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Getting your kids off the couch and outside is so important for both their physical and their mental health. Not only does it help them get the exercise their body needs but it also helps them to blow off steam, excess energy, and simply play.

Research has shown that play is so important to how kids develop. But playing the same thing over and over again can get boring pretty quickly. That’s where these outdoor games to keep your kids moving come into play.

These outdoor game ideas for kids are great for all age ranges. They’re meant to help you have your kids put the devices down and get off the couch and get moving.

While kids may know that they should go outside and play, they won’t always do that without help getting motivated to do so. With these fun ideas, you won’t have any problem motivating them to head outside!

Games to Get Your Kids Outside Playing

Tag

Think back to your childhood and I would be willing to bet you’ve played your fair share of games of tag. If you enjoyed it back then, your kids will enjoy it now.

A good game of old-fashioned tag is great for your kids because it teaches them to react quickly and gets them some pretty great exercise at the same time. As with most outdoor game ideas, tag is more fun to play with a group, but it can be played with only one or two kids making it the perfect option for both big and small families.

Hide and Seek

Hide and seek is a great way to help your kids learn deductive reasoning skills and to get them physical exercise at the same time. Be sure you give your kids a location to play in that has plenty of hiding places.

If you really want to kick up the skill level or if you have older kids or teens, consider letting them play at night using flashlights to tag someone. To play by flashlight, the rules are the same with one exception; instead of being physically tagged when someone finds you, the person who is “it” must tag you with the beam of their flashlight.

Red Rover

If you have a group of kids playing, line them up for a game of Red Rover. You remember this one, right?

The kids line up linking elbows. Then they chant “Red Rover, Red Rover, send *insert a name here* right over.” Then, the person who has been called out runs across trying to break through the chain. If they do, they stay in the game. If they don’t, they’re out. This game is geared toward younger kids although it can be played with older ones as well.

Frisbee (or Frisbee Golf)

Frisbee or Frisbee Golf is a great way to get your kids outdoors so they can play a game. The great thing about frisbee is that it is out of the norm and can be played in multiple ways.

For simplicity, simply play a regular game of Frisbee. To change it up, play Frisbee golf! Quite a few city parks have Frisbee Golf courses these days, but if not, buying a Frisbee Golf set can help you set one up, right in your backyard if you have the room. 

Baseball/Softball

Baseball is known as “America’s national pastime” for a reason. Nothing beats a game of baseball or softball on a warm spring or summer day! It’s also perfect for getting your kids outside and off the couch!

The great thing is that you don’t really need any special equipment to play backyard baseball. Just a baseball and bat and you’re good to go! You can literally use anything as bases, but if you do want something more authentic, you can buy baseball bases to use.

Touch Football

Touch football is a lot like baseball. It’s fun, it’s great physical activity and you don’t need much to play it. While football can be an aggressive game, playing touch or flag football helps to keep that aggression away. All you need is an American football, flags or hankies and a large field to play in.

Because of how physical American football can be, this idea is best for older kids or teens. After all, no one wants a little to accidentally be hurt.

Finally, this list of outdoor games for kids is great, but kids are so creative and imaginative that they don’t always need an organized game to have fun.

The biggest thing is that they are playing outside, getting the fresh air and exercise their bodies need. Whether that play is an organized game like above or is simply picking up a stick and playing pretend with it. It is the play that is most important; not the method of play.

WHAT’S NEXT?

While you’re here, be sure to check out other screen-free activities

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