As an adult, you can probably remember playing outside with the neighborhood kids all summer long. Today it seems different, with kids attached to their electronics and wanting to hang out inside. To encourage outdoor play and possibly a new found love of friends and the great outdoors, Camp Live Oak shares a few of the staff’s favorite classic outdoor games. These games are great when played with friends or family (adults included) and can be easily changed up a bit to fit your family or community dynamics and add to the fun!
Hide and Seek
It doesn’t get much more classic and fun than Hide and Seek. Everyone has played this traditional game at one time or another. In case you need a refresher course, the game is played with at least three players and has lots of variations. A person is ‘chosen’ to be “it” and then closes his or her eyes and counts to the selected number (10, 20, 100) while the other players hide. “It” then goes on a quest to find them. In some versions of the game, there is a home base where the hiders can return and be safe from becoming “It.” In other variations, everyone stays hidden until “It” finds them all, at which point a new “It” is selected.
Another enduring classic, Tag is a childhood favorite. Like Hide and Seek, Tag has a number of variations. The traditional game of Tag begins with at least three players, but more is better! In the same fashion as Hide and Seek, the player to be “It” is chosen. “It” then chases the other players until he or she is able to tag someone who then becomes the new “It.” The game is usually played with the infamous “no tag-backs” rule in play meaning the new “It” can’t immediately tag the former “It” who just tagged him or her.
Freeze Tag is a fun variety of the game in which players must freeze in place when tagged by the person who is “It.” Other players can tag the frozen players to unfreeze them, but when “It” tags everyone, the game is over and a new “It” is chosen for a new game. Flashlight Tag is another version of the classic game and is played at night. The difference, “It” has a flashlight, and the players are tagged by the flashlight being shined on them. First player tagged becomes the new “It.”
Red Light, Green Light
A classic outdoor game, Red Light, Green Light can also be played inside if space allows. One player is chosen to the be Traffic Light and stands opposite the other players. Play begins when the Traffic Light faces the group and says, “Red Light!” He or she then turns his or her back to the group and shouts “Green Light!” As the players rush to tag the Traffic Light, he or she shouts “Red Light” indicating for them to stop, as he or she quickly turns to try and catch them in motion. If caught, they must return to the starting line. The game continues until one of the players wins by tagging the Traffic Light.
Kick the Can
A classic combination of Tag and Hide and Seek, Kick the Can may be played with a large or small group of people. Depending on the size of the group, a single person or a team of people are chosen to be “It” and a metal can is placed in the middle of the playing area. “It” then covers his or her eyes and counts to the chosen number while the other players hide. “It” searches for the hidden players, and on tagging them, they enter a holding “cell.” If the other players can kick the can without being tagged, everyone in holding goes free and play continues. The game is won, when “It” tags everyone and places them in the holding “cell.”
This is just a sampling of classic outdoor games, but who could ever forget others like Simon Says, Mother May I, Capture the Flag, Fourscore, and Hopscotch – but that is for another day!