Fun Games For Kids

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A few weeks ago, I sat on the porch with my neighbors. We discussed the one thing that was very noticeable in the neighborhood: there were no kids out playing on this beautiful summer day.  We surmised that they were probably inside playing video games or texting other neighborhood kids from their cell phones.

What kinds of games can your kids play outside that don’t involve technology and batteries? There are plenty.

100_1131Marco Polo

This is a fun pool game. One player is Marco and either closes his eyes, or has a blindfold placed over his eyes.  Marco yells “Marco” and the other participants yell “Polo”.  Marco has to find where the other players are located using the sound of their voices as his guide.

You may want to make some rules before playing this game: no fair swimming under water or getting out of the pool during the game.

Relay Races

This is fun game to play in the pool.  All the participants line up on one side of the pool.  When the referee yells “ready, set, go”, all the participants swim to the other side of the pool.  The one who makes it there first wins.

Some variations on this game: lengthen the course by asking participants to swim to the other side and back; have participants swim either above or under the water; have a race to see who can swim the slowest without touching the bottom of the pool.

Whirlpool

My children love this game, and I love it too because it’s a great way to push all the “dirt” in the pool to the center for easy clean up!

To play whirlpool, everyone in the pool swims or walks around the pool in the same direction.  This creates a strong current going in one direction.  After the water current becomes strong, participants try to break up the current by swimming in the opposite direction.

It doesn’t sound like much fun in writing, but in reality, the game is a lot of fun. 

No, you don’t have to have a pool to have a fun summer.  There are many fun games that can be played outside on land as well.

flashlightFlashlight Tag

When I was a kid, we played flashlight tag every night.  Flashlight tag is just like regular tag, but in order to “tag” someone, you flash your flashlight on them and call their name.  If they can get to the base without being tagged, they are safe.  If someone gets tagged, then they are “it” for the next game. 

Of course, there are several variations of the game including freeze tag and TV tag.  Freeze tag is played during the day, but when you get tagged, you must freeze where you are.  Players who aren’t frozen can come by and free you by tagging you.  If you are tagged by an unfrozen player, you are free and can join in the game.  The game continues until all players are frozen.  Whoever is frozen first is “it” for the next game. 

In TV tag, you can save yourself from being tagged by crouching down and yelling the name of a TV show.  In other words, if “it” is about to tag you, you crouch down and yell the name of a show.  If a name has been mentioned already, it can’t be used again during the same game.  It sounds simple, but it’s hard to think of a new show and sometimes, you freeze up and can’t think of the name of a show as you are being tagged.  If that happens, you become “it”.

Kick The Can

This was our favorite game and it could be played during the day, or at night. To play the game, you will need an empty can.  Set the can somewhere in a clear spot of the yard or place where you are playing.  Players hide, except the player who is “it”.  The person who is “it” has to find the hiding places of the other players.  If a player is found, he or she has to sit on the sidelines.  At any time during the game, someone can rescue the group by running over and kicking the can before “it” does.  Then, everyone who was found gets to hide again and the game starts all over again.

traffice-lightRed Light, Green Light

In this game, the person who is “it” stands a distance away from the players of the game, who line up in a parallel line at the starting point.

The person who is “it” yells green light and turns his or her back to the other players.  When “it” yells red light, he quickly turns around.  When the other players hear the words red light, they have to stop or freeze.  If  they are still moving when “it” turns around, they must go back to the starting line.  The object of the game is to be the first person to get close enough to “it” to tag him.  The person who tags “it” becomes “it” and the game is started all over again.

What was your favorite outdoor game during your childhood?

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