Families play outdoor games together for several reasons. Outdoor games are generally less sedate than indoor games. For example, an outdoor game of croquet will provide more exercise than an indoor game of sitting at a table and playing cards. Outdoor family games can also work to strengthen family bonds. These games help families to get exercise, to have fun together and to grow closer to each other.
Ball games are best played outdoors, and for good reason–a ball thrown in the house usually results in something being broken. But when played outside, these ball games are also great for helping smaller children learn about counting because they involve keeping score. A few perennial favorites are volleyball and a simple game of catch with a baseball. If there are grandparents or elderly people in the family who want to play, an inflated beach ball can be substituted for the volleyball to slow the game down. Other outdoor ball games include kickball and softball.
Croquet is a traditional yard game that can be played by family members of all ages. Children can learn about fair play when their croquet balls strike another player’s ball, and they get to send the ball for a trip across the yard. Badminton is a yard game that can be exciting for younger and older players alike. Sidewalk shuffleboard is another game that can be played by all. The shuffleboard targets can be drawn on the pavement with sidewalk chalk. Another yard game that’s fun and a great way to get exercise is tetherball. No matter which game is played, it’s always a good idea to discuss the rules with the children so they understand how to play the game ahead of time and understand the penalties for broken rules.
Other Outdoor Games
A simple game of “Hide and Seek” is another game that can be played by family members of all ages. An impromptu game of bowling can be set up in the yard, and the pins can be made from many different household objects, such as milk cartons and water bottles. This can make bowling quite a colorful game. A fun game that can also be played outdoors is called “Name-It Ball.” Players stand in a circle with one person holding a ball. The player with the ball announces a category such as “large city” and throws the ball to someone else. The player must catch the ball and immediately name a large city, such as “New York.” If the ball is dropped, held too long or an example of the category isn’t named, that player is out of the circle. The game continues until only one is left, the winner.