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How-To Playground Games

Fun Outdoor Games And Activities For Kids

If you're looking for activities and games to enjoy in the great outdoors, there are literally hundreds of possibilities. From traditional organized sports – like volleyball and tennis – to classic schoolyard games – such as hopscotch and tag – outdoor games can be enjoyable for children of all ages and abilities. Depending on the nature of the game, outdoor activities can provide simple enjoyment, promote physical fitness, or even stimulate learning. An activity which challenges the mind, as well as the body, while exposing kids to the natural benefits of fresh air and sunshine, is likely to have a positive impact on mood and behavior, as well.

Finding the rules for games you're somewhat familiar with, or discovering new games you've never played before, can be a time-consuming process, which could keep you from actually getting outside and enjoying play time. This list of links will help you in your quest for outdoor activities to explore. A variety of traditional games, new twists on old games, international children's games, and brain-stimulating activities have been included.

Games from other Countries (PDF)

Detailed instructions on outdoor games played by children around the world. Each game lists appropriate ages, supplies, and the number of players needed.

Games that Teach Neuroscience

Instructions and illustrations for how to play games like "synaptic tag" and "neuron chain", which are new versions of classic playground games that teach simple concepts of neuroscience.

Varieties of Tag (PDF)

A list of different versions of tag with instructions provided.

Kickball

Instructions and rules for playing kickball.

Single Jump Rope Stunts

Animated demonstrations showing different ways to jump rope.

Jump Rope Games and Rhymes

A list of seven different jump rope games and rhymes with instructions and demonstrations.

Hopscotch around the World

Examples of and instructions for hopscotch games from around the world.

Traditional Hopscotch

Instructions on how to play traditional American hopscotch.

Capture the Flag

Detailed, step-by-step instructions for playing Capture the Flag, including helpful tips for players and organizers.

Basketball Dribbling Game

Instructions on how to play a basketball dribbling game that involves music – can be played indoors or outdoors.

Popular P.E. Games (PDF)

More than 50 games and activities for kids which can be played outdoors or in a gymnasium.

Parachute Activities

Eighteen activities you can do with a parachute.

Four Square (PDF)

Detailed instructions for playing Four Square.

More Jump Rope Activities

Activities and stunts for jumping rope, including double-dutch and jump rope games with balls.

Red Light Green Light

Instructions for playing the classic playground game, Red Light Green Light.

Shadow Tag

Instructions on how to play a simple game of Shadow Tag, which eliminates physical contact with other players.

Blind Man's Bluff

Simple instructions for playing the tag game, Blind Man's Bluff.

Red Rover

Instructions for playing this favorite playground game, Red Rover.

Spud

This site explains how to play a version of kickball known as Spud.

Scouting Games (PDF)

More than 100 "initiative games" from the Boy Scouts of America.

The Shape of Things (PDF)

Investigate the different shapes found in nature and collect objects of different shapes.

Looking at Leaves (PDF)

Discover the differences and similarities of a variety of leaves, and try to determine which trees they came from.

Frisbee Golf

Instructions on how to play Frisbee golf or "disc golf".

Tennis

All about tennis. The basic fundamentals of the game and how to get started.

Volleyball (PDF)

The basic fundamentals of volleyball, including positions and rules of play.

Horseshoe Golf (PDF)

Instructions on how to play Horseshoe Golf (also called ladder ball and cowboy golf), including how to make your own ladder goals.

Leap Frog

Easy instructions for playing Leap Frog.

Broom Hockey

How to play this fun game of hockey, using brooms, a tennis ball, and plastic bottles for goals.

Sidewalk Chalk

This site lists 20 activity ideas you can do with sidewalk chalk.

Field Day Races

Instructions for how to play six common school field day games.

Find more about the author: Kim Hart