Summer is in full swing with BBQ season and outdoor events at the forefront of family activities. This offers children a great chance to get outdoors and play with friends. Playing outdoors is healthy and is a good way to help children socially build confidence and let off steam with activities that promote group participation. Here are some ideas for outdoor games to try with your children this summer.
Fun for kids of all ages, this game involves a large round parachute, preferably with handles, with people holding the parachute all around the edges. It helps if someone is in charge telling people what to do. Players can just ruffle the parachute up and down a little bit, they can go all the way up and all the way down, or all the way up and then run underneath, sitting on the edge of the parachute, which can create a bubble of air with everyone inside. Players can also place light objects such as balls or beanbags on top of the parachute, and make them jump by ruffling the parachute. A particular favourite is to pretend a light rope is a snake and throw several into the middle to really get the children animated! Also, one person can sit in the middle of the parachute and everyone ruffles it near the ground. If there is a smooth floor and a light child, the child can sit in the middle on top of the parachute and everyone else can walk partway around still holding the parachute edge. Then everyone pulls backward, spinning the child. There are countless variations.
Number of Players: Depends on the size of the parachute, but usually eight to ten.
Equipment: A play parachute. These aren’t as hard to find as you would think.
This game can be played anywhere, even in a car or other small space. One person is Simon and starts by saying, “Simon says, ‘[insert action here]’. ” Everyone must then do the action. However, if Simon makes an action request without saying, “Simon says” to begin the request, anyone who does that action is out. The last person still playing in the end will be Simon for the next round.
Number of Players: A small group.