14 Good, Old Fashioned, Outdoor Games for Kids

good old fashioned outdoor games for kids

As I write this it is a beautiful, sunny Winter’s afternoon. Through the open doors I can hear the sounds of children next door playing ouside – the loud, exaggerated counting and giggles associated with a good old fashioned game of hide and seek. It is the perfect sound to accompany this sunny day and brings to mind childhood memories of…

Good, old fashioned, outdoor games like

  1. Hide and seek
  2. Hopscotch
  3. Duck, duck, goose
  4. Scarecrow tag
  5. What’s the time, Mr Wolf?
  6. Please, Mr Crocodile, may we cross the river?
  7. Elastics (Chinese jump rope)
  8. Jump rope
  9. Hula hooping
  10. Piggy in the middle (Keep Away)
  11. Knucklebones (Jack Stones)
  12. Marbles
  13. Four square (Hand Ball)
  14. Dodgeball (in all honesty, I hated this one!)

Which have these games have you shared with your children? What are others you would add to the list? As for me, I am off to draw a hopscotch grid with chalk right now before Immy wakes up. I am sure she won’t really get the whole idea of the game just yet but she will love jumping in the squares just the same 🙂

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  1. Go Home Stay Home was my fave!

  2. I loved playing freeze tag, red rover red rover, and flashlight tag as a kid! My 3 year old loves "hopscotch" (the modified version).

  3. SquiggleMum says:

    I spent hours playing with elastics, jumping and singing with friends.

  4. katepickle says:

    my girls love these kinds of games… we spent lots of time earlier this year learning how to skip and that is a firm favourite!

  5. [email protected] says:

    i loved Mr Crocodile may I cross the river?

    Good old Ring a ring a rosy is currently a fave at this house…

    And I hated Dodgeball too…freaked me out when I was a kid! I was actually told by my mentor teacher on my last prac that Dodgeball is a big no no now in schools? Is this correct?

  6. [email protected] says:

    oh and like Squigglemum – I played Elastics with my friends for hours

    "England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Inside, Outside, Puppy Dog Tails!"

  7. Lara from Silk Playground says:

    Leap frog and red rover are all the rage here. When I was a kid it was all about cartwheels.

  8. Love this Christie!

  9. My 8 year old has a dodgeball competition at school at the moment. He LOVES it.

  10. Busy Brissy Mum says:

    I couldn't tell you how many times I've played Duck, Duck, Goose with kids groups I've worked with. Not really a fav with me but they will play it over and over.

    At home I've shown Miss M the game of hopscotch but it really gets played more like you were expecting Immy to play it. Our absolute favourite is a game of family Hide 'n' Seek.

    I can't wait to get Miss M hoola hooping and skipping, well she thinks she can already do it but clearly she can't – very funny!

  11. Tricia at Mom is the Only Girl says:

    I'm excited to try some of these, although with adjustments for one 3 1/2 yr old and a toddler! Sometimes I need a good reminder of things I can do with them!

  12. Sweet Rustic says:

    We used to also play ring a ring a rosie, stuck in the mud and red rover cross over. I also remember loving playing with one of those massive parachutes in kindergarten where you'd put balls on them & make them bounce around or ppl would go under & you'd try & catch them.. Good fun.

  13. Linda Scarbrough says:

    The list of children’s games is intriguing. I do know and play several with my preschool students, but am unfamiliar with others on your list. Have you or could you give the directions or game rules for the games listed below?
    • Scarecrows
    • What’s the time, Mr. Wolf?
    • Please, Mr. Crocodile, may we cross the river?
    • Elastics Is this like Chinese Jump Rope?
    • Piggy in the middle
    • Knucklebones (jack stones)
    • Marbles

  14. Tenecia Tapplar says:

    I am looking for old fashion hand jacks. They were small metal 5 prong stars that stood up or stacked up on the floor when you flip them on the back of your hand. It also came with a small rubber ball. I am 51 yrs old played with them when I was 8, 9, 10 on my grandparnets porch.


  15. Loved playing Baby in the Air with neighborhood kids!

  16. Loved playing “kick the can” on summer nights!

  17. Nobody mentioned “1, 2, 3, Red Light”.

  18. My mom used to talk about a game she played in the twenties called RING A LEAP EO? or something like that. Does anyone know what that was? I never asked her.

  19. My current favorites:

    Jump rope
    I also like to do skipping stones
    That’s really all! I am mostly climbing trees,biking and running around. (When my leg isn’t hurt from biking)
    Still a kid but no one in my class likes to play games from over 10 years ago. I don’t know why. I mostly play jump-rope with myself or and jumping the bleachers with my friends at schools. There not the “Strange” (Apperently) Kind. (There strange to me) I mostly enjoy what I mentioned.

  20. does anyone have the rules for “Run my Sheepies run”

  21. i love it

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