Best Outdoor Summer Games for Kids
Out top 5 outdoor games guaranteed to get the kids off the couch and staying active this summer!
Even when the weather is fine and there’s not a cloud in the sky, it can still be tough to lure kids away from their smartphones and video games.
Often, you have to get creative. So snatch their interest with an outdoor game that’s exciting, challenging and guaranteed to make them forget all about that Angry Birds app. The way kids ‘play’ sure has changed over the past 20 years. For many youngsters today, playtime entails tapping a screen or clicking a button.
Of course, it’s fine to play computer games in moderation. Plus, they’re pretty handy for keeping children distracted on long car trips. But too much time spent in front of a screen means they’re probably not getting enough outside time.
Not only does outdoor exercise help children grow physically, it also stimulates their social interaction skills and improves their problem-solving capabilities. If they don’t get enough exercise, this can lead to issues such as childhood obesity, reduced muscle development and a range of other ailments.
So how can you convince your child to log out of their computer game and run around outside? One way to compete with electronic distractions is to create fun outdoor games that will hold your child’s attention.
Here are some great kid-friendly ideas for activities that you can play with your kids this summer. Whether you are in your own backyard or at your vacation rental, these games require little to no supplies or preparation and are simple enough to play anywhere.
And keep in mind these activities are often more fun with extra people. So invite the kids from next door over to play – their parents just might thank you for it.
1. BLOB TAG
Remember playing this variation of tag during recess on the playground?
The game starts with one child being “it.” If that child tags someone else, they hold hands and become a “blob”. The blob grows as each of the players get tagged, until a long chain of children holding hands are all chasing the last runner. The rules are simple enough for little ones to remember and all that running around together is sure to induce the giggles. Just make sure you have lots of room outside for this one.
2. OBSTACLE COURSE
Jump over the log, run around the rocks, touch the tree, do five jumping jacks and run back to the start!
You can use anything that you find around the house to set up a fun obstacle course, from hula hoops to skipping ropes. Then challenge your little ones to get through it as quickly as they can. An obstacle course is suitable for all ages, because you can change the obstacles to make them age appropriate.
For older kids, try setting up obstacles in a wooded area where they’ll have to weave around trees or duck under branches.
3. BACKYARD BOWLING
Set up a bowling course on the lawn at your home or summer vacation property for a unique activity that doubles as a craft project.
Creating it is easy: just collect plastic bottles of the same size and then paint them white. Use a tennis ball as the bowling ball (you can also paint it whatever colour you like) and then set them up and knock ‘em down.
4. WATER FIGHT
What’s more fun on a hot summer day than having a water fight?
Some studies have even shown that playing with water helps with cognitive development. But most of all, kids just love the satisfying thrill of soaking someone with a water balloon or the adrenaline rush of being chased with a Super Soaker.
Although an all-out water-war can be fun, try adding a few simple rules to the game for variety. You can try capture the flag, where the players must swipe the opposite team’s flag and return it to their base without getting wet. Or you could try water-balloon tag.
5. FREEZE DANCE
Set up a portable music player in your backyard and you will have all you need for this kid-favourite game.
When the music starts playing the little ones jump, dance and run around the yard. As soon as you press pause, they must freeze in position like a statue for 10 seconds. If anyone moves or falls over during a “freeze” they are out of the game and the last child playing is the winner.
There are just a few fun and kid-friendly games that will get your little ones to put down their devices and run around in the great outdoors.