Turn stuffed-animal washing into a game.

©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

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Easy Outdoor Games for Kids

Easy outdoor games for kids offer lively activities to capture imaginations and keep feet moving. Toss coins and roll balls. See who can wash their stuffed animal the fastest or follow a scent trail through the woods. Blow soap bubbles or ice-chip "darts." These are just some of the activities in these easy outdoor games for kids.

With so much to do -- and with easy instructions and limited materials needed -- there's no excuse to sit inside. Bring the kids out, enjoy the weather, and have some fun.

Follow the links below to discover easy outdoor games that your kids can play:

Hit the Coin Game

Hit the coin with a ball, move it across the line, and win this sidewalk game.

Hopscotch with 12 Squares

Add fun to hopscotch with this 12-square variation.

Boot Hill Game

Be first to find your shoes, put them on, and win.

Ball Rolling Game

Keep the balls rolling -- but not too far -- in this fast-action game.

Meet a Tree Game

Explore a tree blindfolded, and test your skill in finding it again.

Blind Man's Bluff in Nature

Take this indoor game outside, and discover more about nature.

Test Your Sense of Smell

Find out how dogs feel when they sniff their way around a park.

Drive-By Fiction

Take your imagination for a drive by observing your street.

Coins in a Bucket Game

Capture the quarter in this game of skill and accuracy.

Ice Shot Game

Try a safe form of dart-blowing with a straw and ice chips.

Stuffed Animal Wash

Be the first to get your teddy bear clean.

Soap Bubble Bonanza

Float on the fun with easy bubble activities.

Coded Message Kites

Send secret, flying messages to your friends.

Go to the next page to learn how to play a quick, easy sidewalk game with just a coin and a ball.

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Hit the Coin Game

The Hit the Coin Game proves that games don't need to be complicated to be fun. All you need are a sidewalk, a coin and a ball, and this easy outdoor game for kids will provide hours of activity.

What You'll Need:

  • Level sidewalk with large concrete squares
  • Coin or other token
  • Ball
  • Two players

Step 1: Find a level sidewalk of large concrete squares.

Step 2: Place a coin or other token on the seam between two squares.

Step 3: Have each player stand on the far end of one of the concrete squares with their toes on the seam so that each player is one square from the coin. (If the squares are small, players can move two squares away.)

Step 4: Take turns trying to hit the coin with the ball and move it into the opponent's square. Each direct hit scores one point. Flipping the coin scores two points.

Step 5: The first player to reach 21 points wins the game. In some versions, the player also wins the coin.

Look on the next page to see how you can add more challenge and fun to hopscotch with a 12-square version.

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Try playing hopscotch with 12 squares.

©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

Hopscotch With 12 Squares

Play hopscotch with 12 squares -- this easy outdoor game for kids will have you jumping for joy.

What You'll Need:

  • Chalk
  • Sidewalk

Step 1: Make a grid of 12 squares, each 2 x 2 feet, on the sidewalk.

Step 2: Number the squares one to 12. (You don't have to number them in any particular order, but be sure each number is not more than one row away from the previous number.)

Step 3: Hop on one foot from square one to square two, square three, and so on.

Step 4: Each player's turn ends when he or she accidentally steps out of a square or lands out of sequence. If no one misses the easy way, turn up the heat. Make them put their hands behind their backs and repeat the process. Still no flubs? Try jumping to only even-numbered or odd-numbered squares.

Need a fast game to get everybody up and moving? Go to the next page to find an old favorite, the Boot Hill Game.

For more easy and fun activities and crafts for kids, check out:

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Boot Hill Game

Slip out of your shoes and into some fun with the Boot Hill Game. Speed, dexterity and shoe recognition count in this easy outdoor game for kids.

What You'll Need:

  • Players' shoes
  • Whistle

Step 1: All players remove their shoes and put them in a pile.

Step 2: Mix the pile completely.

Step 3: Have the players form a circle around the pile, with everyone standing about 10 feet away from it.

Step 4: When the whistle sounds, the players head for the pile. The winner is the first player to find both of his or her own shoes and put them on.

Go to the next page to find out how to play a fast-action game that really gets the balls rolling.

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This ball rolling game is constant motion.

©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

Ball Rolling Game

"The more the merrier" applies to this ball rolling game. The more balls you have, the more fun you'll find in this easy outdoor game for kids. And although the action may get fast and furious, this game can be fun for tots, as well as for older kids.

What You'll Need:

  • As many soft, rolling balls (of all sizes) as you and your friends can find
  • A clear, level section of ground or grass

Step 1: Gather your friends and all the rolling balls you have.

Step 2: Sit in a circle with your legs spread extra wide and the tips of your toes touching. Put the balls in the middle.

Step 3: Once the circle is formed, sit cross-legged with gaps in the circle on either side of you.

Step 4: Count "one, two, three" with your friends, and then go! Start those balls rolling all at once.

The object of the game is to keep the balls moving as fast as you can while preventing them from leaving the circle. Roll the balls low to the ground so no one gets a ball in the face. And have fun.

Remember, there are no losers in this game. You're all winners because you're all ­having a good time, no matter how long the crazy game lasts.

Go to the next page to find out how you can test your senses while getting to know a tree.

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Meet a Tree Game

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The Meet a Tree Game tests how well kids know the trees in their favorite park -- and how well they remember details. Kids use every sense but sight to explore a tree, and then see if they can find that tree again once their sight is restored. Play this easy outdoor game for kids in a wooded area or a park with lots of trees.

What You'll Need:

  • Area with a lot of trees
  • Partner
  • Blindfold

Step 1: Divide the players up into two-person teams. One person in each team puts on a blindfold.

Step 2: The partner turns the blindfolded person around two or three times, and then leads the person in a zig-zag path to a tree. The partner must be very careful to lead the blindfolded person around dangers.

Step 3: The blindfolded person explores the tree, taking as much time as he or she needs to feel the texture of the bark, find bumps or hollows, and find patches of moss or other features.

Step 4: When the blindfolded person is done, the partner leads him or her in a zig-zag path away from the tree, turning the blindfolded person around two or three times in the middle.

Step 5: The blindfolded person takes the blindfold off and tries to find the same tree.

Step 6: The partners switch places and explore another tree.

Why just play Blind Man's Bluff inside? Go to the next page to find an easy outdoor version that focuses on nature.

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See nature in a new way with Blind Man's Bluff in Nature.

©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

Blind Man's Bluff in Nature

Blind Man's Bluff in Nature will have kids using all of their senses except sight. This easy outdoor game for kids will have them discovering details they never experienced before.

What You'll Need:

  • Strips of cloth to use as blindfolds
  • Partner

Step 1: Divide the players into groups of two.

Step 2: One player puts on the blindfold.

Step 3: The other player leads the blindfolded player around, guiding him or her to touch, smell, and listen to different things in nature.

Step 4: The blindfolded player tries to guess what each thing is.

Step 5: The players trade places and try the game again.

Step 6: After the game, ask the players, "Do you notice more how things feel, smell, and sound than you did before?" Even familiar places can seem like strange new worlds!

Test your sense of smell, and find out how dogs feel when they sniff their way around a park. Learn how on the next page.

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Test Your Sense of Smell

Test your sense of smell, and find out how dogs and cats feel when sniffing their way around a park. Humans have an amazing ability to distinguish hundreds of different scents, but our sense of smell isn't nearly as well-developed as in many other mammals. This easy outdoor game for kids will let them perceive the world as many animals do -- by scent.

What You'll Need:

  • Spray bottle
  • Strong-smelling flavoring extract (vanilla, mint, lemon)
  • Water

Step 1: Fill a spray bottle with water, and add one or two teaspoons of a strong-scented extract. (Peppermint, lemon, and vanilla work well.)

Step 2: Make a trial spray on a tree to see if the scent is strong enough to detect.

Step 3: Have the players close their eyes while one person runs ahead through a wooded area with the spray bottle. The person laying the trail should spray trees and other objects along the way. If playing in grassy fields, be careful not to leave an obvious track through the grass.

Step 4: When the trail maker is done, the rest of the players try to follow the trail.

Go to the next page to learn how you can take your imagination on a wild ride with Drive-By Fiction.

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Drive-By Fiction

Let your imagination take you on a wild ride with Drive-By Fiction. Most people wonder how writers come up with their stories and tales. This easy outdoor game for kids may give them an idea.

What You'll Need:

  • Imagination
  • Notebook
  • Pencil or pen

Step 1: Sit with a friend and a notebook, facing the street. Carefully watch the cars as they drive by, one by one. Watch the people walking their dogs or riding their bikes. What are the people wearing? How do they sound? What are they carrying with them? What do their cars' license plates say? Do their cars run smoothly? Are their cars' windshields cracked?

Step 2: Make as many observations as you can about five different people.

Step 3: Build a story around those people.

Step 4: Share it with your family, teacher, or friends, or just write it down for fun. But let your imagination run wild!

Want to try a simple game of skill? Go to the next page to find out how you can use pennies to capture a quarter in a bucket of water.

For more easy and fun activities and crafts for kids, check out:

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Try the Coins in a Bucket Game.

©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

Coins in a Bucket Game

Try your luck at the watery Coins in a Bucket Game. You'll find it's a lot harder than it looks! But this easy outdoor game for kids provides a lot of amusement for only a handful of change.

What You'll Need:

  • Bucket
  • Water
  • Quarters
  • Pennies

Step 1: Fill a bucket with water, and drop a quarter into it.

Step 2: Take a handful of pennies, and drop them into the bucket one by one. Try to drop each penny so that it lands right on top of the quarter.

Step 3: Keep track of how many tries it takes to "capture" the quarter. If you're playing against a friend, take turns, and the one who captures the quarter first wins.

Try a safe version of dart-blowing with straws and ice. Keep reading to find out how.

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Ice Shot Game

Try the Ice Shot Game to let kids test the power of their breath. Some ancient tribes used blow guns to hunt for food for their families. This easy outdoor game for kids lets them try the dart-blowing technique safely while having wild and watery fun.

What You'll Need:

  • Paper
  • Washable markers
  • Tape
  • Drinking straws
  • Finely crushed ice

Step 1: Make targets out of paper, and color them with washable markers. Make sure nothing is left white.

Step 2: Tape your targets to a fence post, and have each player back away at least 10 paces.

Step 3: One by one, have each player shoot for those targets, using an ordinary drinking straw as the blow gun and tiny pieces of crushed ice as "darts."

Step 4: Set a time limit for each player, and then check the target for the watery smear marks that show dead-on hits of ice.

Step 5: Continue until every player has had a turn. The person with the most hits wins the round.

Are some of your kids' stuffed animals overdue for cleaning? Go to the next page to find an easy game that makes plushy grooming fun.

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Groom fast to win the Stuffed Animal Wash.

©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

Stuffed Animal Wash

The Stuffed Animal Wash puts fast first as kids shampoo plush pets. How long does it take to give a pet a bath? Gather the kids in your back yard with their stuffed animals and find out. Pick a warm and sunny day for this easy outdoor activity for kids.

What You'll Need:

  • Stuffed animals
  • Stopwatch
  • Shampoo
  • Buckets
  • Hose and water

Step 1: Make sure each player has his or her own fabric friend.

Step 2: Give each player enough room to bathe that animal.

Step 3: Start the clock, and have the players get to work wetting and soaping their animals.

Step 4: Have them make sure the entire animal is covered in suds, and then hose it down and check their time. The quickest groomer wins the race.

Go to the next page to find out how you can float some fun with a soap bubble bonanza.

For more easy and fun activities and crafts for kids, check out:

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Soap Bubble Bonanza

Float some fun with a soap bubble bonanza! Almost nothing is more fun than blowing hundreds and hundreds of soap bubbles. When kids are bored and looking for something to do, try this easy outdoor game for kids. Dig out a bottle of bubbles, and float on the fun.

What You'll Need:

  • Bubble solution
  • A few friends (optional)

Step 1: See how many bubbles you can blow, alone or with friends.

Step 2: See how many bubbles you can pop.

Step 3: See how big you can blow your bubbles, or how far yours can travel before bursting.

Step 4: See if you can find a way to make bubbles extra small.

Go to the next page to find out how your kids can exchange secrets with coded message kites.

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Share secrets with coded message kites.

©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

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Coded Message Kites

With coded message kites, kids can send secret messages to friends -- messages that only their friends can read. Try this easy outdoor game for kids on a windy day.

What You'll Need:

  • Permanent markers
  • Plastic shopping bag
  • Ball of string
  • Ribbon
  • Stapler and staples

Step 1: Draw pictures on the plastic bag with markers to make a coded message.

Step 2: Tie the handles of the plastic shopping bag together with the end of a ball of string.

Step 3: Staple a few 2-foot lengths of ribbon to the bottom of the bag for kite tails.

Step 4: Find a windy spot outdoors (away from any overhead wires), and start running.

Step 5: As the bag fills with air, slowly let out the string. The kite should begin to soar and dive.

Step 6: See if your friend can figure out the message you drew on the kite.

Don't forget to take your kite in the house or put it in a trash can when you've finished playing with it. Plastic bags are dangerous for small children and animals.

For more easy and fun activities and crafts for kids, check out:

ABOUT THE DESIGNERS

Hit the Coin Game by Maria Birmingham, Karen E. Bledsoe, Kelly Milner Halls Drive-By Fiction by Maria Birmingham, Karen E. Bledsoe, Kelly Milner Halls

Coins in a Bucket Game by Maria Birmingham, Karen E. Bledsoe, Kelly Milner Halls

Ice Shot Game by Maria Birmingham, Karen E. Bledsoe, Kelly Milner Halls

Stuffed Animal Wash by Maria Birmingham, Karen E. Bledsoe, Kelly Milner Halls

Soap Bubble Bonanza by Maria Birmingham, Karen E. Bledsoe, Kelly Milner Halls

Coded Message Kites by Maria Birmingham, Karen E. Bledsoe, Kelly Milner Halls