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Outdoor Game Ideas

Here are some suggestions for having fun outside!

Cat Tails...

Make tails from long strips of cloth (one for each child). Kids should tuck their tails into the back of their pants so that it just touches the ground and be sure that the tails are able to come off easily.
After the word „Go“, players try to step on each other’s tails, while protecting their own tails. The player, that lost his tail, is out of the game. The last kid with the tail becomes the winner of this game.

Wolf, shepherd and sheep...

One of the players becomes „wolf“, one – „shepherd“, all other players are sheep, standing in a row one after another, putting hands on the shoulders. The shepherd stands first in the row. While the wolf is trying to tag the last sheep, the shepherd is trying to prevent this. It could be set some period of time, during which the wolf should tag all the sheep. If he does, he wins. But if the shepherd manages to keep some of his sheep, then he is the winner of the game.

Team Juggling...

It is better to play this game in your backyard or in the park. You will need 5 tennis balls for 5 players (number of balls should be the same as number of players) to play this game.
All players should stand in a circle and discuss the scheme, how the ball will be thrown. Scheme could look like this: the first player throws the ball to the third player, the third – to the fifth, the fifth – to the forth, and the forth – to the first. And so on.
Tip 1: start with two balls, and gradually increase the number of balls till it reaches five (or more, depending on number of players).
Tip 2: so that juggling would be successful try to keep the even rhythm of throwing balls.

Higher than the ground...

The leader is catching other players in some location, where some hills, large stones, stairs or some other places, higher than ground. Players try to run away from the leader. The player can become inviolable, when he gets on a higher place – the leader cannot tag him there, so he should wait till he climbs down or try to catch another player. The player that was tagged becomes the new leader.

Tree and stone...

One player is the leader, who is catching all other players. When he tags one of the players, he says: „tree!“ or „stone!“. If the leader says „tree“ , the tagged player should rise his hands and stand with legs wide apart, while if the leader says „stone“, the player should squat. Other players might release them, for this purpose they need to jump over the „stones“ or crawl under the „tree“. Then tagged players can run again.

Freeze...

One player is the leader, who is catching all other players in some definite field. Player who is tagged becomes “frozen” and must stand in place with his arms stretched out until he is unfrozen – other players can perform an action to unfreeze him, such as tagging him. When all the players are standing “frozen”, the game is over.

Stork and frog...

The leader jumps with one leg and tries to catch other players, which are squatting.

Sick cat...

One player is a „healthy cat“, which tries to catch other players. If the leader manages to reach out and touch somebody, then the caught player should hold his hands in those places, where he was touched. The caught player becomes „the sick cat“, which now is catching other players along with „the healthy cat“. The last player, who was not caught, becomes „the healthy cat“ in the next game.

Fun games with water hose...

Playing with rotating sprinkle

All the players have to stand in a circle around the sprinkle and jump over the spring of water when it comes. The one that gets wet or misses a jump is out of the game. You can also make it a competition by counting jumps. The winner is the one who gets the highest number of jumps in a row without missing one. You can make it a few rounds! This game is also can be played by one player as children usually like to play with water as it’s vivid and gets you very unexpectedly sometimes. The player could as well jump over the water and beat her/his own records.

Limbo dance

If there’s still energy after the first game make a limbo dance contest! Take a water hose and make the spring go horizontally. Start with a stream at chin high and then lower it down each time when all the players come through under it. When a player gets wet s/he goes out. The winner is the last one to get wet.

Blind Hen

It’s also possible to adapt game Blind Hen to water hose. Let one player have it with blindfolded eyes and the rest of the players run around her/him. The blind player can shoot water spring blindly by putting her/his finger partly on the stream and the one who gets some water on her/him is the new blind hen. To calm down yet still keep themselves cool children can go to swing (if there’s a set of those nearby). Just set a fan-style sprinkler near the swings and let kids enjoy the stream while swinging!

Summer games in the garden...

Get dirty and wet – it is so much fun to get dirty and wet sometimes! There are a lot of options how to do it – it depends on your creativity. The simplest way is to put on a swimming suit and turn a water hose so that kids (parents are also welcome to have this fun!) can run from the water or just enjoy the spring on them! Before or after that you can make a puddle of dirt which children can use to play – build something from it or just draw on their bodies – for example, mask themselves as spies. Or just imagine they are in SPA. It’s great that in the end this can be washed with water hose and most importantly – fun is guaranteed!

Hiding in the shadows – one more fun activity on a hot day is hiding in the shadows. You can make competition or simply make a plan with the spots that players have to visit in the garden. The condition is to walk only in the shadows. On some places that shadows are far from each other you can give three seconds to run over the sunny section. If someone fails the three seconds ask to start the race from the starting point. Or simply give some water from the hose! Finally, the best price for the winner is a big portion of ice-cream and some smaller one for all other players.

You can also use shadows as a safety place for racing game. Chose one player to be the catcher and give her/him a water hose (ask her/him to stand in the shadow so that s/he won’t get sunburn). Other players have to change their positions in the shadows by crossing the sunny places without being caught by the water and those who get wet change places with the catcher.

Art activities with nature...

The planet we live on is a great place to play as it is full of natural stuff for creation! Make your day in the nature – forest, beach, or simply your garden – unforgettable experience of creating a land art!

So, to start with look around you and find as many things you may use for your picture or sculpture as possible. You do not need any previous preparation and no tools as you can use only the material that is lying on the land. No cutting or any other kind of interrupting nature – be creative with what you find with no attachment to living things.

Few examples of what you can do in different time of the year:

Autumn: forest or garden is full of leaves which you can use to create a colourful picture. For example, make ornament or detail from the leaves by arranging colours; let’s say from the darkest to the lightest. Some nice pictures could be made from apples, nuts, conkers, acorns, branches, etc.

Winter: if it has snow then you can draw with your footsteps – walk a spiral, circles, smiling faces, or whatever you’ll think of. And it is always fun to find a snowman in the most unexpected places with carrot nose!

Spring and summer: stones can be a great material to create with everywhere you find them. Built them into towers, pyramids, circles, combine different sizes of them into footsteps, faces, figures and so on. If you find a pile of logs you can put them into some interesting ornament or maybe take some colours to paint small pictures.

Finally, if you have a garden and a piece of glass (or transparent plastic – just be careful with that not to cut yourself!) you can prepare some secrets. First you have to dig a small hole in the ground put some flowers or small things in it and cover it up with the piece of glass. Then put some ground on the glass to hide the secret! You may want to share it with your friends or parents, or just know it to yourself.

Nature exploring activities...

Gathering of plants, leaves and flowers – this activity might need some previous preparation as you’ll need a photo or a drawing, or even a riddle about a plant that your kids are going to look for. You can make it a race or ask to find a more difficult plant to bring you and reward the one that gets more points (one point for one correct plant) with ice-cream or some other prize.

Don’t worry, you do not need to be a botanist to recognise some very simple and widespread plants like daisy, marguerite, poppies, bents, dandelion, violets, etc.

Also it’s a good activity to teach kids to be gentle with the plants – you can make it a condition for points to get only a blossom or a leaf without killing the whole flower.

So that the blossoms and leaves were not wasted put them into a book or old magazine to dry. These will do perfectly for rainy days and cold evenings to make some greeting postcards for different occasions, mosaic pictures or flower mandalas to have a nice memory of summer. And it’s just paper and paper-glue you’ll need for that.

Another fun and educating thing to make from the dried stuff is a book of plants. Take an empty notebook (with a thicker paper preferably) and stick the plants you have. Do it every second page so that in the nearby one you have a space to write some information about a plant. For example, when it blooms, where did you find it, what is its name (write it in Latin if you like too), what was the day like when you picked it up (sunny, small wind, father was watering plants, mother baking a pie; I was feeling happy, etc.).

Playing with clouds...

Summer is the greatest time to do activities outside! Here are some ideas for sky exploring and daydreaming!

If you find yourself lying under the blue sky with beautiful white clouds, you can have some interesting time with your friends or kids by sharing what the forms of clouds remind you.

You can also create a cloud story by adding one sentence each in a row as a continuation to the previous, taking inspiration from the floating clouds. For example: about a castle in the sky and how a boy or girl came there and what he/she saw there?

You can wonder were do clouds come from – maybe a big giant dragon is sleeping somewhere and clouds are from his breath?

Where from does the rain come from – maybe someone is watering her or his flowers in the sky garden?

What do creatures that live in the clouds look like? What do they eat? What kind of games they play?

What is happening to the Sun on a cloudy day? Do clouds eat it? Or maybe it’s just sleeping? Or watching TV? Or painting? Maybe dancing with the Moon?

How does the Earth look like if you are watching it from a cloud? Do things and people look like giants or just like little ants?

When there’s too much of the clouds, or dark ones start to come, or you are just done with the stories there’s one more fun thing to do: cloud deleting! It sounds impossible though it’s very simple. You need to pick a cloud (start from the smallest one!) and delete it by looking at it and concentrating all of your attention. Be patient too as it might take a little time in the start!

Just in a minute...

Mark the start and finish line.

The leader of the game gives a sign, and the players begin to move at a pace that would cross the finish line just in a minute.

Do not stop, slow down or increase the speed.

The one who will be the closest to finish line in a minute becomes a winner.

The snake tail...

Players stand in a single line and each player put both hands on the shoulders of other player standing in front of him.

The first player in a row is a head of a snake, and the last – the tail.

The head has to catch the tail.

The tail is trying to avoid the head and the whole body is in motion after the head.

When the head catches the tail of the snake or the body is broken, then “the tail” or any other caught player becomes “the head”.

This game is played until all have the opportunity to be the head and the tail.

The British Bulldog...

Prepare a large game box by marking two limits.

One or two players (depending on size of playing area) are selected to be “The British Bulldogs”.

They stand in the middle of play area, while other players should stand at one end of the area.

After players-bulldogs shout “The British bulldog!!!” other players have to run across the marked area from one end to the other, without being caught by players-bulldogs.

When a player is caught by bulldog, they are changed in places – player-bulldog becomes “free”, and the caught player becomes “bulldog” himself.

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