Oh sweet summertime. It’s time for sunshine, lemonade, and (most importantly) no school.
While it may seem tempting to stay in the house with the air conditioning on high all summer binge watching Netflix, it’s still super important to get out and get active.
Here are 12 summer backyard games to get your kids off the couch.
Backyard Games For the Day Time
1. Rainbow Tag
Who says you can’t combine some good old fashioned exercise with arts and crafts? To play rainbow tag, you hide 5 tongue depressors each painted a different color in your yard. Surrounding each painted tongue depressor should be sticks with the same color of face paint. When a child finds the colored tongue depressor they paint that color line on their face with the face paint! But be careful—whoever is it gets to wipe a color off your face when you get tagged!
2. Kick the Can
Place a can in the middle of the yard and chose someone to guard it. Everyone else then goes and hides—when whoever is “it” yells for the game to start, the players hiding must find a way to kick the can before they get tagged!
3. Ultimate Frisbee
Ultimate frisbee is a great game that everyone in the neighborhood can play. Count off into 2 teams and establish goals on each side like you would an end zone. The goal is to pass the Frisbee to your teammates until you reach the other side! Just remember, if you catch the Frisbee you can only take 3 steps! The Frisbee switches possession when it’s dropped, swatted away by the opposing team, or someone on the opposing team catches the Frisbee!
4. Create A Backyard Obstacle Course!
This can be set up to any child’s skill level! Place hula-hoops in the backyard for kids to jump in, or cones they have to dodge! Use household objects as hurdles. You can make the course as hard or easy as you’d like!
5. Capture the Flag
This is the classic outdoor game. Divide up into 2 teams and hide your team flag somewhere in the yard. Then have everyone carry a bandana or handkerchief as a flag. The goal is to get the other teams flag back to your hiding spot! But be careful, if someone gets your flag you have to sit in their jail! Only way out is to have a teammate take your hand and lead you out!
6. Backyard Twister
Spray paint a twister board directly onto your lawn! Call out left foot yellow, right foot blue until you see your kids in knots. The winner is the last one to fall down. Plus you can play until it’s time to cut the grass!
7. Rabbit, Rat, Raccoon
Test your kids’ memory skills with this fun game! Assign a physical activity to each animal, so Rabbit could be jump all the way across the lawn. Rat could be crawl halfway down the yard and back, and raccoon could be sprint to the end of the lawn and back! Mix up what you call out to make the game a challenge.
8. Four Square
All you need for this game is chalk, a ball, and a driveway! Draw a large square and divide it into 4 small squares. One player occupies each square as they pass the ball around. The ball can only bounce in your square once—and if you don’t pass it to someone after it lands in your square you’re out! When the game is down to two people, each player occupies 2 squares. Same rules still apply!
Backyard Games For Night Time
9. Ghosts in the Graveyard
Best for nighttime play, everyone goes and hides in the yard. The person who is selected to be “it” (the ghost) then searches to find everyone. The goal is to reach the safe zone without being seen by the ghost!
10. Torch Tag
This is played just like traditional tag—but instead of physically tagging everyone, the tagger shines a flashlight on someone and yells his or her name! The last person to have their name called is the winner!
The person that is “it” goes and finds a hiding spot while everyone else closes their eyes and counts to twenty. Then it’s time for everyone to go and find the person that is “it.” However, once they find him or her, they must squeeze into the same hiding spot until only one person is left searching. First person to find the one that is “it” is “it” next!
This game requires 3 or 4 flashlights. Decide on 3 or 4 people to be fireflies and give them each flashlight. The fireflies then run and hide while everyone else closes their eyes and counts to 20. When the counting is over, the fireflies flash their flashlights on and off repeatedly. When people start to get close, the firefly can turn off his or her flashlights for 30 seconds in order to change locations. Once you tag a firefly, you get 30 seconds to take the flashlight and find a new spot to become the next firefly!
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