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Games to Play at the Park

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With summer right around the corner, kids are eagerly awaiting finishing the school year and parents are preparing to entertain them. Getting outside and staying active is important for both adults and their children, and making a trip to the park is the perfect opportunity to bond as a family. There are many tried and true games that will get your kids off their phones and video games to truly enjoy all that summer outside has to offer.

Here are the top 8 classic, fun games that your kids will love playing at the park this summer:

1. Hide and Seek 

You can’t go wrong with a classic game of hide and seek. One player will be “It” and count to a certain number while the rest of the players find a spot to hide out of view around the park. Then, whoever is “It” will search the park until they find all of the players. Whenever a player is found, they can join in on the search to help find the others. Hide and Seek could be difficult in a very open park, so a park with a lot of trees or playground equipment that provides different hiding places would be ideal. 

2. I Spy 

I spy can be played in any environment, but is most commonly used on a car or road trip, pointing out billboards on the highway and other objects as you drive past. The park also provides the perfect setting for an intriguing game of I Spy where one player picks out an object that they see around them and says “I spy with my little eye something beginning with” and names the first letter of the object they are identifying. Then the other players take turns to guess what object it is. This is ideal for the park, where there are often many people walking around and many things happening at once. This is also great for children to start growing their vocabulary and social skills. 

3. Tag

Tag is a classic kids game that will get the kids some exercise in a fun and competitive way. Have the kids space themselves out in a large, open area within the park and have one player be “It.” This player will run around trying to tag any of the other players to get them out. A fun twist you can put on tag is turning it into freeze tag. This is when players must freeze in their exact position when they are tagged, and if that means they have to stand with one leg in the air, it provides quite the humorous challenge. You can play Tag with just a few kids as this game does not require a super large group. 

4. Capture the Flag 

Capture the Flag is a little more innovative than the games we have talked about so far. If you have enough kids to form two solid teams, then two objects will be chosen as each team’s “flag.” Then, in each team’s respective territory, they will hide their “flag” and the goal of the other team is to capture their rival’s flag, which will be located at the team’s base. Therefore, the team has to focus on both guarding their own base, as well as capturing the other team’s flag. Because of the higher complexity of the game, it is best played with a group of older kids.

5. Scavenger Hunt 

Another creative game would be a scavenger hunt. You can make a list of things for the kids to gather in the park and send them off to search for them. If you want to make the game more challenging, instead of listing what each item is, you could create a riddle or a clue for each item so that the players have to make mental connections and use their knowledge to identify what the object is before they go to find it. The first player who gathers all of the required items wins and could receive a reward, big or small.

6. Hopscotch

If you are looking to do some arts and crafts at the park, grab some chalk and head to the sidewalk or blacktop and draw out a pattern of rectangles numbered 1-10 to play hopscotch. Players throw a small object, like a coin, into one of the squares and then have to hop on one foot through all of the rectangles, skipping the rectangle with their object in it. By creating the rectangles and playing hopscotch in them, kids can be both artistic and active in one game. Hopscotch is also versatile because players can range from just one child to a multitude of children.

7. 4 square 

Another game that can be played on the park’s blacktop or sidewalk is 4 square. This game is played in a square court that is divided into 4 quadrants. The objective is to bounce the ball back and forth between the quadrants and avoid letting the ball out of bonds, bouncing it more than once in your quadrant or failing to hit the ball into another square, all of which will get you eliminated. Players in lower level quadrants, such as 1 and 2, attempt to eliminate the players in the higher quadrant, while the player in quadrant 4 wins if they are the last person standing. 4 square has many different variations that can be applied at the beginning of the game to suit different age levels and interests.

8. Kickball  

If your kids love to be active in sports, kickball may be the perfect option for them. Kickball was developed from the same concept as baseball and softball but was modified for players to kick a ball instead of hitting one with a bat. Kicking a bouncy ball is a safer option than adding a hard baseball and bat into the mix. With kickball, you want to make sure you have a large enough group to be able to form two teams: those kicking the ball and running to each of the bases and those on the defensive, including the pitcher and those guarding the bases, waiting to catch the ball and strike the runner. 

Games and time outdoors are always important for children to learn and grow physically and mentally. Check out why I Spy in particular is a great game for children to develop crucial skills by visiting The Learning Experience’s Bubbles and Friends YouTube channel

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