• Top 10 Outdoor Party Games 27 April 2012 | View comments

  • We’ve picked out some of our favourite outdoor party games that are essential for any proper birthday party. Guaranteed to get littlies into fits of giggles, perhaps even hysterical excitement and best of all, they burn off lots of energy meaning they’ll be wonderfully weary by the time they head home. Bliss!

    1. Piggy in the middle

    This is an all-time favourite game that can be played outside in the park, field or back garden (age 4+). Three players line up in a row and the two outside players throw the ball to each other, while the middle one, the ‘piggy’ tries to intercept it. If the piggy intercepts the ball he then swaps places with the player who threw it and that person becomes piggy in the middle. Encourage children to roll the ball as well to give the ‘piggy’ a chance.

    2. Wheelbarrow races

    Mr Strong will love this one, as will any tot with strength (5+). Players get into pairs and one acts as the ‘wheel’ the other the ‘barrow’. The ‘wheel’ lies on the ground with his arms stretched out straight and the ‘barrow’ picks up his ankles to form a ‘wheelbarrow’. On the word ‘Go!’ the wheelbarrows set off to the finish line, but if any arms or legs collapse on the way they must start from the beginning again. The first wheelbarrow to cross the finish line is the winner.

    3. Grandmother’s footsteps

    This is a great game for younger players (3+) and involves an element of excitement. The aim is for players to creep up on ‘grandmother’ without her spotting any movement.  One child (or adult helper) is ‘grandmother’ and stands with her back to the children, who all line up side by side some distance behind her.  Whilst Grandmother’s back is turned, the children creep up slowly towards her. Every now and again she will suddenly turn around and the children must stop moving. Any that are caught in action have to go back to the start again. The children must continue to creep as close as they can to her and the first child to touch Grandmother’s back without her noticing is the winner.

    4. Three-legged race

    Players get into pairs and standing side-by-side tie their inside legs together with a scarf or rope at ankle level to form ‘three legs’. Each team lines up on the starting line and on the word ‘Go!’ walk or run together by moving their joined-legs forward followed by their own free leg in unison. The first pair to cross the finishing line wins.

    5. Hot Potato

    You can play this catching game with a ball, potato, chestnut or even a water bomb (if you dare!) Players stand in a circle with one ‘hot potato’ between them. The first player picks up the ‘hot potato’ and throws it to another player who must catch it and pass it on. If a player holds the ‘hot potato’ for too long or drops it then he is out.

    6. Egg Throwing

    This is another throwing game but this time using an uncooked egg. Players get into pairs and each pair is given an egg. Each pair lines up opposite each other forming two long lines. They start throwing the egg back and forth to one another and being extra careful not to drop or crack the eggshell. After each successful catch the pair moves a step further apart. If the egg cracks in their hand or cracks on the floor the pair are out. The winning pair is the one that successfully throws the egg between them the furthest distance apart.

    7. Stuck in the mud

    A great game to burn off lots of energy, (age 4+). Nominate one player as the ‘baddie’ while the others are all on the same team. The baddie has to catch the other players by tagging them. If he/she succeeds that player has to stand still with his legs and arms wide apart ‘stuck in the mud’. He is not allowed to move until one of his teammates crawls through his legs to free him. If a player gets caught in action trying to free someone they too become ‘stuck in the mud’. The game continues until all the players are stuck in the mud or until the baddie runs out of steam!

    8. Water relay race

    Divide the players into two teams and mark a start and finish line. Place two jugs full of water at the beginning (one for each team) and two empty jugs at the end. Fill up two plastic cups with water and give it to the first child in each team. On ‘Go!’ they have to race against each other and walk or run to the finish line holding his/her cup of water trying not to spill too much water. Once he/she has poured it into the plastic jug, they run back and hand the cup to the next player who fills up the cup and does exactly the same. The winning team is the one who finishes first with the most amount of water left in the jug.

    9. French cricket

    One player is the batsman and everyone else is fielding. The fielders take it in turns to bowl the cricket or tennis ball to the batsman whose aim is to hit the ball without the ball touching his legs. If the ball touches the batsman’s legs he is out and the fielder who bowled the ball is the next batsman in. If the batsman hits the ball and a fielder catches him ‘out’ he also has to swap with the fielder.

    10. Treasure Hunt

    Whilst no one is watching, hide lots of chocolate coins or other edible ‘treasure’ around your garden or outside space. Make some of them quite easy to find for the younger players and others harder so as to make it more challenging for the older ones. Hand each player their own party box or plastic cup to collect their treasure in and let them loose to find as much treasure as they can. The winner is the player who finds the most treasure.

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