Kids who play games at home, indoors or outdoors, develop skills that help them in school and social situations. As you know, the health benefits of playing outside are unrivaled. Sometimes, all you need are outdoor activities for kids to participate in and have a good time. We’ve compiled a list of fun outdoor games for kids that parents can use to motivate independent outdoor play.
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13 Outdoor Games for Preschoolers & Kindergarteners
1. Colors and Shape Game
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Through this game, toddlers practice their motor skills while learning shapes and colors. Draw various grid patterns on the sidewalk or parking space in multiple colors. Tell your child to walk from one end of the room to another by stepping on the color or shape you call out to them.
Award points for each correct color or shape that the child steps on. This turn-taking game allows everyone to participate, and toddlers will have a great time learning their shapes and colors.
2. Discover and Hatch Dinosaur Eggs
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You can make frozen dinosaur eggs and excite your kids with this game. Your child’s face will light up when they explore the nest in your garden or backyard. After finding the eggs, your child can have fun slowly pouring warm water from a bowl or jug – or even squirting warm water from a squeezy bottle or meat basket, or gradually melting away the iced egg casings and unveiling the dinosaurs within.
3. Tossing a Giant Bean Bag
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Create monsters out of cardboard for this toss game, serving as fun picture backdrops! You can make your beasts by drawing them on large pieces of cardboard and propping them up on a wall, or by framing them and propping them up in the back with a long piece of wood, depending on your level of talent and ability.
Children take turns throwing three bean bags into the demon’s mouth to see who can get the most within it.
4. Take Part in Balloon Tennis
Inflate a balloon and demonstrate how to pat it up in the air and over towards you – for you to pat back. See how long your balloon ‘rally’ can last & have some watery fun in your backyard!
You can also use your washing line as a net. If your child becomes engrossed in the game, you could even make rackets out of two wire coat hangers and a pair of tights. Remove the tights’ legs, bend the coat hangers into a diamond shape, and squash the hook into a short handle. Then, while holding the ‘handle,’ push the rest of the coat hanger beneath the tights leg so that the nylon extends over the cord, knot the remaining tights legs around the handle, pad with cotton wool, and safeguard with sticky tape.
5. Kick the Croquet
Make a croquet course out of pool noodles or hula hoops. Let the kids kick bouncing balls through the wickets. First, cut up different colored hula hoops, making sure they are long enough to form an arch through which kids can kick the balls.
Create your croquet route with the arches and secure them to the ground with garden stakes. To play, instruct the children to kick their balls through the course. Award points for the number of wickets passed or the child who completes the course first.
6. Take a Ride to the Number
Your child will need a ride-on toy, bicycle, or a mini scooter for this activity. Draw a series of chalk circles on a driveway and write a different (primary) number inside each one. Call out one of the numbers and watch how quickly your child can get there by scooting or pedaling.
Repeat with a different number as long as you and your youngster enjoy it. If your youngster isn’t old enough to recognize numbers yet, you can use colored chalk to fill in the circles.
Everyone sits around in a circle. The tagger walks around the circle, patting everyone’s head and uttering “duck” or “goose.” If they say “duck,” nothing changes. If they shout “goose,” the person who gets the tag must try to catch the tagger before returning to their original location. If the tagger gets a tap, they must sit in the middle of the circle.
8. Marble Pond
Fill a large bucket or tub halfway with water and add some marbles. The child who pulls the most marbles from the water in under a minute wins!
9. Catch Me If You Can
More than two players can play this game. One kid has to catch the other(s), and whoever gets caught first runs and catches the others, like cats and mice.
10. The Dog and a Bone
Two teams of children are required to stand at least two meters apart, facing each other. Place a ball, a toy, or a handkerchief between the teams. One member from each group steps forward and attempts to pick up the item placed in the center. The first player to pick the item wins. The team with the most number of winners is the winner.
11. Tap on the Shoe
Everyone in the game forms a large circle and tries to tap the person’s shoes next to them. Once tapped, the player must exit the loop until the last two players are left, one of whom will win! According to the rule, they cannot leave their tapping spot or touch another individual with other body parts.
12. Tug of War
Organize children into two groups. Each team attempts to pull a long rope towards them from each end. This game teaches the players much about team spirit and effort because all team members draw the rope together on each end.
13. Fit on the Line
Draw a 2-meter line with chalk on the ground. The children must remain gathered in one corner until the line is drawn and the whistle is blown. When the whistle blows, the children rush into the line and form a queue. Those who cannot fit on the line are not allowed to participate. After each round, one person is out, and the line gets shorter until only one person remains, and that person is the winner.
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14. Jump the Rope
Get a skipping rope and choose a play place with a firm surface. Slippery areas are not ideal for this game. Jump the rope in groups of two or three while two players (preferably adults if children are too young) grip the rope’s ends and move it circularly. Take turns jumping the rope and have a great time.
15. Mud Hurdle Run in the Backyard
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A DIY hurdle run is ideal for kids who enjoy running and clambering. Make an obstacle course out of tires or hula hoops, barns or boxes, string, and whatever else you have lying around. Allow each child to race and time them using a timer. Include a small pit or a kid pool of water and mud if possible. Give prizes to the fastest runners who finish the race most amusingly. Use plastic bags or other items dug out of a mud tub as party favors.
16. Take the Flag
In this classic outdoor game, kids learn the importance of group work. Begin with at least six players and split them into two teams. Mark a defined playing area and a home base for each team with a “flag.” At the start, each team attempts to run into enemy lines, steal the flag, and safely return to their side. If an opposing team member labels you, you are frozen and unable to support your team. For younger children, keep the space small, but add hurdles, hideaways, or play in the dark for older children.
17. Scavenger Hunt in Nature
Children should complete the hunt by finding all of the items on their list. Make your list of things for the hunt. Give them reusable bags to collect their products and play in teams or individually. See who can be the first to gather things from nature, such as leaves, round things, seeds, litter, and bounty. The great thing about a nature scavenger hunt is that you can switch it up with the seasons, allowing the kids to play it over and over.
18. Kick the Can
Choose an open area, preferably paved, like a driveway, and place an empty tin can in the center. Collect at least four children and choose one to be the guard. While the keeper counts to 30, other children hide.
The goal of the invisible children is to kick the can without being tagged by the guard. The guard’s goal is to keep the can from being kicked by tagging any kid who comes running toward it. When a child is tagged, they will freeze in place—the child who kicks the can or the guard who tags all the other players out wins.
19. Splat Bucket
This simplified version of an old-fashioned dunking stall is ideal on hot days. Make your own by attaching a target to a dunk bucket. When someone hits the mark, whoever sits in the chair below gets soaked. Any number of people can play this cold summer game.
20. Red Rover
Divide kids into two groups. Each team must form a hand-in-hand line and face the opposite team from a distance of roughly 20 feet. Someone from Team One will say, ‘Red Rover, let (player’s name from Team Two) come here!’ The second team’s assigned player rushes at them, attempting to break through a pair of clasped hands.
If the player manages to break the chain, they can recruit a member of Team One to Team Two, and if they fail, they will join the opposite squad. The teams alternate turns until just one man remains.
21. Bowling in the Backyard
Encourage your children to construct an improvised bowling alley with cans or bottles. They can each roll a ball towards the pins in turn.
22. Red Light, Green Light
Assign one player to be the “Traffic Light” and the rest to form a 20-foot line. When the player (traffic light) turns their back towards the other players, it reads “green light,” and the other players get closer. The Traffic Light can shout ‘red light’ at any time and turn quickly to face the other players. Everyone must come to a complete stop and return to their starting place if they move during a red light. By tagging the Traffic Light, you win the game.
23. Do Not Drop the Ball
Have your child walk or run while holding a ball or balloon between their legs (choose the ball they can comfortably fit). If they can skip or hop now, they win a gift. But if they lose the ball, they lose the game.
24. Sardines – Hide & Seek 2.0
It is a hide-and-seek game with a twist. Everyone looks for the one person who hides. When a player locates the hidden person, they must join him in his hiding place. The last participant to find the hidden group wins the game.
You can make a series of obstacles just the perfect size for your kids using materials you already have at your home. You can also organize relay races or tournaments.
26. Animal Tag
Animal Tag is a fun way to spice up a typical game of tag. Send tagged players to the “cage” if caught. Choose one youngster to play the role of the zookeeper in charge of labeling all of the animals and returning them to their “cage.” Choose another player to play the naughty “monkey,” who can tag players and let them out of the cage.
The game ends when all the players are caged. But seeing that there is a monkey always to free everyone, this game can give kids a full day of enjoyment.
27. How Slow Can You Go
Bike riding is another enjoyable outdoor activity. Play this game with a piece of chalk. Draw a line on the ground and let your kids travel slowly without stopping or putting their foot down. Alternatively, you may use cones or cans to create obstacles for your children to navigate through.
28. Water Cup Race
All of the plastic cups should have a hole in the bottom center. Fasten to a strong anchor point, then run it through the cup and knot the other end to a tree branch or chair. Bring both cups to the end of their strings and give each youngster a water cannon loaded with water.
Allow the children to pour water into the cups to push them along the string. See who can get their cup to the end of the string first!
29. Ping-Pong Toss
Get a ping pong ball, a marker, and a few plastic cups to play this game. Number the cups from 1 to 5. Fill the cups halfway with water and arrange them such that the cups labeled are in order of lower to higher numbers. Allow your child to throw five ping pong balls into the cups for points. One point if the ball goes into cup 1 & five points if the ball goes into cup 5.
You could also give the kids thirty seconds to throw as many ping-pong balls as possible. The child with the most points is the winner.
Sporting activities have a positive impact on children and improve overall well-being. Motivate your child to participate in sports because they will undoubtedly benefit from it.
Ultimately, it does not matter which game you choose to play with your kid from the list. What matters the most is how much quality time you spend with them. It becomes vital for parents to spend some quality time bonding with their kids in their busy schedules. It not only adds fun to their relationship but creates memories that they can cherish forever.
Which of the above-mentioned outdoor games for kids do you like? Let us know in the comment section below!