12 Fun Outdoor Games For Kids

Last updated on October 17, 2019 | Written by | Kids

Just because the summer is coming to an end, it doesn’t mean that outdoor play is suddenly out of the question for you and your kids. You might only have a few weeks left of being able to play with squirt guns or break out the Slip ‘n Slide, but there are plenty of other fun outdoor games for kids to have fun for the rest of the summer and the duration of the fall.

When you open the door (literally and figuratively) to outdoor play, there are suddenly a handful of other ways to get your kids to engage in some outdoor playtime. Like classic outdoor sports you can do in your own backyard, including soccer and kickball. Or a classic game of capture the flag, which might help rouse up some fond memories of your own childhood. Whatever the game may be, there is something to be said for the easy going fun of classic outdoor games for kids.

Some of these games require just a few accessories, while others can be played on imagination alone. But no matter how you slice it, playing outside is a must for kids of all ages. And if the games seem extra fun to you, feel free to join in yourself.

1. Tag

Kids of all ages will have fun engaging in a game of tag every now and then. Just don’t be surprised if your younger ones have a hard time handling being tagged “it” by the faster kids.

2. Water Balloon Fight

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If the weather permits, you can’t go wrong with cooling off outdoors while having a water balloon fight. Since things can get out of hand with overzealous kids, you can make a “nothing above the waist” rule and keep things civil. But if you need to play outside and also need to cool off, it’s like killing two birds with one stone. Or, in this case, one water balloon.

3. Monkey In The Middle

Again, younger kids might pout more than smile during a game of monkey in the middle. But it’s like a rite of passage for kids to learn the art of trying to snag a ball in the middle of two people as they toss it back and forth.

4. Soccer

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Your kids don’t have to love soccer to enjoy a game of it in the backyard. In fact, even if your kid plays for a soccer team locally, they can appreciate letting loose with a much more relaxed friendly game. You don’t even have to play by the rules.

5. Freeze Tag

Freeze tag is as easy to get the hang of as standard tag. It just involves paying closer attention to the game and which person is the tagger.

6. Basketball

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Just like soccer, if your kid doesn’t know the set rules of basketball very well, you can still have fun playing it with them outside. Just shoot around or engage in a game of Horse. Either way, it’s a sure tool to lead to a comfortable nap afterwards.

7. Kickball

Elementary school aged kids have likely been introduced to kickball, but it’s as easy as playing backyard baseball. Only, you kick the ball and run to the bases while trying to steal one instead of hitting a ball with a bat. In fact, in that regard, it might even be a safer option.

8. Tug Of War

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If you have particularly competitive kids on your hand,s then tug of war might not be the best game. It tends to bring out the worst in people who just want to yank on the rope as hard as they can to win. Of course that is the object of the game, though, and as long as your little ones are getting along, it could still be fun for the whole family.

9. Cornhole

If you have a game set already, most kids over five aren’t too young to learn how to play. It’s a relatively simple game that involves soft handheld bean bags and an easy scoring system. The kids will just need to have a little patience.

10. Sharks And Minnows

Another outdoor game to get kids moving is sharks and minnows. Designate someone to be a shark or have multiple sharks. The minnows will stand on one side of the lawn, while the shark or sharks stand in the middle. When the shark says “Fishy, fishy, come out and play,” the minnows slowly make their way across the playing field. As soon as the shark says, “Shark attack,” however, the minnows have to get to the other side of the yard to safety. If one is tagged, they too become a shark.

11. Capture The Flag

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If you have enough people or your kids have enough friends over to play capture the flag, then help them set up some reasonable boundaries and let them have at it. It’s an outdoor game that will get them moving, but also requires a little strategy. And working the brain on a weekend is never a bad thing.

12. Digging For Treasure

You could also call this game “digging for bones,” but the idea is for you to bury bones or something fun and interesting for your kids to then dig up somewhere in the backyard. You can even make a treasure map for them to follow to where they need to start digging. The latter part of the game will also help in making sure they don’t accidentally dig up your flower garden, so there’s that.

There is always the chance that your kids will come rapping on the back door as soon as one of them cheated the other in a game of basketball. Sometimes, it’s best to go through a handful of these and see which games work best for your children specifically. At the end of the day, you are bound to find at least one they will want to play over and over.