Childhood isn’t fun without experiencing playing outdoor games with friends and family. Nowadays, with technological advancement, gadgets, and mobile phones being the new form of fun for almost everyone, it’s hard to keep playing with no equipment at all. Although, there are outdoor games that are still fun and exciting and don’t require any equipment.
“Red Light, Green Light,” “Tag,” “Red Rover,” “Charades,” “Mother, May I,” “Wheelbarrow Races,” and “Duck, Duck, Goose” are among the backyard games you can play without using any equipment. Some of these games are classics and fun to play with friends.
In this article, we will tackle the best backyard games you can play without using any equipment. Who said that having fun can only be achieved using game equipment? This list of outdoor games will surely spice up the fun of your childhood.
11 Backyard Games You Can Play Without Equipment
Playing games outside with friends and family after school or during summers is what made up our childhood memories. Luckily, some of the most enjoyable outdoor games for kids don’t require any equipment or materials. Plus, playing games improves health, keeps kids off devices, develops social skills, increases attention span, and boosts creativity.
While having equipment allows you to play various enjoyable outdoor games, it is not the only way to have a good time. There are several outdoor activities to keep you occupied and smiling throughout the day that don’t require any props.
Without further ado, here are some fun and exciting games you can play with your friends without using any types of equipment and materials.
1. Mother, May I?
This game may be played in various ways, but the core principle remains really simple. One of the participants (child or adult) is the “Mother,” while the other players must stand behind a set start line, a safe distance away from “Mother.”
- Kids take turns asking Mother whether they can take a certain amount of steps. “Mother, may I take three gigantic strides forward?” they would ask. Mother then answers yes or no depending on the amount and kind of steps taken by the child.
- Then, the Mother picks a player and says, “You may take three huge steps forward” (or anything along those lines). The child then responds, “Mother, may I take three giant steps forward?” If the chosen child forgets to say “Mother, may I?” they return to the starting line.
- The many types of steps that kids or their mothers may take might be anything. Giant steps, ordinary steps, baby steps, skips, hops, scissor steps, monster steps, ballerina twirls, and bunny steps are some of the most popular.
The person who reaches Mother first wins and frequently becomes Mother for the following round.
2. Crack the Whip
All of the children form a line and clasp hands. In the end, one youngster is picked as the leader and begins to run. The idea is to run swiftly and constantly change directions.
The line’s tail, or “whip,” is moved with more power than the rest of the line, making it more difficult to grasp. If the youngster at the end of the line slips off the whip, they can try to rejoin the line by moving closer to the center so that a fresh whip is available at the end.
3. Poison Frog
Form a circle with all of the children. One youngster plays the frog while another plays the investigator. The detective sits at the center of the circle. The poison frog, who is also seated in the circle, begins “killing” the players by sticking out his tongue at them.
The children can make their deaths as tragic as possible, diverting the detective’s attention away from the poison frog. Once a poison frog and detective have been identified, a new poison frog and detective are chosen.
The game is quite simple. One kid becomes “It.” The person who is “It” follows everyone else, and whoever is tagged (touched) becomes “It.” This game may rapidly become spoiled if there aren’t a few ground rules in place.
- Only light touches are allowed. There should be no tackling.
- There should be no “marking” of the head or private parts.
- Everyone must respect the boundaries of the approved play area.
- Everyone who isn’t “It” has a head start on the chase before “It” begins.
- If “It” fails to catch someone after a set length of time (typically set by the parent), someone else takes over as “It” (this helps younger kids not get stuck as “It” for a long time).
- You may also establish a safe zone in one place. Children who are being pursued cannot be tagged if they are in the safe zone. However, set a 10-second time restriction and limit the number of players who may be in the safe zone at the same time.
- When “It” tags a player, that player becomes “It” and should shout to let everyone know. The game then restarts.
There are different versions of this game that make this more exciting and fun to play.
5. Red Rover
This is a fun game to play with a large number of children. Although, adult monitoring is strongly advised so that children do not become enraged and injure one another.
- Divide the children into two even groups and have them stand in a line about 30 feet apart, with their hands or arms linked together. The two lines meet in the middle.
- “Red rover, red rover, send [player on the opposite team] right over,” or “Red rover, red rover, let [player on the opposite team] come over.”
- The player who was summoned then sprints toward the other team, attempting to break the chain created by that team’s arms.
- If they break the chain, the runner gets to choose one of the two players whose arms they passed through to join their team.
- When one team has all of the players, the game is over.
- Just a warning: This game has the potential to become very hostile. Adult supervision is required to ensure that children do not charge the other team or grasp their arms so tightly that they injure the player who is running.
If you are looking for additional games to enjoy with your family and have a few pool noodles lying around, we have 20 backyard games you can play with pool noodles that we are more than willing to share with you. Read our article and get ready to have some fun!
6. Relay Race
This is a traditional outdoor game that works well with bigger groups. Of course, if you have any, put them to good use. However, you don’t need any special equipment to have a good time.
- Divide the children into two even teams.
- Each team forms a line behind the starting line.
- When you say “START,” everyone on the squad sprints toward the chosen turnaround and then back to START.
- When they arrive at START, they tag the next player on their team, who then sprints up and back, tagging the next team member, and so on until everyone has completed the race.
- The squad that cycles through everyone first wins!
- You don’t have to limit yourself to merely jogging.
7. Entertainment Charades
Two teams or small groups can be formed from a larger group. Every team member takes a turn acting out a movie, television program, song, or book for the other team members to guess. After a certain amount of time, the team with the most right predictions wins.
8. Red Light, Green Light
The traffic light is one child, while the others line up at the other end of the yard or play area. The traffic light flashes several colors. They scream “Green Light” with their backs to the group, and the group sprints or walks toward the traffic light.
The aim is to come as near as possible to the light before the light changes. The traffic signal then turns red, announcing “Red Light,” and everyone must come to a complete stop.
Anyone who is seen moving must return to the starting point. The player who tags the traffic light first wins the game.
9. Hide and Seek
Another beloved children’s game. “It” is a person who closes their eyes and counts to a predetermined number (100 is a good baseline for outdoor play). Once they’ve finished counting, it’s up to them to find everyone who has gone missing. Those players will be kicked out as soon as they find the other gamers. The round is won by the player who is located last.
- Make sure the kids understand that if they hide or go outside of the specified play area, they will be instantly disqualified.
- Make sure the location where you’ll be playing includes places to hide. To put it another way, a soccer field is perhaps not the best place to play Hide and Seek.
- Be sure you choose a safe play place. A safe bet is to go to an enclosed park or playground. Keep your children’s ages in mind. Play something different if you don’t think the youngsters are mature enough to comprehend and follow the safety regulations.
- Never choose a location where children might become stuck, imprisoned, or fall. Also, be aware of play spaces that have items that might lock or latch children.
10. Wheelbarrow Races
Split the group into couples and have everyone line up in a row. Choose a far spot to serve as the finish line. All of the couples must form wheelbarrows. On their hands and knees, one player lifts their legs to the other player. They must sprint to the finish line while holding their legs high.
One player must walk or run while the other must walk or run on their hands. This game is simple enough for children to play but is also enjoyable for adults.
11. Duck, Duck, Goose
This traditional children’s game is suitable for the entire family. The game has simple rules and is enjoyable to play. Everyone should sit in a circle, with one person acting as “It.”
This individual moves around the outside of the circle, touching the tops of each player’s head. They either yell out “duck” or “goose” to each player.
If you are a duck, you must remain seated, and if you are named goose, you must stand up and chase the person who is “It.” Before they return to their spot in the circle, you must tag them. They can re-enter the circle if the goose marks them, but if not, they are now “It.”
Jenga is one of the fun games that we usually enjoy on a table top indoors, but if you want to make this game even more exciting, you can make a giant version of it that your family can enjoy outdoors. Read our article on how to make a giant jenga to learn how to make this puzzle even bigger than it normally is.
Playing outside is one of the finest ways to spend time, whether you have a huge group of family and friends or just a few people. The nicest thing about being outside is that everything you require is already present. There are a lot of outdoor games that you can enjoy that don’t require any equipment, just like the ones that we mentioned in this article.
Just always remember that safety comes first, so ensure that the area where you’ll be playing is safe and free from any materials that could pose danger. Games are meant to be fun, so keep a friendly attitude every time your group plays. Win or lose, what matters at the end of the day is that you had a fun time with everyone.