Now that the weather is warming up and the sun is shining for a couple more hours each day, you can take your kids to the playground to let them run and play outside. Playground games never get old. All of the classics you grew up with as a kid remain some of the most fun games a child will ever play.
Kids are infiltrated with technology no matter where they are — school, home, the grocery store — you name it, there’s probably technology. However, playgrounds have remained safe spaces, free of modern technology. Kids can be kids there. Plus, at a playground, children can develop new skills, like climbing, running and jumping.
Although there are certain games for specific age groups, you’ll find playground games for kids of all ages below. And who knows? You might discover your inner kid wanting to play a game of tag or hide and seek too!
Capture the Flag
If there’s a large group of kids at the playground or your child is playing with a large friend group, they can play capture the flag. Encourage the kids to split off into two teams. Each team has a flag or other item at a designated base.
The goal is to run to the opposing team’s base, grab the item, and safely bring it back to their territory. If someone is tagged on the opposing team’s side, they are sent to jail but can be brought out by a fellow team member. This game teaches strategy and how to run fast without getting tagged.
Hide and Seek
Hide and seek is one of the most classic playground games. There are nervousness and excitement involved in the game! Any number of people can play as long as someone is hiding and the other is seeking.
One person is the seeker, and everyone else hides. As the seeker counts to a certain number, everyone else finds a place to hide in hopes the seeker doesn’t find them. If the seeker doesn’t find you after some time, you win!
Anyone can play Simon Says anywhere, so it’s perfect for the playground. You don’t need any materials to play this game either, just a few willing kids and someone to be Simon. One person is Simon. As Simon, they say “Simon says,” followed by an action, which can be something like hop on one foot or touch your nose.
Everyone needs to follow what Simon says. If Simon tells you to do an action but doesn’t start with those famous words, and someone does the action, they’re out of the game. The last person standing wins.
If you know how to play tag, then you’ll quickly catch on to Freeze Tag. This is another great running game, and you don’t need any equipment. All you need are a few people to play the game.
In traditional tag, the person who is “it” tags another person, and then the tagged person is “it.” The game continues indefinitely. For Freeze Tag, if you are tagged, you have to freeze in place until another person taps you to untag you.
Most playgrounds have a basketball court nearby. Next time you go to the playground, bring a basketball with you so your kids can play. They’ll learn skills like controlling the ball, throwing it into the hoop, aiming, and maybe even forming their team, like the Colorado Lightning.
If you have a larger group of kids, they can split into two teams and play a traditional basketball game. If not, there are other games to play like H-O-R-S-E or Around the World. They can also just have fun practicing dribbling or shooting baskets.
Red Rover, Red Rover, let the kids come over! This is another fun game if you have a large group of kids to entertain at the playground. Divide the kids into two teams. Each team forms a line while holding hands and facing the other team.
One team calls out, “Red Rover, Red Rover, let someone come over!” The child whose name is called has to run over to the other team as fast as possible and try to break through the held hands. If they successfully go through, they bring someone from the opposing team back to their side. If not, they have to join the opposing team. Play goes on until one team has no members left.
You can create an obstacle course out of anything. Use the playground equipment as obstacles for your obstacle course. The kids can jump over the swings, slide down the slide, climb the rock wall and finish by running to a bench. You can make it challenging for them no matter what ages are in the group.
They’ll improve skills like memory, motor skills, and physical skills while having fun and getting great exercise. Have the kids take turns creating their own obstacle courses as well.
Get Out and Play
Nature, fresh air and social interaction are essential for a child’s development. Going to a park and allowing your child to play games with other kids will help them learn and grow in new ways.
With these playground games for kids of all ages, your child will love stepping away from the electronics and will beg you to take them back to the park.