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Kids Summer Outdoor Games

written by: Deborah Walstad • edited by: Cheryl Gabbert • updated: 8/9/2011

Games involving the neighborhood kids in the great outdoors will help your kids become more social, appreciate simple entertainment and save you some money on membership fees.

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    Making the Most of What You Have

    Have fun in simple ways this summer. While it would be nice to have an infinite supply of money to go to every museum, batting cage, and IMAX movie that your town has to offer, kids often have just as much fun with simple entertainment. There are a lot of fun kids outdoor activities that won't break their parent's bank. All you really need is a little planning, a lot of imagination and a good supply of energy. You'll be surprised how much fun you'll have with the most basic of kids summer outdoor games by using what you already have at home.

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    Cartoon Freeze Tag

    All you need to play cartoon freeze tag is backyard or a nearby park. One kid will be "It" and chase the other kids around. Once he tags someone, they "freeze" in place (remain still). The child will stay "frozen" until another kid crawls under his legs while naming a cartoon character. This is loads of fun for kids and parents will appreciate the energy it takes to play, making bedtime quite simple.

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    Kickball

    Playing kickball is a great summer activity. To play kickball, imply buy or find a kick ball (rubber ball) and take your kids to a baseball diamond, or an open field. The ball used for kickball should be soft and one that won't cause concussions or black eyes. Setting up a kickball game is similar to setting up a game of baseball. The pitcher rolls the kickball to the the "batter" and once the ball is kicked, the outfielders will catch the ball and chase the batter to tag them out. Of course, the batter can touch first base, second base and so on to score points for the team. You can also use the ball for dodge ball and four-square. If kids do not want to participate, they can play hop scotch or jacks on the sidewalk or cheer on their friends.

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    Marco Polo or Sharks and MinoesMinnows

    Water activities are a great way to keep your kids entertained and cool. Check out your community swimming pools to find one that is good for kids. Bring your kids to the pool with their friends and start a game of Marco Polo or Sharks and MinoesMinnows. Keep in mind that it's important you have enough adults to closely supervise the kids, especially to help avoid accidents that can occur with closed eyes. Also, remind the kids there is no running.

    Marco Polo is simple; one kid is Marco and the rest of the kids are Polo. With eyes closed, Marco yells out "Marco!" and the rest of the kids with their eyes open yell out Polo and try to dodge Marco from tagging them. This allows the kids to use all their senses besides sight to be the winner of the game.

    Sharks and MinoesMinnows is a similar to Marco Polo. One kid is the "shark" in the pool with eyes closed. All of the other kids are minoesminnows, waiting to jump in. When the shark yells "MinoesMinnows, in the Water!" the kids jump in and try not to be tagged by the blind shark.

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    Colored Eggs and Red Rover

    Active games are fun for kids. Colored Eggs and Red Rover are classic outdoor games. Colored Eggs starts out with one kid as the "wolf" and the other kids either lined up on a fence or a wall, and are ready to run as soon as the wolf picks their color (this can be the color of their shirt, their favorite color or a color they chose). Designate what their color will be at the beginning of the game. The game follows this dialogue:

    Wolf: " Knock Knock!"

    Kids" "Who is there?!"

    Wolf: "Big Bad Wolf!"

    Kids: "What do you want"

    Wolf : "Colored Eggs"

    Kids: " What Color?"

    Wolf: " Red"

    In this example, the kid who chose red as their color tries to run to the designated "safe zone" without being tagged.

    Red Rover can be played with several kids in the neighborhood. There are two teams, one team that locks arms and guards their side, and another team that is lined up waiting to cross to the other side and break through the chain of kids. The linked kids yell "Red Rover Red Rover can (insert kids name here) come over?". Then, the named kid tries to run over and break through the linked children. If they cannot break through, then they are stuck on this teams side, and cannot return to their team.

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    Kids Summer Outdoor Games: Ready Set Go!

    Whatever games your child plays, they will have fun as long as they are playing with friends in the warm sun with cool lemon aid nearby. Remember to supervise the kids, always apply sunscreen, stay hydrated and play fair!

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    Sources

    Pictures: FreeDigitalPhotos.Net

    Games: Personal experience