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Outdoor Games to Play this Summer

Tried and tested, these fun outdoor games are easy for everyone to enjoy. Roll up this issue for the glove box or pack with your camping supplies! Play them at the company picnic and annual block party.

Forest Foragers

Ages: 5+

Time needed: 30 minutes or more

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Where to play: In the forest

How to play: One player starts as a seeker. The rest of the players are hiders. The hunter counts with their eyes closed while the hiders hide. When the hunter spots someone, they silently ask them if they are hiders or seekers (using hand signals). If they are hiders, the hunter tries to tag them. Once tagged, the hider becomes a hunter as well. This continues until everyone becomes a hunter.

How many players: 8–15 players

Variations: The hunters pair up, or the hunter gives the hiders a 5–10 second head start to run away.

Fire in the Forest

Ages: 5+

Time needed: 15 minutes

Where to play: In a field

Materials: Bandanas, a rope or cones to mark each side

How to play: There’s a fire in the forest and the animals are running to escape. The goal is to not get burned by the fire. Pick three forest animals. Players choose to be one animal. They don’t tell anyone which animal they are. One player is the fire. This player is “it” and stands in the middle of the field. All the animals start on one side. Fire starts the game by calling out one of the three animals. When players hear their animal, they run to the other side without getting tagged by fire. If tagged, you become a tree on fire. You can tag people running through, but you cannot move from your roots; you can only pivot on one foot. If the fire person calls out, “fire in the forest,” all the animals must run across to the other side without getting tagged. The game ends when the last animal is tagged.

How many players? 8+ players

Fox Tails

Ages: 5+

Time needed: 10-15 minutes

Where to play: In a field

Materials: Bandanas (one per player) and an open field or lawn

How to play: Each player tucks one “tail” (bandana) into the back of their waistband. Players run around within a designated boundary trying to capture the tails of other players. They most also keep their own tails safe! If a player’s tail is captured, they sit on their knees. They can re-join the game if they capture a new tail from another player while sitting. The game ends when one player captures all the tails or set a time limit.

How many can play: 4+ players

Variations: Add Fairies. They collect extra/donated tails from players who already have two tails. They give tails to players that are sitting down and are out.

Otter Steals Fish

Ages: 6+

Time needed: 10–15 minutes

Where to play: field or forest

Materials: “Fish” (bandanas) and a field or forest

How to play: Create a circular boundary 6–8 metres in diameter. Use backpacks or bandanas to delineate the boundary. Clear the circle from obstacles. Cheeky otters are on the outside of the circle. The patient heron guards their fish (one bandana) in the middle. The heron cannot touch the fish during the game. They can stop an otter from stealing their fish by tagging the otter. The goal of the otters is to grab the fish without being tagged by the heron. If an otter steals the fish, they become the heron.

How many players? 6+ players

Variations: Once an otter is tagged, they can go outside the circle and count to ten or run to touch a nearby tree before trying again.

Bat and Moth

Ages: 5+

Time needed: 15 minutes

Where to play: Forest or field

Materials: Blindfold (bandana) and level field surface

How to play: One person is a bat, everyone else is a moth. The bat stands in the centre and calls out “bat” to those who are moths. When the bat calls, the moths reply, “moth.” The bat must try to catch the moths, and the moths do their best to “fly” away from the bats. Everyone can move around, with the bat repeatedly calling out “bat” and the moths replying “moth.”

How many can play? 5–10 players

Variations: Instead of saying “moth,” moths can clap their hands and the bat can follow the sounds. Also, if you have a lot of players, for safety you can create a forest ring of kids to make a boundary. The boundary are kids (aka trees) and stand with hands outstretched to keep the bat and moths inbounds. Still select one bat but only 3–4 moths who play inside the forest. Then take turns rotating kids to play bat, moths or trees.

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