Kid Activities
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Outdoor Games for School-Age kids!

July 4, 2010 22:19 by Barbara Shelby

Updated January 2013

Warm weather or cold weather, you'll want to get the children outside to play. In this category, you'll find a nice variety of games for mixed age groups... Some old games and some new games --but you'll certainly rate high when you introduce or facilitate the following fun!



It's best played with lots of places to hide. The person who is the counter (or seeker) stands next to a designated tree and closes their eyes while counting to ______.  The rest of the players run and hide.  When the seeker is done counting, they call out “Ready or Not, Here I come!” and begin searching for everyone else.  The goal for those hiding is to get back and touch the tree before being tagged.  Those who are tagged before touching the tree are also “It” and join the seeker.  The last one to reach the tree or be tagged is the seeker for the next game.


This game is played like traditional tag.
The number of children playing, will determine the number of "ITS" you have--which would normally be from 1 to 3.
Every ______ minutes, change your "It".

 When children get tagged, they must remain still and put their arms out in a “T” position.
They are released from this “frozen T” position when another child runs under their arms.


Divide children into pairs leaving one child who is "It" and one child who will be the first to be chased.
Have each group of partners link elbows-- and all of the pairs form a large circle, allowing 10 feet of space between each pair.

"It" runs after the other "not joined by the elbow" child inside the circle-----as in a traditional game of tag.
If the child being chased needs a break--he or she can run to a pair of children and link elbows with one of them.
The child in the pair who WAS NOT linked by the chased child ---is now "It's" new target and must break away quickly to avoid being tagged by "It."




A cooperative tag game...
One or two people volunteer to be ant-eaters, the rest start out as ants. By tagging them, ant-eaters attempt to stun all of the ants on the ant hill---while the ants struggle to avoid the ant-eaters ---and rescue their friends.

  • Start by creating a boundary for play (i.e., the ant hill).
    Use landmarks such as trees or cones to create the ant-hill and have everyone step inside.
  • The ant‘s must avoid the ant-eater and work together to save their ant friends who have been stunned.
  • When an ant is tagged by the ant-eater, the individual sits on the ground and calls for help.
    Stunned ants cannot move from the spot, but may wave their arms and legs to alert other ants to their situation.
  • To make a rescue, four ants must surround a stunned ant---lock their arms in a circle---and escort the individual off the ant hill to a location just outside of the play area.
  • When all four ants have locked into positions for a rescue, they cannot be targeted by the ant-eater.
  • Once an ant has been rescued, he or she returns with the rescuers to the game.
  • Play as many rounds as you wish, and switch ant-eaters frequently.



 You need: A gym floor with 4 squares or PAVEMENT and CHALK..
1. Draw a 6- to 10-foot square on a paved surface.
2. Divide the larger square into four smaller squares, number the squares 1 to 4, and have each child stand in a block.
3. The player in square 4 serves the ball by bouncing it in his square and tapping the ball into another square.
4. The player in that space must tap the ball (after one bounce) into another kid's area, and so on, until someone misses the ball, lets the ball bounce twice, or sends it out of the grid.
5. The player who misses the ball steps out and the remaining players rotate up through the numbered squares. If you are playing with more than four players, a new player enters the game at square 1.
The player who is out waits in line to re-enter the game once square 1 is open again. Whoever is now in square 4 serves the ball to resume play.



Draw a line in the dirt or field and get a rope.
 Number off the same amount on each side of the rope.
The first team that gets the other team across their side of the line wins. Caregivers and teachers--join in!!!


Place a coffee can in a large open area to be home base.
"It" counts to 50 while the other kids hide.
When "It" SEES a child, he/she calls their name.
They both race to the can, and try to kick it first.
If "It" kicks the can, the hider is caught and placed in "prison" in a pre-selected area.
If the hider kicks the can, he/she and all players in prison are free, and "It" must count again


Scatter out several hula hoops around the play area.
Assign taggers to freeze the other players.
Students inside a hula hoop can not get frozen, but can only stay long enough to count to 10.
Only one child per hula hoop is allowed. 


Equipment: Pavement, stones, chalk
Draw the layout with the chalk - From bottom to top---
3 single squares, 1 double square, 2 single squares, 1 double square, 1 single square.
Number the squares.

The two basic rules of hop scotch are:
1) One foot in each square only
2) Hop over the square with the rock in it.
Use a rock to throw into the first square.
Hop on one foot over the square with the rock in it.
Land with two feet on the double squares.
On the second turn, throw the rock into the second square, and so forth.
The tricky part is staying on one foot when the rock is in one of the side-by-side squares.
If you have a side walk--you can also play by marking two side walk squares with an "X" going from corner to corner in each square.
The part of the "X" portion closest to you (at the very bottom) would be #1...
#2 would be above that to the right
#3 is to the left of 2---and #4 goes in the top portion of the "X"
Mark the square above the same--with #5, 6, 7, and 8...Proceed to play as above.


PICK-POCKET TAG (Or Tail Tag) Need Flags or a strip of cloth to be used as a tail.
Players have a tail inserted into his/her belt or pocket that is hanging at the back-side.
All players chase one another trying to collect tails, while protecting his/her own.
Players with the most tails collected in a specified time are the winners. (Game is good in the gym or outside)


Children are divided into teams.
They each select one child from each team to be the prisoner of the other team and the two prisoners are placed in jail. This can be a designated area or a chalk box if playing outside.
The teams each line up and the object of the game is to free the prisoner from the other team.
The teams must get to the prison by going to the other team’s side to free the prisoner.
If tagged, that child then becomes a prisoner too and must go to jail.
 If a child makes it to jail, however, he or she is safe as long as he is inside the prison.
The rescuer can only rescue one person at a time and can choose the right time to “break for it.”


(Boyscout Rules)

Need: Two flags (you can make flags with two sticks and bandanas) Divide the kids into two teams and decide on the teams' territories. Be sure to specifically state the boundary lines of each team's territory because once a player crosses that boundary line they are subject to being caught. Also, decide where each team's jail will be located.

  • For the first few minutes of the game, each team decides where to place its flag. It must be visible and it cannot be moved by its team. A 10-20 foot circle around the flag is a safety zone that cannot be entered by its team unless the opposing team enters the circle first.
  • The object of the game is to grab the other team's flag and carry it safely back to your team's territory.
  • Part of the team stays to guard their flag and part of the team goes on the capture mission in enemy territory.
  • If a player sees an opposing team member enter his territory, he can catch him by tagging him long enough to say "Caught!" three times .
  • When a player is caught, he must go to the jail area.
  • The player stays in jail until one of his teammates sneaks in and tags him.
  • Only one prisoner at a time can be freed.

When a player grabs the flag, he/she must make it all the way back to their home territory without being caught. If they do make it back, their team wins!
Adapted from


(You can call this game anything you want. An idea is to use brown and green yarn and call it snakes and worms...)

  • Cut two colors of yarn, each about 20 feet long. (If you have a large group playing at the same time--you may need 3 colors of yarn and cut the pieces longer)
  • Next cut the long length into many pieces.
  • Hide the pieces of yarn outside.
    When time to play, carefully explain rules and regulations to children.

Form two teams with one or two kids on each side as captains.
They will tie each yarn piece that is brought to them, to the next yarn piece.
The team with the longest finished yarn string wins!
Idea: This game would also be good for a party--and adapted to the inside. 


All the children line up side by side except the player who is the caller. The caller stands at a distance from the lined up players.
He calls on each player in turn to take a number of steps toward him. The steps allowed are: baby steps, giant steps, and scissor steps (like forward jumping jacks.)
The player answers "Mother, may I?"

The mother answers "Yes, you may."
The player takes the given number of steps toward the caller.
If the player forgets to ask permission after they get directions--- and takes steps toward the caller--- they are sent back to the starting line. The first player to reach the caller is the winner and new caller.
Idea: Change the name to the season: Teacher May I? Santa, Snowman, Cupid, Leprechaun, Bunny, etc.


A basic tag game.
If children are tagged, they must stand with their legs apart (stuck in
the mud) until someone crawls through and releases them.


Tic-tac-toe can be scratched in the dirt and is more enticing than on paper--Hangman, too. (or use chalk for pavement)
Sketch a checker board on the sidewalk and fabricate markers out of stones and acorns.
Or just spread a blanket on the grass for Monopoly or Candyland played in a whole new venue...


Also called 'Pickle' or 'Monkey in the Middle'...
Two or more players must pass a ball to one another, while a player in the middle attempts to intercept it.
The game could be considered a reverse form of dodgeball---instead of trying to hit people in the middle with the ball, players attempt to keep the ball away from them.

The basic game is played by drawing a circle on the ground about ten feet in diameter.
One person stands in the cener (the monkey, the piggy or the pickle) and the rest stand outside the circle.
A player outside the circle must then throw the ball through the circle to another person outside the circle with the goal being to prevent the person who is "it" from getting to the ball.
This continues until the person who is it catches the ball or gains possession due to a failed catch, etc.
Whoever threw the ball last then becomes it, and replaces the person in the middle.
Adapted from:



An idea inspired by World Pre-School Mom is to use fly swatters (At Dollar Store  about 2 for $1.00)...Children simply hit the balloon back and forth to each other!


Another great idea is to make paddles simply taping tongue depressor sticks to the back of paper plates. Use the paper plate 'paddles' to keep a blown up ballon up in the air--This game can be played in a gym or outdoors--- played individually or in a group! It's also a great way to repurpose  paper plates and balloons! Images by


Divide the group into groups of three or four; in each group, one person is designated the 'Master'--- the others are his 'Robots'.

'Robots' keep moving only in a straight line (walking like robots, of course) until they encounter an obstacle (edge of the area, a tree, another robot, etc.) of any kind.
They then stop and start "beeping" an S.O.S. to their 'master' ---who must come and start them moving again in another direction.
Perhaps a Master may want his robots to have a "unique" styled distress beep.
Periodically change the Masters in each group.


This is a game played much like pinball.
Players aim at targets & award hits (singles, doubles, triples, and home runs) for striking each one.
You need a rubber or tennis ball & targets.

  • Players need to decide upon a throwing line & targets----Rocks, boxes, toys, trees, piles of leaves, old sweatshirts, hula-hoops can be targets.
    When decided--for safety reasons-- mark off the playing field
  • Make the scoring system equal to the task.
    Each target is worth a certain kind of hit. Easy targets are singles, harder ones are doubles and so on.
  • Players take turns throwing at the targets.
    If the target is hit, the player's team gets the corresponding award (points).
    If the target is missed, the player's team is given one out. When the thrower has 3 outs, the next thrower comes to "bat".
  • Play as many innings as you like, keeping score.
    The player with the most hits (points) gets to pick the next targets.
    This can also be scored as a TEAM EFFORT.
    Source: Tonya at


Body part freeze tag is just like regular freeze tag except once tagged, you are not completely frozen.

  • Select one or two children to be “it.”
    These children run around tagging other children.
  • If a child is tagged on the arm, only the arm is frozen.
    If tagged on the leg, only the leg is frozen, so the child must hop on one leg.
    If both legs are tagged, the child can pull himself along the ground with arms (assuming they weren’t already tagged).
  • The object is to completely freeze as many as possible.
  • If you want, you can have others unfreeze body parts as well.


For this kids' outdoor game (it could also be played in a gym) make sure the land is flat and there are no trip hazards.
Blindfold all children, set them a distance apart from each other, spin them gently/slowly around, and then turn them loose.
They must find their friends, link arms, and then find the rest of their friends.
They will have a good time shuffling around and bumping into each other!
(Be sure an adult is present at all times)



Need: Quarter, sidewalk with sections and Playground Ball
Players: Two players

  • Each player stands behind a sidewalk section ‘facing each other’. They place a quarter standing upright in the sidewalk crack between them.
  • The first player will stand behind the line of the next sidewalk section and try to hit the standing quarter by bouncing the ball at it. If they hit the quarter they get one point and if it is knocked out of the crack they get two points.
  • The ball will bounce to the other player from across the crack. The second player will take a turn.
  • The first person to get 21 points is the winner.


(Can be played outside or inside gym area)
This game is for 5 or more players and should be played outside or in an open area.

  • To play, select four objects to be bases and give each base a name:
    "Don't like it," "Love it," "It's OK," "Never tried it."
  • Make signs for each base to make it easy to remember which is which!
  • Pick someone to be "IT." "IT" stands in the middle and the players stand on any base they want. "IT" calls out the name of a food.
  • Players then have to run to the base that describes how they feel about that food. "IT" tries to tag a player before he or she reaches the base. The player who is tagged then becomes the new "It "


Select one child, or perhaps yourself, to start the game and be the “stoplight”.
All the children line up on the other side of gym or field.
The designated stoplight yells “Green light!” and the children lined up start running.
The first one to make it to the stoplight wins and is now the stoplight.
It gets tricky when the stoplight changes, though.
The stoplight should yell “Red light!” to get children to stop.

Any movement by a child means she is sent back to the beginning.
The stoplight can also call out “yellow light” which means the children can only walk very slowly.
Variations to this game include yelling “red light” two times in a row, or adding body movements.
Say “green light” with your arms up one time and then say “red light,” but throw your arms up again to confuse runners into thinking your body language says “green light.”


RUNNING BASES ... ALSO CALLED 'PICKLE' (A great game for building baseball skills)
Need a 2 Bases, at least 3 players and rubber ball or tennis ball...

There are several versions for playing this game. This one is the most basic.

1. Set up two bases on a play area about 20 to 50 feet apart.(The distance depends on the skill level of the players)

2. Two players are 'fielders'. They each stand at a base and toss the ball to each other. All other players are 'runners'. If there is more than one runner--they divide and go to the bases.

3.The object is for the runner(s) to move from base to base without being tagged as the fielders toss the ball back and forth. If a runner is touching a base, he or she is safe. If they make it to the next base without being tagged out they score a run. If they are tagged it's an out.

4. A runner cannot hug a base. He/she must run at least every second time the ball is thrown. The fielder does not have to stay on the base to catch the ball. They may go after each runner.

5. The goal of the game is to touch the bases as many times as you can without being tagged out. The runner must keep track of how many times they touch the base before a fielder tags them out. When that runner gets out, they rotate positions so that the fielders can be the runner. After everyone has ran, they compare scores.(bases touched).


You will need a SUNNY DAY for this game.
"It" chases free players and when "it" steps on their shadow... the free player becomes "it."


This game does not really have an object, but it is fun.
One person puts on a blindfold while the others spin him around a few times.
The blindfolded person is led around the yard in winding circles, etc. --- until they get to their destination point.
The blindfolded person then gets to guess where he is and then has his blindfold removed to reveal his location.


Divide the players into two teams. Line them up, one in front of the other and set an odd object in front of the first players in line. They must kick the object across the yard (or gym) and the across the finish line to win a point for their team. Kick things like a pillow, empty can, a sock, and so on.


This one is fun! RAINBOW TAG
You Need:
Four or more players
Five tongue depressors, each one marked with a color of the rainbow
Water-based face paint crayons in the same rainbow colors
A pink or rainbow-colored article of clothing
Wet wipes
1. To prepare, hide each tongue depressor along with the matching color of face paint in a different place around the yard.
2. Next, choose someone to be Pinkie, the player who sneaks around trying to tag the other players and undo their progress. Give Pinkie something pink or rainbow-colored to wear.
3. To play, set everyone but Pinkie out in search of the sticks.
4. Each time a player finds one of the colored sticks he should:

  • Not give away the location to others.
  • Paint a stripe on his face.
  • Leave the stick and paint in place.
  • Bluffing is encouraged to keep the locations secret.

5. The catch: Pinkie will be lurking, trying to tag the players. Every time he/she does, she wipes off one of their stripes.
6. The first player to get one stripe in each color wins.


TRIGON (A game for three people)
Trigon is a game that goes back to ancient Egypt. (Ball State University says this game was also played by the ancient Greeks and Romans.)

1. In the modern version of 'trigon', three players stand at the outer points of a triangle, each side being about 20 feet long.
2. A baseball or softball is thrown by a player using the left hand to the player on his right. That player catches the ball with his right hand, and throws the ball to the third player with his left.
3. The third player repeats this, throwing to the first player, keeping the action going in a counter clockwise direction.
4. If a catchable ball is dropped, the thrower gets one point.

Variation: Any player can reverse the direction of play by batting the ball with either hand to either of the other two players.
A player can also hold the ball, stopping play, and fein throws to confuse opponents. A player may also place a second ball in play, which increases the difficulty of this game. The game is ended when a player reaches 21 points, at which time he/she is declared the winner.



Paint a target on the sheet and tie or sew bells to it; hang the sheet in a safe place. Have children throw balls or safe beanbags at the target. Encourage children to make the bells ring. If there is a visually impaired child, have one child give verbal directions in throwing. Allow a child with poor motor control to get very close to the target.


DON'T FORGET GAMES OF...Croquet, Sidewark Art Contest, Lawn Darts, Shuffle Board, Volley Ball, Horse Shoes, Paddle Ball, Badminton...etc.


SHARKS AND MINNOWS (From the Ocean Theme)

This tag game can be played in an open field or a gym.

One child starts out as the shark and all others are minnows. (If the group is large start out with two sharks)
Minnows stand in a straight line at one side of the field/gym--facing the shark that is in the center of the play area.
The shark shouts, "Minnows swim to me!"
All the minnows run to the other side of the field. If they reach the other side they are safe.
If they are tagged they also become a "shark" or "sea weed". The game continues with the leader shark saying, "Minnows swim to me" and the minnows try to get to the other side...

There are two versions to the game at this point...

#1.Method:  Once tagged the minnows (who are now sharks) also help run and tag the remaining players. The lead shark is always the caller.
The last 'safe minnow' becomes the new leader shark.

#2.Method: Once tagged the minnows sit down and become sea weed. The sea weed reaches out as the minnow run/swim by and if tagged--also sit and become sea weed.
The last untagged minnow is the new shark.


THREE GAMES TO PLAY IN THE SAND (Also, check out the Sand Theme!)

Required: Sand Play area, Numbered tags and prizes
Players: Small to medium groups. Play this game at a sandy area like a volleyball court or large sandbox. The object of the game is to hide small tags or slips of paper that have been labeled, in the sand. There are two options for labeling the slips of paper.

  • One would be using a point system by labeling the tags 2 points, 5 points, and/or 10 points.
  • Bury the tags with the higher points deeper in the sand, so that it takes a little bit more effort to find them.
    A point system would work better for a small group. For each player you should make and bury about 5-8 tags.
    The other option rather than the point system for labeling tags is winning a prize.
  • Purchase various prizes for the group to win from small items like candy pieces, bags of chips and cracker snacks, to large items that might have even been donated. Have each number on the tags represent a different prize.
    By Bob Brickner at


Have children pretend to be gold miners.
Paint very small rocks, gold.
Hide them in the sand.
Give your children small sifters to sift through the sand looking for gold.


What child wouldn’t like searching for dinosaur bones.
Save old chicken bones.
Clean in hot soapy water.
Hide the bones in the sand.
Give children small brushes to brush through the sand searching for bones.




1.  Have child lay on cement. Outline the body shape in an ACTION pose...fill in the body with realistic clothing and details.
2.  Playing a game with boundaries? Pull out the chalk to mark them on the concrete.
3.  Mark off broad jumps and leaps!
4.  Outline shoes. Who has the largest or smallest foot? 
5.  Hopscotch
6.  A group mural


Consider having a JUMP-ROPE  MARATHON (DAY OR WEEK...) Keep track of numbers of jumps reached---and the kids try to beat their own highest number by the end of the day or week...


Some other categories on this site may also work for you! Just click and you're there!

Also check out the VARIOUS HOLIDAY, SEASONAL AND THEME CATEGORIES ...They ALL have games in them!


Races, Relays, Balloons & Bean Bag Games!

February 27, 2010 05:39 by Barbara Shelby

Updated January 2013

THE FOLLOWING GAMES ARE GREAT FOR BOTH INDOOR AND OUTDOOR PLAY--as well as parties, themes and Red, White and Blue Days! Below are relay and races as well as games that use bean bags, eggs, and balloons!


Two newspaper sheets required per player.
Each player must race to the turning point and back, stepping only on his newspapers.
He steps on one, lays the other in front of him steps on it, moves the first forward, and steps on it and so on.


Players run to turning point, stop, lie down on their backs, fold hands across chest and get up without moving their arms, and run back to finish line.


HUMAN HURDLE (Must have at least 10 players)

1. Divide players into 2 teams...with each team laying in a circle.(Be sure there is a wide space between each player and heads are towards the center of the circle.

2. Assign each team member a number. (If there are 6 players on each team, each team player will be number 1 through 6) #1 on each team, gets up and runs over the bodies in the group--until they get back to their own spot.

3. #2 gets up and does the same. The first team to have all runners 'hurdle'--is the winner!



1. Have kids get into pretzel positions by standing on their left leg.
2. Lift the right leg and cross it in front of the left knee.
3. Cross arms in front of the body.
4. On the word "go" hop to the finish line. The "pretzel" who gets to the finish line 1st wins.


All members in the team stand astride. Runners must first crawl under the legs of all players in the team--run forward to the turn around point --and return to tag the next person of the team who does the same thing as the first player. Play continues...


Children stand in partners in a double circle.
The partners skip around the circle.
On signal, the inside person stops, folds their arms and puts their legs apart.
The outside person runs around the circle, goes through partner's tunnel and sits cross-legged on the inside of the circle.


Lay a broom across two chairs for each team.
Form teams and direct them to run from the starting line to the broom, crawl under the broom without knocking it off, and then run back to the starting line where they  tag the next guest in line.
Continue until each guest has had a turn.
The team to finish first wins.


Team formation, Players #1 stand facing the goal.
Player #2 stands beside him, with his back to the goal.
The two players link elbows and on the signal, the pair run to the goal and back.
One person runs backward each time.
The rest of the players repeat the same action until every person has a turn.


Partners assume the Wheel barrow and pusher position.
On the signal, advance to the turning point where they change positions and return to the starting line.


Need several balls and a bat, broom, or yardstick for each team.
Put teams in separate lines (rows).
First child takes the ball and pushes or bats (whatever you decide) the ball from one end of the room to the other.
They then pick up the ball with one hand and drag the broom or stick with the other... and run back to starting line.
It can be varied by  the kids going backwards while pushing or batting the ball to their teams or the players hopping while going back and forth.


CARTWHEEL RACE - Self explanatory Laughing

CONSEQUETIVE JUMPS - Everyone jumps in predetermined fashion


Divide the group into teams of 8-10 players and give each team a banana.

Some ideas for Banana Relays:
1. Place the banana between the knees and hop down the course and back.
2. Two teammates tossing the banana back and forth down the course and back.
3. The banana under your armpit and hopping on one leg down and back.
4. Teammates line up in leapfrog formation and first player hops over players while holding banana and then tosses banana to next player in line to do the same.

Show the players all the relays that they’ll have to complete for the Olympics. You may have to write them on a large white board so that all players will know what relay is next. Once a team has completed all these relays someone (or the whole team) on the team must eat the banana and the team that is done first is the winner. Use your own ideas, add to the list or use only a few ideas. You can adjust this game to all types of players including the disabled.


1.  Need three or four balls and cones...
2.  Partners are placed in file formation.
3.  Place cones at the end of the play area.
4.  The first two partners have a soccer ball.
5.  On signal, they must run, PASSING THE BALL FROM ONE TO THE OTHER... up to.. and around... the cone.
6.  They return passing the ball the same way ..and give the ball to the next two in their team.
7.  Relay play continues in same manner.


Need about five hoops
1.  Line up File line...
2.  The first player runs up and picks up a hoop.
3.  The other team members run up and go through the hoop.
4.  When all are through, the leader with the hoop rushes back with the hoop.
5.  The leader hands the hoop to the second person who runs up and everyone runs through again.
6.  Give everyone the chance to be the leader.


Have the children bring two shoe boxes with them.
Tape the lids onto the boxes, then cut a one-inch-wide and four-inch long slit in each top.
Have the contestants slip their feet into the slits in the boxes and race...
The race can be individual--with all youth racing together in a horizontal line--or done as a relay.


1.  Create groups of four or five players in file formation.
2.  The teams stand behind a line.
3.  TWO PLAYERS FROM EACH TEAM ARE DESIGNATED AS OBSTACLES: one to go under and one to jump over.
4.  On signal, the first person in each team runs up and crawls UNDER the first obstacle; This person obstacle does a push up holding the position.
5.  The player then jumps OVER the second obstacle and then touches the given line. This player then runs back to tag the next team member to do the same.


Need: Two long ropes
Divide the children into two teams, on at each end of the play area.
On your signal
, the two teams run and try to jump the ropes.
Keep on widening the ropes each time.
If the students land in the creek, they must dry their feet (lie on their back and shake their legs)
They then get up and continue the jumps!


Materials Needed:
Lots of cotton balls, Vaseline, 2 or 4 bowls, tissue paper

1. Put a handful of cotton balls in one of the bowls.
 Put the bowl at one end of a rug or mat that is on the floor (Or just play on floor)
Put the other empty bowl on the opposite end of the mat.
2. Rub Vaseline on the child’s nose and have them put their nose in the bowl with the cotton balls.
3. The object of the game is to get as many cotton balls as possible on their nose without using their hands.
4. After cotton balls are stuck to their nose—they crawl over to the empty bowl --- and take them off their nose with their hands-- kids then put them in the bowl. Wipe the Vaseline off with a tissue or napkin.
5. If you play with TEAMS set a time limit, and see who moves the most cotton balls from one bowl to the next.


OBSTACLE RELAY (set up two courses)
Players run the course from the head of the team to the turning point and back to the head of the team.
They follow the course as to whatever you have set-up.
The use of hoops, skipping ropes, Indian clubs, mats, low vaulting boxes, basketball hoops, or what-have-you offer an almost endless selection of obstacles. 


POPCORN RELAY RACE All it takes are two big bowls of popcorn and some small cups per team. Have kids run and get a cupful of popcorn and transfer it to the bowl across the room. The first team finished wins. Because of potential popcorn mess, this would be good played outside! The critters can eat what isn't’ swept up! (Play in gym if you’re brave!)


• Split youth into two teams.
Give each team a cup of popcorn.
Have each player take turns walking with the cup of popcorn on their heads, across the room, around a chair and back to their team.
Play for a specified amount of time such as 2 minutes or more. The team that has the most popcorn left in their cup wins!


THE WORM SQUIRM Obstacle Course Game
... Great for a "Pajama or Bug Theme party"! This is an obstacle course made of pillows, boxes etc, ... when it's your turn, you squirm like a worm on your belly to complete the obstacle course

In stunt relays, the runners advance to the turning point--- stops and performs a stunt (that has been pre-determined).
They return to tag the next runner on their team.
There is virtually no end to the number of stunts which can be performed.


Form relay lines.
1.  Everyone in each line puts their left hand between their legs and the person behind grabs that hand with their right hand.
2.  Then they run at a given signal to the other end of the playing area and back.
3.  The first team to return 'intact' wins!


It's best to play on a grassy area or even a sandy beach.
You’ll need:
Old rags or stockings
Cut rags in wide strips ~ 3 feet long.
Use old stockings; they are softer and have some give to them. Pair up into partners and stand side by side.

Tie one persons left leg to the other player’s right, or vise versa. Practice walking together until you get a rhythm going and then try hopping or running. This can be played as a race or just for active fun.
An obstacle course can be created as well. For a real challenge if it is warm -try adding and avoiding an oscillating sprinkler. Be sure to wear swim suits!
The kids won’t be able to make it without getting wet!


You need: yard stick and tape

  • Measure out 100" on the floor or field.
  • Mark a start and finish line with the tape.
  • Start the race at the signal and try to reach the finish line.
  • What makes this difficult is that the children are to move their feet only one inch at a time by taking baby steps!
  • The winner crosses the finish line first.


If you are lucky enough to have a feed supply store near by, burlap sacks can be purchased inexpensively. If not, old pillow cases will do. A soft grassy park or lawn will prevent scrapes. (I purchased  sacks at Oriental Trading) bjs

Each player steps into his/her sack with both feet.
Pull the sack high enough to hold the edges.
Practice hopping first, until all of the players get the hang of it.
Identify the start and finish lines.
Blow the whistle and go!
Adjust the race with obstacles for more excitement----or if it's summer add sprinklers...


Need: Paper Bags
Give each child a small paper bag.
With the signal, race to the marker and then blow up the bags.
Instruct youth to pop  them with their hands and then race back to the line.
The first player to pop his/her bag and return to the finish line is the winner.



Tape down or mark a starting and finish line.

  • To start each child holds a bent drinking straw between their nose and upper lip. (Demonstrate this by curling the lip and holding it tight.)
  • The first child who reaches the finish line-without loosing the straw is the winner.
  • Adjust the running distance to the age of the child.

1.  If you are playing in a group with more than three players, you start by lining up in single file.
2.  The first person in the line takes a few steps forwards and then bends over to make the first frog.
3.  The next person in the line then leaps the first frog, carries on for a few steps and then bends over to make the second frog.
4.  The third person in the line then has to run and leap frogs one and two and then bends over to make the third frog.
5.  This carries on until all the players have jumped. This can be played with one line or in Teams.



DISCUS THROW: Use a paper plate
SHOT-PUT: Use a balloon
TRACK RACE: Each player lines up at the start line and race by placing the heel of one foot against the toe of the next.
The first one to the end of the track and back wins.
HIGH JUMP: Each contestant takes a deep breath and whistles.
The contestant who holds the note the longest wins.
HIGH DIVE: Each player stands on a chair (or faces the chair back-rest and then kneels chair seat) with ten clothes pins and drops them into an empty bottle.
The player that gets the most wins.


BACKWARD RACE (Good for younger children)
As quickly as possible, walk backwards to the finish line.
While doing this—try not to bump into each other.


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EGG RACES! (They're not only for Easter!)

You’ll need one, hard-boiled egg for each pair of children.
Have the children stand across from a partner. They should stand one foot apart.
When the leader says, “Go” the children should toss the eggs to their partners.
With hard-boiled eggs, everyone can play the whole game because the eggs won’t crack.
With each toss, the children should back up one step. Play until the eggs are destroyed and before the kids get bored. 

This can be played as a race or relay…
Use a tablespoon and a hard-boiled egg or plastic Easter egg and plastic spoon.
Children try to walk fast holding the egg in the spoon to the finish line.
It can also be done as a relay and have one child in the middle of the race line waiting.
The children transfer the egg to their relay partner's spoon and go!


Give each child a tablespoon and a hard-boiled egg.
The children form a line and one is the leader.
Each one holds the spoon with the egg in its bowl at arm's length and hops on one foot, following wherever the leader leads them.
To drop the egg or rest on both feet prevents one from continuing in the game. They stay out until the next round.




Put up a chart with the below challenges...who can complete the list????

•Throw a beanbag in the air, turn around, and catch it again.

Throw the beanbag up and backwards over your head and try to catch it behind your back.

Throw the beanbag in the air, clap your hands once, and catch it. Now try clapping your hands twice, then three times, and so on. How high can you go?

Throw the beanbag in the air and clap your hands under your right leg before catching it. Now try with your left leg. Now clap behind your back. Invent some more challenges.

Throw the beanbag up, jump, and try to catch it. Jump twice. Jump three times!

Throw it up, kneel down and try to catch it.

Throw and catch with just your right hand, then with just your left.

Try throwing it up and catching it with your eyes closed!

Balance the beanbag on your right foot, then throw it up and catch it from there. Can you do it with your left foot too?

Can you throw the beanbag up and catch it on your left foot?

Can you run with a beanbag balanced on your head? Can you jump? Can you twist around? Can you kneel down and stand up again, or sit down? Can you climb the stairs? Can you do any of these things with two beanbags balanced on your head? Or three?

Try balancing a beanbag on each shoulder while you walk, run, jump etc.

Sing one of your favorite songs or rhymes while you throw the beanbag up and catch it, or pass it round a circle of children.

Set up a variety of hoops, containers and targets and have some throwing practice. How far can you throw the beanbag? Does it make a difference if you throw over-arm or underarm? Adapted From:


BEAN BAG RELAY GAMES Age: 4 and all the way up!
Divide the children into teams and line them up in rows. Give the child at the front of each row a beanbag.
How to play: The children pass the beanbag from one to the next and back again, in a particular style, which you can decide as appropriate for the age of the children

  • Pass it down the row with the right hand only
  • Pass it up the row with left hand only
  • Pass it down the row with both hands
  • Pass it up the row with right hand over left shoulder
  • Pass it down the row with left hand over right shoulder
  • Pass it up the row under the right leg
  • Pass it down the row under the left leg, and so on

TIP: For younger children, it might be a good idea to practice the game movements first! If a beanbag is dropped, you can make the children start again from the the front of the row.
TIP: Cue the kids! On a white board or chart paper write the order of steps in passing the bean bags.


Buy or make a painted wood or cardboard bean bag toss. Make the shape according to the theme.
Use bean bags to toss—or be creative and toss something based on the theme. Example: Scrunched up paper or large marshmallows for a winter theme.



Several balloons and string needed.
Each player is given two balloons to be inflated and tied around each ankle with a piece of string.
Object of game is to burst the other players balloons with their feet—no hands allowed.
Winner is last person with a balloon or balloons. Game can be played with or without boundaries.


Need several pre-blown balloons.

  • Players may stand or sit.
  • Each team is given a balloon to keep in the air for as long as possible. They can only bat or tap the balloon to keep it afloat—no throwing or catching is allowed.
  • Each time the balloon hits the ground- a point is scored AGAINST that team. (Some one needs to keep score.)
  • The team with the lowest score is the winner.


A contest to see who can keep a balloon in the air the longest using only their head.
The person who can keep it in the air longest without using anything but their head is the winner.
 (This game can also be played in teams).



1 balloon per player, not inflated--Tape or string to make a target...
Played from a line or circle...

  • All players inflate their balloon. Some players may need help.
  • When the leader says "1, 2, 3, GO!" The players release their balloons in the direction of the target. If you are having a THEME PARTY, use a picture from the theme as the target center.
  • Score 5 points for the closest balloon and 15 points for a direct hit.

This game works well with teams - each team gets their own colored balloons; red, blue, green etc. Or, you do not need to keep score at all and just have fun playing the game several times. Source:



An idea inspired by World Pre-School Mom is to use fly swatters (At Dollar Store  about 2 for $1.00)...Children simply hit the balloon back and forth to each other!


Another great idea is to make paddles simply taping tongue depressor sticks to the back of paper plates. Use the paper plate 'paddles' to keep a blown up ballon up in the air--This game can be played in a gym or outdoors--- played individually or in a group! It's also a great way to repurpose  paper plates and balloons! (Images by


Lots of water balloons
Space for obstacle course

  • Set up a summer themed obstacle course.
  • Children place a water balloon under their chins and must negotiate the obstacle course without breaking the balloon.
  • This can also be done as a cooperative activity or group initiative. If a balloon breaks, that person must go back to the beginning, get another balloon and start again. The team must wait for the missing member to rejoin.


Many water balloons in buckets or tubs, laundry basket.

  • Participants stand in a circle and pass one balloon at a time around the circle--until many balloons at one time are going around.
  • After a given time, the number of balloons successfully passed is tallied.
  • Players then try to beat their score.


The Bean Bag photograph is courtesy of School in your Home.

 All you do is crumple up some napkins into a tight ball and then wrap another napkin around and secure in back with a rubber band. You can color the napkin with water-based markers before wrapping it or after. Experiment to see which works better. These inexpensive beanbags make for a fun activity for all ages--preschool and up! They would also make nice puppet heads!

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Jump Rope Rhymes and Games

March 23, 2009 02:30 by Barbara Shelby

Jumping rope is still a favorite on most playgrounds. Whether alone or in a group, jumping rope challenges both coordination and stamina. It's also a unique part of our cultural heritage. Historically it was first a game primarily for boys. Males usually did not use rhymes. Instead they spent their time on trick jumps: crossovers, double jumping, and peppers.

Migration of Americans from farms to towns and cities led to girls taking over this unique pastime of jump roping. One theory for this is that girls now had more time to play than they had back on the farm, and more friends to play with. On smooth city streets they put together dozens of games and hundreds of rhymes that make up modern jump rope lore.



To see what he could see, see, see.
But all that he could see, see, see.
Was the bottom of the deep blue sea, sea, sea.

COCA-COLA went to town
Pepsi cola shot him down
Dr. Pepper fixed him up and
changed him into Bubble up!

DOWN BY THE RIVER, down by the sea,
Johnny broke a bottle and blamed it on me.
I told ma, ma told pa,
Johnny got a spanking so ha ha ha.
How many spankings did Johnny get?
1, 2, 3.... (Keep counting until the jumper messes up).

ICE CREAM SODA, cherry on the top,
who's your boyfriend/girlfriend I forgot?
A,B,C,D,E,F,G,H (and so on until the person stops jumping) You take the letter he/she lands on and think of a name of someone you know that begins with the letter.

TEDDY BEAR, Teddy Bear, turn around, Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, touch the ground-- Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, show your shoe-Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, that will do!--Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, go upstairs--Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, say your prayers--Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, turn out the lights-Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, say good-night!
The children jump rope while they sing this rhyme, they act out the actions as the words come up in the rhyme. An example: when they say go upstairs, the child pretends to climb the stairs.


Cinderella went upstairs to kiss a 'fella --made a mistake and kissed a snake--how many doctors did it take? (count until someone messes up)

Cinderella, dressed in yella
went downtown to meet a fella
on the way her girdle busted,
How many people were disgusted?
10, 20, 30, 40, 50...
Until someone misses.

#1 I Like Coffee--With a partner...

I LIKE COFFEE, I like tea, I like (name of next person in line) to jump in with me." Then the two jump together, the second person saying the rhyme. When the rhyme is done, the first person runs out, and the new person comes in and jumps with the second person. OR...

# 2 I Like Coffee--Jump Alone...
I LIKE COFFEE, I like tea--I like the boys--And the boys like me--
Yes—No-- Maybe so—Yes—No-- Maybe so …etc.. (the answer is revealed when the child misses. )

His name was Tiny Tim
I put him in the bathtub, to see if he could swim
He drank all the water, he ate a bar of soap
The next thing you know he had a bubble in his throat.
In came the doctor, (person jumps in)
In came the nurse,( person jumps in)
In came the lady with the alligator purse (person jumps in)
Out went the doctor (person jumps out)
Out went the nurse (person jumps out)
Out went the lady with the alligator purse (person jumps out)

Verse: The two holding the rope chant:

"Peel a banana upside down; see if you can touch the ground.” (the jumper tries to touch the ground without being tripped by the rope),” If you spell your name correct, you will get another chance . . ." The jumper then spells her name, including saying "capital" for uppercase letters of her name. If the jumper trips or messes up the spelling, it's another jumper's turn.

STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE--Huckleberry pie--who's gonna be your lucky guy?
a, b, c, d, e, f, g etc.. Until the jumper misses.

DOWN IN THE VALLEY where the green grass grows,
There sat (jumper) pretty as a rose.
Up came (a boy in the class, particularly one the jumper likes) and kissed her on the cheek,
How many kisses did she get this week? Count until jumper misses.

All dressed in black, black, black
With silver buttons, buttons, buttons
All down her back, back, back
She asked her mother, mother, mother
For fifty cents, cents, cents
To see the elephant, elephant, elephant
Jump the fence, fence, fence.
They jumped so high, high, high
They touched the sky, sky, sky
And didn't come back, back, back
Till the fourth of July, July, July

Or, add to the end the following lines:
He jumped so high, high, high
He touched the sky, sky, sky
And he never came back, back, back

sat on a curbstone shooting dice.
The horse, he slipped and fell on the flea.
The flea said "Whoops, there's a horse on me."

in the pot.
Gotta get over
what the leaders got. 10. 20. 30. 40 ..... ( Speed rope up until jumper misses)

Keep track of who has what score- then see who has the highest count.

Participants jump in the rope one at a time. They jump the number of times depending on what grade they are in. All participants start at Kindergarten followed by grades 1, 2, 3 ...

For Kindergarten they run through the rope without jumping, first grade they jump once, and so on... If they miss as they are jumping, they have to start over at Kindergarten.

GRADE SCHOOL Decide how many will jump in! Participants jump in one at a time until everyone is in the rope.

First grade babies,
Second grade tots,
Third grade angels,
Fourth grade snots,
Fifth grade peaches,
Sixth grade plums,
All the rest are dirty bums!
Optional:  Do hot pepper (the rope turners turn the rope as fast as they can)



As they enter the rope, repeat
"ALL, ALL , ALL ..." until the last person is in the rope.
Say the chant and then the participants will exit on their birthday month.
“ALL, ALL, ALL, ALL ...”
“All in together, any kind of weather
I see a teacher looking out the window
Ding, dong a fire bell
January, February, March ...”


SPANISH DANCER, turn around, (jumper turns around )
Spanish dancer, touch the ground. (jumper touches the ground)

Spanish dancer, do a high kick, (jumper does a high kick)
Spanish dancer, get out of town quick! (jumper exits and the next jumper begins )

(Act out the different things as you're jumping rope)

I'm a little Dutch girl dressed in blue,
Here are the things I like to do:

Salute to the captain (salute)
Bow to the queen  (bow)
Turn my back on the submarine (turn around and face the other direction)
I can do the tap dance (dance)
I can do the splits (jump up high with legs apart)
I can do the hokey pokey (turn yourself around)
Just like this!



YOUNG CHILDREN can also enjoy jump rope games.
Starting at age 4, children can begin to learn. Start by having them jump over a stationary rope on the ground--- or an adult or another child can wiggle the rope and they can hop over the wiggling snake!

 Move on to swinging the rope back and forth slowly while they learn to jump over it; then once they get the hang of things, move on to swinging it overhead. If you don't have another adult or older child to help you swing the rope, you can hold one end of the rope and tie the other to a fence, chair, or play-scape.


Idea: Consider having a JUMP-ROPE MARATHON (DAY OR WEEK...)
Keep track of numbers of jumps reached---and the kids try to beat their OWN highest number by the end of the day or week...


Will Use: Jump ropes, plastic cups, and water

  • Give each child a plastic or paper cup full of water.
  • While two players twirl a large jump rope, jumpers one by one are to attempt three consecutive jumps.
  • They are to do this while holding onto their cup of water and trying to do let any water spill. The child that has the most water left is the winner.
  • You can keep playing until only one person has water left in their cup. (When you play games like this-make sure kids have their bathing suits on--let parents know that it will be "Water-Play Day!)



Need one jump rope per Team...Divide group into several small groups. The first player of each group runs to their jump rope-which is placed  about 30 feet in front of each group. They then do five jumps and return to the group. The first group/team to finish is the winner.

Extension Play...Jump backwards-five times; Jump five times on your left leg (or right leg); Jump rope and say the multiplication table of fives. Do this until you get to fifty--say one number each time you jump.




  • Children in this grade level will begin to enjoy jumping double Dutch. Double Dutch uses two people holding each side of the rope, but the trick is they use two ropes instead of one.
  • Those who are swinging the rope would swing the rope in their left hand to the left and the rope in his right hand to the right. The on looking children then jump the double ropes.
  • As participants become more skilled, the person jumping usually does tricks that may involve gymnastics or break dancing and can also incorporate fancy foot movements.

Young people do this for fitness and it is competed at world level. Double Dutch competitions are categorized as compulsory, free style and speed rope.

Check out you tube! There is no way any kids will think that jumping rope is for younger children once they realize the skill and sportmanship needed! Click on other group videos while there!


DO YOU HAVE A PARACHUTE? This isn't jumping rope-but something you can do with jump ropes!

SNAKES (OR WORMS) on a parachute...
Place four to six skipping ropes on the chute. By shaking the chute, the children try to shake them off. See Parchute Category for other game ideas...

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