10 Easy and Fun Outdoor Games to Keep Your Kids Active This Summer
Ah, summertime! The season of golden sunshine, watermelon slices, and... your little ones squirming with energy. As any parent can testify, the struggle of keeping your kiddos active (and reasonably calm) during the long summer months can be as challenging as getting them to eat their organic baby food without smearing it all over their faces - and yours. Fear not, diligent parents! We've compiled a list of 10 easy, fun, and yes, somewhat sanity-saving outdoor games to encourage those summer wiggles to go the way of outdoor play.

1. Shadow Tag

Forget about classic tag, where you can practically hear your child's energy levels depleting. In Shadow Tag, children try to step on each other's shadows. It's hilarious, it's exhausting, and it's a fantastic way to teach them about the movement of the sun! Plus, it saves you from the potential of heat-exhaustion-induced grumpiness. Remember, fun is directly proportional to the amount of laughter, and inversely proportional to the number of tears.

2. Backyard Bowling

Convert your backyard into a bowling alley. Use water bottles as pins, and any ball as your bowling ball. Perfect for those ‘boring’ summer afternoons when even the ants seem lethargic. And here's the bonus - this DIY game teaches kids about recycling and reusing, subtly sneaking in a lesson amidst the fun. Just make sure you're ready for the occasional wild throw – windows, you've been warned.

For some fantastic DIY ideas, check out Parents.com.

3. Nature Scavenger Hunt

Unleash the explorer within your child with a Nature Scavenger Hunt. A handful of leaves, some unique rocks, a bird's feather, and voila, you have your scavenger list ready. This game promotes both observation skills and a love for nature. And don't forget the greatest win - the quietness as they keenly search for their items. Blissful, isn't it?

4. Sprinkler Simon Says

Remember Simon Says? Now add a sprinkler to it, and what do you have? A sputtering, giggling, and thoroughly soaked child, that’s what! Commands like "Simon says jump over the water" or "Simon says duck under the water" will have your child darting around, creating a world of active outdoor play.

Active For Life offers great resources for more active games for your kids.

5. Backyard Olympics

Introduce your child to the grandeur of Olympics right in your backyard. Hold competitions in running, long jump, or even pool noodle javelin throw! The cherry on top? Handmade medals for everyone involved! This encourages a healthy competitive spirit and the joy of participation.

6. Gardening

An outdoor play idea that gives you pretty flowers or fresh homegrown veggies. Yes, please! Gardening might not sound like a 'game,' but with a bit of imagination, it can be. Create garden spaces for your kids, let them choose their plants, and watch the excitement bloom along with their green buddies.

For inspiration on creating child-friendly gardens, visit Kids Gardening.

7. Chalk Art Contest

You'd be surprised how much creativity a sidewalk, some chalk, and the promise of being the 'Chalk Art Champion' can unlock in a child. This fun activity is excellent for developing motor skills and promoting creativity.

8. Animal Races

Who can hop like a kangaroo or waddle like a penguin the fastest? Uncontrollable giggles are guaranteed with this one, and it's an excellent exercise in disguise.

9. Water Balloon Toss

The summer heat can take the fun out of outdoor play. But add water balloons into the mix, and suddenly the scorching sun isn't that daunting. A simple toss game can keep them entertained for hours.

10. Outdoor Pictionary

Drawing in the dirt or sand is a rite of childhood. Transform this natural inclination into a game of Pictionary. It's fun, it's creative, and best of all, no cleanup!

Remember, parents, outdoor play isn't just about expending energy. It's about fostering creativity, encouraging exploration, and creating memories that last longer than the most stubborn of grass stains. So slather on that sunscreen, pack a picnic of your best organic baby food, and get ready for a summer of fun and games. May your laughter be plentiful, your tears be few, and your summer be one for the books!

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