Active Games Your Family Will Love

The following post is by contributor Catherine Way of Adventures With Kids.

Summer is a wonderful time to get outdoors and active with your family.  My family loves to go out in the early evening, as it starts to get cooler, and kick the football or play a game or two.  And if there are any friends around, they join in – the more, the merrier.

These games are fun for everyone, require minimal equipment and can be played in your backyard or a nearby park.

Four Square

A handball game in which players must keep their eye on the ball and have quick reflexes work to become king of the game

You will need:

chalk, tennis ball or similar, driveway or other hard-surfaced area, four or more players

How to Play:

  1. Draw a 10 foot square and divide it into four smaller squares.  Label the squares 1 – 4.  Each player stands in a square.
  2. The player in the number 1 square is the king.  The king serves by bouncing the ball to any of the other players.
  3. Players tap the ball from one square to another without catching the ball.  Play continues until someone misses the ball or sends it out of bounds.
  4. The player who missed the ball is now the peasant and moves to the number 4 square.  All other players rotate up through the squares.  The aim of the game is to get to the king, number 1, square and stay there as long as possible.

If you have more than 4 players, the player who misses the ball can move out of the game and another player move into square 4.

Catch My Tail

A twist on the game of tag that has players chasing each other’s tails.

You will Need:

a handkerchief or strip of cloth for each player, lawn or other open space, two or more players

How to Play:

  1. Each player tucks the handkerchief into their waist band as a tail.
  2. Players try to take other people’s tails, without letting anyone take their tail.
  3. If your tail is taken you are out of the game.  The last player with a tail wins the game.

Frisbee Football

Add a little friendly competition to thowing the frisbee by introducing some goals.

You will need:

a frisbee, four cones or other goal markers, lawn or other open space, four or more players

How to Play:

  1. Divide the players into two teams.  Use the cones to mark two goal areas
  2. Each team attempts to score by throwing the frisbee through their goal.
  3. Players are not allowed to run with the frisbee.  If a player is has the frisbee they must throw it, drop it or roll it along the ground.
  4. Once the frisbee is on the ground either team may pick it up.  The game is non-contact, so once someone touches the disc other players must move back.  If two players pick up the disc simultaneously, the throwing team retains possession.

All on One Side

A co-operative version of balloon volleyball, that has everyone working together to win.

You will need:

balloons, a net or rope, two or more players

How to Play:

  1. Everyone starts on one side of the net.  The object is to get everyone to the other side of the net and back as many times as possible.
  2. Each player volleys the balloon to another player and then moves under the net to the other side.  The last player to touch the balloon taps it over the net and crosses under.
  3. Players try to keep the balloon in play and cross back to the other side of the net.

These games are all best suited for school-age children but can be adapted for younger children by relaxing the rules.  For example, when playing Four Square, allow littlies to catch the ball before bouncing it to another player.  Or in Frisbee Football, let young children run with the frisbee.  Mom and Dad could also designate some throws of the frisbee just for the youngest players by calling a name as they throw.

What active games does your family love to play?

About Catherine

Catherine Way is mum to two boys living in North Australia. They read lots, run lots, love to learn new things and are good at finding fun and mischief. Catherine blogs about her family adventures and passion for lifelong learning at Indirect Observations.

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  1. these games are more healthier for family and kids to engage in than too much high tech computer games of today where people mostly sit for hours… I have to admit, I wasnt too good at Catch My Tail game when I was a kid because I keep running out of breath so fast, so I keep getting myself out from the game early 🙂
    Pinky Tan´s latest post: You know it’s love when all you want is that person to be happy, even if you’re not part of their happiness. ~Julia Roberts

  2. Catherine – I LOVE these! Amazing how many traditional games we’ve forgotten that are so much fun and get you moving without knowing it. Four-square is a personal favorite.

  3. I had forgotten about four square – I used to play it at school all the time! What else have I forgotten…?
    Emily´s latest post: Looking for The Wonky Donkey?

  4. Thanks for the games Catherine, all is fun but balloon volleyball is my favorite
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  5. Great post! Our active family plays 4 Square almost daily on the beach. We use a volleyball when playing, rather than a tennis ball, which makes it a little easier for the little ones in the group.

  6. Wow I have never heard of these! My boys are little but we love playing outdoors. I’ll have to try these, thanks!
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  7. I’ll get my family to do these too! We like to play “popcorn” on the trampoline. It is a fun game for all the kids 😀