7 Outdoor Games for Older Kids That Guarantee Smiles

As parents, we all know the struggle of prying our children away from screens and encouraging them to embrace the great outdoors. But fear not! There’s a world of excitement waiting just beyond the front door, and we’ve got the perfect solution to lure older kids away from their devices – outdoor games that are not only entertaining but also promote physical activity and social interaction.

7 Outdoor Games for Older Kids

  1. Capture the Flag 2.0: Glow-in-the-Dark Edition
    • Give the classic Capture the Flag a modern twist by playing it in the dark with glow sticks. Divide the kids into two teams, provide each player with glow stick accessories, and let the night come alive with laughter and friendly competition.
  2. Obstacle Course Extravaganza
    • Tap into your inner ninja warrior by creating a backyard obstacle course. Use hula hoops, cones, jump ropes, and even old tires to challenge your kids’ agility and strength. Time them as they navigate through the course, and watch their determination shine through.
  3. DIY Giant Jenga
    • Elevate the excitement with a life-sized version of everyone’s favorite stacking game. Gather some 2x4s, cut them into equal-sized blocks, and watch as the tower grows taller. This game not only requires strategy but also tests balance and precision.
  4. Nature Scavenger Hunt
    • Foster a love for the environment by organizing a nature scavenger hunt. Create a list of items like pinecones, different types of leaves, or even specific rocks, and set your kids loose in the great outdoors. This game not only entertains but also educates about the beauty of nature.
  5. Water Balloon Piñata Party
    • Beat the heat and add a splash of fun with a water balloon piñata party. Hang water balloons from a tree branch or clothesline, blindfold the participants, and let the water-filled surprises burst forth. It’s a refreshing take on a classic game that’s sure to cool down even the hottest summer day.
  6. Kickball Tournament
    • Relive the playground glory days with a kickball tournament. Set up bases in your backyard, divide into teams, and kick, run, and slide to victory. It’s a fantastic way to encourage teamwork, coordination, and friendly competition.
  7. Disc Golf Adventure
    • For a game that combines strategy and precision, introduce your kids to disc golf. Set up a course using household items as targets, and watch as they master the art of throwing a flying disc. It’s a low-cost, high-fun activity that can be enjoyed by the whole family.

Choosing outdoor games for older kids

Choosing outdoor games for older kids involves considering several key criteria to ensure that the activities are engaging, age-appropriate, and promote physical and social development. Here are some criteria to keep in mind:

  1. Age Appropriateness:
    • Consider the age and maturity level of the kids. Some games may be more suitable for teenagers, while others are better for pre-teens. Make sure the complexity and physical demands of the game align with the age group.
  2. Physical Activity:
    • Outdoor games should encourage physical movement. Look for activities that involve running, jumping, throwing, and other forms of exercise. This not only promotes a healthy lifestyle but also helps burn off excess energy.
  3. Safety:
    • Safety is paramount. Ensure that the outdoor games chosen are safe for the age group and the environment. Check for potential hazards in the play area and provide any necessary safety equipment, such as helmets or padding.
  4. Social Interaction:
    • Opt for games that promote teamwork, cooperation, and social interaction. Activities that involve working together, communication, and friendly competition contribute to the development of social skills.
  5. Skill Development:
    • Choose games that allow for the development of various skills, such as hand-eye coordination, balance, strategic thinking, and problem-solving. Outdoor activities can offer a platform for kids to enhance these skills in a fun and informal setting.
  6. Engagement and Interest:
    • Consider the interests of the older kids. Whether they enjoy sports, creative challenges, or strategic thinking, selecting games that align with their preferences ensures a higher level of engagement and enthusiasm.
  7. Accessibility:
    • Ensure that the games can be easily set up in the chosen outdoor space. Avoid activities that require specialized equipment that may be challenging to obtain or set up. Accessibility contributes to the practicality of the chosen games.
  8. Adaptability:
    • Look for games that can be easily adapted to different group sizes and skill levels. This ensures that the activities remain inclusive and enjoyable for a diverse range of participants.
  9. Seasonal Considerations:
    • Take into account the weather and season when planning outdoor activities. Some games may be more suitable for warmer weather, while others can be enjoyed year-round. Be prepared with alternative activities in case of unexpected changes in weather.
  10. Cost and Equipment:
    • Evaluate the cost and availability of any necessary equipment. Opt for games that are budget-friendly and use readily available items to make them accessible to a wider audience.

In a world dominated by screens, it’s crucial to provide our older kids with outdoor experiences that ignite their imagination and foster a love for physical activity. These outdoor games not only guarantee hours of entertainment but also create lasting memories and promote a healthy, active lifestyle. So, gear up, head outside, and let the games begin!

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