Forget screen time: 6 traditional outdoor games your kids will LOVE

 

We're always trying to the get the kids away from screens and get them to spend more time outdoors. 

 

There are numerous health and social benefits to playing traditional outdoor games and now that the weather is a little milder, they have no excuse. 

 

 If you have an only child why not invite round some of their friends for a games evening?

 

These are all simple games and most of them don't require any special equipment, just lots of energy.

 

These are some fun outdoor games we loved playing as kids and we bet your kids will love them too.

 

 

1. Hide and Seek

This is one traditional game that never goes out of fashion. You'll need three or more players and a child who's patient enough to count to 100.

 

If you're playing with younger kids, get them to count to 30 instead.

 

Hide and Seek is great fun outdoors but can be moved inside on a rainy day too. 

 

2. Capture the Flag

This game is most fun when played with a large group. Split the group into two teams, each team having a flag or other marker at the team’s base.

 

The object of the game is to run into the other team’s territory, capture their flag and make it safely back to your own base. 

 

 

Each team has a "jail" to imprison enemy players. Just tag an enemy player to catch them.

 

 They can be sprung from jail by a member of their own team running into your territory, tagging them and running back, with one freed person allowed per jail break. 

 

3. Traffic Cop

This game works best on a large paved area or driveway without any cars. 

 

Try a playground if you don't have a suitable space at home.

 

Get each kid to bring a bike, tricycle, scooter or wagon. Anything on wheels works!

 

 

If someone doesn't have a bike, they can be a pedestrian or take turns at being "traffic warden."

 

One person gets to be "traffic warden" and directs traffic to make sure kids don’t run into each other.

 

It is more fun than it sounds, and helps kids learn about waiting to cross the street and about traffic safety.

 

4. Jump-Rope and Double Dutch

We all remember how much fun skipping rope games were when we were little.

 

Double Dutch is played with two long skipping ropes turning in opposite directions are jumped by one or more players jumping simultaneously.

 

 

Singing rhymes or chants while jumping makes it loads of fun. 

 

Get your kids to invent their own variations of these games, they'll have so much fun. 

 

5. Red Light, Green Light

This is one we loved back in the day in school and only requires a small group.

 

One person is the traffic light at one end, and the other players are at the other end.

 

When the traffic light faces the group, he or she says, “Red light!” and everyone must freeze. The traffic light then turns his or her back and says, “Green light!” while the group tries to get as close to the traffic light as possible.

 

 

 You can add some variety to this game by getting the kids to "freeze" in silly positions, i.e. standing on one leg.

 

The traffic light turns around quickly, again saying, “Red light!”, and if anyone is spotted moving, they have to go back to the starting place. 

 

The first person to tag the traffic light wins and gets to be the next traffic light.

 

6. Freeze Dance

You'll need something to play music for this.

 

 Choose one person to be in charge of the music. When the music starts, everyone else dances, the crazier the better.

 

 

When the music stops, the dancers must freeze in their position.

 

Anyone caught moving after that is out. Play continues until there is one person left, the winner.

Déanta in Éirinn - Sheology
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