Start your new hobby today!

17 Outdoor Games for Kids




children playing sack race in the park on a sunny day

Affiliate Disclaimer

As an affiliate, we may earn a commission from qualifying purchases. We get commissions for purchases made through links on this website from Amazon and other third parties.

Kids are full of energy, and sometimes the only way to release it is by giving them enough room to play.

Engaging in outdoor games can be beneficial, especially when it comes to skill development and quenching their curiosity. 

There are several outdoor games for kids, including musical chairs, water balloon fights, and the long jump. Other fun games you don’t want to miss are elbow tag, ladder ball, and sack racing. Most of these games require little to no supplies. 

Here’s a list of 17 fun outdoor games for kids that involve a lot of creativity and learning:

1. Sack Racing

Children having a sack race in park on a sunny day

The sack race is a popular outdoor game for children. The game takes place in an open field with tracks marked according to competitors’ numbers and may take the form of a relay.

A sack race involves participants wearing a sack up to the waist and holding it with their hands to prevent it from falling. 

The racers are expected to race against each other by hopping or running from the starting to the finish line in the shortest time possible.

Participants should stay in their lanes to avoid disqualification.

2. Hopscotch Game

Two sisters playing hopscotch in park

Hopscotch is a smooth-surface, square-jumping game that can improve balance and coordination. 

How to play:

  1. Draw 10 vertical squares on the ground and number them. Place numbers 4 & 5 and 7& 8 side by side.
  1. Toss a flat stone into the inside of the first square. 
  1. The player hops on each square with one foot, starting from square 1 to square 10. They should not touch the sides of the squares or lose balance. 
  1. Upon reaching square 10, they turn around and hop back in reverse order, stopping at the square before the one with the stone.  
  1. They then lean on one foot, pick up the stone, and then hop, skipping the square with the stone to finish, and pass the stone to the next player.

3. Freeze-Dance Game

Children dancing at birthday party

Freeze dance is a fun activity for children and can help them improve their social-emotional, listening, self-regulation, and motor skills. 

You can pair this game with any music or soundtrack the kids enjoy. Plus, you can always use different types of music, including fast and slow rhythms.

How to play:

  1. Turn on the music.
  1. Ask the children to dance to the music and freeze to the position they are in once you stop the music. 
  1. Anyone who doesn’t freeze then performs a specific challenge.

4. Relay Racing

children in athletics team competing in relay race on sports day

Relay races involve participants competing in teams of 3 to 5 players. The setup consists of a circular track and items or batons that are passed on to participants.

How to play:

  1. Set up a circular track.
  1. Position the participants in each lane and meters apart.
  1. The lead runners should start in the starting blocks, holding the batons in one hand. 
  1. The race begins when the starter’s gun goes off, and the runner carries the baton through the entire run on their lane until they hand it to the next runner on their team.
  1. The team that manages to pass the baton to all members and reach the finish line first wins the race. 

5. Four Square Game

Four square is an excellent childhood game. You’ll need 4 or more players, a bouncing ball, and some chalk or tape to play the game.

How to play:

  1. Find a flat concrete surface.
  1. Draw four connected squares (about 1m by 1m or 3 ft. by 3 ft.) using the chalk on the ground and label them 1 to 4. 
  1. Allow each player to stand in one of the squares.
  1. Give the ball to the player in square 4 and let them bounce it once in their square, then hit it into another player’s square. 
  1. Repeat until one player misses the ball or hits it out of the square or on the line so they are eliminated. 

Watch this video to learn more:

6. Marble Knock

colorful children's glass marbles on a reflective glass surface

Marble knock is a game that has been played ever since there were marbles.

It can be played individually or with a team of 4 to 6 players. 

The objective of this game is to collect as many marbles as possible by knocking them out of the play area. 

How to play:

  1. Draw a circle about 1 to 2 meters on a flat surface. The bigger the circle, the harder the game. 
  1. You can place marbles in a cross shape at the circle’s center or scatter them randomly.
  1. Allow the first player to kneel outside the circle and use their thumb to flick their shooter marble into the circle towards the other marbles.
  1. If the shooter knocks other marbles out of the circle and it remains in the circle, the player stands a chance to keep the marbles knocked outside.
  1. The player then shoots again from the spot where their shooter landed. 
  1. The process continues until the player doesn’t knock out a marble, giving way to the next player.
  1. The game is over when no marble is left inside the circle.

Learn how to flick a marble from this video:

7. Long Jump Challenge

The standing long jump challenge can help kids develop leg strength and balance, improving their ability to jump for distance. 

The game requires the coordination of lower and upper extremity movements where children engage in two-footed jumping and landing, as demonstrated in this video:

Here are other interesting jumping games for kids: 

8. The Whirlwind Challenge

Children playing with skipping rope outdoor

This is another impressive game for kids, allowing them to develop motor coordination skills. It involves two people turning the rope and other participants jumping it in turns. 

How to play:

  1. Have two people hold the rope at each end.
  1. Let the participants form a line.
  1. Rope turners start turning the rope, and participants begin to jump over the rope one after another as it turns. 
  1. A participant can be eliminated if the rope hits their leg or turns without them jumping. 

Here are several variations of the whirlwind challenge:

9. Duck, Duck, Goose Game

Duck, duck, goose is another great playground game that can help children improve their social and coordination skills. You may need 10 or more people to play this game.

How to play:

  1. Let the participants form a circle and then sit down.
  1. Choose the first kid as “It,” and have them walk around outside the circle.
  1. As they walk, have them touch each participant’s head while saying “duck.”
  1. They’ll then say “goose” while touching one of the participant’s heads. 
  1. That kid (the “new It”) will then chase the first “It” until they get to their spot without being caught. If caught, they will be “It” once again as the “new It” goes back to the circle. 
  1. The new It then goes around the circle touching other participants’ heads until they call “goose.”
  1. Repeat until every participant becomes “It.”

Watch this video for more:

10. Musical Chairs

Kids run around playing musical chairs game

Musical chairs is another fun game that teaches kids conflict resolution skills, time management, patience, and handling disappointments. 

How to play:

  1. Set chairs in a circle. There should be one less than the number of participants. 
  1. Turn on the music and have the kids go around the chairs.
  1. Stop the music and have every kid sit on one chair. 
  1. The kid left standing is eliminated, and one chair is removed. 
  1. Repeat until only one chair and participant are left seated. 

11. Hide and Seek

Little boy and girl playing hide and seek in nature

Hide and seek has simple rules, but it teaches creative thinking and decision-making skills. The game requires a space with lots of places to hide. 

How to play:

  1. Choose one kid to be the seeker.
  1. The seeker then closes their eyes and counts to 20 or more as the other players hide.
  1. When done counting, the seeker looks for the others, and the first person to be found becomes the seeker. 
  1. Repeat as appropriate.

12. Elbow Tag

This is one of those games that will get the children running around, improving their cardiovascular health while having a good time. 

How to play:

  1. Let each participant find a partner. Each pair should lock their elbows.
  1. The tagger and the tagged are then chosen.
  1. The two change roles when one is tagged.
  1. The one being chased is safe when they lock elbows with a pair standing in a linked position. 
  1. The person on the opposite end of the three begins fleeing from the tagger. 

This video demonstrates elbow tag:

13. Water Balloon Fight

girls filling up water balloons at sunny day. Summer fun outdoor activities for children

Summer can be fun, and water balloon games are an ideal way to spend time outside while exercising.

With a water balloon fight, all you need is balloons and water, and you’re good to go. 

How to play:

  1. Fill balloons with water and then place them at a central location.
  1. Let the players pick the balloons and throw them at each other randomly. 
  1. Keep the fun going.

14. Water Balloon Toss

Water Balloon Toss is another fun and refreshing outdoor activity. It involves tossing water-filled balloons between players. 

How to play:

  1. Have participants form two rows and pair up by facing one another.
  1. Fill balloons with water and give them to each participant in one row.
  1. Let the players toss the balloons to their partners on the other row. 
  1. If the partner catches the balloon, the pair moves away from each other and tosses the balloon back. 
  1. The pair is disqualified if the partner fails to catch the balloon and it breaks. 
  1. The game continues until the winning team remains.

Here’s a demonstration of the game:

15. Water Relay Race

Water Relay Race is also another fun activity for a hot afternoon. This game is great for developing social skills and teamwork. 

How to play:

  1. Have the participants form two lines.
  1. Fill two buckets with water and place them in front of the line.
  1. Place two empty buckets on the opposite end.
  1. Give two cups to the first players in the line.
  1. Have each one fetch water from the bucket in their line using the cups, and proceed to pour it into the empty buckets on the other end, and then bring back the cup to the next person in line.
  1. The winning team will be the first to fill the empty bucket without wasting much water. 

This video demonstrates the game:

16. Bob for the Apple Game

Pre-teen girl, apple in mouth, apple bobbing at garden party

This is one of the oldest water games that keep kids active and energetic.

How to play:

  1. Pour water into a large bucket or bowl.
  1. Put clean apples into the bowl.
  1. In groups of four, have the kids kneel around the bowl and catch the apple with their teeth.
  1. The one who catches many apples becomes the winner.

17. Ladder Ball

Ladder ball is played with two or more players. The game requires two ladders and six balls, three for each team. 

How to play:

  1. Set up the ladders across each other. Keep them 10 to 15 feet apart.
  1. Let the first player throw all three balls on the ladder, one at a time, followed by the other players. 
  1. Each player will score points according to where their bolas landed. 
  1. Balls on the top receive higher scores, followed by those in the middle and those in the lower rank.
  1. The player or team that scores more points in the first round begins the second round. 
  1. The game continues until the winning team scores all the points.

Watch this video to learn more:


Playing outdoors can be not only fun but educational. The above list offers a variety of options for outdoor games for kids to try. 

You can always choose games that suit the outdoor environment and supplies available.

In all you do, ensure that your kids benefit most from the game through physical, social, emotional, psychological, or cognitive development.


About the author

Previous post :

Latest posts

  • 7 Easy Domino Games

    7 Easy Domino Games

    Dominoes are fun games and you’d surely enjoy them more when you know how to play them. Here are 7 popular and easy dominoes to try!

    Read more

  • 31 Card Games You Can Play With a Single Deck of Cards

    31 Card Games You Can Play With a Single Deck of Cards

    Playing a game of cards has been a popular pastime for many generations. Card games are fantastic for get-togethers and family time since they can be enjoyed by anyone, regardless of skill level. Also, the decks are simple to carry, and the games themselves are plenty of fun. Card games are popular all around the…

    Read more

  • 70 Easy Party Games

    70 Easy Party Games

    Fun shouldn’t take second place while planning a party. These games are thrilling, but they also foster teamwork, creativity, and healthy competition. 

    Read more