Outside Games For Kids

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Kids Are Inside Too Much!

When I was a kid, all we did was play outside. We knew how to use our imagination and make up things to. My cousins and I explored all over our neighborhood and didn’t come home until it got dark or when we got hungry.

How do you get them outside though? One thing you can do is NOT buy so many game systems. They are good for bad weather days but you should encourage them outside when the weather permits.

Outside Games For Kids

Flashlight – After Dark Fun

One of my favorite sites – Kids Activity Blog – recently published an awesome list. Check them out for some great ideas for night time fun and much much more!

Hide and Seek

I’m sure you mom’s all remember this game. It can be played anywhere! Hiding and finding is a common interest of small children. You can make up your own variations – count to 10, 20 or 100. Choose a ‘base’ and the person who is ‘it’ can start counting. Everyone else hides and whoever is ‘it’ will try to find them.

Hopscotch

Hopscotch patternUsing sidewalk chalk, make a hopscotch grid. Number the squares from one to nine. Pick a rock that is good for tossing. Small ones can bounce too much, and larger ones are hard to throw.

Start by tossing the rock onto Square 1. Hop over the rock and hop with a single foot or both feet (to follow the hopscotch pattern) all the way to the end. Turn around and come back, stopping on square 2. Balancing on one foot, pick up the rock in Square 1 and hop over Square 1 to the start.

Continue this pattern with Square 2. And so on. If you toss your rock and miss the correct square, your turn is over. This game can be played with any number of people, but only one person can go at a time.

If it’s raining or dark or too cold, you can get indoor hopscotch mats using a beanbag instead of a rock.

Jacks

You will need a set of jacks and rubber ball. It can be played on any flat surface, inside or out. Scatter the jacks, often by just tossing them out of one hand, as if rolling dice. The ball is then tossed up, is allowed to bounce once, and is caught before the second bounce.

The player tries to scoop up jacks and catch the ball with one hand before the ball’s second bounce. The number of jacks to be picked up goes in order. First you pick up one (“onesies”), then two (“twosies”), then three and so on.

It was once called knucklebones. There are many variations to the rules of this game including things like “dumps” and “reverse dumps.” You can have many players and take turns.

Red Light, Green Light

Red_light_Green_lightOne person is the traffic light at one end, and the other players are at the other end. When the traffic light faces the group, he or she says, “Red light!” and everyone must freeze. The traffic light then turns his or her back and says, “Green light!” while the group tries to get as close to the traffic light as possible.

The traffic light turns around quickly, again saying, “Red light!”, and if anyone is spotted moving, they have to go back to the starting place. The first person to tag the traffic light wins and gets to be the next traffic light.

Tag and Freeze Tag

A group of kids decides who will start out as being “it.” That person chases the other people around, trying to tag one of them with their hand. The newly tagged person is now “it.” There is often the rule of “no tag-backs” where you can’t tag the person who just tagged you. The game ends when everyone is tired of playing.

Freeze Tag is a variation of Tag where if the person who is “it” tags you, you have to freeze where you are. Another participant can tag you to unfreeze you.

Those are all things which can be done for free or little money. Here are some other outdoor game/activity products you might try:

Boochie, A Whole New Ball Game
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14 COMMENTS

  1. Do agree that kids are inside too much. Have to admit that first half of my childhood I was outside quite a lot, but electronics got the best of me in the end 😛

  2. Great article. I love all these great ideas for outside play. You are right kids are inside to much and need more exercise. Thanks for sharing!! Shared on Google.

  3. Hi Angela
    Oh my, I haven’t thought about Jacks for such a long time. I can remember playing in my Grandma’s garden for ages.
    I am a great believer in children spending as much time outside as possible. It is cold here at the moment but I love seeing the children coming in from the garden with happy smiles and flushed cheeks.
    Thanks for the memories
    Take care
    Jackie
    x

    • Hi Jackie,
      It is getting cold here as well. When my daughter was growing up, we hardly ever had cable television. I didn’t want her sitting in front of the tube all the time.
      I love seeing the flushed cheeks too.
      Angela

  4. I’ts definitely hard to get kids outside to play today with all the tech savvy programs around at our fingertips! I never knew how to play jacks or knucklebones. But I bet it’s fun. I never played red light green light either! But then we played kickball, called it five step. And dodge ball. Heck if you hit a kid this day and age with one they’d call the cops on you! ha.
    Its a great article and brings to light just how much time is spent indoors now. Meaning way too much of course. I have to make myself go walk the dogs just to get away from this computer. But once I am wealthy enough I will just pay someone to get on it and I will travel and see the world.
    Thank you.
    rick

    • Hi Rick,
      I agree, way too much time is spent indoors. I suppose technology can be great but it can also cause a bit of laziness.
      Angela

  5. Hey Angela,

    After reading your article I feel like we grew up together. To much change has taken place in a short life time. Some of it good, but some of it not so good. I can remember playing kick the can and stick ball in the street out in front of my house.

    We also played army games that we made up in the woods behind the house. I remember piling up the dead leaves in a huge pile and then putting a large branch that came off one of the trees in the middle of the pile to create a anti aircraft gun.

    When we had bad weather and could get out to play we would play games inside like monopoly or card games. Those days are far behind us but I have a place in my heart that remembers them as the good times.

    • Hi Wayne,
      It does sound like we grew up together! lol My cousins and I used to pretend we were superheros. 🙂 We also played board and card games when weather was bad.
      Angela

  6. Yes Angela, you’re so right – outside with the kids! I was the same, outdoors with friends most of the time, making up our own games & loving it! You’ve provided many great ideas to entice the kids to get out & about, good to see, need more of it! Thanks for sharing the fun!

    • Hi Alayne,
      Kids need to see how much fun they can have outside instead of on the couch in front of a game system.
      Angela

  7. This post actually shows your love for kids. I really like the content that you’ve put up, Angela. Thanks for the awesome post! I’ll definitely recommend this post to my cousin.

    -Nishkarsh

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