Outdoor Games for Younger Children

There are so many things to do outdoors, and today I’d like to share some ideas for outdoor games for younger children, i.e. children under 5 (though they’ll work for older children too, just that other games for older children may not work so well with a younger age group). Most of these games need a few kids, so they’re particularly suited for an outdoors playgroup or a party, though some can be played with just the family.

Blinde Kuh/Blind Cow: One child is blindfolded and twirled around. The other children pick a place and don’t move and don’t speak. The blindfolded child has to find another child and then guess who it is. Once they guess correctly, the next child takes on the role of blind cow.

What’s the time Mr Wolf? One child is the wolf. The other children stand in a line and shout: What’s the time Mr Wolf? The Wolf answers, e.g. 7 o’clock, and the children move as many steps as the time, e.g. 7 (counting loud). This is repeated until the wolf decides it’s “dinner time” and turns to catch one of the other kids. The other children try and run back to their starting line (behind which they will be safe). The child who is caught is the wolf of the next turn.

Egg and Spoon Race: Children try balancing an egg (hard boiled, wooden or plastic) on a spoon and run as fast as they can from start to finish line. If the egg drops, they can pick it up again. They are not allowed to touch the egg while running. Whoever finishes first is the winner.

Wolf and Sheep: all children on all fours. One child is the wolf, all other children are sheep. Wolf catches another child who will be a wolf too. Both wolves are asleep, snoring, and the sheep tease them. Then the wolves wake up and catch the sheep. Any sheep caught by a wolf becomes a wolf too. The last sheep standing is the winner.

Treasure hunt: self explanatory, though you could also collect as many sticks or pine cones as possible in a set time, with the winner being the child with the most.

Other games that work well, especially to encourage tired legs to go further, are hide and seek, chase, finding set things, or I spy. We also love silly games such as running around a tree trying to catch one another, or roly poly down a hill or a grassy area. Of course, many indoor games can simply be played outdoors too!

Do you know outdoor games that 3 or 4 year olds can play? If you do, please do share in the comments.

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