When our children find themselves in the age group of 9 to 12 years old, we start to realize that this is probably the last chance we have as parents to guide them and take part in their activities. Even at this age, it is clear that they’re their own person and they make their own choices. Soon enough they will move on from playing in your backyard to other interests.
This is a beautiful thing! That’s why it’s important to have a part in the last bits of childhood before adolescence creeps in. So today I bring you some amazing activities for you to try out with your kids and make some more memories in the sun!
This is a nice outdoor game that’s a lot of fun and the best of all is that it’s very simple to set up. You’ll only need chairs and balloons for each player. Align the chairs side by side in your backyard and all of the children should be standing facing the chairs on the opposite side of the area. There should be some distance for them to run to the chairs. Put the balloons in a basket or a container to the side.
When you give the sign, each child should run towards the balloons, grab one and then run towards the chairs. To pop the balloons they have to sit on them, they can’t use anything but their own weight to pop the balloons. After that, they have to race back to their starting positions. The first one to make it wins! Have another batch of balloons ready because they’ll want to do it all over again.
Dragons and Snatchers
This is a very imaginative game that will please your kids and keep them occupied for a while. One child gets to play the dragon guarding his egg. The egg can be a ball or you can even turn this into a craft activity and make a dinosaur egg with paper. Anyway, the rest of the kids get to play the snatchers.
The snatchers’ mission is to steal the dragon’s egg and return safely to their home base. The dragon can freeze the snatchers by touching them, but the other free snatchers can unfreeze them so they can continue playing. The point is to get the egg! The first one who does it gets to choose who’s going to play the dragon next. This is a very fun activity to have the kids running around in the yard and have fun with each other.
I used to love this when I was a kid and I’m sure you did too. Now it’s time for your kids to have some kickball fun. This is basically baseball but with a soccer ball, the same basic rules apply. All you’ll need is a solid rubber ball and enough space to play.
To set up the game you’ll break the kids into two teams and you’ll assign home base, first base, second base and third base. Home base will be the kickers’ mound. It’s best if you play on solid ground because the ball can slow down on grass. Once you have your setup and your teams, you’ll have to flip a coin and see who will be the kicker team and who’ll be the outfielders.
The outfielders will have to assume their positions on each base and cover the ground; they also have to assign outfielders, a catcher, and a pitcher. The kicker team will only have to line up to kick the ball and then run for the base. If the kicker misses the ball it’s a strike and the same rule applies here: three strikes and you’re out. There will be seven innings and the team that gets the most races wins!
Frisbee is a very popular game and it can even turn into quite a serious hobby for your kids; they might like it so much that they can even join an Ultimate Frisbee team in the future. It takes two teams of seven players and as much open field as possible to play around in. If there aren’t that many kids, the teams can be much smaller. The point is that they have fun!
The point is that one of the teams has to steal the Frisbee away from the other team in any way that they can. The only rule is that no one can run with the Frisbee in hand. It has to be in constant motion. This can be tricky at first, but the kids will get the hang of it pretty quickly!
Charades is always fun! It’s very similar to Pictionary except that your kids can happily play this outside and they won’t need anything but their bodies and the skills to express their message. All you have to do for them is write down several words so they can choose one at random.
Divide the kids into two teams; one of them will go first and draw a paper out with the name of the thing they have to imitate or communicate through body language. No sounds allowed of any kind! Each team will get their turn and the one that has more guesses it’s the winning team. This game can keep your kids entertained for quite a while and they will have so much fun!
You’ll need to divide your kids into teams for this one. You know how they love some healthy competition, so let’s keep it coming! Set a start and finishing line and also get some twine, you’ll need it. Once you’ve group the kids into two teams, you’ll have to tie one player’s leg to the leg of the player next to them. You can divide each group into couples and give each couple a turn to race each other and win points for their team.
The couples with their legs bound together have to find a way to reach the finish line without falling over! This is a great activity to encourage cooperative play and teamwork as they will have to think and behave like a unit in order to win. The team that won the most races will be the winner!
Let’s keep the races going! You don’t need actual sacks for this, pillowcases will do just fine. You’ll only need to set up a starting and a finishing line for the kids. You can either have them play by groups or they can all race each other at once.
The point is that they’ll have to climb into their sacks or pillowcases and race each other without falling! They’ll have to hop their way to the finish line. The first one to get there will win, while those who fall will lose. The good news is that they can have many chances to get the hang of the sack race!
Egg on a Spoon
This is another race and it’s a classic. I’m sure you played this yourself when you were a kid! Instead of using eggs, you can use lemons or potatoes. That way you can avoid the mess of dropping the eggs.
Get your kids outside and set a starting and a finishing line. Give each racer a spoon big enough to hold the egg, lemon, potato or whatever it is that you chose to use. They have to put the spoon in their mouths on the opposite end and balance the object while they try to reach the finish line
The player that gets there first wins! But the ones who drop their eggs will have to return to the starting line and try again.
This is a very fun variation of hide-and-seek. Hide-and-seek is a classic, but it can get a little old for the older kids. The point of this variation is that they can still play one of their favorite games without getting bored easily. Get them outside and choose a player to be “it”. This player has to go out and hide while the other players count to 100.
Once they’re done counting, they have to look around for “it” separately. Every time a player finds “it”, they have to hide in the same spot and so on until everyone is squeezed in the same place. Hence the name “sardines”. The first player to find “it” will be “it” for the next round! And trust me; they’ll want to play again.
Do you happen to have some extra wood planks lying around? It might be time to give them a new purpose. Just cut them into 2×4 pieces and turn them into your own set of giant Jenga! Your kids will love it. Just take them outside and give them the DIY Jenga so they can play each other and keep the healthy competition going.
This is a perfect game to enjoy some quiet time outdoors. Maybe you can pull them out in the middle of a family barbecue so the kids are nice and distracted while the adults get everything done and they wind down a bit. Or maybe the adults can join in! It’s definitely an activity for the whole family to enjoy.
This is a classic game that your kids will enjoy quite a bit! Choose a player to hold the ball and place the rest of the players about 20 feet away. Make sure they face the player that’s holding the ball. Now, this player has to throw the ball up in the air as high as he can. While he does it, he has to scream a number from 50 to 500.
The other players have to run and try to catch the ball, the player who does will get as many points as the ball was worth. If said player drops the ball, then he’ll have the points detracted! This goes on until one of the players reaches 500! Kids will have so much fun trying to outrun each other. They’ll be entertained for quite some time!
There you have it. Try these amazing activities to get your children to be active and have lots of fun!