8 classic outdoor games worth dusting off

Do you remember those days when momma asked you to go and hide? You hid under the bed and she pretends that you weren’t there. Well, those times used to be fun. There are a lot of games we played as kids that are going into oblivion today. I can still remember bonding with my parents over a lot of outdoor games in our backyard back in the ’80s. At the time, there were no video games, no social media, and parents used to make out time for their kids.

Three smiled children outdoor

Most of us are too busy today to play “hide and seek”. Moreover, kids of nowadays are more interested in video games and social media. While they can seem like a great way to keep your kid busy, while you complete the work you brought home, research shows that young people can be influenced negatively on social media and when playing inappropriate video games.
Alternatively, you can bond with your youngest family members and teach him practical life skills when you’re playing entertaining outdoor games together. You may have forgotten some of these games. Don’t worry, we’ve made a list of some popular ones we played back in the day and you can pass valuable lessons at the same.

1. Hide and Seek

Almost everyone played this game back in the day. It’s fun, easy, and even 2 people are enough to start. “Hide and seek” involves one party counting down from 10 to 0 while the other person hides. When counting down is finished you try to find the other person.

Hide-and-Seek originated in England in the 19th century. Since then, it has been passed down from one generation to the next. Don’t let your heir miss out on the fun that can be found in this game.

2. Duck, Duck, Goose

This is another great game that doesn’t require any equipment. However, you need 4 persons or more to play. Here, children are required to be seated in a circle and one player is known as “it” will run around the outer perimeter touching each person’s head as he repeats, “duck, duck, duck”. He will continue repeating this word until he chooses to say “Goose”. When he says “goose”, the child at whose heads he stops will have to run after the first one. He is safe if he can tag the fleeing one, who is “it” before he completely runs around the circle to the starting spot. If he fails to catch the “it”, he will become the new “it” and the game continues.

3. Kick the Can

This game requires a “can” and a large number of attendants to play with fun. A can is placed in a central location while other players go and hide, except for the one chosen to be “it” who will count down to a designated number. Now, the “it” will try to defend the can while other players will try to kick it before being spotted.

4. Sardines

This is a version of hide-and-seek game. It involves one player who is “it” hiding while other players search for him. When they find “it”, they will join him in hiding in the same spot until one player is left. The last player to find them becomes the new “it”

Children playing outdoor games

5. Red Rover

This is a very fun game but it requires a large number of kids. It involves two teams of children holding hands. When the captain of one of the team calls out “Red Rover, Red Rover, send (name) right over”, the person called out from the opposing team will run to the team that called him over and tries to break through the hands of two players.

If the player succeeds, he will be allowed to choose a person to take back to his team. Otherwise, they will become part of the opposing team.

6. Cat’s Cradle

Everybody loves string games. This game is simple and fun. It involves placing the string on the fingers and then move in a certain order so as to create shapes.

7. Statues

This game originated from London. It is very fun and can be played with 3 kids or more. It involves choosing a player who is called “it”. The “it” will turn his back on the rest of the players. When he does, other players will now move toward a goal until the “it” person turns. However, he will say a certain word before turning. In some cases, he can count down to 10 or spell out a certain word.

Immediately he turns, you (and other players) must freeze. If anyone is seen moving, he will be ordered to return to the starting point.

8. Mother May I?

This game can be used to teach kids how to obey instructions. Here, one player will play the “Mother” while other players line up a distance away facing the Mother. The Mother will now instruct each player to move in words like: “You may take 5 steps now”. Before the player moves, he must ask for permission by saying, “Mother, may I?” and the Mother will reply, “Yes, you may”. The Mother can also give a player instruction to go backward. Any player who refuses to obey the instruction or forgets to ask for permission before moving will be asked to return to the starting position.

A player that is first to successfully reach the Mother becomes the leader.


Games mentioned above are just some basic ideas to spend quality time with your family and teach kids practical life skills. And it’s also a great idea to ensure you pass these games down to the next generation just like they were passed down to our generation. It would be a shame if they were forgotten, don’t you think?