Society & Culture & Entertainment Games

Outside Games for Older Kids

    Backyard Bowling

    • Putting an outside spin on bowling, older kids line up household items, such as empty cereal boxes, soda cans or small stuffed toys, on a relatively flat surface. They then take turns rolling a small ball toward the items, scoring a point for each item they knock down, and getting two chances to knock every item down. One kid, who does not compete, acts as a leader and stands up all items before each kid's turn. After each kid takes five turns, the leader tallies all of the scores. The kid with the most points wins the game.

    Capture the Flag

    • Older kids strategize in their efforts to swipe the opposing team's "flag" in "Capture The Flag." Kids divide into two teams, with each team occupying half of the playing field. Teams choose a base position to keep their "flag" (which may be a shirt) and a goal position to keep "prisoners" from the opposing team who try to steal the team's "flag." To make the game less chaotic, teams designate some players to guard the "flag" and other players to act as "flag" hunters. Tagged players go to their opposition's goal and remain there until one of their team members frees/touches them. The team that captures the opposition's "flag" and returns it to their own territory wins the game.

    Dodge Ball

    • For those older kids with pent up energy, "Dodge Ball' should satisfy their need to get physical. Kids divide into two teams and stand across from each other, with a good amount of distance between them. Players try to throw a soft, rubber ball at their opponents, with players exiting the game once an opponent hits them below the waist with the ball. The team with the last remaining person wins the game.

    French Cricket

    • Older kids defend their lower legs against "bowling balls" when playing "French Cricket." All kids stand in a circle, taking turns as batter, bowler and fielders. As the batter, kids stand with their feet together and use a cricket bat or a tennis racket to defend their "stumps" (legs below the knees). One kid acts as the "bowler" and bowls a tennis ball at the "stumps." In turn, the batter tries hitting the ball away. The batter exits the game if a bowler hits the batter's legs; if the batter moves his feet at any time from their original position; or, if the bowler or a fielder catches the ball the batter hits before it hits the ground. When a bowler gets a batter out, the bowler takes the batter's place. When each kid takes a turn as the batter, a leader will time how long it takes each kid to get out. After everyone's had a turn as batter, declare a winner.

    Kick the Can

    • Older kids may play a variation on the traditional game of "Tag" by engaging in "Kick the Can." With at least three kids playing, kids place a "can" (a ball or empty coffee can) in an open space and choose one "It" player, who guards the "can." The "It" kid counts to a predetermined number (at least 20) while the other kids hide, and then the "It" kid searches for other players and tries tagging them. If the "it" kid captures a player, that player goes to "jail." Players not yet tagged can run and kick the can, which sets all captured players free. If the "It" kid finds all players, she wins. All kids should have a turn as "It."

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