45 Classic Outdoor Games To Keep Your Girls Busy

45 Classic Outdoor Games To Keep Your Girls Busy

Are your girls (and boys) suffering from end of summer or Saturday boredom? Get them outside to soak in some vitamin D, get some fresh air and burn some energy. Here are 45 classic outdoor games to get them moving. Whether you have a large group to entertain or trying to get one away from a screen and outside, we have a list of the best outdoor games for both and everything in between. 



Large Group

  1. Tag: The most popular and most classic outdoor game has got to be tag! I am sure we all remember how to play this one. But just in case. Someone is designated to be “it”. The person who is “it” chases and tries to tag another player and they then become “it”. Then they chase and try to tag the next person. 


  1. Hide and Seek: Also a super classic. Same idea as tag, except the person who is “it” closes their eyes and counts to a designated number while the other players find places to hide. The finder yells “ready or not, here I come” and they begin to try and find the other player’s hiding spots. 


  1. Capture the Flag: In this fun outdoor game, the group divides into two teams. Each team creates a “home base” with a flag. The goal is to infiltrate the other team’s territory and grab their flag. Then they have to safely get it back to their own base without getting tagged. If they are tagged by an opponent then they have to go to a designated spot or “jail” where they wait until they are successfully rescued by a teammate. 


  1. Kick the Can: This great game is a fun version of tag and hide and seek. Someone is designated as “it” while everyone else hides. Like in hide and seek the “it” counts to a decided number to give everyone time to hide. The “it” will search out hidden players and once someone is spotted they call out their name. Then the two players race to the can. If the person who is “it” kicks the can first then the other person goes to “jail” or a designated area. Other players can try to rescue jailed teammates by beating the person who is “it” to the can and kicking it over first. 




  1. Red Rover: Do you remember yelling “Red Rover, Red Rover, Send Jenny right over!” If not, then to play this one you divide the group into two teams. Each team holds hands forming a human chain. One team decides who they want to send over to attempt to break through their hands by shouting “Red Rover, Red Rover, Send {selected opponent} right over!” That person then charges toward the line and tries to run through a pair of linked hands, breaking through and causing them to let go of hands. If they do, they get to choose one person from the other team to take back to their side. If they don’t make it through, then they stay with the opposing team. 


  1. Freeze Tag: Making tag a little more interesting. In this game when the person who is “it” tags another player they have to freeze. They can be unfrozen by being tagged by another player. The game goes on until everyone is frozen or a set time limit is reached. 


  1. Duck, Duck, Goose: Sit everyone down in a circle facing in. The person who is “it” walks around the outside of the circle tapping each head and saying “duck” until they select someone to race. Once they call “goose” after tapping someone they race around the circle to the empty spot. If the person who was “it” beats the “goose” back to their spot, then they become the new “it”. 


  1. Four Square: This game is played with a rubber ball and a marked square divided into four smaller squares. Four players, each standing in one of the squares, take turns hitting the ball into one another's squares using only their hands. The ball must bounce once in a player's square before they hit it to another square. The objective is to prevent the ball from bouncing more than once in your own square and avoid hitting it out of bounds. If a player fails to hit the ball into another square or hits it out, they are out of the game, and the next player rotates into the lowest-ranked square. The goal is to reach the top square ("King") and maintain the position as long as possible. 


  1. Tug of War: This super competitive game requires a long, strong rope. In the exact middle of the rope tie a scarf or ribbon. The group is divided into two teams and each team grabs an end of the rope. The goal is to pull the rope until the scarf or ribbon crosses a designated mark on the ground, successfully pulling the other team across. 


  1. Relay Race: A field day classic!  Line up your teams and give each a baton or some other item to carry. Teammates take turns racing to a designated spot or challenge to complete and then racing back, passing their baton to the next person. The team to pass to all of their players first wins. 


  1. Sack Race: Another field day classic. You can grab a set of the good old fashion burlap race bags on Amazon. Line your racers up while they are inside their sack. They have to hop in their bag to the finish line and the first one who does wins. This is also a great one for your list of outdoor party games. 


  1. Three-Legged Race: Pair up your racers and tie one of their legs together so that the pair now has three legs. They have to race to a finish line working together to move quickly without tripping. 


  1. Balloon Race: A race where participants blow up a balloon and then race to a finish line while trying to keep the balloon in the air without it hitting the ground. 



  1. Capture the Dragon’s Tail: A variation of Capture the Flag, but instead each player has a piece of fabric tucked into the back of their pants, like a tail. Players try to steal their opponents tails without having their own tail captured. The team with the most captured tails wins. 


  1. Blind Man’s Bluff: This is essentially Marco Polo out of the water. Pick a player to be the “blind man” and blindfold them. They stand in the middle of an open area and call out “Blind Man’s Bluff” to start the game. Then they try to tag one of the other players by listening for noises. If someone is tagged then they become the new “blind man” (or girl). 


  1. Bocce Ball: Check out this Bocce Ball set for an addition to your yard activities. Players take turns tossing or rolling their ball as close as possible to the smaller target ball. The player or team whose balls are closest to the target ball earns a point. The team with the most points at the end of the predetermined number of rounds, wins. 


  1. Kickball: One of the most favorite outdoor games for a group of kids has to be kickball. Baseball rules apply but this game is played with a soft, large ball that you kick instead of bat. 


  1. Steal the Bacon: Divide the group into two teams and line them up facing each other. Place an object, like a ball or stuffed animal in the middle, equal distance between the two lines. This is the “bacon”. The players on each team count off assigning each member a number. The game leader or designated person shouts out a random number and the players on each team who are that number dash to grab the “bacon” and race back to their side. If they make it back without dropping the “bacon” or getting tagged then their team wins a point. If they drop it or get tagged the other team gets a point. 


  1. Wiffle Ball: Baseball rules apply here as well. But instead of traditional bat and baseball you use a lighter plastic bat and larger plastic ball with holes. This makes the ball unpredictable when hit and tons of fun. Everyone is sure to have a great time. Give this one a try at your next family reunion. 


  1. Tag Rugby: Tag rugby combines rugby and tag games. Played with a rugby ball, participants wear belts with tags attached, and the goal is to score points by crossing the opponent's try line while holding onto the ball. However, instead of tackling, defenders must remove a tag from the ball carrier to stop their progress. When a tag is taken, the ball carrier must pass the ball or stop and place it on the ground for a teammate to pick up.


  1. Statues (musical statues): Players dance or move around to music. When the music stops everyone freezes like statues. If anyone is caught moving before the music restarts they are out. The last player standing wins. This game is great fun for younger children. 


  1. Ghost in the Graveyard: Sort of like hide and seek but super fun to play in the dark outside. One person is the designated “ghost”. All the other players find a hiding place while the “ghost” counts to a decided number. When done counting they search for the hiding players. When one is spotted the “ghost” shouts “Ghost in the Graveyard!”. The found player becomes the ghost's helper, but stays hidden. The game goes on until everyone is found. 




 2 Players


  1. Frisbee: This is a great activity to develop hand eye coordination for younger kiddos. But also for older kids too! Encourage older kids to learn some trick throws. 


  1. Cornhole: Kids gravitate to cornhole sets. Have you ever been to a restaurant that had cornhole sets out to keep customers entertained while they wait and noticed just how many kids are gathered around them? 


  1. Horseshoes: An outside game great for the entire family is horseshoes. For this game you need two stakes placed in the ground about 40 feet from each other. Or closer for younger kids. The object of the game is to stand at one stake and toss a horseshoe towards the other, getting it to “ring” the stake or land as close as possible. After all players toss their horseshoes then points are tallied. A “ringer” earns 3 points and horseshoes that land within six inches of the stake earn 1 point. The team who reaches 21 points first wins. 


  1. Lawn Bowling: Just like bowling in a bowling ally you can grab this set of backyard bowling pins from Amazon and skip the weird shoes. 


  1. Badminton: Add a badminton set to your backyard games. This is a fun game for kids of all ages.  


  1. Croquet: Add a little elegance to your backyard with a croquet set. The object of this game is to use a mallet to hit a ball successfully through a set of wickets, avoiding other players' balls and hit the finishing stake at the end of the obstacle. 


  1. Outdoor Jenga: As much fun as the smaller set, this one is giant and perfect to encourage outdoor play.  



Single Play


  1. Hula Hoop: Keep a few hula hoops in your garage for easy boredom cures, even if there is no one to play with. The goal with this is to keep the hoop spinning around her waist without falling to the ground. She can also try to keep it spinning around her neck or arm. Up the ante by getting multiple hoops going at the same time. 


  1. Hopscotch: Remember this one? Draw a hopscotch grid on the ground with sidewalk chalk. Then toss an object into the squares. Try to hop through the grid without losing balance and skipping the square with the object as well as retrieving it on the return hop through the grid. 

  2. Sidewalk Chalk Art Gallery: Don’t just encourage her to draw on the sidewalk with chalk, have her create an entire gallery! Once she is done with her collection she can invite family members to take a tour. 


  1. Lawn Darts: Check out this inexpensive set of lawn darts. Kids can test their aim. This one also glows in the dark, so strike up a nighttime game for extra fun. A perfect activity for backyard camping. 


  1. Jump Rope: Another easy boredom fighter. Keep a couple of these on hand and encourage them to learn different tricks. 


  1. Kite Flying: There are several really cool options to choose from. Flying a kite can be a little tricky, so this is a good way to stay busy and use those problem solving skills. 


  1. Obstacle Course: Design a course together or let your kid design their own. Let them channel their inner Ninja Warrior and see how fast they can complete it or how difficult they can make it. The great thing about this activity is you can change it up as many times as you want, so it can always be a new challenge.  


  1. Nature Scavenger Hunt: Encourage your kids to find nature in their own backyard. No matter your home setting, nature is all around us outside. Whether you are in an urban setting or have a huge backyard. Check out this premade set or make your own!




Water Games 


  1. Marco Polo: This classic game is played in a pool. One person is Marco and everyone else is Polo. Marco closes his eyes and shouts “Marco!” The other players respond “Polo!” Marco then tries to find the polo players and tag someone by using the sound of their voice (and splashing water). If someone is tagged then they are the new Marco. 


  1. Water Balloon Fight: Water balloon fights are exactly what it sounds like. Use water balloons as weapons throwing them at opponents soaking them with water. This is a great way to cool off on a hot summer day and burn some boredom energy in the summer. 


  1. Water Balloon Toss: Another great summer activity and way to cool off. Fill balloons up with water. Divide the group into partners. Each partner team gets a water balloon. Line the partners up facing each other, not too far apart. One partner tosses the water balloon to the other teammate who should catch it without letting it pop. If they do then they take one step back, increasing the distance between them. If the balloon pops, then that team is out. The team continue to take steps back creating larger gaps between their partners and making catching the balloon even more challenging. The last team to stay dry wins. 


  1. Sponge Relay: Set up two buckets filled with water at a distance from teh starting line. Divide the group into two teams. Each team must use a sponge to soak up water from one bucket and run it back to an empty bucket and squeeze the water out. The first team to move all of the water from one bucket to another wins. 


  1. Water gun fight: Arm each player with a water gun and have an all out, fun-filled water gun brawl. 


  1. Slip ‘n Slide: One of the most fun ways to cool off in the summer is to go careening down a slip ‘n slide! A summer must have for sure. 


  1. Water Limbo: Set up a water hose or sprinkler to create a water limbo area. Play music and have players take turns trying to limbo under the stream of water without getting wet. The one who can limbo the lowest and stay dry, wins!



Do you recognize most of these games? I certainly remember playing them in the neighborhood from sun up until my mom yelled from the front porch to come inside. With so many digital and virtual ways to be entertained now, it seems like hearing kids scream “NOT IT”, is a thing of the past. 


I encourage you to encourage your kiddos to put down the controllers and phones and go knock on a neighbor’s door asking if their kids can come outside to play. 


Is there a classic game that your neighborhood crew played that we left off? Let us know about it. 

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