From circus games and limbo dancing to obstacle relays and water games, we’ve picked some of our favourite and utterly hilarious outdoor party games for children bubbling with energy. Bring on the summer holidays and get stuck in to some competitive, al-fresco fun!
For all your summer outdoor party game supplies visit Party Pieces.
1) Circus Activities (5+)
With juggling balls, sticks and colourful diablos, there’s plenty of fun to go round as you all practice your big-top skills. Ideal at a party with a circus or funfair theme.
2) Dance the Limbo (5+)
Loosen up and limbo down as low as you can go with a ‘dance the limbo’ competition. A great lively game to get children in the party spirit and remember to put on some fun music. Each child takes it in turns to dance in ‘limbo’ style, bending backwards as they shuffle underneath the stick. Each round, lower the stick and let them try again. Anyone who can’t get under it or falls over is ‘out’! The winner is the last child who can get under the lowered stick.
3) Three legged race (5+)
Simple, hearty fun but requires some form of coordination. Divide the children into pairs and get them to tie their adjacent legs together using a scarf or large handkerchief. The pair then must race as a three legged person to the finish line. Give them a practice before the race begins, so they can test out their coordination.
4) Sack race (3+)
A favourite game at school sports days and a great ice-breaker at the start of the party. Get the children to stand in a line and give each a brightly coloured sack to stand inside. On the word ‘Go’ they have to jump their way from the start to the finish line in their sack. The first one over the line is the winner.
5) Wheelbarrow race (5+)
A traditional race that causes heaps of laughter and rather tired arms! Pair up the children; one to act as the ‘gardener’ and one to be the ‘wheelbarrow’. The gardener holds the wheelbarrow by their ankles while the wheelbarrow walks along on their hands. Line the children up and on ‘Go’ get them to race to the finishing line. Keep the racetrack short as it can be rather exhausting.
6) Egg and spoon race (3+)
Simply a must in the summer months! Each player is given an egg and spoon to balance on it. Players line up behind the starting line and on the word ‘Go’ have to race as quickly as possible to the finish line, balancing the egg on their spoon. If anyone drops the egg they have to start again. Baby potatoes are fun alternatives to eggs and better for younger children. For an alien or monster themed party, you could use ping-pong balls instead of eggs and turn them into gory eyes using coloured marker pens.
7) Piggy back race (5+)
Another fun and lively game that will definitely raise the party spirits. Divide the players into two teams. When the race starts, the first pair in each team must ‘piggyback’ to a certain point and back in the garden. Going one way the first person is the ‘piggy’ and going back the roles reverse. The piggy on the back is not allowed to touch the floor. Once the first pair make it back, the next pair in the team can start. First team to finish wins.
8.) Relay race (5+)
Children will love the excitement of competitive running and team spirit. Divide the players into two teams and line each team up along the starting line. On ‘Go’ the first runner of each team runs as fast as possible to a given point, such as a tree or cone, and has to touch it and run back to the start. The next player then goes. The relay continues until all the players on each team have run the race. Hand out prizes to the quickest team.
Too easy? Then set up an obstacle course around the garden using props such as balls, hula-hoops and skipping ropes. The children then have to race in teams (just like a normal relay race) but this time complete the obstacles on the way. Mark the start and finish line and demonstrate the course beforehand. Make the obstacles challenging, such as having to skip five times, throw a ball into a bucket, drink a funny drink (add food colouring to make it more fun) or even walk with a ball between their legs.
9) Skittles (5+)
An old game which has by no means lost its popularity, this will delight all ages and is simple enough for even the smallest competitors. A really fun game for the whole family.
10) Bubble mats and water games (3+)
When the weather is sweltering, kids love nothing more than water games. Set up a slip and slide, bubble mats and a water fight area. A quieter game to play amongst the spray is this 3 in a row inflatable game.
i) Sports parties are always competitive but some children can get a bit over-competitive and end up ruining the party spirit. To avoid this, constantly mix up the teams and remember to award prizes for cheerfulness or effort rather than for always being the first etc.
ii) Don’t forget to have a box full of prizes, including mini cups and medals to award to the winning teams!
iii) Have a helper on hand to encourage the reluctant children to join in.
iv) Try to avoid long gaps between games, so be familiar with the games you’ve chosen and have all the equipment ready before hand.
v) Make sure you know the rules of the games and stick to them.
For lots more party game ideas visit Party Pieces.