Outdoor Fun – Games

My favorite outdoor game as a child was hide-and-seek.  I grew up on a farm and it was a GREAT place to play hide-and-seek.  It also helped that I have many cousins who would come during the summer to visit and made the games extra fun.

Hank and Faith love to be outside as much as possible.  As they are getting older, I am always looking for quick and easy outdoor games and activities.  Below are a few ideas that require very little preparation and/or materials.  In fact, all the ideas use just 2 jump ropes and very little additional equipment.  Feel free to change the rules and/or add a personal touch.  These ideas would also work well in a child care setting, for a youth group, or a gathering of kids.

Have a Great Week!



The Hungry Octopus

To play, pick one person to be the “octopus”. Then, use 2 jump ropes to make 2 lines at least 15 feet apart.  The other players, the “fish” then line up on either line.  When the octopus shouts “hungry,” everyone tries to cross to the other side while the octopus tries to tag them.  When a fish is tagged, he becomes a tentacle and has to hold hands with the octopus, working with him to try to tag the other fish. When everyone is part of the Octopus, the last fish caught is the new octopus for the next round.  Happy swimming!


Everyone Race or Relay

Mark a starting line and a finish line. Everybody can do it at the same time or you can make it a relay race where everyone works together.  To play, everyone “moves” to the finish line in a pre-determined way:  crab walk, crawl, scooting on your bottom, bear walk, bunny hop, frog jump, hopping on one foot, buzzing like a bee, etc.  Any way you choose, but the normal walk.

You can also do other things such as: walk backwards, as slow as you can, as fast as you can, etc.  If you do a relay, try doing it with just one team and timing how long it takes to do a certain race.  Then the team can try to beat their time and go faster.  Happy racing!


Cross the Creek

Cross the Creek Game 1 – To play, put two jump ropes about a foot apart on the ground.  Next, take turns trying to jump over the creek. When everyone has jumped once, move the ropes about another foot apart.  Keep moving the ropes until no one can cross the creek without falling in-between the ropes.  Happy jumping!

Cross the Creek Game 2 – To play, put two jump ropes about 5 feet apart on the ground.  Give each child 2 “stones” (paper plates).  Have them start at one end of the “creek” and cross the creek by just stepping on the stones.  If they are struggling, you might have to show them how to place the two stones on the ground and move to the farthest stone, then pick up the stone behind you and put it in front of you to step on.  After everyone has crossed the creek, make it bigger and do it again.  Happy crossing!


Splash in the Bucket!

To play, put two jump ropes about 5 feet apart on the ground.  Then place the bucket behind the farthest rope for the “target”.   You will also need a bucket of wet splashballs*.  Have the kids stand behind the first rope and try to hit the “target” with their balls.  Play until all balls have been thrown.  Count how many balls the group got into the bucket.  Play again and see if they can get more in the bucket the second time.  Happy Splashing!

*Splashballs are a reusable alternative to water balloons.  Instructions to make DIY Splashballs to use in your home or child care.




zoom  From PBS.org – Chase Games / Mind Games / Physical Games / Physical Challenges / Relay Races / Sports Games / Word Games – Ideas  to get kids active and playing.


Ulitmate Camp Resource – Hundreds of different games for endless summertime fun at ultimatecampresource.com.