Requiring some planning, games for large groups of children can be challenging to coordinate due to varying ages and abilities, as well as unpredictable weather. Although not limited to just the warm summer months, these games work best where there is a lot of outdoor space. Ideal for children’s camps, parties and family reunions, these are easy to set-up outside games that can be organized with little preparation.
3 Outdoor Group Games to Play with Kids
Create two teams with equal numbers of players and similar game playing ability. Set up a badminton or volleyball net in the middle of an outdoor field and have each team on either side of the net. Inflate a beach ball and give each team a sheet or lightweight blanket.
Every member of both teams needs to hold onto part of the team’s blanket. By lifting up the blanket as a team, volley the beach ball back and forth over the net. A point is scored every time the other team misses the ball within predetermined boundaries. The team with the most points at the end of the game wins.
Capture the Flag
Split the children into two groups and designate an outside area for each team such as the back yard for one team and the front yard for the other. Pick a spot in the middle playing ground such as a large rock or pole to use as the “zone”.
Give each team a brightly colored scarf to use as a flag and instruct each team to hide its flag in its own area. Once the flags are hidden, each team tries to find the flag of the other team without being caught by an opposing team member. When a player is caught by an opposing team member he is put in the zone until he is freed by a member of his own team. The game ends when one of the flags is found and taken to the other team’s area.
Water Balloon Toss
A great activity for a hot day at a family reunion, fill enough balloons with water for each pair of children participating in the game. With the partners facing each other, make two lines the same distance apart in an outside area. Have one member of each team toss the balloon gently to his partner. If it did not break, both partners move back one step so the space between them is greater. Continue to toss the water balloons back and forth until the balloon breaks.
Playing games outside is the best way to have groups of children run off some energy. Whether for a planned event or as a spur of the moment activity, these games are fun and easy to play for kids of any age.