Happy, active children playing with soccer ball

Easy and Fun Activities For Kids In Your Backyard

Happy, active children playing with soccer ballLet's move! Getting kids to be physically active and enjoy the fresh air is not as hard as you might think; join in the fun! Backyard games for kids are a great way to spend summer days jumping into piles of leaves, running races, playing tag, and generally fooling around. Top it off with a snack of apples and a thermos of cocoa, and it's hard to go wrong with these easy and fun activities for kids.

Very Active Kid Games For A Good Time

Get your heart rate up and teach your kids that running and hollering are great fun with these simple backyard games.

Sharks And Fish

Use hula hoops or beach towels to designate caves where the fish take refuge. Each fish has a cave; choose 1 child to be the shark. The shark stands a fair distance from the caves (depending on the age and ability of the players) and shouts, Fishie, fishie, cross my ocean! All of the fish must then move to another cave. When tagged, fish become sharks. The last fish left is the winner. For Halloween, vary the fun outdoor game by calling it Monsters and Movers. Makeup and costumes can add to the fun.

Mouse Tails To Have A Great Time

Tuck pieces of string or yarn about a foot long into the backs of the players' shoes. Form a circle with younger kids holding hands. At a signal, drop hands; participants try to capture strings by stepping on the tails. If the tail pulls out, the winner keeps it. When all but one has lost a tail, start over. If you want, paint mouse whiskers on faces and add ears.

Blob Tag For The Great Outdoors

This variation on an old favorite for kids of all ages requires that the person tagged join hands with the tagger. A rather large blob can form quickly with new people being added as tagged. You could also play shadow tag in your own backyard by having the person who is it step on the shadows of other team members.

More Fun Activities For Kids

Bet On Bugs

Give each child a sketch pad and pencil and set a time limit. This can be only 5 minutes for younger players and stretch to 15 for older children. Participants look for bugs to draw. The person who finds the most different types of bugs wins a medium size gourd to paint. Have smaller gourds for other kids to paint. Display the gourds with corn shucks for autumn.

Paint With Found Objects

Attach an old plastic tablecloth or tarp to a fence for protection. On top of this, attach an old sheet or a very large piece of paper. Divide the sheet into sections if the kids are older, and provide pots of tempera paint in autumn colors (red, yellow, orange.) Challenge the young artists to find natural objects (sticks, grass, weeds, feathers, stones, etc.) and create a picture by using these instead of brushes to apply the paint.

Balloon Questions And Consequences

Write A on one group of balloons with a permanent marker and B on another. Write numbered questions about summer or fall (Why do leaves turn color? What season comes next?) on small paper strips. Prepare an answer sheet for the questions. Insert the strips of paper into the A balloons. On a second set of paper strips, write consequences such as; Hop on 1 foot 5 times, rub your tummy and nod your head 5 times, and take two laps around the yard. Vary questions and consequences according to the age and abilities of the participants.

Blow up the balloons and place A' in 1 basket and B' in another. Players take turns drawing out balloons, popping them, and giving the answer. If they get it wrong, they perform a consequence.

Oldies But Goodies Yard Games

There's a reason why some games have been around for generations. They're just plain fun. Here are a few of the tried and true for some outdoor fun:

Freeze Tag For Some Extra Fun

One player is “it,” and everyone else follows directions. It calls out an activity, such as jumping across the yard with both feet. At some point in the action, “It” yells, Freeze! When everyone stops, ask a question about summer or fall and give a piece of apple to the first person with the right answer. A player who moves after the freeze joins “it” as a spotter. Continue until 1 player is left or until little kids tire of the outdoor activity.

Balloon Bust Relay Is A Great Outdoor Game

Form 2 (aff) lines. Set a basket of balloons across the yard from each line. Beginning with the front players, each child runs, hops, or skips across, chooses a balloon, pops it, and returns to the line, tagging the next team member. The first team to pop all of their balloons wins.

Simon Says Is A Fun Game

The player designated it instructs the group, such as Simon says stand on one foot. Simon says run in place. Sit down. Players should only respond to instructions that begin with Simon says. Those who make a mistake become spotters.

Statues Are So Much Fun

This can be played with as few as 2 (aff) children. One child gently swings the other in a circle and suddenly lets go. The other child becomes a statue in whatever position they fall into. If more than one pair is involved, be sure to space them widely enough to avoid collisions.

Other Backyard Activities And Backyard Ideas For Fun Games

Obstacle Course

Set up a challenging course with various obstacles like cones to weave through, hula hoops to jump in, ropes to crawl under, and more. Older kids will enjoy the fun activity and physical challenge.

Water Balloons and Squirt Guns

Organize water balloon fights or squirt gun battles on a warm day. It's a great way for kids to cool off and have fun outdoors.

Nature Scavenger Hunt

Create a list of items for kids to find in nature, like specific leaves, rocks, or flowers. It encourages them to explore the outdoors and learn about the environment.

Treasure Hunt

Design a treasure hunt (aff) with clues that lead to a hidden “treasure.” This can be a great game for parties or family gatherings.

Backyard Water Activities

Set up a water table, water blob, or even a DIY slip ‘n' slide for younger kids to enjoy splashing around.

Outdoor Relay Races

Organize relay races with different challenges for team members. This can include activities like jumping rope, carrying a tennis ball on a spoon, or running with a pool noodle.

Nature Crafts

Encourage kids to create art using natural materials they find outside, like making mud pies, leaf rubbings, or pinecone animals.

Nature Exploration

Provide magnifying glasses for kids to observe insects, plants, and other details of the natural world up close.

Tug of War

Set up a classic game of tug of war (aff) using a rope. It's a great way for kids to work together and engage in friendly competition.

Outdoor Adventures: Plan a bike ride, hike, or nature walk to explore the outdoors and get some exercise.

Outdoor Toys

Use toys like Nerf guns for target practice or friendly battles in the yard.

Free Play

Allow kids to engage in independent outdoor play where they can develop their own classic outdoor games and activities.

Red Light, Green Light

Play the classic game where one person acts as a traffic light, calling out “red light” and “green light” as players move forward.

Nature-inspired Art: Use leaves, sticks, and other natural materials to create art in the backyard.

Team Building

Organize team-building activities like building a shelter using branches and leaves.

Outdoor Picnic

Enjoy meals or snacks outdoors as a family, making it a special occasion.


Spend an evening observing the night sky and identifying constellations.

Camping in the Backyard

Set up tents and have a mini camping adventure in your own backyard.

Fitness Challenges

Create fun fitness challenges and easy outdoor activities like jumping jacks, squats, or yoga poses that kids can do outside.

Enjoy the days before the onset of winter by getting the best outdoor activities with your kids. Running around a lot, yelling and laughing, and generally being silly is good for your body, soul, and relationships. You'll be cooped up waiting for the cold snap or storms to pass soon enough!

Lisa Martin

In April 2006, Lisa began blogging to stay connected with distant relatives and friends. As she delved into blogging, she discovered the potential to assist others by sharing her experiences. Lisa has actively engaged in numerous exclusive media ventures. Notable among these are her participation in events such as the Sony Mommy Bloggers Event, the Pampers Mommy Bloggers Event, the Epson Event in Chicago, the Stouffers Event, a memorable yacht excursion with Lands End, collaborations with 1-800-Baskets, an exclusive tour for bloggers by Mrs. Prindable’s, partnerships with Hallmark, PopCap games, Chicago Cubs Mastercard Priceless Events, and Rug Doctor. In addition, she has collaborated with Nutrisystem on a weight loss initiative, teamed up with Buick and Chevy, and served as a brand ambassador for Sprint. Lisa's collaboration portfolio also extends to Disney, where she has participated in press trips for significant movies such as Frozen, Guardians of the Galaxy, McFarland USA, The Good Dinosaur, The BFG, and Cars 3. Notably, for projects like Frozen, The BFG, and Cars 3, she was granted the privilege of walking the red carpet and conducting interviews with celebrities. The impact of Lisa's blog has gained recognition, with The New York Times referencing her content. Moreover, she has been featured in interviews by respected publications such as the Southtown Star, The Chicago Sun Times, and inside.

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