4 Outdoor Games That Will Wow Your Kids This Summer
Active play is important for your children’s development both mentally and physically, but there’s always that slouch halfway through summer when kids start getting bored. If you and your kids are tired of the usual suspects when it comes to playing outside – games like Hide and Go Seek, Freeze, and Red Rover – there are a variety of other outdoor games you can add to your repertoire in order to break up the monotony. Here are a few more unique outdoor games for kids that will get your children excited about playing outside again this summer.
- Blind Man’s Walk
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This game adds a challenging twist to traditional obstacle course games. Set up obstacle courses in your backyard with things like hula hoops, buckets of water and pool noodles. Allow the kids to practice a few times, and then send them through the course one at a time while blindfolded. Time each child to see how quickly they can make it, perhaps without knocking over buckets of water or other objects. If you have little Pirates in the house, you can call the obstacle course challenge “Walk the Plank” instead.
- Pirate Tag
In this fun twist on a classic game, one person is chosen to be “it,” or the Pirate, and chases the other players. When the Pirate catches someone, this person becomes part of the Pirate’s crew. The original Pirate and the new capture must hold hands or both hold onto a jump rope while they chase the rest of the kids. The game continues in this fashion until all but one kid has joined the Pirate’s crew. The uncaptured kid gets to start the game as the Pirate the next time around.
- Bean Bag Toss
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Bean bag toss games are very popular and easy to set up with little or no equipment. You can use store-bought bean bags, or make your own with a few dollars’ worth of beans and some upcycled old sheets or retired clothes.
You will also need to make a target or goal. You can build a pyramid with empty soda cans for the kids to throw their bean bags at. To make the game a little harder, half-fill these with water. The winner is the kid who knocks down the most cans, or knocks down all the cans in the lowest number of throws.
You can also use a painting ladder for scoring. Set up the ladder and assign a point value to each space between the rungs. Let the kids throw the bean bags, aiming for the higher-valued spaces, and tally their scores to find out the winner.
- Juggling practice
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Another fun thing the kids can do with those bean bags is learn how to juggle. Watch a few instructional videos on YouTube so your kids get the general idea, and then turn everyone loose outside to practice. Start with just a couple of bean bags each, and as the children get the hang of the game, you can add one more at a time.
As much fun as kids have indoors these days with all the media and toys available to entertain them, it’s still important to get outside and play as much as possible. You can make this easier by incorporating some of their indoor interests into their outdoor play. What summer outdoor games do your kids love to play? How do you encourage them to play outside when they’d rather stay in?