Is your child getting enough sun? Outdoor games encourage children to play in the sun more. Sometimes, you want games that your child can play by themselves. Other times, you want backyard games for the whole family.
Sunshine is an essential part of a child’s life. Vitamin D from the sun helps to grow strong, healthy bones and promotes healthy habits. Before you play any games outside:
- Check the play area is free of obstacles
- Set boundaries for play
- Apply sunscreen
- Put on a sun hat
- Have plenty of water on hand to drink
1. Bubble Blast
Playing with bubbles is a fun game for babies, toddlers and preschoolers. Children like to reach up to grab the bubbles. They also want to run and catch them. Older kids can create their own bubbles. You can use a bubble machine or make your own with a wand.
2. Jumping Game
Toddlers love to jump. Create a start and finish line on the ground. Your toddler’s mission is to jump from one end to the other. An excellent choice for outdoor toddler games, it suits 2 to 4-year-olds. First over the line, wins!
Draw a traditional hopscotch grid with chalk on the ground. Number each square from 1 to 10. Call out a number and help your child count and jump to that square. This is a enjoyable pre-schoolers game. But toddlers can have fun too by jumping forward with both feet.
4. Sprinkler Time
Another favoured outdoor game for all ages involves dodging the sprinkler as it spins around. Moving in and out of water sprinklers is refreshing and fun. Even if your child is not yet walking, your baby can experience this backyard game while secure in your arms.
5. Pass the Ball
If you’re looking for an outdoor game for babies and toddlers, play pass the ball. Start by standing in front of your child. Pass a soft ball between you. As they become confident, take a small step back. The distance between you grows. Soon they’ll be making short throws.
6. Hide and Seek
A favourite backyard game for young children. Set up places to hide if needed, like a tent or box. Then close your eyes, count to 10 and seek them out. Watch out! They may be using their power of invisibility to hide against a tree.
7. Musical Statues
The suspense of musical statues turns it into a winning party game. When the music plays, children get to dance. When it stops, they freeze in place. Those who move are eliminated. When the music starts again, those still frozen dance. The game ends when one child remains.
If you’re looking for party games, add Limbo to your list. Two adults hold the limbo stick while music plays. Rally the kids to move under the stick without touching it. If they bump it, the child sits down. Once everyone has a turn, lower the stick and repeat until one child remains.
For safety, we recommend you use a pool noodle for the limbo stick.
9. Skittles Bowling
This game requires a set of skittles and a small ball. It makes a grand backyard game for one child, or a group of kids. Set up the skittles in a triangle shape. Your child throws the ball towards the skittles. Knock them down to win. Use a path if your lawn is too soft or too long.
10. Let’s Play Make-Believe
Take the magic of the fantastical outside. Fill a clothes basket with dress-up clothes and props. Let the kids direct their own pretend play. Children dig dressing up. You won’t be able to stop them from playing make-believe.
11. Musical Chairs
Each child starts off with a chair. As the music plays they dance around in a circle while an adult removes one or more chairs. When the music stops, the children run for the remaining chairs. If a child is still standing, they’re out. Keep playing until one chair and child remains.
12. Egg And Spoon Race
For this outdoor game, you’ll need hard boiled eggs and dessert spoons, and a start and finish line. Each child holds the spoon in one hand with the egg rests in the spoon’s bowl. The goal is to walk very fast from start to finish without dropping the egg.
13. Potato Sack Race
As outdoor games go, the potato sack race is a classic. Best played in a wide open space, allow at least 10 metres between the start and finish line. You will also need a hessian potato sack for each child. The aim is to jump inside the sack from start to the finish line.
14. Balloon Between the Legs Race
Each child gets a balloon to hold between their knees. They run or walk from start to finish keeping the balloon between their legs and without touching it. If the balloon escapes, they must run and get it, before continuing in the race.
15. Hula Hoop Obstacle Course
A hula hoop obstacle course works best with at least ten hula hoops. For older children, car tyres make a suitable replacement. Place the hula hoops on the ground within jumping distance. Have the children leap from one to the next.
16. Tag, You’re It
Where would backyard games be without a game of tag? One child starts as “it”. The aim of the game is for the tagged child to tag another child. Afterwards, they’re free to run away and it’s the new child’s turn to tag someone else.
17. Bob for Apples
Fill a large tub with water and add apples for every child. The aim of this party game is for a child to pick up an apple with their teeth while keeping their hands behind their back. If the apple falls while taking it out of the water, the child goes to the end of the line to try again.
18. Paper Aeroplanes
Pre-schoolers enjoy playing Paper Aeroplanes. It requires children to fold their own plane. Hand out colourful paper and show them how to create it. Then, line the children up. Each child launches their creation into the air. The one that flies the farthest, or does the most loops wins.
19. Water Games
On a hot day, this a favourite family activity. Outdoor games with water aim to cool players down. You can use hoses or buckets filled with water. Water pistols are also useful and fun at parties. Have a bunch of towels on hand to dry yourself and the kids off before going inside.
20. Grand Prix
If you’re looking for toddler games, add 4 Wheeler Grand Prix to the mix. Toddlers love to ride about on their four-wheeled ride-on-toys. Have them race each other either on a long straight course or spin their tyres in a circle around the yard.
Many of the outdoor games listed above will stay relevant for years to come. Your child will get better at them as they grow more confident and competitive. Your child’s active lifestyle develops their skills.
Book a tour and see where our children play outdoor games
Outdoor games create new experiences for your child. They also help children to develop gross motor skills and other abilities.
At Petit, we are always out and about in the sunshine. If you’re looking for an early education centre, book a tour. Come and see how our kids relish the feel of the sun and the great outdoors.