5 Playground Games to Keep Your Little Ones Active

Playgrounds are not only a great place to take the kids on sunny days, but they're a great place to work up a sweat yourself! Whether you prefer to workout as a family or you need a little me time, these 5 playground games will keep your heart rate up and your kids' minds positive.

Many of us have cherished memories of our childhood games. We still remember how we busted free from the stuffy classrooms and unleashed our energy on a wide range of fascinating games. We would smile, laugh, and even cry when things didn’t work out in our favor, but the rewards for such play were endless.

Unfortunately, things have changed, and the world is no longer the same. Today, your children would rather be inside playing video games or browsing different stuff on their smartphones than be outdoors playing.

However, this trend is quite dangerous and slowly leads to an increased number of weak and unhealthy kids. As a parent, you need to figure out ways of limiting your child’s screen time and get them outdoors to play and exercise.

One of the easiest ways of increasing the time your kids spend outside playing is by providing a wide range of fun playground games and activities. This way, your little ones will always be willing to get out of their comfort zones and participate in a play.

In this post, we highlight some of the most amazing playground games for little kids. So, let us get started.

A Few Precautions

Before we start discussing the individual games, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. While these games provide a lot of fun for your little ones, safety remains critical.

Playground injuries are still a common thing, and a simple mistake can be catastrophic. Always make sure kids have adequate adult supervision and only engage in age-appropriate playground games and activities.  

Parents and caregivers should never assume that all children are familiar with playground rules and equipment; some kids need to be taught and reminded how to safely use the playground and playground equipment.

Grandparent having with their grandchild at the slide.
Always discuss playground safety rules with your kids to avoid severe injuries or other accidents.

Before your kids start playing, it is always a good idea to cover essential playground rules to guarantee their safety. Some of the critical things you need to remind them include:

  • They should avoid overly aggressive play.
  • They must keep their shoes on all the time.
  • They should remove loose clothing and ensure their shoelaces are securely tied.
  • Remind them that while playing tag games, they should tag other players gently.

Exciting Playground Games for Little Kids

Typically, the best playground games for your little ones should provide organized play and feature actions that maintain their interest.  Here are some of the top games and activities you can teach your kids:

1. Hide and Seek

Hide and seek is one of the classics that never gets old. The game has been played since the 19th century, and many different variations of the same game exist in different parts of the world.

Hide and seek is a perfect game for almost every playground. But it is so much fun when played in an environment with a few obstacles such as climbing frames so that kids can hide behind or on them.

Kids playing.
Playing Hide and Seek is much more exciting when there are various obstacles or climbing equipment on the playground.

The rules of playing this game are pretty simple and straightforward. One child who is “it” is required to close his/her eyes and count to a predetermined number, usually 50 or 100. During this time, the other participants run off and try to find the best hiding spot possible.

When the count is over, the kid will try to find his/her hiding friends. The winner of the game is usually the child that is found last.

2. Tag

Tag is an old game and probably the most straightforward playground game to play. It is also known as “it/tig,” and no equipment is needed to play it.  You can play tag anywhere as long as there is some open space.

In this game, one kid is usually selected as “it,” and their primary aim is to “tag” the other players. A tag is achieved by simply touching another player. When another player is tagged, they become the new “it” or get eliminated from the game.

A group of kids having fun..
Children can play Tag even if there are no playground equipment pieces around.

This game is quite popular due to its simplicity and promotion of teamwork, movement, and physical activity in children.  Different variations of the game exist, and they include;

Blob tag

Every time another player is tagged by “it,” they must link their hands with “it” to create a blob. Once the blob has more than six players, they can split to form two blobs. Typically, the last runner remaining free from the blob becomes the winner.

Rainbow tag

The player who is “it” will carefully watch the other players and call out a color that one or more players have on their clothes. The players wearing clothes with the mentioned color run from a starting point across the play area, avoiding being tagged.

Zombie tag

In this variation, the “it” player is a zombie whose tagging automatically turns the other players into zombies. Tagged players are to groan and shuffle around. The last person left standing who is not a zombie becomes the winner.

Freeze tag

In this variation, when a player gets tagged with “it,” they must freeze immediately with their legs apart. However, they can be unfrozen by another player crawling between their legs. This version of the tag game can last for a relatively long time with a slightly large group of kids.

3. Jump Rope

Jumping rope is another old game that is still cherished and has rightfully earned its place on playgrounds worldwide.  It is a vigorous and energy-intensive playground game that sharpens your kid’s timing and hand-eye coordination.

Many creative variations of this game have sprouted in different parts of the world. Today, there is the leg over, double under, criss-cross, double-clutch, just to name a few variations.

Kids playing jumping rope.
Jumping a rope also provides your kids with an incredible opportunity to participate in group play.

Sometimes, you can add rhymes to the mix to make it even more interesting and foster a love for music among your kids. What is even more exciting is that you can join your kids in jumping ropes, enjoy great achievement together, exercise, and help them master new techniques.

Jumping a rope also provides your kids with an incredible opportunity to participate in group play where several players can try to simultaneously jump over the rope. This encourages open communication and teamwork.

The line can keep growing with every successful jump, creating a greater challenge and spreading the merriment.

Jump rope relays take this game to a whole new level. In a jump rope relay, kids form two teams with an equal number of players.

Players from each team then take turns running while jump roping to a set point and back, passing the rope to the next player in their team. This is repeated until one team manages to finish the challenge first, becoming the winners.

4. Wheelchair Basketball

Wheelchair basketball is a beautiful game for kids with disabilities because one can play it while sitting down. It also provides a great workout that helps kids to burn a lot of energy.

The game also provides your little ones with a great chance to build teamwork skills and overcome different challenges together. Parents and teachers can adjust rules to make it a little bit easier for kids to participate.

A wheelchair basketball.
Wheelchair Basketball is one of the most exciting games for children with certain disabilities.

Here are some great tips for you:

  • Use smaller and lighter balls.
  • Always keep a relatively slower pace until when kids can play together.
  • Allow the children to dribble the ball with both hands.
  • Consider lowering the basketball hoop if possible.

You can also allow disabled kids to hold the ball in the lap as they move.

5. Treasure Hunt

Treasure hunt is another beautiful game that sparks excitement and awakens your kid’s inner detective instincts. There are no rules to treasure hunt as long the safety of your little ones isn’t compromised.

You can always come up with all sorts of treasures and challenges that cater to your child’s age and interest. A playground is always an ideal place for a treasure hunt since it provides sufficient space to hide objects and urge kids to run around trying to find them.

This helps them to interact with different obstacles burning a lot of energy in the process. Remember to provide a list of clues to jog their minds and enhance their intelligence.  In other cases, you can simply sit back, relax and let them roam freely in search of the treasure.

Another great idea is to hide different puzzle pieces in different places. Make sure you count the puzzle pieces and record the exact number. From there, tell the kids to find the pieces and once they have found all of them, challenge them to build the puzzle.

Final Thought

With the obesity problem among children becoming an issue worldwide, parents and caregivers need to start utilizing playgrounds to get their little ones out of the house and engage in physical activity. Jump roping, treasure hunting, hide and seek, and tag games are just some of the games that can excite your little ones.

Keep in mind that too much screen time holds your children back from realizing their full potential. Playground games that engage the child’s brain and encourage physical activity helps strengthen their mental and social skills that will come in handy as they mature.

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