Outdoor Games for Kids' Parties

For most of these old-time games, all you need to have fun is some open space.

By FamilyTime


Kids' spring or summer parties are easy if you have access to a backyard or park. There are numerous games you can play that require no or minimal equipment. And best of all, these games are just plain fun!

If the party is outdoors, the guest list can be longer than it might be for a winter party. A few extra kids in the open air only add to the excitement.

Serve cake and ice cream outdoors, too. Are they messy? So what! If you plan the party for a park, pack the food in large coolers. Ice cream melts in the summer heat so if you plan to serve it, pack it in a very cold cooler or buy it from a nearby ice cream cart.

These games are easy to play and have only a few rules. What a great party!

Kick the Can: An old can or similar object is left near home base. Whoever is "it" counts to 50 or 100 while everyone else hides, as in Hide and Go Seek. When a hider is found, he races "it" back to the can, hoping to kick it before he's tagged as the next "it." When he kicks the can, he calls out, "allee, allee, in free!" and all hiders are safe to come home.

Capture the Flag: Each team places its flag (a rag, old towel, glove, or similar piece of fabric) at the back of a designated field or area with definite boundaries. The object is to make it through "enemy lines," grab the flag, and then make it back to safety without being caught and put in jail. Teammates work on distracting the other team and on freeing a captured teammates, which is done by tagging a jailed teammate before you're tagged yourself.

Red Light, Green Light: One person is "it" or the stop light. The other players line up 15 to 25 feet away. The stop light turns his back on the players who creep forward when he yells "green light!" As soon as he yells "red light" the players freeze. "It" turns around as he calls out "red light" and if he sees anyone moving, that person goes back to the starting line. The first person to tag "it" wins and is the next stop light.

Duck, Duck, Goose: The players sit in a circle. "It" walks around the outside of the circle, tapping each player on the head as he goes and saying whether that person is a duck or a goose. If he's tapped to be a goose, the player leaps up and chases "it" around the circle, trying to tag him before "it" slips into goose's place in the circle. If he's tagged, "it" has to be "it" for another round. Otherwise, the goose is "it."

Other Games
These are only a handful of the games kids play on summer days. Don't forget Freeze Tag, Statues, and Flashlight Tag, not to mention plain tag.

Other games you might remember and want to pass on to the kids are Steal the Bacon, Giant Steps, Simon Says, Sardines, and Red Rover.

And if the sun feels too hot for these games, turn on the sprinkler. Ahhh, the joys of summer!