20 Fun Outdoor Games For Families

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One of the best ways to spend a weekend with your loved ones is by trying a few outdoor games for families. Why? Because it is by far the easiest way to get everyone outside and enjoy the fresh air from toddlers and teenagers to parents and grandparents. These activities are perfect for any type of environment, whether you are in a park, on a beach, or right in your own backyard. And the best part is that it doesn’t matter how skilled or how old you are. These are all supposed to be enjoyed in good fun and not viewed as some sort of way to prove yourself.

That being said, the list of fun outdoor games for families that I have prepared for you below could come in handy anytime. You can use it for backyard parties, birthday events, outdoor family barbeques, it doesn’t really matter. What does matter is that you have an amazing display of useful options that you can whip up whenever you feel the need to spice up a family event or maximize a relaxing weekend at home.

1. Crossnet

Care for a game of volleyball with a twist? Then Crossnet should be your number one choice. It is great for families, especially for the ones that have two children because this activity is particularly tailored for four people ( you can always rotate players if you are a large family ). But what is great about this game is the fact that you can play it pretty much anywhere. Sand, grass, pavement, it doesn’t matter. It is also incredibly easy and quick to set up and the height of the net is adjustable so it is perfect for people of all ages. The package usually comes with four things: a net, a volleyball, a pump, and a backpack so you can carry the game everywhere you go. 

2. Twister

Twister is one of those classic games for groups that you have to try at least once in your life and a great choice to spend a fun sunny day outdoors with your family. It tests your physical strength, your flexibility, and the ability to coordinate with your team. It is all in all an amazing game to try on a day when you feel like burning some calories and having a good laugh. If you want, you can even go to the next level and create your own version of lawn Twister, using washable spray paint and a cardboard circle cutout.

3. Family Water Tag

If you are planning to have some fun with your family on a particularly hot summer day, then I definitely recommend this activity. Not only it is fun and exhilarating, but it will also keep your temperature down and cool you off instantly. Tag is just another classic group game but with this variation, you can give it an extra touch of enjoyment. All you have to do is fill some balloons with water and use them as your ammunition. The person who is “it”, will use the balloons and throw them at their target, marking them as the next “it”. Keep playing until the balloons are gone.

4. Hide and Seek

Another favorite of mine, Hide and Seek is the game I used to play with my family and friends whenever we got the chance. As a kid, you can imagine there was nothing else I loved doing more than hiding from my parents. My uncle owned a cabin in the woods near my hometown and when we went there for family barbeques, my cousins and I would play Hide and Seek for hours. Whether it was day or night, it didn’t matter. Actually, nighttime was our favorite time to play because the game would get even more exhilarating and fun. Either way, this is an incredibly fun activity and I highly recommend you try this with your family. 

5. Marco Polo

This game is for the lucky few that happen to have a swimming pool in their backyard or just the ones that found themselves on a beach while reading this. Marco Polo is a classic water game that your children will love for sure. The rules are simple. One person will be blindfolded and will try to find the others by saying “Marco”. The rest of the players must answer with “Polo” as the tagger will try to follow their voice in order to tag them. This is usually played in the water, but you can easily switch things up and do it on a hard surface, but you have to make sure the area has some clear boundaries around it.

6. Spikeball

Most people I know are obsessed with Spikeball. It is one of those “fusion” games where you can find some aspects of volleyball, a bit of foursquare, and so on. It is beloved by players everywhere and I would definitely recommend you try it with your family. Ok, so long story short, two teams made up of two people can take part in the game. One player will throw the ball on the net and the people from the opposing team have three chances to get the rubber ball back on the net as well. Also, as a quick tip, this game is a good choice for family trips as well, because it is portable and you can carry it with you wherever you go.

7. Hula Hoop Challenge

Another game option for you is the hula hoop challenge. Simply set a timer and get those hips moving. The family member that can last the longest wins the game. It’s pretty easy, right? Well, not so much when you actually try to keep that hula hoop spinning. Just try it and you will see. As a tip, hula hoops are pretty cheap and are usually sold at every local store. You can easily invest in them because they will come in handy when the kids want to have some fun at home.

8. Ring Toss

The Ring Toss is one of those outdoor games for families that you can put together really fast if you happen to have a set of random rings at home. If that is not the case, however, they are quite cheap if you want to purchase them and they can come in handy on a beautiful day when the kids are extra energetic and in need of some fun in the great outdoors. It is the perfect activity if you want to improve hand-eye coordination and it’s especially beneficial to children. Playing is really simple. You just have to toss the rings towards a specific target. It can be a cone or a stick, or whatever object you can use to hook the rings. The player that has the most rings pinned to the target wins the game.

9. Paintball

If you have some money to spend on an extra fun and adventurous day then you should try the classic game that is paintball. We still play this as a family to this day. As a small warning, paintball is not for everyone. It can get quite intense and accidents can happen, which is why I recommend this activity for families with kids that are grown up. Other than that, this is an amazing and exhilarating activity that will surely get your adrenaline kicking in. If you have a designated paintball service nearby that provides everything from costumes, guns, and a setup area, then I strongly recommend you give this game a shot. You won’t be disappointed!

10. Cops and Robbers

Cops and Robbers used to be my favorite game growing up. My parents loved to indulge me and my cousins in this game every time they got the chance. Or simply every time we begged hard enough and they just couldn’t refuse us. We had a huge yard where we would run around like there was no tomorrow, but you can easily play this game in any outdoor area. The rules are quite simple. You have two groups: the cops and the robbers. The cops have to catch every robber in order to win the game and robbers have to evade being sent to “jail”. As kids, we loved to be chased around so we would always be the robbers and the adults would be the cops, but you can play this however you’d like.

11. Scavenger Hunt

This is by far one of my favorite outdoor games for families as it feels like an adventure every time I get to be a part of it. Scavenger Hunts are perfect for large families and they are a great opportunity to teach children patience and harness their curiosity through scavenging. Planning these games takes a bit of time, but I believe it is worth every minute of your day. The space doesn’t matter as much, you can do it in a park, in a forest, or even in your own backyard. Just make sure you have selected the objects you are planning to hide and carefully compiled the clues that will lead to them. The rest will be left to the players as they will have a blast examining each clue and searching for the hidden treasure.

12. Obstacle Course

No list of outdoor games for families is complete without the obstacle course. This is one of the most beloved activities out there because it is highly customizable. You can prepare the course however you’d like, based on the space you have available, the age of the participants, their preferences, and so on. You can use all sorts of things as “obstacles” such as hula hoops to jump in, sprinkles to dodge, small kid’s tunnels, etc. The choices are endless and you get to be as creative as you want, so have fun with it.

13. Slippery Tug of War

I give you here another classic group game but with a cheeky summer twist to it. We all know how the regular Tug of War goes, right? You have two teams and one giant rope. Each team will be placed at one end of the giant rope and will try to pull it in their direction. In this version, I encourage you to use some water and soap to soak the rope in and it will get extra funny as both teams will have a harder time pulling and keeping their balance at the same time. And, since you are doing this with your family, you can divide the teams accordingly. Parents versus kids, boys versus girls, close family versus extended family are all popular approaches when it comes to teaming up for this game. So gather everybody and let the tugging begin!

14. Blanket Drag Race

This game is pretty self-explanatory and even though it is easy to put together, I guarantee is not as easy to play and actually win at it. You need some really amazing physical strength and resilience for you to take the crown. But first things first, gather some old blankets that you don’t mind ruining and divide the players into two teams. Each team will attempt to pull its members across the lawn as fast as they can and toward the finish line. The first team that can accomplish this task with all its members under the given time, wins the game.

15. Balloon Stomp Game

This is a fun little outdoor family game that you can assemble really quickly and with almost no effort at all. Each player will have a balloon tied around its ankle and everyone pretty much runs across the lawn, beach, or yard trying to pop the other player’s balloons. The last one left with their balloon intact wins the game. This game is perfect for the little ones as they will have a blast running after each other and stomping all day long.

16. DIY Hopscotch Match

Do you like to get your hands dirty and do things from scratch? Then this activity is for you! Every kid I know loves hopscotch and how fun would it be to have a match in your own backyard or right on the street in front of your house. After all, you only need some sidewalk space at your disposal, a few pieces of chalk and you are pretty much good to go. You need to draw the squares with the numbers as shown in the picture below. Then take a turn in throwing a stone at the pavement design. Wherever the stone lands you have to reach it by jumping on one leg on the single squares and two feet on the double ones.

17. Bean Bag Toss

This is yet another staple on your list of outdoor games for families. It is perfect for a fun summer day and you can easily host the game right in your own backyard. What happens here is that every player will take turns in trying to toss a square beanbag at a board with a large hole in it. The idea behind this is that you should be able to target the holes as smoothly as possible. And believe me, it is a lot harder than it may sound. This is one of the best outdoor games for families as adults tend to love it just as much as kids do.

18. Red Rover

Enjoy your family quality time with a game of Red Rover. This works especially well for families that have a large number of members, so if you happen to have a get-together with your extended family, then you ought to try this activity. What you will need is two teams standing side by side while holding hands. Both teams will face each other and when the bell rings, each will try to break the other team’s human chain, one man at a time. This is a super fun and competitive game, but make sure to be careful if you are playing with grandpa. You don’t need to be breaking bones just yet.

19. Sack Race

Our outdoor games for families list wouldn’t be complete without an old-fashion Sack Race. I swear my grandparents used to play this as kids and somehow the trend hasn’t died yet. Nevertheless, holding this classic race is a great way to have some fun outdoors with your family. Use whatever type of sack you have stored in your garage and get racing. Draw a starting line and a finish line and when the buzzer goes crazy everybody will try and hop, crawl, and do whatever it takes to get to that finish line as quickly as possible.

20. Capture the Flag

This is an amazing activity perfectly suited for your extended family. We used to organize this every time my cousins would fly home from Toronto. It is perfect for a sunny day and if you happen to have a wide space at your disposal then it’s game time! Simply divide all participants into two teams. Each team will receive a flag that they will have to hide and protect from their opponents. This is a game that really tests your ability to think strategically. That being said, each team will have to steal the flag of the opposition aside from protecting their own. So you have to be very calculated when it comes to dividing those tasks within your group. But either way, this is an incredibly fun exercise as it puts not only your mind to the test but also your body. Prepare to run your heart out alongside your teammates if you want to win this game, but I promise you, you will have loads of fun in the meantime.

Bottom Line

And here we have it. The perfect list of outdoor games for families. You have everything from DIY outdoor games to some well-known and beloved group activities that you and your family can enjoy at any given time. Whatever option you decide to go for, I can guarantee it will brighten up your day and you will end up wanting to repeat the experience every single weekend from now on.

Ana

Ana

Ana is a PhD student who also follows a freelance content writing career. Her interests cover a wide range of fields, and her writing style varies according to the needs of her clients. When she isn't writing, you can find her somewhere lost in nature or at the library with her head in a book.

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