20 Fun Outdoor Games For Youth
If you are a young person or live with teenagers at home, we recommend giving cellphones a break and taking advantage of those lovely sunny days! Growing up in this technology filled world requires effort in making sure that your life is well-balanced. The benefits of playing outdoors include an increase in energy levels, promotion of a healthy lifestyle, socialization, strengthening of relationships and exercise!
So why not replace your family Saturday inside with an outdoor adventure? To help keep you and your kids entertained, take a look at this oneHOWTO list of 20 fun outdoor games for youth.
Outdoor games for teenagers
Nowadays, many young people feel apathy towards the outdoors because they think playing outside is boring and in some ways, this is understandable. Because of technology and social media, today’s youth are constantly and irrevocably bombarded with technology and information. Many studies actually claim that today’s technology is the culprit behind the massive decrease in human attention span. But, we’re here to help! One way in which we can begin to fix this problem is by re-associating outdoor games with fun. Here are some of our top tips to having fun outside with family and friends:
- Do the same thing you would do inside, but outside: search your cupboards for your favorite board game, go outside, place a blanket on the grass and play! Whether it's Monopoly, Pictionary, Trivial Pursuit, etc., we recommend leaving your phones at home, prepare a delicious picnic and go play at your nearest park.
- Traditional games: some games never go out of style, such as hide and seek! Grant one person the role of organizer, have some rewards prepared for the winners and enjoy some quality time with family and friends.
- Outside games for adults: you know those drinking games that you normally play inside with your friends on a Friday night? Why not play them outside in the sun? For more, take a look at our article where we list some great DYI party game ideas for adults.
‘‘Would you rather,’’ is one of the most popular group games in the world, and the best part? You can play this game inside and outside! For more, we recommend taking a look at our list of over 120 of the best would you rather questions.
Fun outdoor games for large groups
Not only do these games encourage teamwork, but they’re also super fun!
Racing with an obstacle
Everyone loves a good race, but why not spice up the competition with some obstacles. Here are some ideas for you to choose from:
- Feet-tied: You have to get to the end of the race as quick as you can but, both of your feet are tied with a rope.
- Wheelbarrow: Pick a partner, one partner places their hands on the floor while the other holds onto their feet and lifts them by the ankles and go! If any ankles or legs are dropped the couple is eliminated from the race.
- Walking backwards:a very simple variation sure to make everyone involved laugh.
If you want to keep this game running, you can play by constantly eliminating the loser. In the end, you should have two people or two couples racing, the last to that win the final race wins the overall day!
3 people in a group. Place bucket filled with marbles and water onto the floor. In turns, each member of the team has to try to remove as many marbles as they can with their feet.
After three turns (one for each member) the group with the most marbles wins!
The egg-and-spoon race is a classic family fun game! Everyone should line up as if getting ready for a normal race, but this time they will place a spoon in their mouth with an egg on it and then race. Keep in mind the following points:
- All members participate at the same time.
- You cannot use your hands (tie them behind your back).
- If your egg breaks, you are disqualified.
To make this game run longer, you can play it in groups (like a tag team). Once the first person goes and places their non-broken egg into the bucket, they will run back to their team member and high five them, then that person grabs a new egg and spoon and goes! In the end, the team who gets the most eggs in the bucket the fastest wins!
This is a great game that promotes teamwork. Form two or more groups (depending on the total amount of people). Design a route with pauses and, in each stop, set a task or challenge which needs to be fulfilled (such as a series of sit-ups, squats, etc.) Each person from a team will be placed at each stop.
The first person will run their bit of the race, fulfill their challenge, and then the next person (in their team) can go. The race ends with the last person in the group to pass the finish line.
Tug of war
Tug of war is another classic game that should never be forgotten. All participants must be divided into two groups. A line is drawn on the ground between the two groups and a rope should be held horizontally all team members. Each team needs to pull onto their own side of the rope and the first team to get pulled across the line loses! This activity, besides being very entertaining and fun, is ideal for born competitors and strong contestants.
This game needs an organizer who writes a list of objects onto pieces of paper. According to how many people are playing, you will divide the group into equal numbers. Each group will get the same piece of paper and will need to find the objects on the paper without buying them. The group that ticks of all of the objects first, wins!
For more, we recommend reading our article where we list fun competitive games for large groups.
Outdoor ball games for youth
If there is a protagonist in outdoor games, it is the ball. In fact, there are so many ball games to choose from. Most traditional ball sports can be played outdoors.
Ball games are great fun, which is why below, we’ve listed some of our favorite ball games for you too choose from:
One person needs to be responsible for the music. While the music is playing, the rest of the participants will pass the ball, but the moment the music stops or the singer stops singing,everyone must freeze. Whoever has the ball in their hands in that moment should receive a penalty.
This game is very similar to the previous one, except this time, the ball should be a balloon filled with water. This time everyone can be divided into groups. In each group, 5 water-filled balloons need to be passed in a large circle as fast as possible (remember the music pauses). In the end, the team that has burst the least balloons wins. We recommend wearing a bathing suit for this game!
For this game, you will need a soft ball. One person (ball king/queen) has the ball and throws the ball to as many people as possible, trying to hit them. If the ball hits a person, they then become the ball king/queen. The aim for the other people is to run and dodge the ‘‘hot potato’’.
Each person will hold a ball above their head (arms straight) and the person who can do the most squats in the shortest amount of time without stopping wins! Remember, if you drop your arms, you’re out!
Outdoor games for youth group
So, if you don’t have a balloon, rope or ball, what games can you play? Luckily, there are plenty of outdoor games for you that do not require objects:
In this game, all members must stand together in a close circle. Then, each person should stretch their right arm and take the hand of someone opposite them, repeating the same action with the left arm.
In a few minutes, everyone should be tangled. The aim then is too untangle yourselves back into a circle without letting go of any hands. To avoid everyone falling down, everyone needs to be patient and negotiate this task in a group.
Traditional charades is very fun and easy to play. Someone needs to pick a movie, book, series or song in their head (don’t tell anyone). Then, this chosen person has to go up in front of their sitting audience and try to get the audience to guess the chosen movie, book, series or song through gestures. The first person to guess the riddle wins something and is the next to ‘perform.’ For more, we recommend reading our article where we discuss how to have fun at a party without drinking.
The walk of truth
Walking is not only fun, but it’s a great form of exercise. So, pick a fun hiking path to go on! While walking and enjoying each other’s company, a twig needs to move around the group. The minute a person gets the twig they have to share something about themselves that nobody else knows.
All participants are placed in a circle facing the center and, at a signal, everyone must close their eyes. One person who is outside of the circle must carry an object (previously chosen) in the hand. This person will then place the object in the hands (behind the back) of one of the chosen people in the circle. Then, the person outside of the circle must signal everyone to open their eyes. As they do this, the person who has been given the object needs to chase the ‘outside’ person around the circle. The aim of this outside person is to ‘steal’ the place of the person chasing them without being caught. If the chaser cannot catch the person, they will then be next in offering the salt shaker (object).
The blindfolded searcher
Each group chooses a representative who, with his/her eyes closed, must follow the instructions of the rest of his/her companions to find a hidden object: using orders such as "up", "down", "right", etc.
The object needs to be placed in an area which is complicated to get to. The first blindfolded person to find and guess their object (without taking off the blindfold), wins!
List of outdoor games
Our last two outdoor games can be played sitting down. These games are more about getting to know other people in your group while also enjoying a nice picnic or snacks:
Never have I ever...
Everyone should be sat in a circle with something to drink or eat. Once person chooses a thing that they have never done, for example, never have I ever lied. They then say this line out loud to the group and whoever HAS done this thing needs to take a sip or bite of their food. They then have to explain to the group when and why they did this thing.
Some fun never have I ever questions include:
- Never have I ever taken the food out of the trash and eaten it.
- Never have I ever tried to cut my hair and regretted it.
- Never have I ever visited ... ( a country, city or interesting place)
- Never have I ever lied to my parents.
For more never have I ever ideas, we recommend reading our article where we list the best never have I ever questions.
Truth or dare
For this game, everyone in the group will get a turn to choose someone they want to ask a question to. The first person will then ask a person in the group if they choose ‘truth or dare.’ If the recipient chooses a dare, the person asking the questions needs to set them a dare (make it fun, not dangerous!). If the recipient chooses truth, they will be asked a question whereby they need to reveal the truth.
The best thing about all of the outdoor games on our list is that they can be modified to group sizes and ages. So, go outside and have some fun!
If you want to read similar articles to 20 Fun Outdoor Games For Youth, we recommend you visit our Recreational activities category.