7 Children's Game Ideas for Picnics

Toddler girl eating a sandwich at a picnic

Try these great children games for picnic! You and your family can have a wonderful afternoon eating some great food and playing some fun games.

Children Games for Picnic

Whether it's your immediate family or the whole neighborhood, introducing children games for a picnic is a great way to get everyone off the couch and outside. No matter where you live, there are lots of ways to enjoy a good picnic. Gather together your family's favorite foods, throw in a few balls and other accessories, and head for your backyard, the seashore, or a local park. Just spending the afternoon together with family and friends will build relationships and form lasting memories that will be talked about for years to come. When you add some fun games into the mix, you've got the makings of an absolutely perfect afternoon! Check out the following games and activities!

Leaf Maze

Autumn provides the perfect backdrop for children games for picnic. All you need is a pile of leaves and a pack of kids! First, hand everyone nearby a rake, and have each person begin to rake the leaves to form paths that crisscross through the yard. Now that you have a maze, it's time to let the kids wind their way from one path to the other. This game works especially well for little ones, since they can still see their moms and dads over the piles of leaves, but they'll feel like they are on a great adventure!

Ball Games

When you have kids and you add a ball, the fun easily begins! You can encourage the kids to play a game of kickball, dodge ball, softball, baseball, or basketball. Be sure you organize the teams so that they are fairly balanced. Let little ones play their own game of kickball, and let the older kids play a more aggressive game. Remember, the play doesn't always have to be organized! Sometimes, younger kids simply enjoy tossing a ball to one another.

Frisbee Golf

Did you know that there are actually real courses designed especially for Frisbees? You don't have to find one of these, however, to have fun! Create your own Frisbee golf course. Set up a course around the area in which you are planning on having a picnic. Place hula hoops, plastic pools, garbage cans, hay bales, orange cones, and anything else you can think of to use as targets. Now let kids take turns playing the course by trying to throw the Frisbee as close to the targets as possible.

Scavenger Hunt

A scavenger hunt is a great children's game for a picnic. Create a list of items for the kids to hunt, and copy enough of lists to give to everyone. For smaller kids, draw or color pictures of the objects on construction paper. Give each kid a paper or plastic bag to collect his or her items. Items can be simple or hard to find. Common outdoor scavenger hunt items might include the following:

  • Pinecones
  • Sticks-Get more creative by asking kids to find sticks that are created in the shape of a letter, number, or common object.
  • Funny shaped rocks
  • Fossils
  • Leaves (Steer clear of poison oak and poison ivy!)
  • Bugs (Be sure they aren't poisonous ones, though!)

Freeze Tag

This game has been around for ages, and it is still just as popular! Be sure everyone takes turns being "it". Once kids are tagged, they are frozen, meaning they can't move. Once everyone has been frozen, a new person becomes "it".

Hula Hoop Contest

Hand all of the contestants a hula hoop, turn on some music, and see who can hula hoop the longest! For an alternative contest, see who can spin the most hula hoops at one time…on the knees, arms, waist, legs, neck, etc.!

Egg Toss

This can be messy, but it sure is a lot of fun! Kids line up in two rows facing each other. They then toss an egg back and forth while each takes a step backwards after every successful catch. The team with the last intact egg wins!

Prizes and Awards

Don't forget to stock up on prizes and awards. These can be as simple as printed certificates, small ribbons, inexpensive plastic medals, candy, and dollar store toys. Be sure you have enough prizes that everyone wins something.

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7 Children's Game Ideas for Picnics