Youth Outdoor Challenge Games

Kids watching a deer while playing in the woods

Outdoor challenge games for kids can be the perfect addition to any get together or birthday party or just a boredom buster on an uneventful day. Do the neighborhood kids love to hang out at your house? This is the perfect way to keep them busy and keep them out of trouble while building valuable teamwork skills that will help them as adults.

Traditional Outdoor Challenge Games for Kids

Outdoor challenge games for kids are traditionally made up of team games such as balloon tosses and three-legged races. Here are a few ideas for your next outdoor gaming event:

  • Balloon Toss-What party would be complete without the outdoor balloon toss? Supplies needed for this event are simple and inexpensive. You'll need balloons and water. Fill the balloons up with water and tie off. Divide the group into sets of 2 and have partners face on another. Each team tosses the balloon across the divide. Any team who drops a balloon is out. Next, have each team take one step back and repeat the toss. Continue until all teams are out but one.
  • Hot Potato-The supplies for this game are super easy. All you need is a potato from your cupboard, but in a pinch you can use a small pillow, stuffed animal or any item that can be easily and quickly passed from one person to the other. Have the children sit in a small circle and begin passing the potato to one another. Play music while they do this. When the music stops, whomever is holding the potato is out. Continue until only one person is left.
  • Relay Races-Relay races are one of the oldest and most popular of outdoor challenge games for kids. Small wooden dowels or towels can be passed between runners on the same team, or you can simply have them tap the other person's hand in a running high five. Set up a circular course and divide the kids into teams of 4-6 (or more if you have a very large group). Have the first runner complete the course, either tagging or passing the stick to the next runner, who will repeat. Keep tagging and running until each child has had a chance to run the course at least once. The first team to finish wins.
  • Three Legged Race-Pair children into teams of two. The goal is to create a single leg out of two. Have players stand side-by-side and either tie the two legs together with a bandana or pillowcase (old T-shirts may also be used) or have the children place their legs in a pillowcase or large sack and hold it as they run. First three-legger to the finish line wins!

Unique Games

  • Agility Course-If you have a group of sporty kids, this game can be great fun. Set up a small agility course with items you have on hand and have each child race through the course, timing him with a small stopwatch.
  • Rope Course-Set up a challenge course with ropes. Have kids jump, crawl under, climb up and tug on the ropes until they come to the end of the course. Kids can work on teams or individually on everything but Tug of War, which needs at least two.

Outdoor Games Olympics

Why not host your very own Olympic championship, complete with scoring? Games that can easily be set up and played include:

  • Croquet
  • Volleyball
  • Badminton
  • Table Tennis
  • Twister
  • Wall Climbing
  • Distance Jumping
  • Races
  • Bean Bag Toss

Use your creativity and your knowledge of what the kids in your group like and you're certain to come up with enough outdoor challenge games to keep your kids interested for hours. Offer medals for the winners and be sure to tell them when the next challenge will occur!

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Youth Outdoor Challenge Games