Outdoor adventure

10 Outdoor Games And Activities For Summer Fun

Written By: happycamper

This is a guest blog written by The Genius of Play™ Team

Across the country, summer is in full swing and kids can close their schoolbooks for the long-awaited break. With the warmer weather and more time to play, it’s the perfect time to try new activities together as a family! The Genius of Play team has put together a list of some of our favorite outdoor activities and games, perfect for keeping kids occupied and creating fun memories that will last well beyond the summer!


child running outsideGrab the Bacon

This game is for ages 6 and up. Break into two teams and assign each player per side a number (1, 2, 3, etc.). Teams line up on opposite sides of the yard with the “bacon” (ball, book, shirt, etc.) in the center. A non-player calls out a number. If your number is called, race to get the bacon first and return it to your side without being tagged by the other player. A point is earned for each successful bacon retrieval. If players are tagged after touching the bacon but before reaching their side, the other team earns a point.


Marco Polo

Inspired by the explorer Marco Polo’s own adventurous spirit of traversing the unknown, this is a classic game to play in or out of the pool (shallow end only). One player is Marco Polo for a round and uses call-and-response and keen listening skills to locate and tag their fellow players. Not only does this game put kids’ senses to the test, but it also lets them work on their communication and social skills. Just be sure to set time limits to a round to avoid frustration!


rainbow paint chipsNature’s Color Match

Learning color basics? Try matching nature’s colors to paint chips. This activity is perfect for ages 3 and up. Take some old paint chips (available at any paint store), punch a hole at the top of each, and slide them onto a binder ring. Then it’s off to match and explore. Note: If you don’t have access to paint chips, you can also color your own sheets or print them off a computer.


Action Figure Float

This is a game that teaches trial-and-error and density, as kids take their favorite toys (of different sizes and weights) and predict and test “will this toy float?” Play this game solo or go head-to-head. To extend playtime, try using other household items (and toys) to see if they will float and/or hold the weight of their favorite action figures. If their idea doesn’t float, urge them to try again using different objects.


Magic T-Shirt

Secure a section of fabric on the front of a T-shirt with an embroidery hoop, glass, or bowl. Using permanent markers, have kids use their imagination and draw whatever they’d like inside the hoop. When they are finished drawing, place a plate inside the shirt, under the hoop. Have an adult pour rubbing alcohol into a small bowl. Then, with a little help, let kids use an eyedropper to add droplets of alcohol onto their T-shirt design until it becomes saturated. Watch as new colors appear! Let the shirt dry, remove the hoop, and iron the shirt as needed. Let kids sport their stylish new design!


dinosaur gardenDinosaur Garden

Creating a miniature landscape lets imaginations run wild. Give each child some plants, rocks, twigs, plastic dinosaurs, and other props to make their own dinosaur garden. Once complete, kids can have their dinosaur figurines, or other figures, roam free. Pro Tip: select plants that resemble larger plants and cover little bowls with moss or dirt to mimic the appearance of big hills.


Shadow Tag

This is a screen-free game that will get kids up and off their devices. It plays a lot like a traditional game of tag, only instead of touching other players to tag them, the goal of the person who is “It” is to tag the other players’ shadows.


Harvest Dash

Put leftover birdfeed or flower seeds from your garden to another use! In this relay race, start by filling two containers with feed or seed and leave two smaller, empty containers several feet away. Have kids (or families) break into two teams of even size and line up by the full container. At the start of the race, the first player fills up a cup with seeds, races to dump them into the empty bin, sprints back, and hands the cup off to the next teammate. The first team to fill their container with seeds wins.


Duck Duck Drench

This is Duck Duck Goose with a wet twist. A chosen player for a round walks around the circle with the cup of water, dripping a small bit onto the head of each person they pass, saying “Drip” aloud each time. When he/she selects a new chosen player for a round, they yell “Drench!” and dump the cup of water onto that player’s head. The drenched player must jump up and race to tag the other player before he/she takes a seat. If they do, the drenched kid becomes the new leader for the round.


fun parachute gamesParachute Games

You don’t need to look to the skies to experience the wonder of a parachute, and there are plenty of games kids can do right in their own backyards with this fun device. From watching it magically float in the air to seeing how the colors of light pass through it, and working together for cooperative play, read on for a full list of parachute game ideas.

For more summer activity ideas, download The Genius of Play’s Summer Playbook or head over to You can also follow @Geniusofplay on Facebook and Instagram or check out our YouTube Channel.


About The Genius of Play™ 

The Genius of Play™ is a national movement to raise awareness of play’s vital role in child development, spearheaded by The Toy Association®. Deeply rooted in research and facts, The Genius of Play is a leading resource on the physical, cognitive, social, and emotional benefits of play that serve children throughout their lives. Our website,, offers hundreds of play ideas, expert advice, and more play-based resources for families and educators.

Tagged:- outdoor activities, outdoor games, summer fun



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