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3 Fun Outdoor Games to Play with Kids in the Backyard

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FamiSafe lets parents control screen time, track real-time location and detect inappropriate content on kids' devices.

Remembering the golden period of the 90s when we as kids used to go outside in our free time and play with our friends in the playground or a park. Outdoor activities would not only keep us healthy but also teach us noble traits of teamwork, sportsmanship, and cooperation.


Things, however, have rapidly changed with the arrival of the digital era where modern technologies are occupying every aspect of our lives. Digital devices like smartphones, tablets, and computers have replaced outdoor games and confined children to their rooms only. I’m not against these devices, they are also very helpful for learning. However, their excessive use creates health issues and imparts social problems.

So, how would you encourage kids to go outside and actively participate in physical activities? We have discussed three very exciting and thrilling backyard games for families that would stimulate children to switch off their devices and come outside for some outdoor fun.

Game 1: Traffic Light

Game 1Traffic Light

Age: 3+ years

Participants: 3+

Materials/Equipment: Traffic light template, paper plate, color printer/pencils, laminator & laminating slips, paper, cup


When choosing an outdoor game for your kids, prefer those that are not only funny but also give valuable lessons. Children must learn something positive that they can apply in their real life. Hence, the first outdoor family game we are suggesting here is Traffic Light. This is an exciting group game for kids who can walk and respond with controlled movements.

Traffic Light teaches children how to use the zebra crossing and drive carefully while on the road. It focuses on patience, responsiveness, and liability. At the same time, the game also offers a lot of fun and engages children in a healthy outdoor activity.

How to Play?

  • First of all, paint red, yellow, green cards as "traffic lights" using crayon colors. Ask each child to cooperate in cutting, painting, and gluing the cards according to the traffic light template.
  • Once all cards have been made, take all children in your backyard and ask them to line up on a predefined path.
  • Give a short briefing to the children about traffic lights. Tell them the purpose of red, yellow, and green lights and advise them to strictly follow the instructions while on the road.
  • To make the game more interesting, ask them to walk slowly on the path in specific lanes and assign penalties for each violation. For instance, if a child breaks the lane, he/she will write his/her name ten times.
  • In the middle of that path, stand on one side holding all three cards as if you are traffic light.
  • Appoint one child as traffic warden responsible for monitoring all kids walking on the path and noting down traffic violations.
  • Ask the rest of the children to start walking slowly following the instructions. When they reach halfway, raise the red card and ask everyone to stop. After a few seconds, raise the yellow card and then the green card.
  • This way, children will have a lot of fun and learn how traffic signals work.

Learning Outcomes

  • While walking through the intersection, your children will learn the gross motor skills;
  • The game will teach them the rules of safe driving and road crossing;
  • Your children will also get spatial awareness from this game to help them judge the near and farthings;
  • Traffic Lights game will also teach communication and social skills to children essential for social responsibility; and
  • Finally, children will be able to recognize different colors, develop math skills, and count the number of steps required to cross the traffic light.

Game 2: Find the Objects

Game 2Find the Objects

Age: 4+ years

Participants: 3+

Materials/Equipment: Different household objects, shapes, edible objects, and similar things that can easily be identified by kids


Another exciting outdoor in which parents name different things in the backyard and ask their kids to find those objects. The game is a test of children’s observation, brainstorming, reaction, recognition, and decision-making. This is a very healthy physical activity that urges children to think out of the box and locate different objects around them.

To be able to play this game, children should have prior knowledge of objects they are asked to identify. For instance, they must be aware of different shapes like circles, squares, rectangles, and triangles, etc. so that they can easily recognize and find out objects with these shapes. Similarly, they should have little knowledge of animals, plants, and similar things present in your backyard.

How to Play

  • Start by giving a short briefing about the game rules and prizes for the winners. It’s better to teach them about different shapes and answer their questions before starting.
  • When all children are ready, ask them to sit down maintaining social distancing so that they can move around for observation.
  • Now, name one shape like “Round” and ask all children to find round things around them in the backyard. Round is a very common shape as we can see several rounded objects around us such as tires, door locks, lights, bulbs, and even the sun.
  • Next, say “plants” and ask kids to name as many plants as they can present in the backyard. You can also ask the names of different flowers to test children’s knowledge of flowers.
  • Similarly, ask them to find edible things around them. Make sure you have placed ample edible things in the backyard such as water, tea, juice, biscuits, cakes, and fruits, etc.
  • Once they have recognized the edible things, ask them to name as many fruits as they can.
  • Finally, name different shapes like squares, rectangles, and triangles and let children locate things with these shapes.
  • When the competition is over, check which child has identified the maximum number of objects correctly and fast. The kid would be the winner of this game and be awarded the prize.

Learning Outcomes

  • This game cultivates children's ability of observation, reaction, and cognition;
  • It allows them to use think differently and apply their knowledge to achieve the desired objectives;
  • The game also motivates children to learn more about things they don’t know; and
  • Children will develop a sense of competition and struggle.

Game 3: Creativity Sand Game

Game 3Creativity Sand Game

Age: 3+ years

Participants: 2+

Materials/Equipment: Basket, sand, water, and different shapes


This is probably the best among all lawn games for families in terms of learning and education. It allows children to use their creativity and intellectual abilities to develop different things with sand. Final shapes give them a sense of pleasure and pride.

How to Play

  • Provide children with sufficient sand, water, basket, and simple shapes made of plastic and ask them to mix the sand with water to make their objects.
  • It would be more appropriate if you make some objects yourself first so that children can learn sand mixing and shaping, etc.
  • Give them ample time to make their objects and keep guiding them throughout the process.
  • When the sand shapes are ready, resemble them with the original ones and declare the winner based on his/her performance.

Learning Outcomes

  • Creativity sand game imparts teamwork and collaboration skills among children;
  • It teaches them how to execute their plans in real life;
  • The game polishes their creative skills and enables them to think differently to achieve their goals; and
  • Children are encouraged to get hands-on experience and be more practical.

Part4. Safeguard Kids’ Cyber Life with FamiSafe

Digital devices can also be very helpful for children along with outdoor physical activities. Parents just need to balance these two and make sure their children are not excessively participating in both these activities. In fact, children can get more information about different shapes on smartphones and tablets and apply these lessons in outdoor games. This way, they can develop cognitive skills and learn how things look practically in real life.

However, security risks like cyberbullying are also associated with digital devices. To prevent children from these threats, parents can use advanced parental control apps like FamiSafe, which help them:

Monitor their kids’ online activities;

See which websites their children are accessing and how much time are they spending on each;

Track live location of their kids and check their travel history;

Promote healthy digital practices among their children;

Identify and block websites containing explicit, adult, or pornographic content;

Filter explicit results in the search engine;

Manage media files in their kid’s phones including photos, videos, and documents.

Wondershare Famisafe

FamiSafe lets parents control screen time, track real-time location and detect inappropriate content on kids' devices.

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The digital era has limited children’s participation in physical activities and outdoor games. Today, children spend most of their time in their bedrooms using social networking websites and playing video games online. Spending hours and hours on such activities develop negative behaviors among children.

Hence, parents should encourage their children to participate in outdoor family games that keep them healthy and teach them various useful skills. These games promote teamwork among kids, develop communication and collaboration skills, and enable them to think out of the box.

Similarly, children should also be allowed to enhance their knowledge through digital devices and learn new things online that can be applied in real life. FamiSafe keeps children away from potentially harmful websites and ensures internet safety.

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