09 Jun 10 Summer Activities for Kids
Are your kids already bored this summer? Help them make the most of their vacation by getting them active through fun outdoor games! Outside activities are a great way to keep kids moving after school sports and activities are over. Plus, games are important in aiding motor development and coordination.
Here is a list of 10 outdoor activities anyone can try at home. Don’t forget to stay safe by drinking plenty of water and stretching properly.
1. Jug Catch
Use a utility knife to cut one-gallon plastic jugs in half horizontally (one for each player). Discard the bottom halves of the jugs but save the top halves (the half with the handle). Grab a tennis ball or bean bag. Players must use the jugs to toss the ball back and forth without using their hands. Jug Catch is a great way to work on hand-eye coordination and practice teamwork!
To ramp up the challenge, have your kids start close and take one step back each time they successfully complete a round of toss-and-catch.
This game is like reverse hide-and-seek! One player is ‘it’ and goes to hide while the other players count to 20. When the counting is finished, the players head out -separately and in different directions – to find “it.” As each player finds “it,” he or she hides in the same place until all the players are squeezed into the same hiding spot.
To make the game more active, reward the first person to find “it” with the honor of being “it” in the next round. This motivates the players to run around during their search!
3. Penny Toss
A homemade version of the carnival game! Get a dishpan, baby bathtub, or kiddie pool and fill it halfway with water. Place an open plastic container (think tupperware) carefully on top of the water so it floats. Give each player the same number of pennies and have them take turns tossing pennies at the floating container. The player with the most pennies in the container after all the pennies have been thrown wins!
A player playing alone can make the game interesting by keeping track of how many pennies in a row he or she can get into the container. To make the game harder, use a smaller container. This is a great way for kids to practice their fine motor skills!
4. Three-Legged Race
Measure off a race track by marking a start line, walking twenty paces, and marking the finish line. Form teams of two. For each team, tie one of the player’s legs to the other player’s leg with a piece of twine, belt or other rope. Both players must be facing in the same direction when being tied together. The goal is to race from the start line to the finish line and back again. The first team to finish is the winner!
This game is fun way to work on coordination and teamwork!
5. Potato on a Spoon Race
Just like with the three-legged race, measure off a race track by marking a start line, walking twenty paces, and marking the finish line. After that, all you need for this game are spoons and some small to medium-sized potatoes. The potato should be slightly larger than the spoon so that balancing is a little tricky.
Each player balances a potato on his or her spoon. The first player to make it to the goal line and back without dropping the potato wins! This activity is ideal for practicing balance and coordination.
For messier fun, substitute the potato for an egg!
6. Sack Race
Start off by measuring and marking off a race track. Then, dig up some pillowcases or burlap sacks. Get each player to climb into a sack and hold the edges up around his or her body. When the race starts, the players hop from the start line to the goal line and back again inside their sacks. The first one to finish wins!
The sack race gets bodies moving, hearts pumping and kids laughing!
7. Hit the Ball
Hammer one end of a broomstick into the ground or set the broomstick upright in a large bucket of sand. Make sure the flat end of the broomstick is pointing up. Next, draw a circle three feet in diameter around the broomstick. What is used to draw the circle depends on where the game is being played: for pavement use chalk, for dirt use a stick, and for grass use a rope.
Balance a ping-pong ball on the end of the broomstick and get each player to stand five feet from the broomstick. The kids take turns trying to knock the ping-pong ball off by throwing beanbags or sponges at it. If they land inside the circle, one point is scored, but if they land outside the circle, two points are scored.
This game is a great test of aim and coordination and a good facilitator for fine motor skill development.
8. Water Limbo
Limbo with a garden hose! Have one player hold the hose so that the water sprays horizontally. The stream of water should start high and gradually become lower as the game progresses.
The point of the game is for players to walk, bend, crouch, crawl or slither under the stream without getting wet. Unlike regular limbo, kids can bend forward or touch their hands on the ground during their efforts to clear the water stream. Once they get wet, however, they are disqualified from farther participation. The player who stays dry the longest wins!
Water Limbo is a fun way to get kids to stretch their minds and their bodies!
9. Sprinkler Jump
A rotating sprinkler is required for this activity. The players stand in a circle around the rotating sprinler and jump over the stream of water as it comes around. Kids compete to see who will be the last to miss a jump and get wet! This game is a cardio blast and a coordination challenge!
A single player can play alone by seeing how many jumps he or she can make before getting wet.
10. Hose Tag
The classic game with an outdoor twist! Designate a player to be “it” and hand him or her a garden hose. The “it” player chases the other players and tries to tag them with the stream of water. The first player to be tagged is “it” for the next game.
Spice up the game by defining a safe zone into which kids can run to avoid being tagged. Put a time limit on the safe zone so they have to keep moving!
Hose tag keeps bodies active and moving, and the added element of water is a nice way to ensure that kids stay cool during this high energy game!
When boredom starts to set in this summer, take your kids outside for some active fun! Try any of these games with your kids and their friends – they’re a great way to pass a sunny afternoon!