Do you want to keep your kids active while also challenging them mentally? Outside games are a great way to accomplish both. If you are tired of the traditional hopscotch and games of “horse” around the basketball hoop, here are some unique and creative options to try:
1. Traffic Cop
Grab all of the bikes and scooters in your garage and invite some neighbors. Then, practice playing traffic cop, having the children ride as quickly as they can and stop when you blow a whistle or put up a “stop” sign with your hand.
2. Lawn Twister
Do you have an open space that you can use for a game? Spray paint a Twister board onto it, and play the classic game outdoors. You can use this idea in the winter, too — simply spray paint the snow and pile on the warm outdoor clothing.
3. Frozen T-Shirt Race
Is it hot where you live? Soak some old t-shirts and put them in the freezer overnight. Then, have the kids race to see who can un-thaw their shirt and put it on first. They will get cool fast!
4. Glow-in-the-Dark Bowling
Take the kids outside after dark, and place some glow sticks in 10 bottles of water. Line them up like bowling pins, and give the kids a ball to try to knock them down. Simple, but the glow-in-the-dark twist makes it incredibly fun.
If you can get a group of kids together, play spud. This classic childhood game is sure to bring a lot of laughter as kids try to keep from collecting letters or becoming “it.”
6. Watch Your Step
Tie a balloon to your kids’ ankles. Run around the yard, trying to stop on the other players’ balloons. The last one with a balloon intact wins.
7. Four Square
Teach your kids the classic game of four square. You will be able to introduce them to something you likely did during childhood, and they will always have something to do if they are bored.
Don’t underestimate the amount of fun you can have playing tag, particularly if dad participates. Add variations, like freeze tag or TV tag, to engage the mind and body.
9. Monkey in the Middle
Grab a Frisbee or playground ball and place yourself in between two of your kids. Have them try to throw the ball over your head while you try to catch it.
10. Simon Says
If you need a break from running, take on the role of Simon in this classic game. As an added bonus, your kids will get some practice with paying attention and following directions.
11. Find the Snow Flag
If you have a good covering of snow, tie a white cloth to a stick and hide it in the yard. Have your kids search for it. The one who finds it first gets to hide it next. It’s harder than you might think.
12. Tug of War
This is a great game because you can play it in any weather. Make sure you have an even number of players, including the adults, and get started. In the snow, it becomes even more entertaining as you slip and slide over the ground.
13. Rainbow Tag
Take some Popsicle sticks and coat the ends with face-paint crayons in the colors of the rainbow. Hide them around the yard for the kids to find and paint their faces. The first one with all colors is the winner.
14. Snow Hurdles
Snow along with snow gear make jumping challenging. Make “hurdles” by lining up some snowballs and have the kids jump over them. You will get a good laugh by watching one another fall in the snow.
15. Freeze Dance
Get a little crazy with your kids. Grab your phone and put on some tunes, dancing your heart out in the backyard until the music stops and everyone freezes. Dance resumes when the music does.
Remember, it doesn’t take expensive toys or even a lot of prep work to make memories with your kids. Head outside and spend a little bit of time on some of these games, and start making memories, today.