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Tell us your best games to play with children outdoors

(61 Posts)
HelenMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 22-Jun-09 14:39:20

Afternoon all.

We're compiling some Mumsnet tips on games to play with your children outdoors. We've found some great ones already but we'd really love a few more suggestions, please.

They don't have to be fancy or organised and they don't need to involve lots of equipment - just the kind of thing you'd have fun playing together in the park of a summer's day.

Ta muchly, Mumsnet Towers

Cucci Mon 22-Jun-09 20:45:18

Not played this but plan to when the kids are older. Search the beach for unusual shaped pebbles and then decorate them with felt tip pens, make them into animals etc.

cheekysealion Mon 22-Jun-09 20:47:36

hide and seek

swing ball

sports day kind of activities

french cricket


running races

HelenMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 23-Jun-09 10:11:10

Thank you. smile

What kind of Sports Days activities, cheekysealion? Give us some detail, woman!

Anyone else got some good 'uns?

spudmasher Tue 23-Jun-09 17:49:57

My girlies like collecting things in the park or garden. They make collections of different types eg how many different green things, brown things, collect a rainbow of things or different textures. Get a piece of card and put some double sided sticky tape on it and they can stick little bits of feathers and flowers and things to make a pretty amulet type thingy. Wash hands after of course.

We have also been known to build fairy villages under the trees at the park and then go behind the trees to watch the fairies move in.
I have not a clue what to do with boys.

stroppyknickers Tue 23-Jun-09 17:53:16

when we walk to school, we are brave warriors marching to battle, avoiding the goblins under the potholes, the tigers behind the railings, the bad fairies on the nettle leaves etc. We look quite mad avoioding cracks and taking aim at leaves but it is quite fun...

Overmydeadbody Tue 23-Jun-09 17:55:31

Ok, our favourite ever game ot play outdoors is catch. All it needs is one baseball (or softball for younger ones) and two baseball gloves (or enough for everone who's playing) and then you throw the ball to each other, getting further away the better you get.

DS and I play this everywhere, in the garden, in the park, on campsites, even in hallways when we're stuck for space.

I don't really do playing, but this I can happily participate in for hours grin

Overmydeadbody Tue 23-Jun-09 17:58:35

Mostly I just go to the park and leave DS to it with his friends though, they can make up their own games.

Sometimes he will take a few toy waterguns and play with friends (even just 'new' freidns he meets on the day) using the gums as props (without any water)

FabBakerGirlIsBack Tue 23-Jun-09 18:06:41

Count the daisies on the lawn.

janeite Tue 23-Jun-09 18:09:28

We play cricket if there is a crowd of us (ie six or more) or tennis (courts at the park across the road). Mostly now though, the dds refuse to come to the park with us and dp and I walk around it looking at the littlies who still want to be with mummy and daddy!

They used to like: putting their wellies on and paddling in the stream;
- rollerblading (they still like this but not with us!)
- doing matchbox hunts ie: finding tiny things to fit in a matchbox beginning with certain letters, or certain colours or something.

EccentricaGallumbits Tue 23-Jun-09 18:32:12

daisy chains

picking flowers weeds

'fishing' in ponds with nets and am jars

catch (ball)

building eeyore houses (ut of big sticks in the woods)

looking up at the clouds and finding pictures.

fruitshootsandheaves Tue 23-Jun-09 18:49:59

are you supposed to play with children? good grief that sounds like hard work....and in the garden?...what about MN? my power lead doesn't reach that far.

morningpaper Tue 23-Jun-09 18:51:43

I never play with my children

It sounds terrible but there we are

I send them off to play with each other

morningpaper Tue 23-Jun-09 18:52:33

I like drinking beer in the park while WATCHING children from a distance

In the winter, coffee

Does that count?

I seriously thought about breaking into my park at night and planting a 4-inch "fairy door" onto the pavillion

don't tell anyone

morningpaper Tue 23-Jun-09 18:57:33

Oh does one's OWN garden count?

I've builrt lots of things in the garden so they children can play with them - a castle, a tunnel, a trampoline, a summerhouse, a playhouse...

Largely they just play with buckets of sand, mud and water. For HOURS

Podrick Tue 23-Jun-09 18:58:47

building dens
or miniature fairy houses
making fires and cooking food (proper BBQs do not count)
catching minibeasts
pond dipping
treasure hunts

flamingobingo Tue 23-Jun-09 18:59:27

Put a plastic storage box full of water in the garden and lots of tubs, scoops, watering cans etc. for them to do what they will with. Paintbrushes too so they can 'paint' the shed/fence/wall/paving slabs.

Mintyy Tue 23-Jun-09 19:28:48

We set up an obstacle course and get them to complete the course and time each other.

In the summer this inevitably ends up with jumping into the paddling pool.

At a family picnic recently my brother amused my 5 year old ds for ages but flinging a frisbee off into the distance and getting ds to run after it whilst counting how long it took him to retrieve it. DS thought he was having a lovely game, but db uncle was meanwhile sitting with the grownups drinking beer grin.

KnickKnack Tue 23-Jun-09 19:30:59

small paddling pool (or a plastic baby bath when very young)


Picnic blanket on ground and bring out an assortment of "indoor" toys (there are currently about 5 kids on my front door step at said activity grin )

Hopscotch (with chalk, doesn't have to be fancy bought one!)

water pistols

kids croquet



hula hoop


pooter Tue 23-Jun-09 19:39:45

Ive just discovered chalks with my 2.5yr old DS. He LOVED it, and wanted to 'play chalks' all day. We now have a rainbow, a bus, some trees and 5 cars on our patio. Bargain £1.99 for 15 huge chalks - i can see this one lasting all summer!

GrimmaTheNome Tue 23-Jun-09 19:45:13

Large paddling pool when they are old enough!

GrimmaTheNome Tue 23-Jun-09 19:47:47

pooter, we still have quite large pieces of the egg-sized pavement chalks DD had when she was 2.5 - she's 10 now - those will last more than one summer! Definitely a good buy.

tassisssss Tue 23-Jun-09 19:49:51

Like MP, i like to leave my kids to play. I like to drink coffee (or something cool) and watch them.

Back garden fun includes:
chalking the patio
painting the fence with water
washing the bikes with water
putting a wee slide into the paddling pool
making dens/tents with rugs/sheets
digging the garden (this is when it's beneficial not to have many plants that you care about and lots of weeds!)
washing the wee dinosaurs in the dishes bowl
bath toys in the paddling pool

Otherwise i believe in having a back garden full of play equipment and having friends round. I'll provide lovely snacks and leave them to it!

tassisssss Tue 23-Jun-09 19:50:50

oh yes and bubbles. i adore bubbles. i think the small handheld battery operated ones are the best, love them.

whomovedmychocolate Tue 23-Jun-09 19:52:46

-Chase the cat.
-Feed the fish.
-Poke mouse cat has killed.
-The 'piddling pool' (a paddling pool for our incontinent children).
- Streaking through the village yelling 'woo hoooooo'
- Catching minibugs and putting them down mum's top hmm
- Looking at sheep.

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