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Summer Time Fun: 12 Games to Play Outside

June 8th, 2017

by Susan Ragsdale and Ann Saylor













Holiday weekends. Birthday parties. Park gatherings. Church picnics. Camps. Summer is full of opportunities for families and programs of like to get outdoors and have some fun.

You never know when you’ll find yourself with a few people ready to play. Here are a few crowd-pleasing outdoor games sure to keep your group moving, laughing and having fun.  Summer energetic. Some are challenging. And some are a mix of both. Pick and choose to find the activity just right for your group.

Water Games

Water games are a great way to cool off and make some smiles. The games can be as simple as:

  • Water Limbo – Using a hose instead of a broomstick, players bend to go underneath the line of water without touching it. The line is lowered each time. How low can they bend before getting wet?
  • Water Balloon Dodgeball – Two teams stand across from each other and toss water balloons at each other to get members out.


Lawn Games

Lawn games call for skill but also leave enough space for casual conversations to take place while playing. Great for being active while fostering relationships at the same time!

  • Corn Hole – In this lawn game, players take turns throwing bags at hole in a raised platform. Points are awarded for direct hits or near hits while points are subtracted if another team’s bag knocks yours off. First team or player to reach 21 wins. Want to save money? Make your own set:
  • Kubb – A favorite of our families, this yard game is a game of skill. No running involved! Aim? Very important. Kubb is a great way to focus, get rid of energy (you get to throw things!) and work on your eye-hand coordination.


Running Games

These invigorating strategic games are sure to leave you energized and revitalized after you work off excess steam or build up your energy. And you use your brain!

  • Streets and Alleys – This chase game of a cat to dog or cop to robber (whoever the the chaser and chase are) involves the entire group creating streets and alleys that make life interesting for the chase . . .
  • Giants, Wizards and Elves – This interactive game of tag and strategy creates fun chaos and hasn’t lost its popularity over time . . . it just changes with the times!
  • Don’t have a crowd of Hobbit lovers? Then try putting it in a superhero setting. Wolverines, Spiderman and Thor:  Wolverine beats Spiderman (slashes the web). Spiderman beats Thor (gets hammer stuck in web). And Thor beats Wolverine (breaks his claw with his hammer). See a quick clip here:
  • Capture the Flag – The most complicated of the games in this post, Capture the Flag involves two teams, two flags and strategy as teams try to win by capturing the other team’s hidden flag. Of course, all the tagging and going to jail gets in the way of accomplishing such a simple task. Check out how to play:
  • Adult Recess – Outdoor games and play isn’t just for young people. It’s for adults, too. Want to take advantage of good weather but aren’t particularly the iron man or woman type? Then gather some friends for an hour or two of adult recess. Bring it all back with dodge ball, tag, potato sack races, water balloon tag . . . The choice is yours. Just get outside and get active. It will do you good.


We would love to hear about your favorite outdoor games, so tag us in your pictures or stories on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram; or send them to us at



© 2017 by Susan Ragsdale and Ann Saylor at Write Creations Group, LLC.  For permission to reprint, contact

Susan Ragsdale and Ann Saylor have created over 891 activities in 8 published works and led training experiences together with groups of all sizes since 2001. They help people craft fun, engaging experiences where children and teens learn and thrive. See more of their work online: Facebook Twitter | Instagram | LinkedIn for Ann LinkedIn for Susan | Books 


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