May 5, 2016

What are the best outdoor children’s party games?

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When it comes to a kids' party, the last thing you want is to keep the children trapped inside the house. With so much energy and exuberance, they need plenty of space to run, jump, and play. By taking the party outside, you provide a safe, fun space for them to enjoy themselves without worrying about breaking or damaging anything!

Best of all, being outdoors gives you a lot more space to play games. Inside the house, you are limited by space constraints, but outside you can swing a bat, throw a ball, hurl water balloons, run races, and do so much more! You have a lot more room to work with, giving you many more options for awesome outside children's party games.

We've come up with a list of the best outdoor games for childrens parties. These games range from simple to complex, with something for all ages. Some call for props, while others require nothing more than kids with lots of energy to burn. These party games will be a fun way for your kids to burn off steam before cake and presents, and will make your children's party an event to remember!


1. red Light, Green Light


This is one of the easiest childrens party games to play! It's great for kids of any age.


​Time Required:

10 to 30 minutes, depending on how much your kids enjoy it.

Materials/Props

None

Age:

2 to 14 years old


Rules

Have all of the children line up at one side of the lawn. Choose one child and send them to the far side. They are "It".

The "It" turns their back on the other children. When they call out "Green Light", all of the children race toward the "It" as fast as they can. But when the "It" calls out "Red Light", all the children will have to stop. The "It" will turn around and try to catch children moving after they say "Red Light". Anyone who moves is out.

The "It" continues to call out "Green Light, Red Light" until someone reaches them. That person becomes the "It".


2. Duck, Duck, Goose


If you are having a party with mostly small children, this is one of the best games for childrens parties to try.


​Time Required:

10 to 30 minutes

Materials/Props

None

Age:

2 to 14 years old


Rules

All of the children sit in a circle, facing inward.

Select one child to be "It". They will go around the outside of the circle, tapping each child gently on the head and saying "Duck". When they tap a child on the head and say "Goose", that child has to get up and chase the "It" around the circle.

The "It" is trying to sit in the "Goose's" seat, while the "Goose" is trying to catch the "It" before they can sit. If the "It" sits, the "Goose" is now "It". If they are tagged before they can sit, they continue to be "It" and must go around the circle again.


3. Pirate obstacle course


This is especially fun for younger kids who are agile and athletic!


​Time Required:

20 minutes for set-up, 15 minutes for play

Materials/Props

Chairs, tables, crates, boxes, playhouse, etc.

Age:

4 to 10


Rules

Before the game starts, the parents will need to set up an obstacle course crossing the lawn/yard. However, the goal of the game is the cross the lawn WITHOUT touching the ground, meaning they have to clamber across the obstacles. Parents, bear that in mind when setting the obstacle course up. Make sure that your kids can safely climb from obstacle to obstacle, and that everything is sturdy and can bear their weight.

Be prepared to adjust the difficulty of the obstacle course according to the age/agility of the kids participating in the game.


4. water war


This is, by far, one of the best children's party games to play in the summer time. It's a great way to cool down even if you don't have a swimming pool.


​Time Required:

30 to 60 minutes for set-up, 20 to 60 minutes for gameplay

Materials/Props

Water balloons, water guns, hose, buckets, cups, and anything that will spray water

Age:

2 to 14 (plus adults, of course!)


Rules

The rules are simple: everyone must get wet!

Fill up 2 to 4 tubs/buckets with water balloons. Divide all the players into two teams, and give each their own bucket of water balloon ammunition. If you have water guns, divide them between the two teams. The garden hose can come in very handy, and turn on the sprinklers to make the game even more fun! You can even give the kids buckets and cups as additional "weapons" in the war.

The game stops when you run out of balloons or everyone has tired themselves out running around and soaking the other team.


5. Three-legged Race


This is one of the oldest games for childrens parties, but it's no less enjoyable than the others listed here! Your kids will have a good chance to learn how to work together as a team to win.


​Time Required:

10 to 15 minutes

Materials/Props

Cloths to tie around the kids' ankles (1 cloth per 2 kids)

Age:

6 to 14 years old


Rules

Before the race, the children will select a partner to run with. Try to ensure that the teams are as even as possible to give each child a chance.

You can make the race simple: crossing the lawn or yard to reach the finish line. Or, you can kick things up a notch and make it more of an obstacle course, forcing the kids to wend their way through a series of obstacles. It's a fun way to make the race a bit more challenging, and will drag out the game a bit longer.

One of their ankles will be tied to their partner's ankle. This will force them to work together to step in time, encouraging teamwork among the partners.

The team to cross the finish line first wins!


6. balloon stomp


This is one of the children's party games to play at an older kids' party. With smaller kids, the risk of injury is much higher. Older kids are more athletic, and thus better able to handle the active game.


​Time Required:

10 to 20 minutes

Materials/Props

Ballons, string

Age:

8 to 14 years old


Rules

Inflate two balloons per child. Using the string, tie a balloon to each of their ankles.

The point of the game is simple: everyone has to run around and try to stomp everyone else's balloons. The last person with an unpopped balloon wins the game.

Note: This game can get aggressive and out of control quickly. Parents should watch closely to avoid arguments or fighting.


7. goal kick


If you have a bunch of athletic kids, this is the perfect game for them. They can spend hours trying to hit the target, and the game will help them be active and sharpen their soccer skills.


​Time Required:

30 to 60 minutes

Materials/Props

Soccer ball, wooden board, or fence

Age:

8 to 14 years old


Rules

If you have a large wooden board, use spray paint to mark 5 to 10 circles on the board. Paint numbers (starting at 1) into the circles in a random order.

(If you don't have a wooden board, you can hang spray-painted cloths from your fence posts. It's not as effective a solution, but it will suffice.)

The goal of the game is for each child to kick the ball at the numbered circles. They are to hit the circle marked with #1 first, followed by #2, and so on. If they miss, they go to the back of the line to try again. If they hit their target, they get another turn and move on to the next number.

The winner is the first person to hit all the circles.


8. spud


This is a simple party game that's great to play with children of all ages, though ideally the children will all be roughly the same age.


​Time Required:

10 to 30 minutes

Materials/Props

Ball

Age:

4 to 12 years old


Rules

Everyone playing is assigned a number. One person starts with the ball, and they throw it as high into the air (directly overhead) as they can. At the same time, they also call out a number.

The person whose name was called must try to catch the ball. At the same time, everyone else is running as far away from the ball as possible. When the "It" catches the ball, they shout SPUD. At that point, everyone has to freeze in place.

The "It" can move three steps (hops, jumps, running steps, etc.) in any direction. Once they reach the end of their three steps, they have to throw the ball and try to tag someone.

If the person is hit, they receive an "S". It is then their turn to throw the ball into the air and call out a number (not their own).

If the "It" misses, they receive an "S". They must throw the ball into the air and call out a number.

The game ends when someone reaches "S-P-U-D".


9. musical statues


This is a fun game for kids who love to dance! If you're having a girl's birthday party, this is definitely a game you want to break out.


​Time Required:

20 to 40 minutes

Materials/Props

Sound system and playlist

Age:

2 to 14 years old


Rules

Select two or three adults to be the "judges", as well as one person to be the DJ.

When the DJ turns on the music, all of the children must dance. The dancing continues until the DJ turns off the music, at which point all of the children must freeze in place.

The music will stay off for 15 seconds, during which time the children MUST hold the pose they were in when the music stops--in essence, they must stay still as statues. The judges will walk among the "statues" to see if any are moving. Anyone who moves is out.

When the DJ turns the music back on, the dancing continues. After a minute or two, the DJ must stop the music again.

This continues until everyone but one person is out. Or, you can choose to call the game when there are only a few dancers remaining.


These games can be a lot of fun for your kids to play, and fun for you as well! You can get in there and play with your kids if you want, depending on the game. Your smaller kids may need a helping hand in some of these games, or you may want to compete against older kids. With some games (like Water Balloon War), there's nothing better to help you relax and take advantage of your weekend.

These childrens party games will help to occupy your kids and give them a chance to work out their energy. It will give the adults a few minutes to relax as well, as their kids are entertained and happy. They'll have a moment to grab a drink or snack, making the party fun for them as well as for their kids. Playing these games for children's parties will be enjoyable for everyone!

What did you think of our list of games? Do you have any more ideas of awesome outdoor games to play at your children's party? Drop a comment below and share your game ideas. We always love to hear about more fun games to keep kids entertained at a birthday party…

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