Have a look here for some of Barnaby’s ideas of what to do outside. The best games are ones you’ve made up yourself, but if you’re stumped for ideas then here are ten different ones to get you started – feel free to change the rules or use your imagination to add a whole new part to the game:
Hide and Seek
I’m sure you know how to play this one, but if not, then you need to send one person off to hide. The rest of the players (it can be one person or lots of people) count to 20 with their eyes shut. Peekers are cheaters don’t forget!! When they’ve got to 20, everyone runs to try and find the person who is hidden. The first one to find them then takes over the hiding. You can add another part to this game – the first person who finds the hider, then hides with them. This continues with each person in the game hiding when they’ve found the hidden person. The last person to find everyone becomes the new hider.
This game is best when you’ve got more people. Choose a designated area – a court works well, or half a football pitch or just mark out a big space with coats. One person is the bulldog. They stand in the centre of the space and everyone else stands at one end. When the bulldog shouts go, everyone has to run from one end of the court to the other without getting caught by the bulldog. If the bulldog touches you, you become a bulldog with them. The game continues with more and more people becoming bulldogs, until one person is left trying to get past all the bulldogs. When the last person is caught, the game is finished and that person then becomes the new bulldog.
You need a long skipping rope and at least three people. Two people hold one end of the skipping rope each and swing it round in a circle. The third person stands in between the two rope swingers and has to jump over the rope each time it comes near the ground. Have a look online for other jumprope videos on youtube. You can do all sorts of tricks when you get really good. You can also have more people jumping the rope at the same time and two skipping ropes swinging together.
You need a long piece of elastic, which you can buy very cheaply. Make it into a big circle by tying the two ends together. You need three people (two to hold the elastic and one person to jump). If you don’t have extra people, don’t worry – chairs work just as well as people! Here is a youtube clip to show you the rules. The best thing about this game is that you can make up your own rules and add in different tricks you have to do to complete each level. You could make the rope thinner by only using one leg at each end to hold the rope. You can make it harder by making the rope higher, it’s up to you!
What’s the time Mr Wolf?
One person is chosen to be the wolf and he goes a short distance away from the rest of the players and stands with his back to them. The other players have to stand together and shout, ‘What’s the time Mr Wolf?’ The wolf replies with a time, e.g. ‘3 o’clock’. The players then hop the number of hours the wolf said e.g. 3. Then the players shout again, ‘What’s the time Mr Wolf?’ The players keep hopping towards the wolf. If anyone touches the wolf, they’ve won. But the wolf can also reply, ‘Dinner-time!’ at which point the wolf turns around and chases the players back to their starting point. If the wolf catches one of the players, they then become the wolf and the game starts again.
Any number of people can play this game and you can play it anywhere you like (even in the car). One person is Simon and they give an activity or action to the rest of the people playing e.g. Simon says, ‘Jump up and down’. Everyone has to do what Simon says. But if the person who is playing Simon doesn’t say his name first e.g. ‘Put your hands on your head’, the rest of the players mustn’t do it. Anyone who follows the instruction is then out. Keep playing until Simon has caught everyone out.
You need a group of people to play this game. One person is ‘It’ or two people can be ‘It’ if you have a big group. The people who are ‘It’ have to chase the others and try and touch or tag someone else in the group. If they touch them, that person has to freeze and stand with their legs open. They can only be unfrozen by another team member crawling through their legs – when that happens they are back in the game. ‘It’ wins if everyone is frozen, so there is no one left to unfreeze them. Play until you’re too tired to keep running!
Duck, Duck, Goose
A group of people sit in a circle. One person ‘the chooser’ walks around the outside of the circle touching each person on the head lightly as they walk around. Each time they touch a players’ head they have to say ‘Duck’. Eventually they choose one player to be the ‘Goose’. As soon as they touch the player on the head and say, ‘Goose’, that player has to jump up and chase the chooser around the circle. The chooser is trying to get back and sit in the player’s seat before the player can touch them. If the chooser gets to the place first they’re safe and the player becomes the new chooser. If the player touches the chooser before they sit down, the chooser stays the same and tries again.
Players need to be in pairs, sitting opposite each other with their legs outstretched. Each pair sits next to each other, so all of the legs form a ladder. Each pair is given a number. Choose which is the start and which is the end of the ladder. One person calls out a number – the pair have to stand up, run down the ladder to the end, around the back of the players to the start of the ladder and then run down the ladder and back to their seats. The player that wins is the first one of the pair to sit back in their seats. They get a point. Keep playing and see who gets the most points.
You need a tennis ball for this game and a few people, although you can just play it with two people taking it in turns. One person holds the ball or the hot potato. They throw it straight up into the air as high as possible. When it gets to its highest point, the thrower calls out a person’s name. That person has to step forward and catch the ball before it hits the ground. Keep taking it in turns.
Another way to play this game is to stand in a circle. One person throws the ball to someone in the circle calling out their name as they do it. Try and get faster and faster until someone drops the ball. See how many passes you can make between you all before the ball is dropped.