Children need to be outside enjoying the fresh air and learning new things by exploring.

However, most children these days prefer to sit in front of a screen all day.

This is definitely not healthy so you need to introduce them to fun backyard games that will inspire them to go outside and explore.

In today’s post, I’ve gathered 10 backyard games for kids that will make them spend more time outdoors as opposed to staying indoors all day.

Read on!

backyard games for kids

Fun Backyard Games For Kids

1.Simon Says

Did you know that Simon Says is a fun and educational game?

A recent study has found that kids who regularly play games like Simon Says have higher language and literacy scores.

In addition to that, they also excel at regulating their emotions and focusing on a single task.

Here’s How To Play Simon Says

A player takes the role of Simon and issues instructions. These instructions are usually simple physical actions such as jump.

Any command which begins with “Simon says” must be obeyed but when a command does not begin with “Simon says”, the players must not obey it.

So it goes without saying that anyone who does not obey a “Simon says ” instruction or obeys an instruction without “Simon says” is eliminated from the game.

2. Duck Duck Goose

This is a classic game that has been played for years all over the world.

How Is It Played?

You start off by designating one of the kids as “it” while the other kids sit around in a circle.

The standing child must walk around the circle, tapping each kid on the head saying “duck”.

This repeats until the “it” taps a child and says “goose”. The called out child must then chase the “it” around the circle and tag them before he reaches the “goose’s” seat.

If the “It” child runs around the circle and manages to sit in the goose’s spot before being tagged, the goose becomes the new “IT”.

Duck Duck Goose Animated
An Animated illustration of a game of duck duck goose

3. Nature Scavenger hunt

You really don’t have to go far to find natural wonders because you already have plenty in your backyard.

A nature scavenger hunt is the best way to get the kids outside and exploring. It’s also the best way to get them interested in their environment.

How Do You Play?

Give your child a list of items to find in your yard, and a bag to hold them.

Then let them go about filling the list.

To make things more interesting, you can also make this into a competition between siblings to see who can fill the list first.

There are so many things you can add to your list including:

  • Flowers
  • Plants
  • Things that smell good
  • Flowers of a particular color
  • An oddly shaped leaf or flower
  • Sticks

Alternatively, you can ask your child to bring things they find interesting for extra points.

This makes for a great opportunity for them to explore the world on their own.

4. Hide and Seek

The goal of hide and seek is to be the last person to get found by the “IT”

Here’s How You Play.

It’s very simple;

  • One of the players becomes the IT
  • The IT counts to 10(slowly) with their eyes closed while the rest of the players hide
  • Once the “IT” is done counting they yell-“Ready or not, here I come”.
  • The IT then searches for the other players and the game ends when all players are found.
  • The first player to get found becomes the new IT

5. Kick the can

This game combines parts of tag and Hide & Seek.

Here’s How You Play.

  • One child is randomly chosen to become the  “IT”. He counts to 10 while the other kids hide.
  • Once the “it” is done counting they begin searching for the others.
  • Here’s the twist:  When the “IT” finds someone, the player has to try and run back to the can and kick it before the “it” can tag them
  • If they are tagged, they become the new “it” and the game begins all over again
  • If the player manages to kick the can before IT can tag them. Then the IT has to go, fetch the can and get set it back up. Meanwhile, the caught player has a chance to hide again

6. Freeze Tag

Freeze tag is a nice variation from the traditional tag games you are used to. So how does it work?

Just like in regular tag, you begin by picking a player to be “IT”. The “IT” then has to chase the others and tag(by touching) them.

The tagged player is then frozen and cannot move until another player un-freezes them. The game ends when “IT” manages to freeze all players

The first thing you notice about freeze tag it is the duration. It is a much longer and strategic game. While in the regular tag the fastest player generally has the advantage, in freeze tag, you have to mix in a good bit of strategy too.

A common tactic we use is to lure the “IT” away from the frozen players while a friend unfreezes them.

7. Egg and Spoon Race

backyard games for kids

This is a very simple game and all you need to play is a spoon and an egg.

8. Kickball

Ever seen the extremely popular 90’s show recess, the show often has the players playing the game of kickball.

In fact, every kid born in the 90’s has wanted to play the game after watching it on the show. Kickball is a combination of soccer and baseball and is very commonly played in gyms.

It’s also a great game to play in your backyard because all you need is some space and a ball large enough to kick. You can check out the rules of the game here.

9. Soccer

Even young kids can start playing soccer because it’s very simple.

If you’re just playing for fun, you don’t need to learn all the rules that come with it.

Your aim can simply be to get the ball in the goal.

Or the kids can just kick the ball and run after it.

10. Keep Away

In this game, the players must prevent the player in the middle from touching the ball.

Here’s How You Play.

One of the players is selected as the “IT” while all the other players stand in a circle around him.

One of the players standing in the circle is randomly chosen to start the game and is given the ball.

The “IT” must try to either touch the ball or tag a person while they are holding the ball.

No player is allowed to move while they are holding the ball.  This way the only way to avoid getting tagged by the IT is to throw the ball to one of the other players.

You also have to make sure that the “IT” does not manage to touch the ball while it’s in the air.

If the “IT” manages to tag a player holding the ball or touches the ball in air then the player holding the ball or the one throws the ball becomes the new “IT”.

The “IT” also joins the other players to start the game

backyard games for kids

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