When asked to contribute to a list of outdoor games kids could play this summer, Deseret News staffers responded with an overwhelming list. You could also try: www.gameskidsplay.net for additional games. Here are our favorites:


Divide into two teams. One team hides while the other searches. If a player who is hiding is caught, they are taken to a jail. They can be released if a team member tags them free. The game continues until every member of the hiding team is in jail.

Freeze Tag:

One person is "it." If they tag someone, that player must freeze until another player crawls under their legs. The last person to be frozen is "it."

Ghost in the Graveyard:

Pick one person to be the ghost. The ghost will hide, and then other players will look for him/her. If they get close to the ghost's hiding place, he or she will jump out and try to tag the opposing player before they reach home base.

Hide and Seek:

One person hides while other players try and find him/her.

Johnny, Johnny Butcher Boy:

Split into two groups. Group 1 walks up to Group 2 and says: "Johnny, Johnny Butcher Boy, looking for a trade." Group 2 says: "What's your trade?" Group 1 says: "Hot lemonade." Group 2 says: "Get to work and show us if you're not afraid." The first group will then act out a chore: watering the lawn, changing a tire, etc. If the second group guesses the chore, they can run after members of the first group and try to capture them.

Kick the Can:

Divide into two teams. One team will guard the can while the other team tries to kick it.

Marco, Polo:

Play in a swimming pool. One person is selected as "it." He/she closes his/her eyes and call out "Marco." Other players respond, "Polo." If you can tag another player, you are no longer "it."

Mother, May I?:

Select one person to be "it." All other players stand in a line, facing "it," who will address them by name. "It" asks "Joseph" to take three steps forward or "Sally" to hop forward once. The player must then ask: "Mother, May I?" If "it" says yes, they can move forward. Players can also sneak forward, but if caught, they return to the starting point. First person to reach "it" takes their place.

No Bears are Out Tonight:

Pick a few players to be bears. The bears then hide while the other players skip around in a group, repeatedly singing "No bears are out tonight, Daddy shot them all last night." The bears should wait until the group gets close and then try and tag one of the nonbears before they can return to a predesignated safety zone. The last person tagged wins.

Piggy Wants a Motion:

Select a person to be the farmer. Everyone else is a pig. Designate an area to be a pig pen. The pigs then hide while the farmer looks for them. If he sees a pig, he yells "Johnny, get in my pig pen." The caught pig then stands in the pen and says "Piggy wants a motion." A pig in hiding can set the captured pig free by making a gesture. The pig in the pen then tries to escape without being seen by the farmer. Once all the pigs are caught, the game is over.

Red Light, Green Light:

One person is selected as the stop light. Other players line up about 15 feet away. The stop light faces away from the other players and says "green light." At any point, however, he or she can turn around and say "red light." If the other players are caught moving, they are out. First person to reach the stop light wins.


Select one person to be "it." The other players count to 100 while the "it" person hides. Once someone finds "it," they must hide with that person. The last person to find the group is then "it."

Snakes in the Grass:

Two people are selected to be snakes. They must run around on all fours and try to tag other players still using their two feet. People tagged become snakes.


Select one person to be a buyer and one person to be a storekeeper. Other players are statues. The storekeeper will spin the "statues" and then let go. The statues freeze in the position in which they land. They must then decide what kind of statue they are and tell the storekeeper. The buyer then comes in and asks to see the statues. The storekeeper touches an imaginary "on" switch for each of the statues, which must then act out what they are. The buyer then picks which statue he or she likes.

Steal the Bacon:

Divide into two groups and stand in lines facing each other. Place some sort of object in the middle of the lines to be the "bacon." Then assign a number to each person in your line. An umpire will call out a number and the person assigned that number in each line must try and steal the bacon. Once stolen, the other player can try and tag that person. If tagged, the other side wins a point. If a person carries the bacon to their side successfully, their team gets a point.

TV tag:

Kids can avoid getting tagged by naming a television show. A show can only be named once.


Add a little vegetable oil to the twister mat for an extra challenge.

SOURCE: Deseret News staff