Physical activity and healthy eating go hand in hand with personal wellness. Encouraging our children to partake in team sports is one way to be active, and many students that have had our Wellness lessons have expressed their love of soccer, football, basketball, and others. But it isn’t always the easiest to suddenly coordinate a backyard soccer or football game – that takes time and lots of little athletes! Quick and easy outdoor activities that can be done in our backyards are a great alternative when we want to encourage our children to be active on a sunny day after school. Below are two fun activity ideas that we went over in our classes and were enjoyed by all!
Life-size Tic Tac Toe – Facebook Video
A fun game to challenge our brains and also get our blood pumping. Best for ages 7+, with at least two children to play.
- Set up a large tic tac toe board with either ropes or sidewalk chalk
- Divide players into 2 teams
- This is a relay. Each team will have 3 bean bags (either red or yellow). If bean bags are not available, can use different colored bandanas, or t-shirts, etc.
- On go, the first player from one team goes, runs/jogs up to the board and places a bean bag in one of the squares
- cannot move the other team’s bean bags
- The second team player jogs up and places their piece
- Repeat until all of the bean bags are in play. If neither team wins with the first 3 bean bags, then the next player’s turn is to go up to the “game board” and move one of THEIR bean bags to a new spot—either on offense or defense
- The relay continues until one team gets 3 in a row (either diagonal, horizontal, or vertical)
- Play best out of 3, 5, 7, etc.
A version of hide and go seek that is played in a wooded area or an area with lots of good hiding spots. Best with 4-5+ players. All ages can play and enjoy!
- One player will be our “Hawk” and rest will be “Squirrels”
- Goal of the squirrels is to hide from the hawk and avoid getting caught
- Hawk stands in the center of playing area and closes his/her eyes and counts down from 30 seconds
- Each subsequent round, have the hawk count down from 20 seconds, to 10 seconds
- In those 30 seconds, the squirrels will jog to a hiding spot. Specify safety rules such as no climbing trees beforehand, no running, etc.
- When the hawk is done counting, s/he will open their eyes and, without moving their feet, will look for the squirrels. The hawk can move around in a circle with their feet planted
- When a squirrel is caught they must come over and sit by the hawk. Squirrels that have been caught must be silent and not give away the location of their fellow squirrels!
- If hawk can find no more squirrels, start a new round of counting and have the squirrels find a new hiding spot
- Continue until all squirrels are caught or hawk can find no more
Extra challenge for older kids:
- During the first round, have the hawk hold up a number on their fingers above their head
- The squirrels can only win the game if they 1. Avoid getting caught 2. Can tell the hawk what number was held up
We’d love to hear what fun backyard activities YOUR kids like to do! Send firstname.lastname@example.org an email if you’d like for your activities to be included in future posts.