In an age of technology, creative outdoor activities are getting played less and becoming harder to come by. Here are some lesser-known games that are great for a group of friends, a P.E. class, or even a summer camp, any of them work. As someone who is in the younger generation and played a lot of sports growing up, here are some of my favorite outdoor activities that my friends and I loved as a kid and still play now.
- Basketball Hoop
- Chalk (Polyspots if inside)
- Scoreboard (Counting in your head or using a piece of technology works)
Before I begin, no this isn’t related to the movie with Brad Pitt! 😂 Moneyball is a game I created with my friends growing up, and is great for any kid old enough with the strength to make a basket, 10′ hoop or not. This game involves either drawing locations on the pavement, or if inside dropping spots, and assigning a dollar value to them. First player to get a certain amount of money wins, and each turn a player shoots until they miss. This game can be played by yourself to work on shooting, or with as many people as possible until it gets too hard to keep track.
You can even be creative and add your own rules; for example I added a rule that each player can only take one layup per turn to make it more challenging for an older group of kids. This game gets your kid out of the house, is a fun way to practice mental math for younger kids, and can even improve students’ skills at basketball in the process.
Pickle is a very simple game, and one any age can participate in. A person stands in the middle with a tennis ball, and people try to run back and forth, end line to end line, trying to reach without getting pegged. Once you leave one end line you can’t go back to it, and that is where you can get stuck in a pickle! If you get pegged you then join the middle and get your own ball to throw, last person standing wins. I usually added a rule when I played that there was a timer and you had to reach the other side by the time it went off, otherwise kids may not find an incentive to run. The best part is it can be adjusted to any age. For younger kids the lines aren’t as far apart, and for older kids who throw hard you can add other rules like making headshots illegal. I would recommend somewhere around 5-12 players for this game, so it is not too crowded and still remains engaging.
- Soccer Ball (Volleyball works too)
- One small cone
- Lines for point barriers (Can be created with chalk if outside, cones or polyspots work too)
Growing up this was always my favorite game in PE class. The game is a team vs team event, and is played until a team reaches a certain score of everyone’s choosing. A player for one team places the ball on a tee (usually a small cone works for this), and kicks it at the other team guarding the lines. For the game, the more lines the ball crosses without getting picked up, the more points the shot is worth. If the ball is out of bounds (misses to the sides of the cones), is caught in the air, or does not reach the cones, then that person kicking records an out. Three outs, and the sides change. Unless you want to make the field super small, I would recommend at least 6 players on each team, and there is no limit to how many can play, just make the field wider!
While this game is much more well known than the first three, it’s one of my favorites and is great to work on your coordination. All you need for Spikeball is four players and a flat piece of land, it’s especially fun to play on the beach! This game is best for kids at least 8 years old as it is a lot going on at once and may overwhelm the younger ones. First player to 21 wins, the rules come with the set and are simple once you play a few rounds! Think of it as 2v2 volleyball on the ground!
(If you need a copy of the rules click here)
5. Trivia Race
This game is a great one for summer camp, and can work for kids that are of reading age! In team or individual format, each team will go up and pick up a trivia card. If they get the answer right, they can grab an activity card. The cards can have whatever you’d like on them, ranging from “make a free throw”, “do 5 sit-ups”, or “run to the house and come back”, and if the person can do it, they earn the team a point. No new card can be drawn until the first activity card is completed. If the person gives up the team loses a point. First team to reach whatever amount of points is decided before the game begins wins!
Submitted by Nathan Pyne, Intern at S&S Worldwide