Outdoor Group Games for Kids
Keeping your kids busy during the day playing fun, active games is a healthy thing to do for your family. It is healthy for your children because healthy kids are active kids, plus studies show that active kids do better in school. It is healthy for you because active kids poop themselves out and sleep well—giving you a quiet evening to catch up on life.
There are many outdoor games you can let the children play. The kids can play some of the games themselves, once they know how, but others will need your help.
I think tag is a fabulous game for kids because they run and run and run. The one basic rule of tag is that one person is It, and this person has to tag another person to no longer be It. There are a lot of versions the kids can play.
Freeze tag means that anyone tagged stays frozen in place. Whoever is It wants to freeze everyone to no longer be It. But other players can unfreeze those who are frozen. It’s a fun one.
Cartoon tag is when players about to be tagged can yell out a cartoon character to avoid being tagged. The catch is that a character can only be called once, so there are no repeats allowed.
All-In tag is when those who are tagged join the player who is It. This gets crazy because after a while, nobody remembers who is and isn’t It. Once everyone is It, the game starts over.
Different rules can be played for each game. Some games have a base established where players can go as a safe place.
There are a lot of variations for this game, but you can play it any way you want as long as the rules are established at the beginning. Basically, the kids are split into two teams. Line up a row of balls on the ground between the two teams. When you yell, “Go!” the two teams run to get the balls, then try to tag players from the other team by tossing the balls at them. If a player gets hit with a ball, they are out. If a player catches a ball thrown at them, one of the ”out” players on their team gets to come back in. The game is over when one team no longer has any players left in.
I strongly suggest you only use soft, foam balls for this game. Using other kinds of balls can lead to kids getting hurt.
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Hide & Seek
This is one of the most popular games ever! Like the other games listed here, this one has tons of variations. The basic game has one person who covers his eyes while everyone else hides. The kid who is It has to find the hidden players. Some versions have a home base that players can run to once their hiding spot is found, and the It player can try to tag them.
I only recommend that this game be played in an enclosed outdoor area because you want to know that the hidden children are safe. The only time I play this with young children outdoors is when we are in a fenced in yard, with no easy ways in or out of the area.
Red Light, Green Light
I loved this game as a kid. All of the kids, but one, line up at an end of the yard. The kid who is It stands on the other end of the year, with her back to the other children. The It kid acts like the stoplight, yelling out the colors “Green” or “Yellow” or “Red.” Green means all of the kids can run towards the stoplight. Yellow means they have to take slow steps. Red means stop. Any kids who don’t stop right away have to go back to the starting line. The first kid to reach the stoplight wins and gets to be the stoplight for the next game.
Make Playdates Full of Playing
Encouraging your kids to play active games is great, but make sure you make sure they take breaks for water and snacks. I bet you would have a lot of fun joining in the games too. You will have a great time playing with your kids, and get a great workout at the same time.
When your kids have fun being active, they learn that exercise is fun.