Family Game Time: Classic Outdoor Games to Keep Kids Moving

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Whole family hula hooping outdoors.As parents, we try to keep our kids active and healthy, however, in this day and age technology has made that increasingly more difficult. Children seem to spend more time playing on their phones or tablets than playing games that involve interaction and exercise. Many kids have no idea how much fun we had at their age or how simple life was! Bring back your childhood and get your family up and moving with these classic outdoor games!

Potato Sack Race: Climb into an empty potato sack (pillowcases work too), line up, and race to the finish line!

Lollipop Race: Each team has two members- one races, the other receives (this can also be done as a relay if you wish). Set up a row of lollipops by placing them into the ground a few feet apart in a straight line. Repeat for each team. The teams line up and the racers run to the lollipops one at a time bringing them back to the receiver. The first team back to the starting line with the last lollipop in their row wins.

Water Balloon Toss: Split players into teams of two and give each team one water balloon. Create two lines with teammates facing each other. Teammates toss the balloon back and forth, each taking a step back after each toss. The last team to pop their balloon wins.

Tug of War: Separate players into two teams, each holding opposite ends of a rope. Draw a line on the ground at the center of the rope. The team to pull the other team over the line wins.

Hula Hoop Contest: Supply each player with a hula hoop and have them keep them moving as long as they can. The last player to allow his/her hoop to touch the ground wins.

Simon Says: Designate one player “Simon” and have him call out commands to the other players. Players should only follow commands that begin with “Simon says”, otherwise they are out. The last player standing wins and becomes the next “Simon”.

Kick the Can: Similar to hide and seek, one person is designated to be “it”. A can is placed in the center of the playing area, and the player designated as “it” closes his/her eyes and counts while everyone hides. “It” then tries to find and tag each of the players. When a player is tagged, they are out temporarily and go to a designated area. These players are released when a player who hasn’t been caught reaches and kicks the can without being caught. “It” then retrieves the can while the other players find new hiding spaces. The game is over when all players have been caught.

Red Light, Green Light: Designate one player the “stoplight” and line the rest of the players on the starting line. The stoplight stands with her back to the players and calls “green light” to allow everyone to run towards the finish line. When the stoplight calls “red light” everyone must stop. The stoplight turns as she says “red light” to catch anyone still running and sends them back to the starting line. The first player to cross the finish line wins and becomes the next stoplight.

Remember to follow sun and heat safety rules when playing outside! Find safety tips at Summer Safety Tips for Parents. We hope you are having a wonderful summer and look forward to hearing all about your Family Game Time in the fall!

Related Links:

10 Fun and Educational Summer Activities for Preschoolers

Avoid the “Summer Slide”: Summer Learning for Children.