No Set Up, No Mess, Just Pure Fun!
When you have ten
minutes to fill, what outdoor games are easy to set up, not too messy
and can be dragged out to fill an hour if need be?
got a range of outdoor games to suit all personalities that will keep
kids and parents entertained. So if the weather’s fine at your place,
pull up a chair and enjoy the sunshine while your kids play!
like balloons, bubbles are an eternal favorite in our household. Use
an assortment of bubble makers for different results. We have a couple
of large strangely shaped ones that were bought at a craft market which
make huge bubbles and also a tiny one which blows out masses of teeny
bubbles at a time.
I use them as a
way to give my children some ‘active time’ by getting them to see how
many bubbles they can catch, in their hands or even in their mouths! The
sensation of the bubbles popping on their faces has them squealing with
delight. I then have a turn at chasing some bubbles too! It’s only fair,
and gives me a chance to get in some exercise too!
At first your children
may not be able to blow bubbles themselves but by watching you they will
learn how to control their breath so they eventually master this skill.
When making your own bubble solution add a teaspoon of glycerine or
cooking oil to your water and detergent mix as it makes the bubbles
sand pit provides a goldmine of outdoor experiences for a young child
because of the ever changing qualities of sand. It can be molded when
damp, poured when dry, and runny and slushy when wet. By simply
providing your kids with some molds, a seive and various sized
containers, they will be able to experiment with the differing forms
that sand can take.
Young children often
start by eating sand, don’t be too concerned, they will soon learn that
the taste isn’t so great and that there are much more interesting things
to be done with it.
A sandpit is a play centre that your children
will return to again and again. It allows them to be freely creative and
also imitate adults by ‘digging with a tractor’, ‘potting some plants’,
etc. A sandpit will get good use right up until the age of 6 for many
When choosing a sandpit for your kids make sure it has a sturdy cover.
This keeps out pets who will use it as a litter if given the chance. It
also stops the sandpit from getting flooded if you have heavy rain.
is great for outdoors play as it works whether it is wet or dry and is
easy to remove from surfaces. Chalk is really cheap to buy and the only
other equipment you need is a chalkboard. The chalkboard can be bought
or you can make your own by painting a wall or piece of wood with
blackboard paint. Many commercially bought easels have chalk board on
one side and painting suface on the other.
When using chalk your
kids can also draw on the footpath or even brick walls of your house.
Make sure your kids know that they can only do this with chalk- not
textas and pens!
Skittles and Throwing Games
are many variations of skittles which is a simple and fun outdoors game
that can be set up and packed up quickly and gives your kids good ball
Home made skittles are
really easy to make, you just need to save your used drink bottles for a
couple of weeks. Wash 6-12 of them and fill them halfway with sand or
fine stones. Great practice for their ball, and counting skills (to see
who’s the winner!).
- On a hot day the game
can be played with water in the bottles and a wet sponge as the ‘ball’.
Make sure the wet sponge gets dipped into a bucket of water after each
turn. This way everyone will be dripping wet by the end!
variation on this game is to draw a circle with chalk and put the
skittles inside the circle. The aim of the game is to see how many
skittles can be knocked out of the circle.
throwing game uses a large box, from a tv or similar with different
shaped holes cut into it. Place a brick in the bottom of the box so it
doesn’t fall over and your kids can practice their aim by throwing small
beanbags or balls into different holes. A variation on this game can be
done with chalk on a brick wall. Can also draw them a target like in
archery so that they get different scores depending on how close they
get to a bullseye.
Throwing and catching
games are great for young children as the balls can be made smaller as
the child’s skill increases. You can start with toddlers using a beach
ball or similar. Once they reach 3 or 4 years old you can try gripper
balls (a ‘mit’ with a ball that sticks to it), soft bouncing balls or
footballs. It is not until children reach 5 or 6 when they are more
confident with their ball handling skills that they generally become
interested in more involved ball games.
One outdoor ball game that is great for a wide range of ages (even
pregnant women!) is Boule/Bowls/Bocce. All have their own nuances but
basically involve a jack at one end and players who attempt to roll
their own balls as close to the jack as possible. Sets can be bought
with larger balls for adults or small balls that are ideal for children.