Ultimate List of Fun and Easy Outdoor Games for Kids

Looking for some fun outdoor games? Below is a select list of outdoor games for kids. I researched and vetted my sources and these games come out on top!

Why Playing Outdoors Matters

Richard Louv introduced the concept of Nature Deficit Disorder years ago. It is the idea that kids (and adults for that matter) are spending less time outdoors. As a result, kids’ brains are developing differently (without the multi-sensory experiences and learning) and there is an increase in a wide range of behavioral problems such as ADD, ADHD, anxiety, and depression.

So, the conclusion is to get outdoors, play outdoors, and move our bodies in the fresh air. If we can achieve this goal, we’ll all be happier and lead more balanced lives.

Fun and Easy Outdoor Games

Minute to Win It Camping Games

These outdoor games for kids are creative, fun, and engaging! I can’t choose our favorite – balancing gold balls or the watermelon card throw challenge! Seriously easy and so much fun!

Playground Scavenger Hunt

This tree swing hooked me the moment I saw it! Not that a playground needs to be ANY more fun but why not mix it up a bit with an outdoor scavenger hunt?

Water Bucket Relay Game

Seriously, does it get any more exciting than a relay race? This relay race is particularly awesome because it involves water and my boys love water play! Large groups will enjoy this outdoor game! Divide kids up into two teams and let them race!

Sidewalk Chalk Games

Easy and inexpensive, sidewalk chalk is the gift that keeps on giving. These sidewalk chalk games not only engage kids but teach them along the way.

DIY Backyard Obstacle Course

Obstacle courses are a mainstay in our home. Work those gross motor and creative skills to build an outdoor course for kids to enjoy! Creating an obstacle course is a great option for an outdoor game for large groups.

Leaf Hunt Alphabet Game for Toddlers

We love leaf activities and this one takes the cake! Introduce toddlers and preschoolers to their letters while running around outside! Learning and movement go hand and hand with brain development. This outdoor activity is a great example.

Build a Stick Maze

This fun outdoor game might possibly win prizes for its simplicity. Kids go on a hunt for sticks, create their very own maze, and then walk the maze. There is so much fun with this outdoor game that kids might not even know they’re exercising their problem-solving skills!

Park Bingo

Again, not that a park needs any insertion of pure joy but why not mix it up a bit! Park Bingo is a sweet outdoor game for youth that packs a big punch!

Nature Scavenger Hunt

Keep the element of surprise alive with a nature scavenger hunt! Go ahead and create your own list or borrow from others, there really is no limit to the creativity and imagination of a scavenger hunt!

Outdoor Imagination Games

I adore this list of outdoor pretend play games for kids!

Nighttime Outdoor Games

This list includes 10 games to play outdoors at night!

Go on a Fairy Hunt

What list of outdoor games for kids would be complete without a fairy hunt activity! This children’s book is our absolute favorite book about imagining, building, and discovering fairy houses!

Learn Patterns Outdoors Activities

Check out these fun and easy ways to learn about patterns outside! Nature offers loads of patterns for us to explore and discover! Patterns are a great early reading and early math activity for young kids!

Gross Motor Color Game for Kids

This simple game gets kids moving and helps them learn their colors. All you need for this activity are colorful cones and your loud voice!

List of Outdoor Games for Kids

Kick the Can

Kick the Can is a classic outdoor game for kids! It combines tag, hide and seek, and capture the flag. What could be better? A person or a team is “it” and must go kick a can that is placed in an open area without being tagged.

Rainbow Tag

Rainbow Tag is a new one for me but I love it! According to the Ultimate Camp Resource website, Rainbow tag is a game with “a designated area are different colors of paint in little cups with a Popsicle stick.

The children must run around, find the paint and put a stripe on their arm. The person who is ‘it’ has a sponge. When they tag someone, they wipe the paint off of their arm.” This game is perfect for large groups.

Sack Races with Pillow Cases

Animal Hide and Seek

Animal Hide and Seek is a twist in your standard hide and seek game. However, in this version, each person adopts an animal sound and must call out that animal sound in order to eventually be found!

Water Balloon Activities

Helpful Resources for Outdoor Activities

Marnie Craycroft

Marnie hails from Maine where she spent summers buried in sand and winters buried in snow. She is the daughter of a nearly four decade veteran of the public school systems. Teaching has always been a part of her life. She founded Carrots Are Orange in 2010.

Carrots Are Orange is a Montessori learning and living website for parents and teachers.

Marnie graduated from Wesleyan University in 1999 with a BA in Economics. She spent nearly a decade working in investment management. In 2006, she earned her MA in business from the University of Washington’s Foster School of Business.

Marnie moved to the west coast in 1999 and currently lives in Boulder with her husband and three sons. She is Montessori trained. Her work has been featured on Apartment Therapy, Buzzfeed, PBS Kids, BabyCenter, the Melissa & Doug blog, Huffington Post, and WhattoExpect.com. Besides writing, passions include running (usually after her three sons), photography, and outdoor adventures.

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