Easy Outdoor Games for Kids
(and adults too)
Sometimes finding things to keep your kids occupied feels like a full-time job. To make your life easier and theirs more fun, here some great backyard-friendly games you can play right now. They require little or no set up and don’t cost a dime. And since many are the same or similar to the games you grew up playing, don’t be surprised if you start to feel like a kid too.
Give the classic game of catch-me-if-you-can a nighttime twist. The person who’s “it” gets a flashlight to find the hiders. Once they flash their light on someone that person is either “it” or out until the rest are found.
One player is the curator and the rest are statues. The statues must touch the curator to end the game and become the new curator – but hold still! Because when the curator is looking at you, you can’t move and must keep the same position and expression until they look away.
Great exercise for bodies and brains. Create a list of things to find in the backyard and see who brings it back first. Have rewards ready for everyone who checks off their list for more fun. Playing from inside? Turn it into an epic game of iSpy, nature style.
Not sure how to plan your backyard scavenger hunt? Our friends and partners at Hike It Baby have some great ideas.
Let the battle begin! Divide into two teams and two playing fields. Each team has a flag (handkerchief, bandana, dish towel, etc.) in a designated spot. The name of the game is to capture the other team’s flag and bring it to your spot without being tagged. If tagged, flag gets returned to its designated spot and person tagged goes to designated tag zone. Players in tagged zone can be freed when touched by other teammates and granted safe access back to their base.
Have your little Olympians compete in relay races, long jumps and other Olympic-inspired events – all in the safety of your backyard. Add some of your own wacky events for more fun. You can even create a medal ceremony and share it with us @llbean.com.
Use whatever you have around the yard or house to create a jumping, rolling, crawling good time. Time each course run to beat personal records or make it a special event in your Backyard Olympics.
Sometimes the simple games are the most fun. Use your phone or another device to play music and have everyone dance when the music starts. When it stops, they must freeze and hold their pose until it starts again. A great way to keep kids moving and introduce them to different music genres.
Improv games let kids use their imaginations and think outside the box. One of our favorites is “And then.” In this game one player must act out a story that the rest of the group constructs, one sentence at a time. Things are about to get silly – and super fun.