The best outdoor games for children (… ..and for adults!)

With the arrival of summer, the opportunities to engage in fun, engaging and socializing outdoor activities and games , both for adults and children of all ages, grow . Children, in particular, love to be out in the garden or park, and for them spending time outdoors is a real psycho-physical necessity . So let’s see how to choose the right outdoor game.

Outdoor games not only allow you to give vent to liveliness and the desire for fun, but also allow you to overcome the constraints associated with enclosed space and to live in direct contact with the surrounding environment.

Furthermore, enjoying the outdoor spaces (courtyards, small gardens, spaces dedicated to games and outdoor parties) is an increasingly widespread passion even among adults and with a little organizational spirit and imagination can turn into the healthiest of leisure habits .

Outdoor games for children

While it is true that outdoor games are an opportunity for recreation and socialization for children of all ages, it is also true that some organization  is necessary to avoid problems or complications. Since you are outside, you must first carefully choose the place and carefully evaluate the potential risks.

This will allow no one to ‘spoil the party’ and avoid chaos. Worse still, accidents could happen and someone could get hurt.

FOCUS : Why outdoor games are good for children

No less important is the choice of snack and drinks to take with you. Children, in fact, have specific needs and it is necessary to prepare properly. Choose healthy snacks, preferably prepared at home, and always bring a good supply of water , which is essential in the summer months.

One last tip: to make the experience even more stimulating and rewarding, think of small prizes or gifts to distribute to all participants or colored ladybugs to pin on the dresses at the end of the day. The little ones will be thrilled!

Obviously, the proposed games must be adapted to the age of the participants. For small children they must be simple, immediate and easy to perform. Here are some suggestions for organizing  outdoor games for children aged 2 to 10.

The race of the shot glasses

Here is a game that children between 2-4 years really like. Once you have established a starting line and a finish line, have the children line up along the starting line and give each one a colored glass with water in it . Once started, the small competitors will have to reach the finish line as quickly as possible trying not to spill the water.

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A variant for the older ones is to increase the difficulty of the game in each round. You can start by walking briskly and gradually increase your speed . Continue with one or both arms raised, on one foot only, hopping and so on …

Treasure hunt

Another classic. It is one of the most traditional and popular outdoor games, perfect for children of all ages . For most you can organize a quick and simplified version with one of commonly used objects taken in pairs. For example: two colored paper napkins, two teaspoons, two stickers, two crayons and so on.

An object of each couple is hidden in a fairly limited area and the children are asked to sit on the ground in a circle . All objects are shown to be the same as those hidden and the children are invited to look for them in the surroundings. Whoever manages to find more, wins! Of course, offer a small reward for their efforts to all participants.

The potato race

It is a fun game particularly suitable for children between 6 and 8 years of age . Two teams are formed and everyone is given a small raw potato and a spoon capable of containing it. A bit like the race with colored glasses, a starting line and a finish line are defined . At the start, each group will run with the spoons in full view trying not to drop the potato on the ground.

If this happens, the competitor will have to start the course all over again. To make the game even more exciting, you can set up small obstacles on the way (bags, balls or pins) and define a maximum travel time (2 minutes per run). The team that manages to get the most potatoes to their destination in the shortest possible time wins.

What animal is it?

A very fun game for older children (8-10 years) that combines many skills:  knowledge of the animal kingdom, attention, speed and competition . Also in this case you will have to form two teams and assign pen and paper to each one. Attention: due to the way the game is structured, you will need a very large open space .

Invite all participants to formulate riddles, clues, and choose animals to guess . It will be necessary to start with very generic descriptions and traces and gradually become more precise. Once all the quizzes have been defined, the groups will be arranged in two parallel rows, facing each other. In the middle, draw a line with a rope resting on the ground. At a distance of 4-5 meters behind each team you define the ‘den’.

In turn, a spokesperson for each group will propose the riddle to the other team who will try to understand what animal it is in a predefined and timed time (eg 1 minute per clue). We proceed in this way until the riddle is solved with the correct answer . At that point, the guessing competitor must run to their lair while the opponents try to catch it. For each opponent caught, the other team will earn one point.

Outdoor games for adults

Since every adult hides a child with the same desire to laugh, run and have fun, here is a small selection of outdoor games perfect for older children!

The broom

Game of agility and concentration. It is an old rope game, simple and very fun. You need a rope of at least three meters, or longer, depending on the number of participants. The rope must be weighted at one end, with knots or with a sandbag tied. The players arrange themselves in a circle, while whoever leads the game (broom) will remain in the center with the other end of the rope in hand.
At the start, the broom begins to spin around by spinning the rope and the other players will have to jump every time it passes under them.  The height and speed of the rope can be changed at the discretion of the player. The player who is hit by the rope is eliminated from the game. The last competitor left in the race wins.

Splitter

It is a game of skill and speed… and strategy! The rules are simple, the execution easy but anxiety is always lurking. All you need is a can for each participating team , a rope to mark off the areas and lots of sponge balls .

The players are divided into teams and for each group a base formed by a can is created . A circle is drawn and the can is placed in the middle. Each team starts playing with the same number of balls provided, one for each player. Competitors will have to knock down the cans of the opposing teams with the balls to eliminate them.

You are also eliminated from the game if you commit a foul on an opponent, if you are holding 2 balls at the same time and if you use other parts of the body, throw the balls. It is allowed to block opponents’ throws with the body even if the ball is already in hand. The last team remaining on the field wins.

Colosseum

It is a traditional ball game of balance and resistance . Suitable for both adults and children but not recommended for back pain sufferers! What is needed are balls and an even number of players arranged in a circle with their legs apart. The feet of each player must be in contact with those of the neighbor.

You stand still in the stance trying to hit with the ball bagher style The object of the game is to get the ball under the opponent’s legs while standing still. Whoever fails to do so must turn around and play the other way around. Anyone who sees the ball pass under the legs is eliminated from the game. Gradually the circle will tighten and the last two remaining players will be elected winners.

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