As we know, computer games and on-demand TV are very popular these days. So it becomes hard to take the older kids away for the screens and get them out in the open air.
If you’re planning to go on a trip to the park with your children, try to think of some good old-fashioned outdoor games which older kids would love to play.
In this article we are suggesting some of the good games that you can play with your 7 or above years old children. By playing these games, your children will not only understand the sense of team sports but they will also have the co-ordination and concentration to play for an adequate amount of time; there are also team games and independent games. You will need only a bat and a ball to play all these games except boules; you would need to buy the required equipment for it. It’s not a hard and fast rule to play these games only in summer, you can play it any time when you mood is good or when the weather is fine, gather a group of your child’s friends and have laugh together!
The list of the games is as follows:
- Dodge Ball
- French Cricket
- Tag/Shadow Tag
- Blanket Ball
- Water Fights
Rounders is a great game for mixed ages and abilities. Bring a suitable bat and ball and make up two teams – you need at least six players per team. Create a ‘pitch’ made up of a hitting area, where the batsman stands, 1st post, 2nd post, 3rd post and 4th post (which should be at a carefully judged distance apart – think how far each child will be able to comfortably run), and opposite the hitting area you’ll need a pitching area where the bowler will throw the ball from.
The batting team lines up by the hitting area while the other team chooses a bowler and you need to have a person standing on each post, as well as fielders around the pitch. The fielders have to try and catch you out by throwing the ball to the person on the post to which the batsman is trying to run to. If the batsman reaches the post before the ball they are ‘safe’. The idea is to try and run all the way around the pitch, past all four posts, before the ball is thrown back to the post or the bowler. If so, you win a rounder.
If the batsman reaches a post before the ball is thrown to the person on that post, they are safe and stay there while the bowler prepares to throw the ball to the next batsman in the line. Then the original batsman has to run on to the next posts before the ball is thrown back. The batsman is ‘out’ if the ball is caught by the person on the post they are trying to run to first.
The winning team is the team which wins the most rounders at the end of the game.
Create two teams of kids. A small soft ball is used in this game so that no body gets hurt. The game works out as one of the children has to throw the ball towards the opposite team’s member and try to hit him / her below their waist. You can pass the ball to your own team’s member by throwing the ball ordinarily. When the ball touches below the waist of the rival team member they are out. The team with the last remaining person wins.
This game is like hide and seek but with a twist. Its a great fun and you can play it outdoors or indoors wherever you like. It’s a safe game so that you can also easily involve in kids younger than 7. In this game, one person will hide and the rest of them will try to find the hiding person. When you finds that person, you’ll also hide with that person. When some else finds the two, they will also hide with them; it goes on like this. The aim is to get as many people hiding as possible, with just a couple of people left.
Take a cricket bat or tennis racket and ball along to the park with you. All the players stand in a circle – upwards of 4 children can play (but it’s best to keep numbers down to about 8 in total). Someone is chosen to bat first and they stand with their feet together, defending the ‘stumps’, which in French cricket are the batsman’s legs below the knees. The players in the circle now take turns to bowl at the ‘stumps’ and the batsman must hit the ball away. The bowler can use trickery and cunning to distract the batsman – that’s part of the fun of the game!
If the batsman’s legs are hit he is out. He is also out if he moves his feet at any time from their original position – the fun of the game is watching the batsman twist his torso to defend his legs! Furthermore, if the bowler or any of the fielders around the circle catch the ball the batsman has hit before it hits the ground he will also be out. Everyone has a go at bowling until the batsman is out – the bowler then takes the batsman’s place. There is no real aim to the game. You can allot the person who seems impossible to ‘stump’ as the winner, but make sure everyone has a go at batting.
Tag / Shadow Tag
Games don’t come much more simple than tag! A great one for using up excess energy, in standard tag you simply get on child to be ‘it’ and then they must run around the group trying to ‘tag’ the others. Whoever is then tagged is ‘it’. For a variation on the theme, try shadow tag, where players don’t touch the other player’s bodies, but touch their shadow by jumping on it. This one only works, obviously, on a nice sunny day!
If your children have ever holidayed in France they’ll have been fascinated by all those people playing boules in the village square. If you don’t have a boules set you can easily buy one, either the traditional chrome-steel ones or plastic sets. Try Amazon for reasonably-priced sets. You’ll obviously need somewhere relatively flat to play. You can play with two teams of one, two or three players on each side. With teams of one or two, each player has three boules; with teams of three each player has two boules. Mark a place where each player will stand to throw their boules and then choose a player to throw the ‘cochonnet’ (or jack) from the spot in any direction.
The first player then throws their boule, trying to get as close to possible to the jack. Players must stay close to the mark when throwing their boule. A player from the other team then has a go, trying to get their boule closer to the jack than the previous player, or knocking the opponent’s ball out of the way. The boule closest to the jack is the ‘holding point’. The team not holding takes their turn until they place a ball closer to the jack. When a team has no more balls left the other team takes over.
The game is over when both teams have no more boules left. The winning team is the one which has most balls closest to the jack.
A really simple game, great for larger numbers of children. Get everyone to spread out in a large area and then choose one player to stand at the front of the group with a racket and ball. This player must then hit the ball into the air. As the ball begins its descent shout out how many points the ball is worth. Whoever catches the ball wins those points. You lose however many points you’ve collected if you then try and catch the ball but then drop it! Make sure the ball isn’t hit too high or far away so the other players have a realistic chance of catching it.
You’ll need two travel rugs (or coats will do) and a ball. Separate into two teams and make a ‘base’ at each end of a field by putting the travel blanket or coats on the ground. Put the ball in the middle of the field. The aim is to get the ball onto the other team’s blanket. The rules are very simple: you can run with the ball and pass, throw or kick it; you must drop the ball as soon as you are tagged, and also if you find you can’t move forwards anymore. Having scored a goal each team returns to their base and the team that lost the point starts with the ball.
Make sure your windows and doors are all closed and let them loose with water pistols, buckets and hoses. Great on a hot day as they can drip dry without dripping all over the house. Battles can last all day!