Everyone should be having fun at picnics, including the younger people. Picnic games for kids can keep them occupied and out of trouble. They’re also a great way to prevent the inevitable boredom factor.
There’s no need to spend a ton of money or time to get some cool backyard games lined up. There are simple and cheap outdoor activities for kids of all ages.
Read up on these fun and engrossing picnic games that we found. Most of them require a simple ball, a sack or nothing at all. Make sure the kids and adults at your next social event have a great time. Pick a few of these backyard games for kids and have some fun yourself.
Related: Fun Church Picnic Games For All Ages
Outdoor Picnic Games For Kids
A picnic is a great time for kids to get to know their young neighbors and family members. Playing outdoor games for kids can help break the ice and get them interacting with each other. It will also keep them occupied, letting the adults socialize. Check out these fun picnic games for kids.
The game of tag has been around forever. There are several ways to play that make it more fun and interesting.
I’m freeze tag, each player takes a turn being “it” for five minutes. When he tags another player, that kid “freezes” until another player tags him. Then he is free to run from the kid who’s it again.
Horseshoes For Kids
Horseshoes have been around for a long time. That’s because it’s so fun and easy. Get a kid’s rubber horseshoe set for less than $20.
Playing is simple. Just push the stakes into the ground at age-appropriate spacings. Toss the horseshoes, trying to hit the stakes. It’s a cool game for kids over the age of three.
Wheelbarrow races can be played by four to any number of kids. The “wheelbarrow” kid uses his arms as the wheel. The pusher holds the wheelbarrow by his legs. At the word “go”, it’s a race to the finish line. Take a look.
Egg And Spoon Race
All this game takes is some eggs and several wooden spoons.
At the start line, each kid lines up with their spoon. They place an egg on the spoon and hold it out in front of them.
Someone shouts “go.” The idea is to cross the finish line first without dropping the egg.
Red Light – Green Light
Here’s a classic that requires no equipment at all.
One child is the “cop.” The others are the “drivers.” The drivers line up side by side facing the cop. The cop stands about 30 feet in front of the drivers, facing away from them.
The cop yells “green light” to start. The drivers start running toward the cop. The cop yells “red light” when he’s ready and turns around. Any driver he sees moving is out.
Face Painting Competition
Kids like to paint. They also like to get painted. So why not let them paint each other?
Pair them off and let them take turns painting each other’s faces to look like animals or superheroes.
Give awards for the most creative, silliest and most colorful.
Here are some ideas to get their inner artists inspired.
Have half the kids sit at a picnic table with their heads down and one thumb up. They can’t look.
The other kids walk around the table. Each one pushes down another kid’s thumb. When all the thumbs are down, the sitting kids have to guess who got them. The ones who guess right then take their turn pressing thumbs in the next round.
Backyard Games For Kids
Kids love playing backyard games. And it keeps them from staring at their screens. A little structure to their playtime can keep things from getting too unruly and make sure all the kids are included. Here are a few fun outdoor activities for kids of all ages.
King Of The Trampoline
If you don’t have a trampoline, you can get a nice-sized one for less than $100. There are so many games you can play. Try having a few kids jump at a time. As they fall, they leave the trampoline. The last kid standing is the winner.
T-ball sets come with a tee, a ball and a set of bases. It’s played just like baseball, but it’s easier for younger kids. T-ball games can go on for hours. Adults can get in on the fun too. The best thing is that there’s no expensive equipment required.
Potato Sack Race
Get some burlap sacks for crazy potato sack races. It’s competitive and silly enough to be fun. The kids step into the sacks and hold the tops up to their waists. They hop to the finish line. This game has been around for ages. Do you remember playing? Watch how fun it is. This is one of the old fashioned picnic games for kids that we love to play with our children.
Fun Picnic Games For Kids And Adults
What’s more fun than letting your inner kid out? It’s easy to have a blast and get some killer exercise playing picnic games with the kiddos. Take a look at these games that both children and grownups will enjoy at a picnic.
Lawn darts are easy enough for anyone to play. But it’s challenging enough that it takes practice and skill to get good at. All you need is a set of darts. The object is to throw the dart underhandedly and hit the ground target from as far away as possible.
Jenga is a game of skill that involves building a tower of wooden blocks, then pulling the blocks out one at a time. The object is to pull your blocks without making the tower fall. But you have to make it harder for other players to do the same. Buy a giant outdoor Jenga set, or hone your woodworking skills and build your own.
You need at least one adult for this educational game.
The kids line up side by side facing the adult. The grownup pulls this kid-safe wiki up on his phone and looks up age-appropriate facts.
When he asks the question, the first kid to raise their hand gets to answer. A correct answer gets a step forward. The first kid to reach the adult wins.
What makes this game for kids and adults is the instructional opportunity. The adults can teach the kids proper technique.
Cornhole sets are pretty cheap. They come with a board and some sandbags. The object is to toss the sandbags through the holes in the cornhole target.
Each hole nailed gives a point. But points are subtracted for sandbags that hit the board and stay there.
Sleds aren’t completely necessary for this silly race. Blankets and tarps are good alternatives.
Pair each kid with an adult. Each child sits on their “sled.” The adult gets a good grip on the sled and gets ready. On “go,” they take off as fast as they can without making the little guys and girls fall off of their sleds. The first pair to cross the finish line wins.
Picnic Games For Toddlers
Little tikes can get frustrated with backyard games that they don’t understand. Don’t leave them out. Include these easy picnic activities for toddlers at your next gathering. Have some older kids jump in on the fun. Heck, you might even find yourself joining in as well.
Pop The Bubbles
Little ones love bubbles. It’s a proven fact. “Pop bubbles” is a fun and simple game for toddlers. Just blow bubbles and let them chase and pop them. You can use a bottle of bubbles and a wand, or you can get a cheap bubble machine for tons of automatic bubbles.
Try “duck duck goose.” Have your ducks sit Indian-style in a circle, facing each other. The goose walks around the outside of the circle, patting each duck on the head while saying “duck.” He randomly chooses a goose and yells “goose” when he pats the new goose’s head. The new goose chases the current one around the circle until they get to the open spot. Whoever gets to the spot and sits in it first remains a duck, while the odd man out is the goose.
Little ones love this.
The tots lay down, lining up the foot to head. An adult or older kid tells them when to go. It’s like a regular race, but they roll instead of running.
Perhaps the most fun part of this simple race is that the adults have to show the kids how to do it.
What toddler doesn’t like to draw on a driveway with chalk?
Have the kids stand on the driveway or sidewalk. The hard surface is the in-bounds area. Whichever kid is “it” first gets the chalk.
The one with the chalk draws a line to another young’un. Then the one that just got outed gets a turn with the chalk.
The cool thing about this game is that it is intuitive for young children. They’ll understand it almost immediately.
Learn how to make a toddler-sized Maypole here. It’s pretty easy. The kids can even help make it.
Each child grabs one of the Maypole’s ribbons. At the prompting of an adult, they run around the pole whole holding their ribbon. When a kid lets go of the ribbon or fall down, they’re out until the next round.
Everyone can get into this game. Think about the heights of those who’re likely to play. That’ll give you an idea as to how high the pole should be. Smaller kids need longer ribbons.
Picnic Games For Large Groups
Church picnics and block parties need activities that can keep everyone involved. No one likes to be left out unless they want to be. Here are some fun picnic games for large groups.
Outdoor Musical Chairs
The world record for musical chairs is 8,238 participants. There really isn’t any maximum number of players. Everyone except for one person brings a chair to the circle and sets it facing outward. Someone starts the music, and everyone slowly walks around the circle of chairs. When the music is stopped by the host, everyone sits down. The one person left standing is out. The game continues like this until there is only one person left. This is one of the easiest and funniest outdoor activities for kids and also adults.
Split everyone up into two teams to play Alaskan baseball. One team forms a circle. The “batter” in the middle throws a ball out. The other team runs after it while the batter runs around the circle touching each of his team members and saying their names. Each complete run around the circle counts as a home run. The runs continue until someone from the opposing team retrieves the ball and tags a member of the team “at-bat.” There are many variations of this game. Look here for a cool one.
What’s more fun than football? In this variation, all you need is a football and some players, each one with an extra pair of socks.
Divide everyone into even teams. Every player stuffs a sock into their waistband at each hip.
The game is played in the normal fashion, but you pull a flag instead of tackling.
Capture The Flag
You’ll have to rent some paintball guns for this one. But it’s sure to make your big gathering memorable.
Tie a flag to an object on each end of your yard. Make sure there are plenty of objects to hide behind between the two flags.
The teams gather by their flags. At the word “go,” the battle is on.
The object is for a team member to reach the other team’s flag and capture it without getting shot. Anyone who gets shot is out of the game.
Wikipedia has a great article about this game.
This time-honored game takes on a whole new dimension when played in a big group. It’s good clean fun for adults and children alike.
Huge gatherings can be split up into smaller groups. A bullhorn can be useful, but it isn’t necessary.
The caller gives commands for the participants to perform. Examples include “touch your toes,” “jump up and down,” and “pat your head”. The players only perform the action if the caller precedes the command with “Simon says.” If they go it without the order coming from Simon, they’re out.
Picnic games are enjoyable for everyone, big and small. They aren’t only loads of fun, but they bring everyone together. That’s the point of a picnic, isn’t it?
Make sure your next gathering is one to remember. Play some outdoor games with your family, friends or community!