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Classic Outside Games That Never Get Old

girls playing hopscotch, a classic outdoor game

Classic Outside Games That Never Get Old

Playing outside is a lot of fun, and with enough space, the possibilities are endless. Playing some of the more classic outdoor games can never get old, and options such as tag, hopscotch, red rover, four square and duck, duck, goose have been around forever. For some parents, it may have been a while since they participated in these activities, but the fun — and the rules — will quickly come back. Here are the rules of each game so your family can enjoy a touch of nostalgia on a summer evening.


Tag is a game that can be played with any number of kids and it can go on and on for hours. It is a game that provides kids with enough exercise as they run around the yard at a fast pace.  Traditionally, one person is picked to be “it.” That person would run around trying to tag someone else in order for him or her to be “it.” The game then continues from there.

There are lots of variations of tag. One popular variation is freeze tag. In freeze tag, whenever someone is tagged they must freeze in place. The objective of the person who is “it” is to freeze everyone. Other players can tag frozen players to un-freeze them.

Flag tag is another variation of tag. In this version, everyone who isn't it wears a flag hanging from their pocket. If you don't have any flag football-type flags to use, simply use a handkerchief or similar. The person who is “it” needs to pull another player's flag out to “tag” them. Either the person who gets tagged gives the person who tagged them their flag, or they are out. In the first version, play continues until time runs out. In the second version, play continues until everyone is out.

kids playing tag, a classic outdoor game
Tag is a classic outdoor game that burns off some energy, too!

©Ground Picture/Shutterstock.com


Hopscotch is a game that has been around for a very long time.  And it is very easy to set up.  All you need is some white chalk.  Find some concrete to draw about eight squares on, and the kids are ready to go. Typically, it is drawn in a “T” pattern. Find something small to throw onto one of the squares. This small figure will be used as a marker. 

What each kid has to do is to hop from one block to another until he/she reaches the end, and then they have to hop back again. The kid has to bend down and pick up the marker. What makes this game really fun and challenging is that each player has to hop around on only one foot. If chalk isn’t available, masking tape can be used instead.

girls playing hopscotch, a classic outdoor game
Break out the sidewalk chalk and draw a hopscotch board.

©New Africa/Shutterstock.com

Red Rover

This game is comprised of two teams of kids that are each holding hands to create a chain. One side calls a member of the other team to come over. For example, they could yell, “Red rover, red rover, send Timmy right over!” Timmy will then run to the other team and try to break through their chain.  If Timmy breaks the chain, he will pick someone from the opposing team to join his team. If he doesn’t, he has to stay with the opposing team.

Four Square

With a piece of chalk or masking tape, this game is set up by drawing a square with four smaller squares inside.  One player stands in each square, to make four total players. The player in square four bounces the ball to a person of their choosing. One bounce, with only using hands, is the main objective. If the ball leaves a square or bounces twice in the same square, that person is either out or rotates back to square one, depending on the number of players. The ball has to bounce in another square for it to count; if it passes through a square and leaves the play area without hitting the ground, the person who served it is out.

Duck, Duck, Goose

All the kids sit in a circle for this game. The kid who is “it” goes around the circle tapping each kids’ head by saying, “duck.” Once the “it” kid taps someone’s head by yelling, “goose!” that selected player will try to catch the “it” player before he/she sits in the goose’s spot.

Find more fun family activities HERE!

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