10 Classic Outdoor Games for Summer

1. Red Light/Green Light: To play, choose one person to be the “stop light.” The object for the rest of the players is to try to touch the stop light. Start the game with all players lined up about 15 feet away from the stop light. The stop light should have her back to the rest of the players. The stop light begins the game by calling “Green light!” At this point, all players are allowed to move towards the stoplight, but they must stop immediately when the stop light turns around and calls out “Red light!” Anyone caught moving after the red light is called is out. Play resumes when the stop light turns back around and again says “Green light.” The first player to touch the stop light wins the game and earns the right to be “stop light” for the next round. The stop light wins if all the players are out before anyone is able to touch her.

2. Hide and Seek: Hide and Seek goes down in the record books as probably the most popular outdoor game of all time. To start, choose one person “it.” The person who is “it” must then turn around, close his eyes, and count (usually to 10) at the “base” while the rest of the players hide. When the person who is “it” finishes counting, he calls out “Ready or Not, Here I Come” and rushes to “seek” everyone. The rest of the players try to get back to base without getting tagged or else they are “It”. If the person who is “It” doesn’t tag anyone, he remains “it” for the next round.

5. Kick The Can: Over the years, this classic backyard has taken on several different variations, but basically, all you need is three or more players, a can (or a ball or box), and a little room to run and hide. You also need a “jail:” any area within sight of the can where tagged players can wait to to rejoin the game. To play, select one player to be “it.” Place the can in the middle of the open area, so that there is some space between the can and the hiding spots. The person who is “it” stands with one foot on the can and closes her eyes while counting out loud to (usually to about 50) to give the other players time to hide. When the time is up, the person who is “it” opens her eyes and begins searching for the other players. Meanwhile, the other players must attempt to get past it and “kick the can.” If “It” tags someone before he kicks the can, that person must go to “jail” and wait. If “It” catches all the players, she wins the game.

8. Hopscotch: Hopscotch may be the oldest of these classic kids outdoor games — if you believe what you read on the Internet, which says Roman soldiers played it in ancient Britain. It’s easy to play, but difficult to explain in text. This video does a good job of showing you how it’s done:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fZzswQaICfM&feature=player_embedded

9. Kickball: To play kickball, you’ll need a medium-sized soft ball, a handful of kids, and some space to run around. The rules and setup are similar to baseball, but you use your feet to kick the ball instead of a bat.

10. Duck, duck, goose: In this game, kids sit down in a circle facing each other. To start, one person is selected as “it” and walks around the circle. As she walks around, she taps people’s heads and says whether they are a “duck” or a “goose”. Once someone is selected as the “goose” he get up and try to chase “it” around the circle. The goal for “it” is to run all the way around the circle and sit down in the “goose’s” spot. The goal for the “goose” is to tag “it” before she sits down. If he can’t, he becomes “it” for the next round and play continues. If he does tag “it,” then she has to sit in the center of the circle until another round when someone else is tagged and she is replaced.

Taken from Mother Nature Network

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