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Outdoor Games for Kids: Have Fun With Your Little Ones This Summer

When it comes to raising kids, it seems that research is conducted for any aspect related to their lives and activities. To a certain extent, this is true because children are the future. When it comes to spending time outdoors, everyone will agree that this is beneficial for the health and proper development of kids. Of course, some parents would love their little ones to create games to play outside on their own, without their involvement. However, this is mostly an exception than a rule. So, we have decided to help you out with the arrangement of activities with baby and prepared for you the list of 18 fun outdoor games for your kids to play.

outside games for toddlers

Games for the Youngest Ones

The variety of outdoor activities is abundant. Aside from a long list of games you used to play in childhood, there are lots of new ones. While preschoolers and school children are more independent when it comes to the selection of games (though, they may also need the guidance and participation of parents), it is more complicated with toddlers who are too persistent and are not able to find a compromise on their own.

So, we have decided to begin this list with outside games for toddlers and small ones to help you entertain them in summer. It is only important for parents to make sure that kids are adapted for games you have planned (dresses for toddler girls and boy suits should be chosen according to activities you have chosen) and correctly evaluate the necessity of their engagement in the games for children not to squabble.

1. Doggy, Doggy, Where’s Your Bone

In this game, it is necessary to choose a child who is going to play Doggy and give a toy bone. If you are afraid that kids can be confused, then you can buy a bone if a shop. Otherwise, it is possible to use any object and change the name of the main hero and game for kids not to be confused. While Doggy is turning around, one of the kids steals the bone. Then a Doggy turns and everyone should look guilty (well, depends on the artistic abilities). Let a kid guess as many times as needed. The one who has stolen the bone is next Doggy.

2. Little Diggers

If there is a sandbox in your backyard, it is one of the great outdoor games kids are fond of. Sand digging is one of the kids’ favorite activities. Just make sure that they are not dressed in new arrivals for toddler boys and girls so that not to wash them right after getting back home. This activity foresees buying dinosaur bones that should be hidden in the sand for your little ones to dig out. You can get brushes for them to feel like real archeologists. If you are unwilling to look for toy dinosaur bones, kids can excavate their own toys. This activity can absorb them for an hour or more.

3. Bubbles

No precise guide to playing with bubbles is needed. Buy them or prepare with the recipe, no matter. To make your own solution, you will need liquid dish soap, warm water (distilled is preferable but not necessary), and glycerin (instead, light corn syrup can be used). This is a beloved activity of toddlers and preschoolers alike. Join the process and you will also find it amusing.

bubbles outdoor game

4. Gardening

Surprisingly or not, it is possible to interest toddlers with gardening. First, this is not only an educational process during which you can tell your little ones how plants and trees grow but also a long-term activity beginning with preparing the ground, planting, watering, and waiting for crops (if any). You can buy specific gardening tools for your kids or use something you have got in the kitchen. The only thing is that this kind of activity needs to be supervised to make sure that no injuries will happen.

Of course, these are just a few outside yard games for toddlers you could arrange. As parents, you know that investigation of the world around is of key importance for them. Therefore, the activities you plan should be based on the possibility to learn more about the world around them and spending as much energy as possible to make sure they will sleep all night long.

Older Kids and Preschoolers: Ideas of Fun Games

When kids grow, they are becoming more interactive with each other. Therefore, the participation of adults ceases. Of course, when there is no possibility to send your school kids to a summer camp, you can find them bored. So, here are the top outdoor games for preschoolers and schoolers we are suggesting.

5. Capture the Flag

This is one of the classic outdoor activities. For this game to be interesting, at least 6-8 kids should be engaged. Divide the kids into two groups and your yard into two courts, one for every team. Every team should have a flag (which could be altogether prepared in advance, e.g., painted) fixed at the ends of the courts. The task is to steal the flag of another team without being tagged by a player from another group. Of course, this game requires some space for kids not to get injured in the process.


Surprised to see it on the list? If you don’t remember the rules from your childhood, we are going to repeat them for you:

  • Define someone as “It”;
  • This child should throw the ball up and name another kid’s name;
  • Everyone, except for a chosen child, runs away;
  • A chosen kid has to catch the ball as quickly as possible and yell: “SPUD!”;
  • At this moment, everyone should freeze and a kid throws balls in someone and this kid gets an “S”;
  • The one who collects all the letters (S, P, U, D) loses the game.

7. Tag with a Twist

The game foresees not only fast moves but also the basics of trading and interaction are required from kids. You will need to prepare as many bracelets as many players will be engaged in different colors. One kid should be “It.” Players should trade their bracelets trying to get one of each color (so, the more colors you prepare, the more kids will have to interact). It is trying to tag a trader. As soon as It manages to tag a trader, the latter one trades a bracelet and becomes the next It. The winner is the player who is the first to collect a band of each color.

8. Kick the Can

At least four players are needed for this play. One kid is chosen as “It.” It counts until 100 near the can, while the other players hide. Then, the task of It is to find another player and reach the can faster. In this case, a hider is captivated. If the hider is the first to reach the can, the game is over, and It starts counting again. For it to win, this player has to find and captivate all the hiders.

9. Hopscotch

This is not just one of the classic outdoor games for kids you know pretty well from your childhood but also a solitary activity for a child. Get some chalk and draw a Hopscotch path on the pavement. To make this game more fun, you can draw some cars, butterflies, or shapes, and set some bonuses for not stepping on them. Remember your childhood and join your child and jump together on the path.

10. DISC

This is a play that is easy to arrange and has no requirements for the number of players. Attach a hoop in the yard at the height convenient to all the players. Give them Frisbee (disc) and let the first player throw it through the hoop. Those who do not manage to throw the disc get a “D.” The first one who collects all the four letters (D, I, S, C) loses the game.

11. Sardines

This a version of the classic hide&seek, however, no less interesting to players. One kid is designated as a hider while all the others are looking for a hider. As soon as a player finds a hider, this player joins in the hiding spot. The one who remains as the last seeker loses the game. Of course, for this game to be interesting, there should be enough places to hide.

hide and seek

12. The Course of Obstacles

This is the game having no precise set of rules. Parents can use as many props as they have in their possession. Let your kids jump over the obstacles, run around, crawl, and climb. These exercises will improve kids’ agility and coordination. Besides, having acquired and built the necessary track with obstacles, you will be able to use it in the future for different parties that will be so much entertaining for kids and adults alike.

13. Sack Racing

Who said that this old-school game is not interesting anymore? It is entertaining and requires a minimum of just two players to compete. Parents can join the race and make a real backyard competition. Why not adding some obstacles to reach the next level?

14. Balancing Challenges

Exercises that require maintaining balance contribute to the physical and mental development of kids. Here are a couple of ideas:

  • Back-to-back: Ask kids to sit on the grass with their backs pressed to each other. Can they stand up without using their hands?
  • Hopping with a fabric: Drop a lightweight fabric on one of the kid’s feet that should be lifted. Now, ask kids to hop up and down without losing that fabric from another foot. This can become a competition.

15. Ghost in the Yard

This is one of the games for kids to play outside that resembles Hide & Seek. One player is designated as the Ghost who has to hide anywhere in the yard. The other players have to count from 1 p.m. till midnight and then start walking around chanting the song: “Star light, star bright, hope I see a ghost tonight!” Meanwhile, a Ghost should appear unexpectedly trying to tag another player. The one who is tagged becomes the next Ghost. Before arranging the game in the evening, make sure that kids won’t become too overexcited.

16. Red Rover

This is a great activity for larger groups of children, for example, for schoolers’ picnics and get-togethers. Split kids into two teams. They should stand in the row and hold their hands together at a distance of around 20 feet. One of the teams chooses a player from the opposite one: “Red Rover, Red Rover, let kid’s name come over!” This player should run towards the opposite team trying to break the pair of two players’ hands. If he/she succeeds, one of the players whose hands have been broken should be taken with. If not, then this player has to stay in this team. The team with a bigger number of members wins.

17. Hungry Snake

For this game, you just need a jump rope. One child, Snake, takes a rope, while the others stand in the circle around. The Sanke spins around with a rope in her hands. Players have to jump not letting the rope touch them. When the Snake bites someone, this player is out of the game. The last player is the winner.

18. Bowling

This beloved kids’ and adults’ activity can be easily transformed into one of the outside games for kids. You will only need a ball and pins. If you are unwilling to purchase pins, use cans or plastic bottles instead.

Have you found the games you used to play in childhood or those you still love playing? They will entertain both kids and parents requiring no considerable investments and preparations. Enjoy summertime with your kids at the backyard of your house. This is going to be the time to remember for the whole life!

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