12 Outdoor Games for Kids for Cool Fun This Summer
Are you looking for some unique outdoor activities?
Energize your summer with fun outdoor games for kids.
My Kids’ Adventures searched the web for fun games to play outside with your kids. Some are classics with a twist, others are supersized and many are both!
In this article I’ll share our 12 favorite outdoor games for kids of all ages. You and your family will enjoy them all summer long. Ready to go play?
Why Play Outdoor Games?
Playing games is an excellent way to have fun with your family. And games get everyone outside exercising. Play these games in your backyard, at a park, on the beach, on a camping trip, wherever. So pack ‘em up and head on out.
There’s a wide variety of options for all ages. Plus, most of the games we found cost very little or nothing to play. Whether you want a quiet game like Memory or an active game like an obstacle course, there’s something for everyone and every day.
It’s summer. So spend as much time outdoors with your kids as you can. Just remember the sunscreen!
Here are 12 unique outdoor games to play with your kids.
#1: Rainbow Tag
Hide five tongue depressors, each with a different color painted on it, and matching face paint sticks nearby. When players find a different-colored stick, they put a line of that color on their faces.
An additional player—“Pinkie”—lurks, trying to tag the players. Each time a player gets tagged, Pinky wipes a color off his or her face.
First player with all five colors wins!
We love this colorful variation of a traditional game. What kid (big or small) doesn’t love face paint? Be sure to play along and add war paint to yourself, too!
#2: Backyard Obstacle Course
Amy Anderson of Let’s Explore posted these obstacle course ideas on Simple Kids. Your whole family can participate. Gather items you have around the house, set up a course and test your skills in a friendly family competition.
Pick and choose obstacles that match your child’s skill level and the materials you have on hand. You can even have the kids come up with a few of their own obstacles.
We love obstacle courses! Amy provides lots of simple ideas in several different categories, so there’s truly something for everyone, of every age. Create your own course and have a blast!
#3: Oversized Memory Game
Take at least 10 sheets of poster board, draw matching numbers, pictures or symbols on each half, and cut them down the middle. Place them outside, face down and take turns guessing and matching them up.
We love the giant-sized version of this classic memory game. It’s a great way to add an element of exercise to something that builds brain-power.
#4: Yard Twister
It’s simple yet fun to play. Plus you get all tangled up with your family.
Make your Twister as small or large as you want. Just spray-paint the circles directly onto the grass, and you can keep playing until the next time to mow. (Be sure to get permission before you paint!)
We think this would be a great game for a birthday party or summer playdate, as well as being a super family activity. Just make the board big enough to accommodate all of your kids’ friends.
#5: Recycled Bottle Bowling
Add a little paint to some rescued bottles. As soon as it dries, you’ll have an easy DIY game you can play whenever you want.
What a great way to repurpose something you’d throw away. And it would be easy to turn this into a fun nighttime bowling game. Just add glow sticks!
#6: Bean Bag Ladder Toss
This bean bag ladder toss by Landee at Landeelu is a fun backyard carnival game. Label each rung with points. Throw bean bags between the rungs and try to get as many points as possible. Play solo or divide into teams.
This is the easiest setup ever, and it’s a game everyone will love! Landee has lots of other fun backyard summer activities, so check them out as well.
#7: Hula Blockers
There’s a physical fitness and coordination element to this one. One person tosses their bean bags into the other hoop, while blocking bean bags from entering their hoop.
To make it a bigger challenge for older kids, try to play three or four people at a time.
#8: Giant Pick-up Sticks
Spray-paint bamboo yard sticks or stakes different colors. Make sure you paint one of them black for the “moving stick.” Let them dry. Add a coat of clear paint to seal them. Let them dry. And you are good to go!
This could be the coolest yard game ever.
#9: Hula Hoop Game
Slide a hula hoop on someone’s arm. Then hold hands in a circle. Now move that hoop around the circle.
This game requires logic and teamwork. And all you need is a hula hoop!
#10: Water Balloon Piñata
The only prep is to fill and hang balloons. Then break them! Set a timer to see who can break the most balloons the fastest or do it one-at-a-time, blindfolded. Make your own rules, and play over and over again.
What a great combination of two backyard favorites, and a great way to cool off.
#11: Sand Box on a Budget
We love that this sand box makes the fun, sensory play of sand possible anywhere, even if you just have a small patio or balcony.
#12: Soap Boat Races
Grab a few bars of soap. Make flags from toothpicks and fabric. Then you’re off to the races. Time your boats’ individual speeds or race them against each other.
Got a kid who doesn’t like baths? This is a fun way to sneak in some soap and water!
We hope you found some outdoor games that are perfect for your family. Whether you choose a traditional game with a twist, the giant version of an outdoor classic or an activity that’s completely new, you and your family are bound to have tons of summer fun.
Some Final Thoughts…
There’s a special kind of dynamic that develops when you play games with your kids. Taking them outside adds sunshine and fresh air to the mix. And think of all of those great, easy conversations you’ll have as you play.
What do you think? Did you recognize some of the redesigned games? What’s your favorite outdoor game? What other outdoor activities do you enjoy doing with your kids? Please share your pictures and comments below.
Jennifer Ballard is the associate editor for My Kids’ Adventures where her past experience as a Cubmaster, birthday party entrepreneur, marketing writer and mom of two boys fits together and finds relevance. Other posts by Jennifer Ballard »