Simple Child Games for the Outdoors
Finding fun outdoor games for kids will help them to both let off steam as
well as improve their co-ordination and confidence.
Whether they are at
home alone with you or in a group there are a range of active outdoor child
games to suit all age groups and for those who are not naturally
inclined towards exercise.
Sessions of active play also help children to
burn off excess energy so that they can then sit down and concentrate for quieter activities.
rope is one of the best gifts that you can give a 4+ year old child. It
teaches them vital co-ordination skills, is a great precursor to playing
sports, and best of all, is really cheap!
Before attempting skipping
games the rope can be used on the ground to play jumping games. With a
person at each end hold the rope on the ground and wiggle it like a
snake. The child has to jump over the rope without touching it. A rhyme
that can be sung is;
Two four six eight, Johnny saw a rattle snake,
Eating cake by the lake, two four six eight.
They can also practice their balancing skills by walking along the rope as it lays on the ground.
itself is a learned skill and a good way to start them off is with a
long rope. If you have a limited number of people, tie it to a washing
line or something similar. Firstly get your child to jump (without using
the rope) with both feet landing together, you may need to hold hands
and do it together. As they get the idea they can try skipping under the
rope. This may take a while so be patient. Soon your child will be
confident skipping under a long rope and can move on to their own rope.
great one of those old fashioned fun outdoor games for kids. This game is best
with a couple of kids but also can be practiced on their own. For young
children it is easier to play this game by jumping into each square as
they won’t be able to hop (You can even call it Jumpscotch!).
hopscotch pattern and explain the game. They each need to throw their
stone into square 1 and then jump over it and then into each square up
to 10 and then back, picking up their stone and jumping over square 1.
If they miss their throw into a square then it’s the next player’s turn.
The winner is the first person to get back to the start.
A fun outdoor kids game that requires lots of energy, great for parties.
eldest daughter and I sometimes play this game on our own for a laugh
but it is best played with at least four players, preferably similar in
age/size. Set up a start and finsh line for the race and split the
children into pairs. Each pair decides who is going to be the
wheelbarrow and who will be the pusher.
The wheelbarrow gets down on
their hands and knees and is then picked up at the knees (or ankles) by
their partner. There will be lots of tumbles and lots of laughs.
This game is best played on fairly soft grass. Pairs can swap over so
they each have a turn at being the pusher and the wheelbarrow.
These are a really cheap item that not only keep your kids fit, but will help to improve their co-ordination as well.
your kids how to swing the hoop around their waist, but also their
arms, legs, feet and anything else they can shake! It’s a good
opportunity for parents to see how good (or bad!) their hula skills are
twenty years on from when they first tried it.
competitions, you can see who can keep the hoop going for the longest
time. Another one of those outdoor games for kids that once they master, they
will go back to again and again.
Hide and Seek
family favorite for many generations that teaches young children to
play in a co-operative way with other kids. Enjoyment is in the play
rather than winning or losing which can become an issue for four and
five year olds.
Hide and seek can be played in the backyard or in
your local park (as long as it isn’t too big!). One person is chosen to
be ‘It’ and hides their face as they count. Everyone else hides and the
seeker then calls out ‘coming, ready or not’ and goes in search of
everyone. The last person to be found becomes ‘It’ for the next round.
Red Light Green Light
Another traditional kids outdoor game that can be played just about anywhere.
person is chosen to be the traffic light and stands with his back to
the other children. He shouts ‘green light’ and the other children creep
forward trying to touch the traffic light. When the traffic light calls
out ‘red light’ he spins around and tries to catch out someone moving.
Anyone caught becomes the traffic light for the next game.
well as being able to enjoy physical activities, relay races and
obstacle courses help kids develop their spatial abilities; balancing,
navigating their bodies and throwing and catching.
usually involve a number of contrasting activities that follow on from
each other. They can be played in a group or singularly. Your list can
Running at speed
Hopping, skipping or jumping
Crawling along a plank
Squirming on tummy under a plank
Stepping on ‘stepping stones’ without touching the ground
Throwing a ball into a hole/bucket/hoop
Making a wheelbarrow with another child
Climbing over a frame
Bouncing on a trampoline