If you have more than one child, you can get your child to kick the soccer ball back and forth to each other. If they are playing in the backyard, you don’t have to worry about them kicking the ball into the street and chasing after it. Of course, they might accidentally kick it over the fence. If your child enjoys soccer, you can buy a small soccer goal and some cones for your child to practice and do drills in the backyard.
Side Walk Chalk
Grab a bucket of side walk chalk and let your kids use their imagination to draw pictures on the side walk. If you have enough space on your back patio, it is a perfect place for them to let their imagination run wild and enjoy the fresh air.
This is a classic game outdoor game. The goal of the game is to chase your friends around the yard and tag each one. Once you tag your friend, they have to remain in the pose that they were tagged in. After everyone has been tagged, the last person who was tagged is now the person who is “it”. This game can keep them busy for hours or until everyone is exhausted.
Capture the Flag
This is another classic outdoor game and it is a favorite game that the youth at church play on a regular basis. Find two flags (it doesn’t have to be anything fancy). The goal of the game is to find the other team’s flag and to return it back to your zone safely. If you are tagged while trying to steal the flag, you have to go to a designated area (often called jail) until someone from your team frees you. The youth group loves to hide the flag but you can also play it where the flag is visible. Once the other teams flag is capture and brought back safely to your zone, the game is over and a winner is declared. Your kids can play until they are exhausted or ready to play another game.
Kick the Can
This is a popular game during the 60’s and has as each generation passes it is slowly fading away. Help keep this classic game alive and teach your children how to play kick the can. Grab a can from the recycling bin or trash can. Place the can on a safe spot. The person who is “it” has to close their eyes and count to 100 while the other’s go and hide. Once the counter has gotten to 100, they have to run and find the others. The goal of the game is to tag the others before they get a chance to sneak out of their hiding spot and run to kick the can. The first person who kicks over the can without being tagged is declared the winner.
I remember playing this game as a child and it was always so much fun. It does require at least 10 or more children to play this game. Divide the players up into two groups and then line up about 30 feet apart (an good distance so that they the called person has room to run). Then have the players hold hands. Pick a person on your team to say: Red rover, red rover, let [name of player on opposite team] come over. The person that was called has to run over and try to break the hands of two players on the opposite team. If the runner fails to break the chain, then he or she has to join that team but if they broke the chain the runner gets to chose one person to join his/her team. Play this game until there is only one player left on either team, then the last one standing has to run and try to break the chain on the other team. If they break the chain, they are declared the winner. If not, the other team wins.
Hide and Seek
This game needs a bit of space so unless you have a backyard full of hiding spaces this game wouldn’t be as fun. If you take your kids to the park, then you can let them play hide and seek with other kids who are at the park. Parents can help you define the rules and where you are allowed to play hide and seek at. The person who is “it” has to close their eyes and count to 100. Once the time is up, they have to find their friends. The goal of the game is to reach base without being tagged by the person who is looking for you.
Duck Duck Goose
This is a great game for toddlers or younger children to play. Have the children sit in a circle and designate one of the kids as the “fox”. Then have them go around and gently tap each on the head while saying duck. Once the child picks out the “goose”, they will say “goose” and take off running around the circle. The one who was chosen as “goose” has to stand up and try to tag the fox before the fox sits down in the “goose’s” spot. If the fox is tagged, he has to go again and tag a new goose. If the “fox”, made it safely and sat down in the goose’s spot without being tagged then they are the new “fox”. What is your favorite game to play in the backyard?