Remember those halcyon days when outside games for kids like tag and hide-and-seek would keep the wee ones entertained for hours after dinner? Yes, that’s when times were good. When you could do the dishes without listening to a cacophony of tween voices mixed with buzzing smart phones. When you had a blessed few minutes to relax in relative peace and quiet.
All that’s gone away now. Your kids are in middle school, and playing outside is simply not done. Now, first-person shooters and fantasy role playing games are played on Playstations and xBoxes, not in the yard. But for their health – and yours – those habits need to change.
So the next time your kid tells you that going outside is for babies, hit him with this:
“OK, tough guy. Want to play army? Round up some of your rowdiest friends and give some of these outside games for kids a shot.”
Kill the Cockroach
Divide players into two teams and line them up in two lines, one in front of the other. Place an object in front of the first players in line. They have to kick the object across the yard to the finish line to win a point for their team.
To make it fun and challenging, some of the objects you select should be things that are difficult, if not impossible, to kick. Along with an aluminum can and a stuffed animal, use a sock, a feather or a piece of tissue paper.
Drag the Body
Divide the group into two teams and give each team a blanket. One player from each team should lie down on the blanket. The teams must drag the player on the blanket from one end of the yard to the other. The first to cross the finish line wins.
Outside games for kids are great if they can teach skills like teamwork and communication. This one fits the bill.
In a large area, set up a series of obstacles – chairs, tables, toys, balls. Pair the group off and blind fold one team member. The person wearing the blind fold must make his way through the “mine field” by listening to his partner. If the blind player hits something, he or she must start again. Swap roles after everyone goes through.
Dodge the Bullet
Have the group stand in a circle. One person throws a soft, underhand pass to another player. If the person catches it, he throws it to another player. But, if the player drops it, he goes down on one knee. If he drops it again, he goes down on two knees. If he drops it a third time, he goes down on one elbow. After the fourth drop, it’s both elbows and finally the chin. If he drops it a sixth time, he’s out.
To get your kid off the couch, appeal to his – or her – inner warrior with these action-oriented outside games for kids. It’s got a fighting chance of removing the xBox controller from his paws for at least a few hours.