101 outdoor activities and games for kids

Sara Parker
Jan. 24, 2018

It's important for kids to get outside and play. First of all, it's fun. But it's also good for them. Len Saunders, a children's health, fitness and wellness specialist and author of Keeping Kids Fit, explains that children have become sedentary because technology has overtaken physical activity. "Getting children into the habit of playing outside at a young age is important to their growth and development."

There are actually many more health benefits to playing outside. Besides just getting kids up and moving, playing outdoors also helps them get fresh air, sunlight and much-needed Vitamin D. It can also reduce the risks of obesity, diabetes and stress, says Denise Fields, author of Baby 411 and Toddler 411.

So if you're ready to get your kids outdoors, try these 101 games and activities to keep them active and having fun.


1. Play a sport such as baseball, basketball, soccer, football or hockey

2. Kayak or canoe on a lake or river

3. Go for a run/jog together

4. Play golf or go to the driving range

5. Go to the batting cages

6. Play kickball

7. Ride your bike

8. Play ultimate Frisbee

9. Play volleyball

10. Play catch

11. Do yoga

12. Set up circuit training

13. Play tennis

Backyard games

14. Play Frisbee

15. Jump on a trampoline

16. Set up relay races

17. Play hacky sack

18. Play cricket

19. Build a fort

20. Barbecue lunch or dinner with burgers, hot dogs and s'mores

21. Set up lawn games like bocce ball, croquet, horseshoes, corn hole and ladder ball

Read next:  11 backyard games for kids

Water and beach activities

22. Swim

23. Go white water rafting

24. Snorkel

25. Surf

26. Visit a water park

27. Have a water balloon fight

28. Go puddle jumping

29. Play pool games like Marco Polo and water tag

30. Build a sandcastle

31. Set up a slip and slide

32. Go boogie boarding

33. Search for seashells

Winter activities

34. Ice skate

35. Make snow angels

36. Ski or snowboard

37. Cross country ski

38. Have a snowball fight

39. Build a snowman

40. Go sledding

Playground games

41. Play tag

42. Play jungle gym games like sandman and gravel

43. Play hide and seek

44. Play cops and robbers

45. Jump rope

46. Play hop scotch

47. Play four square

48. Play basketball games like horse and around the world

49. Play wall ball

50. Play capture the flag

51. Play duck duck goose

52. Play on the jungle gym like on the swings, slide, and monkey bars

53. Use a hula hoop

54. Play marbles or jacks

55. Race toy cars or balls

Outdoor crafts

56. Draw with sidewalk chalk

57. Blow bubbles (use different-shaped wands to make fun shapes)

58. Make a piñata and break it open

59. Create and have the kids do an outdoor scavenger hunt

60. Paint rocks

61. Make bird feeders

62. Tie-dye T-shirts

63. Make your own craft using flowers, leaves, twigs, pebbles, and other things found in nature

Read next: 57 summer crafts to keep kids busy

Extreme outdoor activities and sports

64. Go rock climbing

65. Do archery

66. Go to a shooting range

67. Go horseback riding

68. Go ziplining

69. Rollerblade or skateboard

70. Make an obstacle course

71. Go paintballing

Outdoor activities with animals

72. Go to the zoo

73. Take your dog for a walk

74. Go to the dog park

75. Go bird watching

76. Catch fireflies

77. Hunt for bugs

Outdoor activities with plants

78. Make a garden

79. Pick flowers

80. Pick fruit in an orchard or garden

81. Go to a local nursery or botanical garden

82. Make a compost

Read next: 8 Kid-Friendly Activities for Earth Day

Other outdoor activities

83. Have a picnic

84. Go camping

85. Gaze at the stars

86. Go hiking

87. Climb trees

88. Play in the mud

89. Dig a hole

90. Make a sundial

91. Use a slingshot

92. Set up a lemonade stand

93. Make bottle rockets

94. Jump in a bouncy house

95. Go sightseeing

96. Go miniature golfing

97. Dance

98. Bob for apples

99. Make a bonfire

100. Sing campfire songs

101. Make up a new game, and share it with friends

Sara Parker is an editor and writer who is passionate about the written word. She loves to read, write, travel and try new things.

Read next: 12 outdoor activities for kids

Tips and stories from parents and caregivers who’ve been there.

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