Get Your Kids Off of Electronics and Outside Playing

Get Your Kids Off of Electronics and Outside Playing

Kids will actually love being unplugged with these fun outdoor activities

Luring kids outside isn't easy when so many electronic options beckon indoors. The next time struggling to pry your kids away from the screen and encourage them to get up and moving seems like a lost cause, introduce them to these fun outdoor games.

We promise, they'll have such a blast, they won't even miss the iPad.

Giant Slip 'N Slide

Make your own Slip 'N Slide by laying out a tarp, spraying it down with water, then letting the hose continue to run on top of the slide. Take turns running across your lawn, then sliding across the tarp for a slippery, exciting game.

Flashlight tag

Best played after the sun goes down, flashlight tag is the perfect outdoor game for late-night birthday or block parties. One player is designated "it" and is given a flashlight. The other players hide. When the person who's it finds a hidden player, they shine the light on the hider and the hider then becomes it. The original it then hides, and the game continues.

Jump rope challenge

Give each player a plastic cup filled with water. Start spinning a large jump rope. One at a time, each child must attempt to enter the rope and jump three times, all while spilling as little water as possible. The child with the most water left in his or her cup wins the game.

Hole in the bucket

Fill up a large trash can with water and place two empty trash cans about 15 m away. Split kids into two teams and give each team an empty milk carton with 10 to 12 holes in the bottom. When you say "go," the first player from each team fills their carton with water, then places it on their head while they walk or run to their team's empty trash can. They empty the remaining water into the trash can, then run back, passing the carton to the next player. The first team to fill its trash can with water wins the game.

Sticks & stones

If you have a sizable group of kids, playing sticks and stones will make them laugh while also tiring them out. Split the kids into two teams — the sticks and the stones. Line them up facing one another. Designate an area roughly 10 m behind each team as that teams' safe zone. To start the game, yell out, "Sticks!" or "Stones!" The team you call on must begin chasing the opposing team, which begins racing toward its safe zone. Any tagged players must switch teams, and the two new teams line up to play again. The team to bring all the players to its side wins the game.

Shoebox relays

Split the kids into two teams. Each team gets two shoeboxes. Tape the lids onto the shoe boxes and cut an "I" shape into the top of the box, with a 4-inch slit and two 1-inch slits. Have the first player from each team slip her feet into the shoeboxes. When you say, "Go!" the players wearing the shoeboxes have to run from the starting line to a designated spot, then back again. Players pass the shoeboxes to their waiting teammates, and the relay continues until all the players have participated and a winning team is crowned.

Blind man's walk

Set up a simple obstacle course in your yard and let all the kids examine the course. One at a time, blindfold the kids and let them work their way through the obstacle course. The child to make it through the fastest wins the game.


If your kids love sports and want to play catch with a twist, introduce them to the game of 500. Give one child a football and have him stand about 10 m in front of the remaining children. The child with the ball throws it up into the air toward the waiting players while calling out a number between 50 and 500. The player to catch the ball earns the number of points called, but if they drop the ball, they lose those points. The first player to accumulate 500 points becomes the next thrower.


Family Time


Time spent with family is valuable time. Quality family time can be spent together while enjoying various forms of exercise working toward a healthy, fit family. Exercise increases our mood, builds positive self esteem, helps us to think better, and builds up our bodies promoting healthy people. Here are several ideas outdoor family activities:


  • Play hard and enjoy yourselves.
  • Take a walk, or go for a hike.
  • Go on a bike ride.
  • Go swimming.

Jog and bike together or skate and walk/jog together. Be together.

Family Outdoor Games

Are you looking for ideas for outdoor games that your family can enjoy? There are many great outdoor activities that children and adults can participate in together. Whether you do some of these with your kids and spouse, or you get your extended family together for a reunion or special event, these sport games can brighten up any day spent outside with family members.

Badminton: A backyard badminton set can provide your family with hours of enjoyment. Pair adults with children on either side of the net and have fun!

Basketball: Whether you have a basketball hoop in your backyard or you visit a local court that is open to the public, shooting hoops is a great way to spend time with your family outdoors. You can hold a pick-up game, play h-o-r-s-e or practice free-throws

Catch: Playing "catch" is a great outdoor family activity. Use a large rubber ball with small children. Advance to using a football (with an appropriate mitt) for older kids and adults.

Hide and Seek: Hide and seek is a classic activity. When playing this game outdoors, be sure that youngsters know the boundaries and establish a signal that means "game over, come out of hiding." If very young children are playing, pair them with adults to ensure their safety.

Frisbee: Throwing a Frisbee is something that you and your family can enjoy anywhere. You can play Frisbee in your own backyard, at the beach, in the park and in any other location where there is an open field. There may even be a Frisbee golf course in your local community.

Hopscotch: If you have a sidewalk or concrete patio, all you need to get a game of hopscotch started is some chalk.

Jump Rope: Holding a jump rope competition is a great outdoor activity that children and adults can enjoy together.

Marco Polo:  Whether you have a swimming pool in your own backyard or if you visit a swim club or public pool to enjoy some time splashing around, playing Marco Polo is a great family water game.

Miniature Golf:  Visiting a local miniature golf course is a great way to enjoy an afternoon or evening out with your family.

Sack Race: Holding an old-fashioned sack race is a great way to have some outdoor fun with your loved ones.

Tag: You can put together a friendly family game of tag in your own back yard, or in any other location where there's room to run.

Tug of War: If you're looking for a fun outdoor game for large family gatherings, tug-of-war just might be the perfect choice.

Tennis: Playing tennis is a great outdoor activity for families of all sizes, as it is possible to play with as few as two people.

Volleyball: If you have room to install a net in your backyard, or you can play anywhere you spend holidays, playing volleyball is a good outdoor activity for family gatherings.

Get Outside and Get Moving

These are only a few of the many fun games that families can enjoy in the great outdoors. With so many options for outdoor activities, there's no reason to stay inside when the weather is beautiful outside. Enjoy summer evenings too by bringing some family night activities outdoors. Get off the sofa and step away from the hand-held video games and cell phones to spend an afternoon engaged in a little friendly competition with the people you love the most!