you have a Horse Chestnut tree near your home you could use your stick to knock conkers out of the branches, conkers are the fruit of the horse chestnut tree.
To prepare your conker for the game, you put a hole through the centre of the conker, passing string through the hole and tying a knot to hold the conker onto the string.
Playing Conkers each player has a conker on a string, the aim is to break your opponents conker with as little damage as possible to your own. you opponent dangles his/her conker on its string and you have to hit it, there is even a world champion conker competition every year as seen in the video (on the right hand side of this page).
15) Warrior are also good for using as spears or javelins if you can find a long enough stick to throw well.
16) Bows and arrows, Made from twigs and a piece of string are a good start for a game of Cowboys and Indians. To make the bow you first have to check that the twig that you have is strong enough and flexible enough, once you have a good twig for a bow you tie string around on end of the twig and then bend the twig until it has the classic bow shape, you pull the string tightly and tie it on to the other end of the bow, for the arrows you find straight twigs and strip the bark off.
17) Pooh Sticks, Pooh Sticks is a game played on a bridge over flowing water, such as a river, each participant has a stick usually a Popsicle stick, the participants stand on the bridge facing the direction of the flowing water and on the word go they all throw their sticks into the water, the winner is the participant who's stick comes out at the other side of the bridge first.
18)Build a Den, once a popular pass time children would gather wood and sticks and build a den, usually hidden amongst some trees, in their den they could pretend to be famous explorers, play house, shops or even pretend to be cavemen and women.
19) Crab Fishing, if you live near the sea a long stick is Ideal for crab fishing, tie string onto the end of the stick, and leave the other end hanging down, it already looks like a fishing pole, on the loose end of the string tie on a safety pin bent into the shape of a hook, crabs will eat almost anything but for best results use the meat of shellfish that you can find in any of the small rock pools.
20) Sticks and Stones, Is a simple game to set up, find a stick around three feet long and stick one end of it into the ground, now get your friends to each find 3 stones each including yourself, each person takes it in turn to throw a stone at the stick from around 10-20 meters away the winner is the person who's stone lands nearest the stick.
36 Build a Rope Swing
Fun and Games 21-50 Popular Games and Activities
In this section you will find some quickie ideas which are either self explanatory or most people familiar with the games or activities and any rules.
21) Climb a tree (22) Have a race against your friends (23) Join in a game of soccer (24) Join a Baseball game (25) Go on a bike ride (26) fly a kite (27) Go to a swing park (28) Play Frisbee (29) Jump rope (30) Go for a run (31) Go for a walk (32) Play basketball (33) Play football (34) Go swimming (35) Skip stones across water (36) Build a rope swing (37) Go skate boarding (38) Build a sandcastle (39) Catch small fish in a rock pool (40) Play volleyball (41) Play dodge ball (42) Take the dog a walk, (make some money by asking your neighbors if they would like you to walk their dogs too (43) Ride on a space Hopper (44) Hula Hoop (45) Limbo dance (46) Play on a trampoline (47) Play tennis (48) Have a water pistol fight (49) Dodge the lawn sprinklers (50) Roller skate
51 Blowing Bubbles with Jennifer and Jason
53 Make your own Catapult
55 Grass Whistle
Fun And Games 51 - 60 Make your own toys
51) Bubbles, Soapy bubbles provide hours of fun for children of all ages they are cheap and easy to make. all you need is Washing up liquid, some Shampoo preferably one that contains Glycerine and some water, around half a cup of water then around the same amount of Shampoo as you would use to wash your hair, then add the washing liquid around the sam amount that you would use for doing the dishes, if the bubbles don't work then just add a little more washing up liquid. To make the bubble blower in the video I used a measuring scoop that you will find in a any can of baby milk and i cut off the bowl of the scoop off with a hacksaw.
52) Build a working toy Crossbow, Follow the link at the top of this page to find a very simple and easy to make Crossbow that will keep your kids amused for hours.
53) Build an easy working Catapult, Hours of fun with this easy to build Catapult, knock over your toys or just see how far the ball will fly. how to build a catapult
54) Build a sling shot, To make a simple sling shot, you need a strong Y shaped twig, 2 rubber bands and a small rectangular piece of cloth, Tie one rubber band on to the top right of the Y and the other rubber band onto the top left of the Y, cut 2 holes in the cloth, one on the left side and one on the right then take the loose ends of the rubber bands and the piece of cloth and join them together threading the rubber bands through the holes on the cloth.
55) Make a grass Whistle, Making a grass Whistle is easy, all you need is a long thick blade of grass, place it in between your thumbs lift to your mouth and blow between the gaps, watch out for the very loud screech with this whistle.
56) Make a simple Kite, A plastic carrier bag and a long piece of string simple, cheap and hours of fun.
57) Make your own Musical Instruments, You can make musical instruments out of almost anything this page may give you some ideas Making music with your Children.
58) Make some paper airplanes, Paper aeroplanes have always been popular they are simple to make and any old scrap of paper has potential. Paper airplanes.
59) Make your own water guns, Empty detergent bottles make great water guns,make sure you rinse them thoroughly before use and avoid hitting the face.
60) Make your own water bombs, Balloons filled with water and tied off at the valve make great water bombs, don't fill them too much though or the could burst on you before you get the chance to throw them.
61-90 Fun and Games Indoor Fun
Sometimes the weather doesn't allow us to play outside, and it can get pretty boring not being able to run around watching TV is great but it too gets boring after a while, there are many activities that you can do indoors too.
(61) Read a book. (62) Play board games (63) Draw a picture (64) Color in a coloring book. (65) Play card games. (66) Play hide and seek. (67) Play I spy. (68) Play Marbles. (69) Play bingo (70) Play Xs and Os, Tic, Tac Toe (71) Play dress up. (72) Play Battleships. (73) Play Hangman. (74) Play Dots and Squares. (75) Dance. (76) Play Charades.( 77) Do a Crossword or Word Search. (78) Play Simon Says. (79) Play 20 Questions. (80) Play Musical Chairs. (81) Play Balloon Tennis. (82) Play Dominoes. (83) Play Hunt The Thimble. (84) Play Duck Duck Goose. (85) Play Twister. (86) Play Alphabet games. (87) Play a Role Play Game. (88) Play Build a Beetle. (89) Play Blow football (90) Play Musical Statues.
95 Styrofoam or Plastic Cup Phone
91-101 Fun and Games Indoor Creative
91) Build a Poem, Cut out some headlines from old news papers and magazines and separate them into single words, try to see if you can make a poem from the words.
92) Indoor Snowball fight, Scrunch up some old newspapers and have an indoor snow fest, fun for all ages.
93) Funny Pictures, This is a hilarious game with that involves 2 or more players, the aim is to draw a person, the first person draws a head and face then folds the paper over so that the next person cannot see it leaving 2 lines exposed for the neckline, the next person draws the body and arms, folds the paper again leaving two lines exposed for the waist, the next person draws the legs leaving folds the paper, leaving the four lines of the ankles exposed, the next person draws the feet and shoes if any folds the paper up and hands it back to the first player who then stands in front of the group and opens up the picture for all to see, The end result can be side splitting funny.
94) Make your own Play Dough, Play dough keeps children entertained for hours and it can be great fun if you get the kids involved in making it too this writer gives a great tutorial on How to make Play dough.
95) Make a Cups and String Phone, Simple to make and hours of fun for younger children, you need two Styrofoam or plastic cups a piece of string around 10 feet long and some sticky tape. Make a hole in the bottom of the cups thread the string through the holes tie the ends in a knot and stick the knots down with the tape.
96) Bubble Painting, This can be messy it is advised to put some old newspaper on the floor before you start, in your regular bubbles mix add a teaspoon of food coloring, then on the news papers on the floor place some plain white paper, blow the bubbles down toward the paper for some stunning artwork when th bubbles burst on the paper.
97) Indoor Treasure Hunt, Hide some candy or some of your children's toys around the house and write some clues to where they can be found.
98) Finger Painting, It can be messy but it gets your children's creative juices flowing.
99) Recycle Art Sculpture, Use what ever you can find around the house and create some fantastic sculptures, empty toilet roll tubes, empty boxes and plastic Bottles are ideal.
100) Cook with Mommy, Mom loves help in the kitchen and you could be that helper, be creative and enjoy a tasty snack as a reward.
101) Make a tiddlywinks Tennis game, Tiddlywink Tennis can be made from an old cereal box, cut out the front of the box and and on the reverse side color it green with paint or crayon, then draw in the lines, for the net fold a piece of plain card. The rules are easy if the wink fails to go over the net your opponent scores a point, if the wink goes over the boundary lines without touching the green then your opponent scores a point.