Outdoor Games

KICK THE CAN

Setting Up

Step 1: Select an object to serve as the “can” – an actual can, a ball, or a small, taped:up box.
Step 2: Select someone to be “It.”
Step 3: Select an area to set the can – a clear space about 20 or 30 yards across.
Step 4: Select an area to be the “jail” – a comfortable place close to the can, but not blocking the can.

If You’re “It”

Step 1: Stand by while another player kicks the can as far as possible.
Step 2: Retrieve the can and put it back where it was in the beginning.
Step 3: Capture players by calling out their names and their hiding places while you’re stepping on the can.
Step 4: Look for players, but try not to stray far from the can.
Step 5: Race back to the can if you see an uncaptured player headed for it.
Step 6: Step on the can and call out that player’s name if you get to the can first.
Step 7: Run after the can and put it back again if that player kicks the can away.
Step 8: Continue until you have all the players in jail.

If You’re Not “It”

Step 1: Select someone to kick the can as far as possible.
Step 2: Hide.
Step 3: Race back to the can and kick it before It gets there.
Step 4: Go to jail if It steps on the can and calls out your name and your correct location.
Step 5: Wait in jail until you are rescued : that is, until someone kicks the can.
Step 6: Run away and hide again when the can is kicked and you are released from jail.
Step 7: Be It for the next game if you were captured first.

HOW TO PLAY HIDE AND SEEK

Step 1: Play with at least three children.
Step 2: Select an area in which to play the game. Designate a specific area with clear boundaries.
Step 3: Have everyone gather around a tree or other landmark, which will be “home base.”
Step 4: Announce that you are “It.”
Step 5: Close your eyes (no peeking!) and count to 10 or 20 or whatever number seems appropriate based on the ages of the children playing.
Step 6: Make sure that the rest of the players hide while you are counting.
Step 7: Call out, “Ready or not here I come,” when you are finished counting.
Step 8: Go and look for the other players.
Step 9: Be alert, because, as you are searching, the others are trying to run to home base.
Step 10: Try to find and touch, or “tag,” the hidden players.
Step 11: Try, at the same time, to tag the running players before they get to home base.
Step 12: Forget about the players who get to home base without being tagged, because they are “safe.”
Step 13: Remember the first player you tag. That person will be It in the next round.
Step 14: Be It again if you don’t tag any of the players and they all get home safe.

CLOUD WATCHING

Directions
Climate is an important part of a region’s geographic character.

On a warm and lazy afternoon, lay down in the grass with your child and watch the clouds drift across the sky.
Talk about how clouds are formed (water evaporates from the earth and condenses into small droplets) and what happens when clouds touch the earth (fog).

Help him/her pick out shapes in the clouds and, afterward, have her draw what she saw.

HOW TO HOLD WHEELBARROW RACES

Step 1: Understand that this game is called the wheelbarrow race because the team looks like a person pushing a wheelbarrow.
Step 2: Mark start and finish lines.
Step 3: Tell players to choose a partner.
Step 4: Line players up at the starting line.
Step 5: Explain that one partner must face the finish line, bend over, and place his or her hands on the ground.
Step 6: Tell the other player to stand behind his or her partner, reach down, and grab the partner’s legs, placing the legs around his or her waist and holding on to them.
Step 7: Direct the teams to “walk” to the finish line this way, with the first player walking on his or her hands and the second player following behind holding up the legs.
Step 8: Have the players start at the same time.
Step 9: Declare the first team that makes it completely over the finish line the winners.

HOW TO HAVE AN EGG RACE

Give each child a tablespoon and a hard-boiled egg.

Have the he children form in line.

Decide which child is the leader.

Have each child holds the spoon with the egg in its bowl at arm’s length and hop on one foot, following wherever the leader leads them.

HOW TO PLAY CAPTURE THE FLAG

Things You’ll Need:
Camouflage Clothing
Running Or Tennis Shoes
2 old, brightly colored T-shirts

Setup

Step 1: Divide into two teams of three or more people.
Step 2: Divide territories for the teams. Streets, trails, creeks and fence lines all make good border markers.
Step 3: Agree on two items to serve as “flags.” They should be brightly colored and a foot or two across.
Step 4: Decide what happens when captured. Either choose to make players “out” for the rest of the game, converted to the team that caught them, or put in a “jail” to be rescued by their teammates.

The Game

Step 1: Retreat by team into your territory to hide the flag. The flag must be hung at head height and be visible from 20 yards away on at least one side.
Step 2: Split into attacker and defender groups within your team. Attackers and defenders can switch jobs as needed.
Step 3: Attempt to sneak across the border, find and capture the enemy flag, and then race back without being caught if you are an attacker.
Step 4: Hide around your flag or along the border and try to intercept and catch any opposing players who sneak across if you are a defender.
Step 5: Capture enemy players by tagging them while they are on your side of the border.
Step 6: Win by capturing the enemy flag and carrying it back to your side of the border.

Jail

Step 1: Put captured enemy players in “jail” by picking an area with a clearly defined border to serve as the jail.
Step 2: Rescue teammates by sneaking across the border, finding the jail, tagging your teammate, then racing back across the border.
Step 3: Recapture players by tagging them again before they reach the border.

HOW TO PLAY FREEZE TAG

Things You’ll Need:
At least five friends
Place to run

Step 1: Get a group of friends together; the more kids, the more fun. You should have at least five.
Step 2: Decide who is “it.” Usually “it” is the person who is the last to say, “not it.”
Step 3: Chase your friends if you are “it” until you tag them. Once a friend has been touched and tagged, that person must stop running and remain in the position they were in when they were tagged; in other words they have to “freeze.”
Step 4: Unfreeze a frozen friend if you are not “it” by touching them as you run by. Another variation of this game is that you must crawl through the frozen friend’s legs to unfreeze them.
Step 5: Continue the game until everyone is frozen. The last person to be tagged becomes “it.”
Step 6: Keep playing until the majority of your friends collapse in exhaustion or they just become too bored to continue.

HOW TO PLAY FLASHLIGHT TAG

Things You’ll Need:
Darkness
4 or more players
A safe place to play the game

Step 1: Decide who will be “it” in this game by playing eenie-meanie-miney-moe or one potato two potato. Another way is to have each kid guess a number between one and one hundred and whoever comes closest is it.
Step 2: Mark out a jail area. Count to twenty if you are “it” in the jail while everyone else hides.
Step 3: Search for everyone with the flashlight if you are it. The flashlight must remain on at all times in this game and cannot be turned off or the beams hidden.
Step 4: Call out the person’s name that you find when you shine your flashlight on them from far away or close by.
Step 5: Send the person you have tagged with the flashlight to jail and continue looking for other players.
Step 6: End the game when all players are sitting in the jail. The first person that was tagged becomes it and the game starts over.

HOW TO PLAY TV TAG

Step 1: Gather a group of players and decide who is going to be the person who chases everyone else. This person is called “It.”
Step 2: Run and try to stay away from the person who is “It.” If they get close, yell out the name of a TV show and touch the ground. The player is now safe for 10 seconds and the “It” player needs to leave that player to tag others–no waiting around to tag the person when the 10 seconds are up.
Step 3: Avoid repeating a show you or any other player already mentioned. If a player can’t think of a show or repeats the name of a show, the player becomes the new “It.”
Step 4: Continue the game until everyone is frozen or someone repeats a title already called. That player now becomes “It.”

HOW TO PLAY BLOB TAG

Things You’ll Need:
Players

Step 1: When the game begins, “it” must chase someone until she touches the person, thus incorporating that person into the blob, which now has two members on its team.
Step 2: Wherever the person is touched by the blob, he becomes attached to the blob at that physical point. For example, if the blob tags a person by touching their head, the blob’s hand is attached for the rest of the game to that person’s head. This makes it more and more difficult to move as the blob becomes bigger, requiring more cooperation from the unit as a whole to tag more people.
Step 3: Blob tag ends when only one person remains on the opposite team, and all other players have become part of the giant, messy blob.

HOW TO PLAY SARDINES

Things You’ll Need:
Players, more than 3 at least.
Dark summer night, or any outside boundaries
Big-spaced basement or room.

Step 1: You will first need a place to play. This game is best played in the dark. Play it in a friend’s basement and turn out the lights. Be sure to clear the area of hazardous things to trip over or knock over. Clear and put away everything that could be dangerous before you play. If you are outside, set boundaries where people could go. These are your safety rules.
Step 2: This game is backwards hide-and-seek, because instead of one person finding everyone else, everyone else is looking for one person. Whoever is “It” goes and hides while the others count to whatever number. Then the game begins.
Step 3: If you are “It” your job is done. Pick a spot and just stay there watching/hearing people run around to look for you.
Step 4: The rest of the players that are looking for the “It” all split up to look. The object of the game is whoever finds the hiding “It” keeps it to themselves, and they then hide with the person. They stay quiet and just wait for the others to come. Once they do, they join in the hiding place and continue this waiting until the last person is left to come and find everybody, all bundled together like a pack of sardines.
Step 5: Obviously you are thinking of picking a spot that could accommodate a bunch of people, but it’s more fun to come up with creative ways to see how you could hide with someone inside a laundry hamper or high up on a tree branch. Sit beside them or around them. The dark lets you hide better and creates a better challenge of hiding and seeking, and gives the others a better chance of finding the group.
Step 6: The first person to find the “It” is now the “It” and gets to hide.

HOW TO PLAY MOTHER, MAY I?

Things You’ll Need:
Books Of Children’s Party Games

Step 1: Play this game with at least three players.
Step 2: Announce that you will be “Mother.”
Step 3: Line the players up facing you about 10 feet away.
Step 4: Give commands to the players one at a time. Say, for example, “Anna, you may take one step forward.”
Step 5: Wait for the player to respond. If she says, “Mother, may I?” answer either, “Yes, you may” or “No, you may not.”
Step 6: Make sure the player asks the question and follows your instructions. If she doesn’t, tell the player that she’s out of the game.
Step 7: Continue giving commands to the players in any order that you choose.
Step 8: Play until only Mother and one player are left. The last player left in the game is the winner.
Step 9: Take turns being Mother in subsequent games.

HOW TO PLAY CAT’S CRADLE

Things You’ll Need:
2 people
A piece of tied string that is long enough to make a circle.

Step 1: Put your hands through the string. Be careful not to put your thumb in it.
Step 2: Loop the string around hands. Again being careful to keep your thumb out of the string.
Step 3: Take middle finger of hand and put it into the loop on the inside of the other hand and pull.
Step 4: Using your other middle finger put it through the other hand’s loop. This is called the Cat’s Cradle.
Step 5: Find the area where an X is made with the string. There will be 2 places where X’s are made.
Step 6: Taking the thumb and forefinger of the other person, that person pinches the X’s.
Step 7: Pinching the X’s, move your hands away until the string is taut.
Step 8: Point fingers downward through the sides and push them up through the middle, all the while pulling the string gently.
Step 9: Let the cats cradle slide out of the first person’s hands causing the second player to have the cat’s cradle in their hands.
Step 10: Repeat the process, so that the first person ends up with the cat’s cradle in their hands again.

HOW TO PLAY HEADS UP SEVEN UP

Step 1: Select 7 students to be “It.” All other students in the class should put their heads down on their desks or cover their eyes if they are sitting on the ground.
Step 2: Send the 7 students walking around the room. Each of the 7 people should touch a different person who has his or her head down. Once a person is touched, he or she should stick a thumb up. Once all seven people have touched someone, announce “Heads Up Seven Up!”
Step 3: Have the students with their thumbs up try to guess which of the 7 touched them. If a student guesses correctly, he gets to trade places with the person who touched him. If the student guesses incorrectly, she must remain in her seat and the person who touched her gets to be one of the 7 “Its” again.
Step 4: Play Heads Up Seven Up the second way. All students must put their heads down on their desks and stick up their thumbs. Quietly choose one student to be “It.”
Step 5: Instruct the student who is “It” to touch the thumb of 6 other students. If a student’s thumb is tapped, he or she must go to the front of the room. When seven total students are standing at the front (including the original “It”) the teacher or leader says, “Heads Up Seven Up!”
Step 6: Allow the remaining players to raise their heads. They then try to guess which of the seven students standing at the front of the room was “It.” Whoever guesses correctly gets a prize.

HOW TO PLAY RED LIGHT GREEN LIGHT

Things You’ll Need:
Large, level, empty area indoors or out
Group of kids

Step 1: Choose one person to be the “Stoplight.” All the other players are “Cars.”
Step 2: Mark a starting line. Have the Stoplight stand opposite the starting line a distance away–closer for younger kids, farther for older kids or to make the game last longer.
Step 3: Begin the game when the Stoplight turns around, facing away from the starting line, and calls, “Green light!” This means all cars can go, moving at a walk toward the Stoplight in order to tag it.
Step 4: Run when the Stoplight, still facing away from the starting line, calls “Yellow light!”
Step 5: Stop fast when the Stoplight calls “Red light!” and whirls around, trying to catch Cars in the act of moving.
Step 6: Lose your turn and sit out if the Stoplight says, “I saw you move!” This aspect of the game requires honesty by both players, which is reinforced by the other Cars watching.
Step 7: Win if you tag the Stoplight first. Then you get to be Stoplight for the next game. The Stoplight wins if it gets all the Cars out before they can tag it.
Step 8: Find rule variations and game ideas from PBS Kids by visiting Sprout online (see Resources below).

HOW TO PLAY RED ROVER

Things You’ll Need:
At least six kids

Step 1: Divide the kids into two teams.
Step 2: Have each team form a line, and link hands. The two teams should be facing each other, and standing at least twenty feet apart.
Step 3: Choose a team to go first.
Step 4: That team chooses a player from the other team, and says, “Red rover, red rover, send [insert name] right over,” while swinging their arms.
Step 5: The player named in the chant then charges his opponents; and tries to break through the human chain. If he succeeds, he gets to pick a member of the opposing team to take back with him. If he fails, he must become a part of the challenging team.
Step 6: It is now the other teams turn to choose someone.
Step 7: The game continues in this manner until one team suceeds in capturing all of the players.

HOW TO PLAY “WHAT TIME IS IT MR.WOLF?”

Things You’ll Need:
A group of kids willing to have fun without technological gadgets!
PLAYERS: 3 or more players.

Step 1: “WHAT’S THE TIME, MR. WOLF?” OBJECTIVE: A game where “Mother, May I?” meets Little Red Riding Hood.
Step 2: RULES: Players must choose someone to be the “WOLF”. The “WOLF” stands with their back turned to the others at a distance of 20 or 25 feet away.
Step 3: The others call out, “What’s the time, Mr. Wolf?” and the “WOLF” turns to face the others and shouts out a time, for example “10 o’clock!”
Step 4: The others would then take 10 steps towards the “WOLF” (The others will always take the number of steps that are the amount of hours in the “WOLF’S” time. E.g. 3 o’clock = 3 steps, 7 o’clock = 7 steps, etc.
Step 5: The wolf will then turn his back to the group again for them to yell “What’s the time, Mr. Wolf?” (The “WOLF” only looks at the group when he is shouting a time at them.)
Step 6: When the group gets close to the wolf, the next time the group yells, “What’s the time, Mr. Wolf?” the wolf says “Dinner time!” Then the wolf runs after the group who runs as quickly as possible back to the start line and hopefully the “WOLF” tags one of the group who will then be the “WOLF”.
Step 7: If no one is tagged then the wolf has to do it all over again.

HOW TO PLAY FOUR SQUARE

Step 1: Play this game with www.ehow.com children ages six and up. You need at least four people to play, but more is better.
Step 2: Draw a large square with sides of at least four feet : use chalk on pavement or masking tape on carpet. Click here for more info.
Step 3: Divide the square into four equal squares and make a circle around the lines that meet in the center.
Step 4: Number the squares one through four.
Step 5: Use a bouncy ball about the size of a volleyball.
Step 6: Place one player in or just behind each square.
Step 7: Put yourself in square four.
Step 8: Line up any additional players behind square one.
Step 9: Serve the ball from square four by bouncing it in your square and then hitting it into another square. You’re fine if the ball lands in another square or if someone hits it before it bounces into a square.
Step 10: Return the ball any time it bounces in your square. Hit it and bounce it into another square.
Step 11: Leave your square and go to the end of the line behind square one if the ball you hit goes outside the boundaries without bouncing or being touched.
Step 12: Go to the end of the line if a ball bounces in your square and you can’t hit it.
Step 13: Go to the end of the line if a ball you hit lands in the circle in the center.
Step 14: Move up as other players miss and have to go to the end of the line.
Step 15: Develop strategies by learning to bounce the ball at the edge of the square so that it bounces and then goes out of the square.
Step 16: Try putting a spin on the ball so that it bounces and then rebounds in the opposite direction.
Step 17: Win the game by making it to the fourth square and staying there longer than anyone else.