Are you looking for fun outdoor kids games to keep the crazy at bay this summer? I sure am! These are also perfect if you are hosting a kids party at your house. Because the LAST thing you want to do is chase all those kids around and entertain them after you’ve fed them all the sugar. You’ll get all sweaty and stuff and no one wants that!
Outdoor Kids Games Rules
My first rule for fun outdoor kids games is that they should not require ME to be a part of said game. This is a vital, non-negotiable rule. So if you are looking for things where you get to play too, these may not be for you. Also, if you are looking for games that need a lot of STUFF, also not for you. For most of these, all you need is dirt and water.
Outdoor Kids Games Ideas
No yard? No free space in the garden? No problem. Get a big container (or a bunch of little ones) and fill it / them with dirt. Kids can plant flowers, vegetables, or even herbs. Look for fun-smelling herbs like chocolate mint or fennel.
If your kids are too young for planting, they can still have fun. Give them some natural objects to decorate their planter with – think rocks, pine cones, or branches.
If you have a burst of energy, you can also buy fairy garden accessories for cheap. Let them stick a little house in there for fairies, or Lego people! Toss in some plastic animals or tiny dolls, and you’ve got hours of entertainment.
This is the best because it is SO EASY. Give kids a big container of water – any pot or bowl will do. Raid your kitchen: toss in some cups, spoons, funnels, etc. Kids will have a BLAST.
If you are feeling really ambitious, you can add some food colouring to the mix. You can also throw in some ice (or even ice coloured with food colouring!) to kick it up a notch.
Give the kids some water and a paintbrush. They “paint” the sidewalk, driveway or patio with the water. NO CLEAN-UP. Enough said.
Sand or Fake Sand or Rocks
Kids like to dig. Give them sand or small rocks (both available for cheap at the hardware store). If you have very small children, use something edible like cornmeal or oatmeal. Dump it in a pile in your yard, or fill up a big plastic bin or a large pot. Give the kids sand toys and plastic animals to play with. Hours of fun!
Print out this scavenger hunt sheet (click on the pic below to launch a printable pdf) with items for the kids to find. Give them a crayon to mark things off as they see them. If you forget to print this, you can simply shout these things out from the porch where you are chilling out.
I also like to do Colour Hunts in the summer. Again, I sit on the porch and yell at the kids like a drill sargeant: “Find me something yellow! Find me something purple!”
This game does NOT work in the winter – the kids get pretty tired of finding things that are white or grey, our only wintertime options.
Back Yard Camping
Set up a tent in the back yard and toss some sleeping bags inside. Guaranteed adventure! Younger kids can participate, too – they can get into a tent for some bedtime stories with a flashlight before heading inside for bed.
Even if you don’t have a tent, you can still throw down some blankets and star-gaze. Break out some glow bracelets for extra fun!
Mud Pie Kitchen
Embrace summer messiness and make a mud pie kitchen. Give the kids kitchen bowls, utensils and metal pie plates and muffin tins. Add dirt and water. Done.
Digging for Treasure
Fill a big plastic bin with dirt and bury stuff. Bury some plastic jewels, and your kids can be pirates digging for treasure. Bury some plastic dinosaurs, and your kids are paleontologists. Either way, you are mom of the year!
Digging for Treasure… In Ice!
Fill a plastic bin or bowl with water. Toss a bunch of toys in and freeze it. Throw the resulting block of ice in the yard, and have the kids chip away to free the toys! (With plastic implements, of course. Injuries would mean you have to get up.)