Coming up with the top 10 outdoor games for kids is harder than finding ways to waste time indoors. The latter could be a list chosen from about 7.3 gazillion games designed to keep youngsters’ nostril prints on a smartphone screen.

Our list of outdoor games required a bit more thought. We wanted games and activities that are not only fun but actually healthy for mind and body. I’m certain that playing Fortnite 16 straight hours does not lower blood pressure, but I am sure racing through the forest in a state park has proven health benefits.

So let us look at the top 10 outdoor games for kids. This should help you run some energy off your kids for some bonus parental benefits we’ll mention at the end.

 

  1. Keep it simple. What game requires nothing but kids and their immediate environment? Hide and seek has stood the test of time because it is fun, surprise-filled, uses imagination, and it costs parents nothing. You can’t lose the game pieces either… unless one kid is a virtual chameleon!

 

  1. Golf. Don’t freak out. You probably don’t want to break the bank to give your children something fun to do this summer. Golf doesn’t have to be expensive to play. You can pick up a set of clubs at a local thrift store for around $50. This game is great for focus, relaxation, and it gives mom and dad time to talk with their kids on the course. No need to rush like in other sports.

 

  1. Cornhole won’t burn a ton of calories but it is one of the funniest activities around. It is simple and anyone can play. Like golf, this game will show kids how to focus. It will also teach them the importance of practice. No little brother wants to get beaten repeatedly by their older sister. So, little Johnny will practice until his technique is perfect to show he can hang with his siblings. He may even school dad at some point!

 

  1. Dodgeball is one of my favorite memories from my middle school P.E. class. The worn out bleachers with balls ricocheting off for an epic win. Our teacher with ridiculous red-ringed socks up to his knees. The smell of fear from the kids who would go on to become Google engineers! Pick a yard and buy an $8 ball and your kids are in business. Safety first of course. You don’t want to use basketballs for the “dodgeball” like our insane high school gym teacher did.

 

  1. HORSE. How did this variation of basketball not become a major sport? I could have gotten a scholarship playing for my local college if the NCAA had been interested in behind the backboard shots. Your kids may love regular basketball games, but HORSE is a different animal. It’s amazing how creative youngsters can be when finding shots that none of their friends can duplicate. Maybe the NBA should replace the now-boring dunk contest with a game of HORSE?

 

  1. Chicken. OK, you need a pool or a lake to play this outdoor game for kids. But most communities have a public pool, a local beach area at a state park, or a neighborhood pool. So the game is simple. Usually, the adults serve as the person holding the chicken fighters on their shoulders. The kids on the shoulders attempt to knock each other off balance. The winner is the kid left above the water after a friendly tussle.

 

  1. Geocaching can keep kids busy at camp, on vacation, or around their own neighborhood. Seeking out hidden items from their tribe of friends is an engaging activity that makes them use physical and mental abilities. Of course, they can use electronic devices to find hidden trinkets, but real maps come into play as well. Reading a map is a solid skill any parent can appreciate if you have ever gotten totally lost using your “super intelligent” GPS app.

 

  1. Badminton is still a great memory for adults who remember playing with their mom and dad on the back lawn. This casual sport is as fun as tennis but doesn’t require a $20,000 court. You can play right on your own property and set it up in minutes. If a kid gets bored with this game then he needs to run a couple miles before playing. He likely has an overload of energy in need of burn off!

 

  1. Wiffle Ball has been a kid favorite since 1953 when a dad invented the weird ball to help his kid throw a curveball. True story! This “baseball-light” game is easy to start and can be played in a small area. No broken house windows or dents to a car are possible either. Apologies to the hood of my mom’s 1984 Monte Carlo – we only had real baseballs on hand that Sunday.

 

  1. We thought about Tug of War making the list, but kids tire of it after one single contest. Horseshoes was in contention until we realized grandparents beat the daylights and enthusiasm out of every player under the age of 72. So, we will slot Glow Battle at the top spot for the top 10 outdoor games for kids. Glow Battle is similar to many of the games above in terms of simplicity and fun. It’s not hard to figure out you better dodge hits from the enemy team. And you need to practice striking with your Weapon of Light so your team can dominate.

 

All of these outdoor games make kids more active and get them much needed sunlight. Studies show that there is a depressing feeling that creeps in when humans stay indoors too long. Those feelings increase with too much time in front of glowing screens.

The extra benefit to parents from all these outdoor kid games is the energy burn off factor. Little Johnny will go to bed easier if he spent six hours ducking speeding dodgeballs or hiking over a small mountain to find a buried geocache treasure box.

Your kiddos will also have less desire to argue with each other in the evening. They will have used up that energy in some competitive fun during the day.

To see the best outdoor glow in the dark games for kids, teens and adults, visit the Starlux Games Online Store.

 

* The featured image for this blog post is by hepingting (CB106492) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Outdoor playtime is not just reserved for kids. The fact is you’re never too old for a little fun and frolicking outdoors. Whether it’s at a campsite or a tailgate, the beach or the backyard, teens and adults can take advantage of the great outdoors, too. To ramp up the fun factor, try one of these top ten outdoor yard games for the over-twelve crowd.

 

1. Spikeball

This game made its claim to fame on Shark Tank, and for a very good reason. Spikeball is played with teams of two serving and hitting the ball similar to volleyball, except with a much easier set up. The game consist of a flexible, hula-hoop-sized net with foldable legs, that make it the perfect, portable game to take to the park, or the beach. The players bounce the ball off the net and towards the opposing team who then have three passes to get the ball back. When they miss, you score, and first team to get to 21 wins. Spikeball is available here.

 

2. Ladder Golf

Some folks call it Ladder Toss, but the official set is labeled Ladder Golf. It’s fun and easy entertainment for a backyard party. Each player gets three “bolas” to toss onto the ladder rungs. A bola is two golf balls tied together with rope – how can swinging that not be fun? The object of the game is to wrap your bolas around the ladder steps and possibly knock your opponents off to steal their score. It’s fun, it’s frustrating – everything you want in an outdoor game.

For official rules and to purchase, click here.

 

3. Badminton

Although this game officially became an Olympic sport in 1992, badminton really is the great classic equalizer of skill and age – anyone with any skill level of any age can play. The great thing about badminton is that once you have a net, a few racquets and a shuttlecock, it can be as fun and flexible as you want. You can play with any amount of people as long as you have enough racquets, and you can be as competitive as you want. Each side takes turns serving and points are scored when the opposing side missing the shuttlecock and it falls to the ground. If you want to take your badminton to the Olympic level, see the official rules here.

 

4. Lawn Twister

Create a giant twister board on your lawn with ground marking spray paint in different colors. Cut a 10-12 inch circle on a piece of cardboard and use that as a stencil to spray paint your circles. You can make as many rows of each color that you want depending on how many people will be playing. Then, you can either make a spinner like the game, or make cards with the different options – for example: Right Hand Red or Left Foot Blue. If you have teens and adults playing, make the circles bigger and further apart. For smaller kids, make smaller circles that are a little closer together. Whatever the age, Lawn Twister will bring the laughter outside!

 

5. Capture the Flag REDUX

It’s the classic Capture the Flag game revolutionized with futuristic glow-in-the-dark lights. Break friends out of jail, sneak into enemy territory, protect your base and steal the glowing flag to win. Each game box includes two glowing orbs to use as the “flags,” color-coded LED bracelets to differentiate team members, glowing jail markers, and a rule-book. As an extra bonus, each kit includes 12 game variation cards that provide you with new ways to play Capture the Flag, as well as other games. It’s a great way to bring people of all ages together – kids, teens, even normally boring adults. Click here to purchase Capture the Flag REDUX.

Capture the Flag REDUX banner

 

6. Corn Hole / Washer Toss

For some strange reason, get outside and no one can resist throwing things into holes. For the best of all hole-throwing worlds, entertain your teens and adult friends outside with a combo “Corn Hole and Washer Toss set” (available for purchase on amazon.com). This set includes both classic outdoor lawn games: 3 -hole bean bag toss and 3-hole washer toss with two 26″ L x 10″ W game platforms, six 4″ square toss bags (3 red, 3 blue) and six washers (3 red, 3 blue). Just flip the platforms for your choice of bean bag toss or washer toss.

 

7. Glow-in-the-dark Wiffle Ball

Wiffle ball is kind of like badminton. If you have to stop and look up the official rules, it kind of takes the fun out of it. But, for some competitive backyard types, knowing the real rules can settle a good deal of disputes on the field. To add some fun back into your Wiffle ball game, play after the sun goes down with glow-in-the-dark balls. Simply activate glow sticks and insert them into the Wiffle ball holes. And, if you still really want to know the rules, click here.

 

8. Lawn Bowling

For the ultimate backyard hangout session, The Hey! Play! Lawn Bowling Game comes with everything you need to have a ball. The set includes ten 8” solid pine wood pins, two 2.5″ wood bowling balls, and a nylon carrying case so you can take the game anywhere – backyard, beach, or park. Simply unpack the game, set up the colorful pins, and you are ready to roll.

Check out the fun here.

 

9. KanJam Ultimate Disc Game

This game is like Frisbee with a twist. KanJam is a fun and fast-paced flying disc game that is perfect to play with your gang at any outdoor party because it is easy to pack and easy to set up. The game includes two portable goals and a custom-designed KanJam flying disc. You score points by throwing the disc toward the goal and having your partner deflect it. An Instant Win occurs if you throw the disc directly into the goal with no help from your partner.

Click here for more information.

 

10. Giant Outdoor Games

When you want an eye-catching game for your next outdoor event, visit this website to choose from bigger-than-life size versions of Snakes & Ladders, Checkers, or Pick Up Sticks. This site has all sorts of games that have been super-sized so you can physically get in the fun, including jumbo wooden dice, giant chess games, supersized croquet, and huge volleyball. The motto here for outdoor fun is go big or go home.

 

There is nothing like outdoor games for kids and adults to play together. Here are some of our favorite outdoor games.

Four Square
This simple game from your grade school years is remarkably simple but can supply endless fun. All you need is a bouncy ball, a hard surface away from cars or anything that can hurt players or be damaged by a flying ball, and some street chalk to make four squares. I won’t bore you with the rules, but this four-player game can be played with large groups. When someone gets out, have someone cycle in to the fourth, or D, position. Add more interest by giving the person in the top square the ability to make rules up if they’ve held that spot for five rounds in a row.

Red Rover
You will be surprised at how fun two rows of people holding hands can be! The game is best played when you rotate kids with adults, or purposefully put two kids together to give those on the other team a better chance at breaking through somewhere.

Giants, Wizards, and Elves
We at Starlux Games love different versions of paper, rock, scissors. This one is a hilarious, fun games for all ages.

Divide the group into two team, who all play the same action at the same time. They have three choices. Giants stand on their toes, raise their arms high and make giant noises. Wizards crouch a little, like an old magician, wave their fingers like they are casting a spell, and say something like “Shazaam!” Elves crouch lowly, cup their hands over their ears and make a high-pitched noise like “Eeee!”

The winners grab the losers and pull them to their side. The losers try to get behind the safe zone behind them. Giants beat elves (squish!), elves beat wizards (those wily folk), wizards beat giants (zap!).

(Image from https://sherlocksam.wordpress.com/activities/four-square-fun/)

 

When you’re with a group for a party, what would you rather do: watch a computer screen for a YouTube marathon that you’ll soon forget or go outside and forge memories that you’ll remember for years?

Here are four fun outdoor games for kids, teens, and adult groups to help you bring the excitement outside, regardless of the age range of the people around.

1. Beach Towel Volleyball

Regular volleyball except that the ball is tossed over the net using towels. The towel is held on both side by two players and the ball is cradled in the towel. By pulling it taut, the ball is flung to the other side. You can make the game even more entertaining by replacing the ball with water balloons. Obviously, this outdoor group game is best played during the day.

2. Poison

A simple game to get kids moving. Played on a lawn, the players hold hands in a circle and place something in the middle that is considered poisonous. A chair or bean bag is ideal. Anyone that touches the item is out of the game. As the players circle the item, they pull each other toward it, trying to force the others to touch it. Just make sure no one is being overly physical. While this can be a night game, it’s best played when everyone can see the poison easily.

3. Human Paper Rock Scissors

We won’t bore you with how to play the original, but this game is awesome! Break into evenly-sized teams. Have each team huddle and decide what action (paper, rock or scissors) their team will make. Then the two teams line up about five feet apart from each other and throw down. The winning team then darts after the losers and tries to tag them. The losers are dashing toward a safe zone behind them. Anyone that is tagged is brought onto the opposing team and the game continues until all players are on one side. For added confusion and fun, play with three teams! You can even re-purpose your Capture the Flag REDUX kit to turn this into a night group game, by choosing a red, green, or blue light after agreeing to which wins over which.

4. Capture the Flag REDUX

 Naturally, we’d put this here. But it’s true! Capture the Flag REDUX is an amazing night group game! For those of you that already have it, you know this. For those of you that don’t, you will definitely figure it out! It is one of the best outdoor glow in the dark games for groups you will ever play. Period.

Capture the Flag Redux Game Image