Outdoor games for children
In an increasingly digital age, it’s more important than ever that children be encouraged to play outside. While apps and technology can add value in a number of educational ways, outdoor play has proven to have important health benefits.
Some of these benefits include:
- Giving kids a chance to burn off energy
- Reduced stress levels
- Increased attention span
- Promotion of social and behavioural skills
- Development of observational and risk assessment skills
- Natural provision of Vitamin D
- Opportunity to develop creativity, imagination and independent thinking
We’ve put together a list of four outdoor games for kids that will be sure to get them hooked on spending time outside.
All you need for this game is a piece of chalk, a patch of concrete, a bouncy ball and at least four people. Using the chalk, draw a large square on the concrete floor. Draw lines to divide the large square into four smaller squares – numbering them from one to four.
To play the game, each player stands in one of the four squares. The player in the fourth square starts the game by bouncing the ball in their square and hitting it towards one of the other players. The receiving player then hits the ball to another player.
If a player misses another player’s square, or fails to hit the ball before it bounces a second time in their own square, they are ‘out’.
When a player is out, the other players move up to take their position and they move to the last square (Square 1) or to the end of the line if there are more than four people playing.
The aim of the game is to claim and hold on to the server’s position.
An easy game to set up, and an even easier game to play. Simply line up cereal boxes, cool drink bottles, cans and kids’ toys.
Using a small ball, challenge the kids to knock the ‘pins’ over. For every pin they knock over in each round, they are awarded a point.
The final winner is the player with the most points. The number of rounds to be played are completely up to you.
Divide players into two teams and assign one team to one section of the garden, and the second to another. Each team is given time to hide their flag in their part of the garden. The teams are then challenged to capture the other team’s flag.
If players are caught by an opponent on the opponent’s territory, they are sent to the opponent’s ‘prison’. Prisoners may only be freed by being tagged by members of their own team. The first team to capture the other team’s flag wins.
For a creative addition to this game, why not get the kids to design their own team flags. They’ll be able to use up some creative energy and feel extra invested in their teams’ efforts.
One person is assigned the role of the traffic light. The traffic light stands on one end of the garden with their back towards the other players. The other players stand in a line on the opposite end of the garden, facing the traffic light.
When the traffic light says, “Green light”, the group may run towards the traffic light. When the traffic light quickly turns around and says, “Red light”, everyone must freeze in their positions.
If anyone is spotted still moving, they must go back to the starting line. The first person to tag the traffic light wins and gets to be the traffic light in the next round.