For most of us, childhood memories include outdoor games like tag, capture the flag, and red rover. Even more exciting were the spontaneous games at recess or in someone’s backyard with other neighborhood kids!

Sometimes, our kids need a reminder that outdoor games are strong contenders, if not winners, for fun. Teaching your kids awesome outdoor games they can play on the fly and stocking up on fun game equipment will go a long way in encouraging your kids to get off the couch and out the door!

Check out our list for the best games to play outside with your kids.

Tag Games

Tag is one of the easiest games to understand and can provide hours of fun with a variety of group sizes. If you want to spice up the basic version, try these 10 Fun Ways You Can Transform the Game of Tag!

Obstacle Courses

Setting up an obstacle course in the backyard will have your child striving to be the next American Ninja Warrior! You can use what you have around the house, purchase a kit, or build your own. This collection of 20 Amazing Backyard Obstacle Courses is sure to spark your imagination.

Scavenger Hunts

Scavenger hunts are a great way to keep kids entertained while on a hike, when you arrive at the campground, or simply on a summer day! You can find a ton of ideas and ready-to-print hunts online. Didn’t plan ahead? Make a quick list and send the kids off hunting!

  1. For younger kids who can’t read yet, these 10 Local Scavenger Hunt Printable Worksheets for Kids are ready to go with cute graphics.
  2. If you’re off on a camping adventure, here’s a helpful article with 7 Unique Camping Scavenger Hunts.
  3. Remember how much kids love hunting for Easter eggs? Why not bring out those plastic eggs for an outdoor hunt? Have them paint rocks that can be hidden. Encourage everyone to take turns hiding, and the hunts may go on and on!

Relay Races

Relay races can also range from basic, throw-together ideas to more complex and original. Here are 20+ Best Relay Race Games that range from potato sacks to a jigsaw puzzle race.

Lawn Games

Lawn games provide entertainment for the whole family! They’re fun to pull out during BBQs, bring to the beach, or play while camping. This list of 20 Outdoor Lawn Games for the Most Fun Backyard Ever includes classics like cornhole and croquet, and unique and silly options like Flickin’ Chicken.

Classic Outdoor Games

Classic outdoor games have staying power for a reason! They’re easy to play anytime or anywhere and invoke fun childhood memories. You may remember playing these classic games as a kid but might not remember all the rules. We’ve got you covered!

  1. Red Light Green Light
  2. Follow the Leader
  3. Duck, Duck, Goose
  4. Capture the Flag
  5. Ghost in the Graveyard
  6. Spud

Playground Games

These games require a pavement surface or, in some cases, equipment found on the playground, like a basketball net.

  1. Four Square
  2. Hopscotch
  3. Horse
  4. Jump Rope
  5. Hand Clapping Games

Some important things to remember:

  • Pick an age-appropriate game. Younger kids need games with simple and limited instructions. Older kids prefer games they can be taught and then left to do on their own.
  • Even when the game has been played before, review the rules.
  • Be cautious about your surroundings. Remove items that may be dangerous and let everyone know what areas are out of bounds.
  • Ensure everyone is having a good time by encouraging positive sportsmanship.
  • As long as there is consensus, creating new rules or variations can help the games stay fresh and fun!

Have some fun outside as the weather gets warmer, and teach your kids some new (or classic!) games!