Outdoor Games

Most children love to play outdoors, but sometimes they need a helping hand with ideas to get them started. Enjoy our collection of tried and tested games below.

A Great Wind Blows

A Great Wind Blows

This is a noisy, running around game which works well as an ice-breaker. You'll need chairs for all of the kids, and space to play. You can play outdoors on a dry day, perhaps using a cushion or bean bag for each child to sit on.

Beach Games And Activities

Beach Games And Activities

Although all children seem to love being on the beach, sometimes you need to have some ideas for keeping them entertained above and beyond swimming and building sandcastles.

We have tried to provide some inspiration here!

Blind Man's Bluff

Blind Man's Bluff

This is a very old favourite, thought to date back to Tudor times at least! It was originally known as Blind Man's Buff. There is also a traditional Chinese version known as "Blind Man" or "Chicken".

Capture The Flag

Capture The Flag

Capture The Flag has always been a huge favourite with my kids, who learned it at a school summer camp and have played on every available occasion since. It is a great game for large, mixed age groups and long summer afternoons!

Cat Catching Mice

Cat Catching Mice

This traditional Chinese chase game can cause much screeching and excitement! Play outdoors - or indoors, if you have a large room. It is also known simply as "Cat and Mouse".

Catch The Dragon's Tail

Catch The Dragon's Tail

This traditional Chinese game is great fun for the playground. You will need a large group of children - at least 10, but the more the merrier! The kids can be any age.

Chase the Rabbit

Chase The Rabbit

This easy circle game for children needs no equipment and tires the kids out quickly! You can play it outdoors but only on a dry day and preferably on grass, to save the children's knees!

Chinese Ball

Chinese Ball

This traditional Chinese playground game develops children's ball skills and their concentration - it really keeps them on their toes! It is probably best for children aged 6 or older and can be played indoors or outdoors.

Finding Flowers

Finding Flowers

This is a simple, old-fashioned game for younger children similar to "Bow Bells". Of course you can substitute "flowers" for animals, colours or any other category for which the children will be able to think of a number of options. Play indoors or outdoors.

Forcing The City Gates

Forcing The City Gates

Forcing The City Gates is a traditional Chinese game for boys - and one which requires a fair amount of energy and some outside space to play! This game can get rough.

Freeze

Freeze

A well known playground game, Freeze is deservedly popular with children of all ages. Best played on a dry day or indoors (perhaps in a hall), or you will have some seriously muddy children to contend with!

French Cricket

French Cricket

French Cricket is a very popular game with older children and teenagers, but it is fun in a family gathering too. You need at least 6 players for a good game, and a fairly large space to play.

Hopping Chicken

Hopping Chicken

This traditional Chinese game can be played with two players or in two teams, indoors or out. It is similar to Hopscotch. It works well for children aged about 6 or over.

Hunter And Guard

Hunter And Guard

Also known as "Hunter and Watchman", this is a perfect game for whiling away a summer afternoon with a group of friends in the park!

Knocking The Stick

Knocking The Stick

This is a traditional Chinese game, played outdoors by boys of all ages and needing nothing more than a few sticks and some dirt or reasonably flat ground.

Marking A Trail With Pebbles

Marking A Trail With Pebbles

You  never know when you are going to need to leave a trail - and here's a fun way to learn how! Give each child a collection of small pebbles and see if they can make or follow their own trail using these simple signals.

Marking A Trail - Sticks

Marking A Trail With Sticks

It's always useful to know how to leave a trail with objects you might find outdoors, and here's a clever way to do it using sticks you have collected, just like in an Enid Blyton story!

Moon Cake

Moon Cake

This traditional Chinese playground game reinforces addition skills. It is good to play with a class of kids, divided into teams, and can be adapted to suit different ages. It can be very exciting! Best played with kids aged 5 and over.

Red Light Green Light

Red Light Green Light

Red Light Green Light is an outdoor game suitable for children of all ages. You will need quite a bit of space! If you play the game with younger kids, you can use it to reinforce the concept of "red is for stop" and "green is for go".

Red Rover

Red Rover

Red Rover was a common outdoor game for kids during my childhood, and it probably dates back a very long way before that!

Shuttlecock Games

Shuttlecock Games

The shuttlecock - a flying object made out of feathers, known to most of us through badminton, has been used traditionally in kicking games of skill in China.

Striking The Stick

Striking The Stick

This traditional Chinese outdoor game requires a certain amount of skill, practise and ingenuity, as well as some flat ground.

The Splash Game

The Splash Game

Not for the faint-hearted, this game is best played out of doors when clothes don't really matter! It works with mixed family age-groups if everyone who takes part is a good sport, and will cause much hilarity..

What's The Time Mr Wolf?

What's The Time Mr Wolf?

I've no idea why this game works, and I confess I never enjoyed it much as a child myself! But some children love it so I've included it here and you can make up your own minds! Play it indoors in a large space, or outside.

Where Do You Stand?

Where Do You Stand?

This fun ice breaker game requires lots of running around and sometimes some bumping into each other - so it's best played in a large hall or the playground!

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