50 Exciting Classic Outdoor Games for Kids

Table of Contents

50 Outdoor Games for Kids

When I was a kid, we played Outdoor Games for Kids in the neighborhood with most of our free time. Also, we made the most of the recess at school.

Hence we kept ourselves quite occupied with Games for kids.

Without any of today’s modern technologies.

Especially relevant listed below are some no-tech games for kids that you may have enjoyed as a kid.

I sure did.

These games for kids can be done indoors, by yourself, and with a friend.

But most of them are best when done outside with a group of people.

Most of these games for kids can be changed or improved by making up your own rules. Use your imagination!

  1. Bull Rush – Outdoor Games for Kids

Outdoor Games for Kids
Classic Outdoor Games for kids
  • Bull Rush, a classic game that requires no equipment, just wide space.
  • The game involves a large number of players who gather on one side of the playing area. They all rush to the other side of this area.
  1. Whoever is last to get there is ‘In.’ ‘In’ shouts ‘Bull rush,’ and all players have to run to the other side of the playing area.
  2. Any player that gets ‘tipped’ has to stay in the middle and ‘tip’ as well on the next call of ‘Bull rush.’
  3. The Game continues until just one man ‘left standing.’ That player has to try and negotiate the collection of players in the middle without being tipped.

The Game can be played with a touch or tackle variation.


2.  Hide and Seek-  Outdoor Games for Kids

classic outdoor games
classic outdoor games for kids
  • Everyone has played this one. Most parents have played with their kids since hiding and finding is a common interest of small children.
  • I’ve heard of all kinds of variations on this game.
  • Sometimes you count to twenty, sometimes ten, sometimes one hundred.
  • Sometimes there is a home base that you can run to and tag, becoming “safe,” sometimes, you just wait to be found.
  • The general idea is that one person is “it,” that person closes his or her eyes and counts to a certain number without looking, and then he or she tries to find the others.

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Number of Players: Ideally, at least three.

Equipment: None.

3. Kick the Can – Outdoor Games for Kids

Classic Outdoor Games
Classic Outdoor Games for kids

This game is a variation of tag and hide & seek.

  1. One person or a team of people is designated as “it,” and a can is placed in the middle of the playing area. T
  2. The other people run off and hide while the “it” covers his or her eyes and counts to a certain number.
  3. “It” then tries to find everyone.
  4. If a person is tagged with “it,” they go into a holding pen for captured players.
  5. If one of the un-captured players manages to kick the can, the captured players are released.
  6. The game is over once all the non-“it” players are in the holding pen.

Number of Players: Ideally, at least three.

Equipment: A metal can.

4. Outdoor Games for Kids Capture the Flag

classic outdoor games
Capture the flag: Classic Outdoor Games for kids

This game is most fun when played with a large group.

Split the group into two teams, each having a flag or other marker at the team’s base.

  1. The game’s object is to run into the other team’s territory, capture their flag, and make it safely back to your own territory.
  2. You can tag “enemy” players in your territory, sending them to your jail.
  3. They can be sprung from jail by a member of their own team running into your territory, tagging them, and running back, with one freed person allowed per jailbreak.
  4. It is sometimes played that all the people in jail could hold hands and make a chain back toward their own territory, making it easier for their team members to tag them.

Number of Players: A large group.

Equipment: Two flags or other markers.

5. Parachute – Outdoor Games for Kids

Parachute
Parachute: Classic Outdoor Games for kids

It involves a large round parachute, preferably with handles, with people holding the parachute all around the edges.

It helps if someone is in charge of telling people what to do.

Players can just ruffle the parachute up and down a little bit; they can go all the way up and all the way down, or all the way up and then run underneath, sitting on the edge of the parachute, which can create a bubble of air with everyone inside.

And Players can also place light objects such as Wiffle balls or beanbags on top of the parachute and make them jump by ruffling the parachute.

One person can also sit in the middle of the parachute, and everyone ruffles it near the ground.

While If there are a smooth floor and a light child, the child can sit in the middle on top of the parachute.

And everyone else can walk partway around still holding the parachute edge.

Then everyone pulls backward, spinning the child. 

Number of Players: Depends on the size of the parachute, but usually eight to ten.

Equipment: A play parachute. These aren’t as hard to find as you would think. Try here and here.

6. Traffic Cop

traffic light game
Traffic Light Game: Classic Outdoor Games for kids
  • This game works best on the street with little to no traffic or in a large paved area of some kind.
  • You need bikes, wagons, pedestrians, scooters, or whatever is available.
  • One person directs traffic to make sure kids don’t run into each other.
  • It is more fun than it sounds and helps kids learn about waiting to cross the street and traffic safety.

Number of Players: A small group.

Equipment: Bikes, wagons, scooters, anything on wheels.

7. Octopus Tag

Classic Outdoor Games
Classic Outdoor Games for kids
  1. One child is chosen to be the octopus.
  2. The others line up along one side of the area. When the Octopus yells out “Octopus,” the children all run to the other side of the area- trying not to get caught.
  3. Those that are caught become one of the Octopus’s arms.
  4. They stay where they were caught and help catch everyone. 

8. SHADOW TAG 

Classic Outdoor Games

  1. Everyone is “It” in this game!
  2. You can catch someone by stepping on their shadow.
  3. When caught, you sit down and count to 10 and get back up and keep playing!

9. Alphabet Jump Game

Classic Outdoor Games

I love how gross motor skills and learning phonics come together in this game! (The Imagination Tree)

10. AMOEBA AMOEBA

Amoeba is microscopic animals that float around aimlessly until they are matched with other amoebae similar to themselves…then they join together.

  • In this game, the children wander around being “Amoeba’s” when you say a group, they form that group. It is nice for younger groups to start with a few favorite things like apples or oranges, football or basketball, vanilla or chocolate, etc.
  • For older children (and younger after they “get it” – you can just say a category like favorite fruit, favorite veggie, birthday month, age, grade, etc.…

11. Cat and Mouse

Classic Outdoor Games

A game for a large group of twenty or more, Cat and Mouse works well for children seven and up.

  1. Two children play with the cat and the mouse while the rest join hands and form a circle.
  2. The kid playing the mouse stands inside the circle and the cat outside.
  3. The mouse tries to get inside and outside the circle without the cat catching it. The mouse must keep moving inside the circle and cannot stay inside for more than ten seconds. (You may make the time longer if you wish.)
  4. The cat cannot go inside the circle, only reach in to grab the mouse.
  5. And those standing in the circle attempt to keep the cat away from the mouse, lifting their hands to allow the mouse in and out but blocking the cat. When the mouse is caught, the player who is the mouse becomes the cat.
  6. The cat changes places with another player, who becomes the mouse. Continue playing until everyone has a turn as the cat and/or mouse.

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12. Musical Chairs

Classic Outdoor Games

  • A game of elimination involving players, chairs, and music, with one fewer chairs than players.
  • When the music stops, whichever player fails to sit on a chair is eliminated.
  • And then, a chair is removed, and the process is repeated until only one player remains.

13. Tag around the school

  • Just a huge game of tag around the school.
  • One person tags, and then the next person tags someone else who is then it.
  • A variation can be that anyone who gets tag also becomes a tagger.
  • Which allows Taggers to corner prey in various situations around the school.

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14. Simon Says

Outdoor Games for Kids
Outdoor Games for Kids

It is a child’s game for 3 or more players where 1 player takes the role of “Simon” and issues instructions (usually physical actions such as “jump in the air” or “stick out your tongue”) to the other players, which should only be followed if prefaced with the phrase “Simon says.”

Players are eliminated from the game by either following instructions that are not immediately preceded by the phrase or by failing to follow an instruction that does include the phrase “Simon says.”

It is the ability to distinguish between genuine and fake commands, rather than physical ability, that usually matters in the game; in most cases, the action just needs to be attempted.

The player acting as Simon is to get all the other players out as quickly as possible; the game winner is usually the last player who has successfully followed all of the given commands.

Occasionally, however, 2 or more of the last players may all be eliminated simultaneously, resulting in Simon winning the game.

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15. Standing Long Jump (Broad Jump)

50 Exciting Classic Outdoor Games for Kids 1

The Standing long jump, also called the Broad Jump, is common and easy to administer as a test of explosive leg power.

It is one of the fitness tests in the NFL Combine.

The standing long jump was also once an event at the Olympic Games and is also an event in Sports Hall competitions in the UK.

Standing Long Jump Equipment

  • purpose: to measure the explosive power of the legs
  • equipment required: tape measure to measure distance jumped, a non-slip floor for taking off, and soft landing area preferred. Commercial Long Jump Landing Mats are also available. The take offline should be clearly marked.
  • Procedure: The athlete stands behind a line marked on the ground with feet slightly apart.  A two-foot take-off and landing are used. And the swinging of the arms and bending of the knees to provide forward drive. The subject attempts to jump as far as possible, landing on both feet without falling backward. Three attempts are allowed. See some long jump video examples.

15.  Danish Rounders

50 Exciting Classic Outdoor Games for Kids 2
Outdoor Games for Kids

Equipment

One ball, cones to mark bases

Area

Any open area, indoor or outdoor

Description

Players are split into two teams.

  1. The batting team and the fielding team. Cones are set up, marking four bases in the batting area. The pitcher (standing in a hoop) rolls the ball to a batter at the home base, kicks the ball onto the playing area, and then runs to the first base.
  2. The fielding team has to return the ball to the pitcher and then yell out, “STOP.” Any batter that is not in a base is then out.
  3. Any number of batters can be inside a base at once.
  4. One run is scored each time batter returns to the home base safely. Batters are out if the ball is caught on the full after they kick it.

16. High Jump Scissors (for developing young athletes)

50 Exciting Classic Outdoor Games for Kids 3

How To Teach

History of High Jump

17. Tug of War

50 Exciting Classic Outdoor Games for Kids 4

It is a sport that directly pits two teams against each other in a test of strength.

While teams pull on opposite ends of a rope, the goal is to bring the rope a certain distance in one direction against the force of the opposing team’s pull.

18. Throwing Sandbags target throws

Classic Outdoor Games
Classic Outdoor Games for kids
  • Kids throwing sandbags and being taught shot put throw an overhand.
  • Aim for targets to receive points.
  • Can use hoops or buckets as targets.

19. Time Trials 50m/75m Dash for Kids

Classic Outdoor Games
Classic Outdoor Games for kids
  1. You will need cones, a stopwatch, and a whistle.
  2. This pacing exercise establishes a baseline for each runner’s fitness level and pacing skills.
  3. Time each runner at a set distance.
  4. For novice runners, a half-mile or mile is a good starting point.
  5. Use a measured course and keep the distance the same across trials.
  6. Remind runners to focus on running their own personal best.
  7. For advanced runners, call out split times to guide their pacing. You can ask runners to guess their times over a short distance.
  8. Discuss results with each runner, helping them set a goal for the season. Emphasize pacing as a way to work toward that goal.
  9. Repeat time trials regularly to monitor progress throughout the season.
  10. Have runners record their times and keep them for reference throughout the season.

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20. Come with Us or Run Away

  1. Kids of every age will love this fun standing circle game for fifteen or more people.
  2. The kids stand in a circle and hold hands.
  3. The circle is missing two chairs, and two children are chosen to tag the other players. They run around the circle, each randomly hitting a pair of joined hands, at which time they call out either, “Come with us!” or “Run Away!”. Simultaneously, the two tagged players follow the tagger’s directions, either going with or running away.
  4. All four try to get to an empty seat first. The two left to begin the next round by choosing joined hands to tap.
  5. Play this fun and frantic game as long as the players enjoy doing so.

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21. Pacing, Endurance, Race Plan Outdoor Games for Kids

Warm-up

Controlled Fartlek

You will need cones and a stopwatch.

Talk to your team about pacing and have them come up with descriptions of different paces.

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For example, a sprint could be called “running for the bus.” Include at least four speeds

  1. walking
  2. jogging
  3. running
  4. sprinting

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To begin the warm-up, have your students start jogging.

  1. Yell out the different pace descriptions they came up with, calling out each one several times. Have runners maintain each pace until you call out the next one.
  2. While Sprints can last for 10 to 20 seconds, running and jogging for up to 3 minutes, and walking for up to 1 minute.
  3. And spend most of the time having your students run and jog and allow adequate recovery time for sprints.

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22. The Centipede (developing speed) Outdoor Games for Kids

  • You will need cones and batons for this activity.
  • Create teams of 5 to 12 runners with roughly equal abilities.
  • Give each group a baton.
  • Have kids run a single file together in a line, pretending to be a centipede. The first kid should have the baton, which they will pass back while they run.
  • When it gets to the end of the line, that runner will sprint to the front of the line and begin passing the baton back.
  • For a more playful version, pick a category like colors or animals. And have each runner call out something that fits before they sprint to the front of the line.
  • While the baton helps keep the group together, coaches can run with the group to help pace and maintain the line.
  • Watch The Centipede video

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23. Uphill Challenge Outdoor Games for Kids

  1. Athletes hold their arms behind their back and charge full speed up a hill.
  2. Repeat this 3 to 5 times. And they run up the hill normally using your best arm action as referred to in Session 1. Repeat this three to five times.
  3. The athletes should note the differences in comfort, power, speed in armless running versus normal running.

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For a more playful version of the activity, restrain the arm swing by carrying two small cups, each filled halfway with water. Or try balancing tennis balls on big spoons in each hand. The key is to keep running at full speed without walking.

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24. Duck Duck Goose Outdoor Games for Kids

Classic Outdoor Games
Classic Outdoor Games for kids
  1. One person they are a “duck” or a “goose.”
  2. And once someone is the goose, they get up and try to chase “it” around the circle. Simultaneously, the goal is to tap that person before sitting down in the goose’s spot.
  3. If the goose cannot do this, they become “it” for the next round, and play continues. If they do tap the “it” person, the person tagged has to sit in the circle’s center.
  4. So the goose becomes it for the next round.
  5. The person in the middle can’t leave until another person is tagged, and they are replaced. On is “it” and walks around the circle.
  6. As they walk around, they tap people’s heads and say whether.

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25. Heads Down Thumbs up Outdoor Games for Kids

  • Heads Up, Seven Up (sometimes called “Seven Up,” “Thumbs Up, Seven Up” or “Heads Down, Thumbs Up“)
  • It is a game where each selected participant guesses the person who pressed down their thumb or in some versions of the game.
  • The players have to guess who tapped their heads.

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26. Continuous Relays Outdoor Games for Kids

  • All Runners are put in groups; the rest interval for each athlete takes all the others to complete the run.
  • We can do it over 100 or 200 or 400.
  • Or, if not measured, the track is available on a field. 

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27. Stone Bridge Tree Outdoor Games for Kids

What you need

  • An indoor/outdoor playing area 20 meters in length
  •  A starting cone for each team and three cones spaced 5 meters apart 

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What to do

  • Teams of 6–8 players line up behind their starting cones.
  • When you say ’GO!’, the first player runs out to their first cone and forms a stone. 
  • The second player jumps over the ‘stone’ and then runs to the second cone to form a bridge.
  • The third player jumps over the ‘stone,’ crawls under the ‘bridge,’ and then runs to the third cone to form a tree.
  • The fourth player jumps over the ‘stone,’ crawls under the ‘bridge,’ runs around the ‘tree’ and back to take the place of the ‘stone.’ The ‘stone’ takes the place of the ‘bridge.’ The bridge.’
    Then takes the ‘tree,’ who then runs to the end of the line.
    The game finishes when all players have had a turn at each of the positions.

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28. Four Square Outdoor Games for Kids

Classic Outdoor Games
Classic Outdoor Games for kids
  1. This ball game is played on a square court further divided into four smaller squares, numbered one through four.
  2. One player stands in each of the squares, with the highest-ranked player in number one, lowest in number four.
  3. You bounce the ball among the players, bouncing once in the other person’s square before that person catches it.
  4. When I played this as a kid, we had countless additional rules to choose from.
  5. The person in square one got to choose the rules. Anyone who violates the rules will have to move down in the ranking or be eliminated with another player rotating in square four.

Number of Players: Four, unless you take turns. 

Equipment: A four-square court or sidewalk chalk, a playground ball.

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29. Statue Tag – Outdoor Games for Kids

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Development Goal

To develop shape identification and verbal communication.

Before You Start

  • Review body shapes-wide, narrow, rounded, twisted, crooked, small, tall, pointed, flat, and so on with the players.
  • Show players how to freeze versus moving and let them practice. Have a flag or a jersey for the person who will be “it.”
  • Demonstrate safe tagging:
    • Light touch, like butterfly wings, on the back or shoulder.
    • Unsafe tags: hard contact that might cause the person being tagged to fall.
  • Review what to do when tagged and what to do when you go outside the boundary, being careful not to run into other players.

Set-Up

Set up clear boundaries for the play area. For smaller groups, the play area needs to be smaller.

How to Play

  • Assign a player to be “it” and put the jersey or flag on them.
  • Players that go outside the boundaries become frozen.
  • Be sure all players know who is “it.”
  • Change the shape in which players must freeze every round.

Variations

  • Players can become unfrozen through a particular action by another unfrozen player, i.e., tapping on the shoulder.
  • For larger groups, the leader can choose more people to be “it.”
  • Vary the play area or have a time limit for “it” or “its” to freeze everyone as a challenge.

30. Change Seats – Outdoor Games for Kids

  1. The kids form a circle sitting in seats.
  2. One child stands in the middle, and his seat is empty.
  3. He attempts to take his seat, but the other players stop him by sitting on it.
  4. The kids move around the circle in one direction, but the direction can be changed when “Change Direction” is called out.
  5. The person in the middle will probably be able to take his seat when the direction is changed.
  6. Whoever loses his seat must take place in the middle and play resumes. This game works well for ten or more children of any age.

Variations:

  • The person in the middle calls out the name of two players who must change places before they are tagged.
  • If the middle person calls out “fruit salad,” everyone must change places, giving the child in the middle a chance to take a seat. Whoever is left without one takes the middle position.

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31. Hopscotch – Outdoor Games for Kids

Classic Outdoor Games
Classic Outdoor Games for kids

Use some sidewalk chalk and 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.

In contrast, we can play this game with many 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 or foam pieces or just find a pattern on the floor to follow, perhaps using a beanbag instead of a rock. Number of Players: One at a time. Equipment: Hopscotch grid, rock, or beanbag.

32. ESCORT – Outdoor Games for Kids

Divide the group into two or more teams (make the teams between 4-6 people-no more, or they have to wait too long).

Mark the start and finish.

While each team wants to get their entire team over the finish line.

The first person on the team runs to the end and back, and when they return, they grab the next person in line.

 Together they run to the end and back and grabs the next person in line, etc. 

33. Get Inside! – Outdoor Games for Kids

Children ages eight and up will enjoy this circle game for ten or more players.

So after the children form a circle holding one another’s hands.

Then a rope circle is placed on the floor just inside where they are standing.

And the goal is to pull the children next to you into the rope circle while hanging on to their hands.

While everybody is attempting this,  the task becomes difficult, and children let go of one another’s hands.

And Those who do so must get into the rope circle.

So when all the children except one is inside the circle, the child remaining outside is the winner.

34. Jump-Rope and Double Dutch Outdoor Games for Kids

classic outdoor games
classic outdoor games for kids

One of the biggest ways I spent my recess time as a young girl was by jumping rope. Hence I got quite good at it for my age, both in speed and in skill. And it was fun to jump by myself, but it was even more fun to have a long rope and jump with a couple of friends.

So that’s where jump-rope rhymes come in. And they turn a simple exercise into a fun game to compete against yourself and others. Also, there’s a double dutch. The first time I tried it, I got tripped up almost immediately. However, once you understand how to do it, it isn’t as hard as it looks. 

Number of Players: One for single jumping, three with a longer rope, or double dutch.

 Equipment: One or two jump-ropes.

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35. BUDDY TAG – Outdoor Games for Kids

Set boundaries and get the group to pair up. At the same time, each pair picks someone to be “it” first. The buddies may only tag each other. Have them run around as soon as the player tags their buddy, then tries to tag them back. This game has no end, so have someone call time when the players look tired. 

36. Chinese Jump-Rope – Outdoor Games for Kids

50 Exciting Classic Outdoor Games for Kids 5
classic outdoor games for kids

This game requires three people or just one or two people with perfect chairs. If this game is played inside, it requires a sturdy floor. Furthermore, this game resembles a regular jump rope in that you jump—a lot. And you jump in a pattern.

While Two people (or chairs) put their feet inside the rope and stretch them out, standing far enough apart for the third person to jump between them.

The third person, or jumper, faces one of the people holding the rope and jumps in left, right, inside, outside, and ropes pattern.

And what pattern you use is up to you, but all the players should use the same one. The game is started with the rope around the ankles.

Once the jumper does the jump correctly, the rope is moved up to the calves. Then to the knees, then the thighs. Usually, it doesn’t get any farther than that. Once you miss, it is someone else’s turn. 

Number of Players: Preferably three, but we can do it with one or two. 

Equipment: A stretchy-type rope or 5 to 6 meters of rubber bands tied together in a circle.

37. Relay Races – Outdoor Games for Kids

classic outdoor games
classic outdoor games for kids

You don’t have to be a kid to enjoy relay races. In fact, several versions of these old-school games for kids make an appearance at many grown-up parties.

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Here are two options:

  1. Balloon Pop: Blow up several balloons and place the inflated balloons in a pile 10 feet away from the start. Each player runs to the center, pops a balloon by sitting on it, and returns to the start to tag their teammate. 
  2. Three-Legged Relay: In a yard or field, mark off the start and finish lines. Divide the players into teams of two. Have them stand side by side and tie adjacent (inside) legs together using a bandanna or scarf. The three-legged pairs must work together to reach the finish line.

38. Butterfly Running Game – Outdoor Games for Kids

This running game is designed to help keep your kids active and entertained. Find an open field or playground and set up cones in the shape of a butterfly. This butterfly can be as large or small as you want, although it should be big enough to let kids run and jog around it for a decent amount of time.

This particular butterfly shape should be symmetrical with a straight line down its center. This center-line is called the “sprinting lane,” while one side of the butterfly is the “jogging lane.” The other side of the butterfly will be the “walking lane.” Have your kids start to jog around one side of the butterfly shape, and then have them sprint down the center of the butterfly before walking around the other side of the butterfly.

39. Red Rover – Outdoor Games for Kids

classic outdoor games
classic outdoor games for kids

Divide everyone into two teams, each forming a long line, holding hands, facing the other team. The two teams should be around 20 or so feet apart. The teams take a turn calling out, “Red Rover, Red Rover, let come over!” That child leaves their team’s line, runs as fast as they can toward the other line, and tries to break through the held hands. If they breakthrough, they get to take someone back to their team. If they don’t, they join the new team.

When a team only has one person left, that person tries to break through the other team. If they do not, then their team loses. If they do, they gain a player, and play continues. Number of Players: Any decent size group. Equipment: None

40. Candy Hunt Game – Outdoor Games for Kids

Sometimes it takes a bit of a bribe to get kids interested in running. The candy hunt game is best for younger kids who need a little push and motivation to get excited about running. Take a group of kids to an open field and spread various individually wrapped candies on the ground.

Each kid is allowed to pick up one piece of candy before returning to the starting line. Once they have dropped the candy off at the starting point, they can return to grab more candy. The child who has retrieved the most candy in the allotted time is the winner.

41. Freeze Dance – Outdoor Games for Kids

Classic Outdoor Games
Classic Outdoor Games for kids

Choose one person to be in charge of the music. When the music starts, everyone else dances; the crazier, the better. When the music stops, the dancers must freeze in their position. And anyone caught moving after that is out.

Play continues until there is one person left, the winner. 

Number of Players: Any number. 

Equipment: Music player or the person making music. You can find more activities in The Dangerous Book for Boys and The Daring Book for Girls, as well as some jump rope and hand clap rhymes.

42. Cone Flip/Cone Grab – Outdoor Games for Kids

Classic Outdoor Games
Classic Outdoor Games for kids

If you want a running game that encourages friendly group competition while allowing children to work individually, give “flip the cones” a try.

So spread a bunch of disc cones out over a field, with half of them right side up and the other half upside down.

And split the children into two groups.

Assign one group to try to get as many cones as possible right side up.

And the other group to get as many as possible upside down.

Allow the kids to play for a few minutes and then blow a whistle to stop.

And choose one kid from each team to count the cones and see who won.

While the cones are ready to go, they can play again.

So the amount of time you allow for each round is dependent on the number of cones you have and the age of the kids.

Also, younger kids need more time than older kids to turn the cones over.

41. The Captain’s Run – Outdoor Games for Kids

The captain’s run is a type of fartlek running game that uses a whistle to tell runners when to speed up. While A fartlek is a type of run where athletes practice running at different speeds (jog, run, or sprint). And with this game, runners practice staying in a group (a straight line) while jogging. This game is recommended for ages 8 and up.

While to get started, create a large loop (approximately 200 meters) that runners can go around. And this works best on a field or a large yard. So when the group hears the whistle, the last runner in line sprints to the front of the line. And Continue this until each person has at least two times sprinting to the front. While if the group is large enough, you can create two lines. And have groups run in opposite directions around the loop.

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42. Pony Express – Outdoor Games for Kids

This game is a lot of fun and really brings out the kids’ competitive spirit.

What’s needed: A marked circle either on a field or in a gym; two relay batons (optional)

How to Play:

  • Divide kids into two even teams.
  • Each team forms a line on opposite sides of the circle.
  • One kid from each team starts running around the circle (in the same direction) on your command. The goal is to get back to their line and tag (or pass the baton to) the next person on their team without getting caught on the runner on the other team.
  • Once the runner reaches his team’s line, he tags his teammate’s hand, and then that kid starts running around the circle while trying to avoid being caught by the other team’s runner. Kids can also use a baton to pass to the next runner.
  • The first team to get all of their runners around the circle once wins.

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43. Where to Run Next? – Outdoor Games for Kids

Kids will have so much fun that they end up running hard intervals without even realizing it.

What’s needed: Small pieces of paper with different landmarks or locations written on them

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How to play:

  • This game is best played outdoors, in an open area with different landmarks or locations that the kids can run to.
  • On small pieces of paper, a coach or other adult writes down the names of different landmarks in the vicinity, i.e., bleachers, goal post, backstop, equipment shed, long jump pit.
  • Put the paper pieces in a small bag, such as a brown paper bag or a running belt.
  • One kid pulls out a piece of paper and reads the location. Then they all have to run to that location.
  • Once everyone reaches the destination, a different kid pulls out another piece of paper. When I play with my kids’ track team, we keep going until each kid has a turn picking the destination (and even the older kids are insistent that they all get a chance to pick!).

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44. Sharks and Minnows – Outdoor Games for Kids

50 Exciting Classic Outdoor Games for Kids 6
Classic Outdoor Games for kids

This game is similar to capture the flag, except you’re avoiding getting tagged and not trying to get a flag.

What’s needed: A rectangular open play area (field or gym) with boundaries marked with lines or cones.

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How to Play:

  • Identify 1-4 kids (depending on the size of the group) as sharks. Everyone else will be minnows.
  • The sharks stand in the middle of the field and shout, “Fishy, fishy, fishy, come swim in my sea!”
  • The minnows line up on one end of the rectangle and respond by saying, “Sharky, sharky, sharky, you can’t catch me!” Then the minnows start running across the field to the opposite boundary line and avoid being tagged by a shark.
  • If a minnow is tagged, they become a shark and have to tag other minnows.
  • When there are only one or two minnows left, they become the sharks in the next round.

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45. Sardines – Outdoor Games for Kids

Classic Outdoor Games
Classic Outdoor Games for kids

This is a variation on hide-and-seek. While One person hides, all the other players cover their eyes and count.

And when one of the seekers finds the hider, he quietly joins him. At the same time, the game ends when everyone is crammed into the same hiding spot.

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46. TAIL TAG – Outdoor Games for Kids

50 Exciting Classic Outdoor Games for Kids 7
classic outdoor games for kids

Give each student a strip of cloth (approx 12″) to tuck into their waistband or belt loop. 

And let kids run around the gym trying to grab other tails while also trying to keep their own.  

Designate a safety zone so kids can tuck newly acquired tails into their waistband with ease.

47 SMUGGLERS – Outdoor Games for Kids

Divide into two teams – the Smugglers and the Coast Guard.

Give a small jewel or trinket to one member of the Smugglers.

While the Smugglers go to one end of the play area while the Coast Guard go to the other.

And the smugglers can move the jewel from kid to kid as often as they like.

Hold the jewel in one hand, do not conceal it any other way.

While the Coast Guard chases the Smugglers trying to tag them.

And when a smuggler is tagged, he must immediately stop and show both open hands.

He must then sit and wait for the round to end.

When the smuggler with the jewel is tagged, a new round is started with teams switching sides.

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48.  Marathon Challenge – Outdoor Games for Kids

Children are not physically equipped to run as far as 10 or 20km in one stretch. And the distance is broken down into segments that we can achieve every day.

And keep a distance log for each child and let them run as far as possible each day.

When they reach levels such as 3 or 5Km, give them levels of experience like martial arts.

So 2km can be a white belt, 4 km – a yellow, and so on.

And when the marathon is complete, give them a marathon challenge T-shirt.

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49. Jump Rope Rhymes – Outdoor Games for Kids

There are too many songs to count: Bubble Gum, Cinderella Dressed in Yella, Down in the Valley, Grace Dressed in Lace.

And these energy-burners boast an assortment of educational perks: coordination, memory, balance, and teamwork, to name a few!

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50. Lily Pad Hop – Outdoor Games for Kids

50 Exciting Classic Outdoor Games for Kids 8
classic outdoor games for kids

The activity is very open-ended.

And encourages creativity among kids. And can be played indoors or even in the backyard.

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Outdoor Games for Kids Sources:

  1. https://www.extension.iastate.edu
  2. https://www.topendsports.com
  3. https://wblac.com.au
  4. http://www.nyrr.org
  5. https://www.sportingschools.gov.au

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